A Guide to Planning Your Florida Wedding

    By Lauren Tjaden

    You want your big day to be perfect, whether it’s an intimate ceremony on a glittering Sunshine State beach, or a massive, everyone-is-invited affair to go down in the record books.

    From pre-nuptial parties to fairy tale weddings and idyllic honeymoons, Florida’s stunning venues and romantic resorts can help turn your dreams into reality.

    Wildly popular, Florida destination weddings promise a vacation for the groom and bride – and possibly family members and special friends—but their allure runs deeper than balmy weather and an indulgent getaway; they’re surprisingly cost effective. Plus, many Florida resorts offer customizable weddings complete with teams dedicated to helping with every detail, so you don’t have to stress about dealing with vendors, the reception venue and other preparations.

    Pink Paradise  

    The Don CeSar, an iconic, landmark hotel nicknamed ‘the Pink Palace,’ is a natural for an epic event. Hugged against the legendary white sands of St. Pete Beach in southwest Florida, it boasts unparalleled service, meticulous attention to detail, expert planners and blockbuster views of the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you and your guests stay at the full-service Don CeSar resort or opt for the expansive Beach House Suites just a few waves down the beach, you’ll be wowed by the Don’s award-winning dining, shopping, spa and wellness services. Check out the resort’s exceptional wedding venues, including ballrooms, the courtyard and the beach.

    Laid-back Lux  

    Your wish is the Ritz Carlton’s desire! Cuddled on the shores of Amelia Island, a laid-back delight with miles of pristine beach tucked in the northeast corner of Florida, the Ritz is a sand-swept study in opulence, welcoming couples with one-of-a-kind wedding experiences brought to life by gifted chefs, ingenious event designers and creative floral artists. Whether you decide on a sunset beach wedding with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop; a customary Indian ceremony amid perfumed gardens; or a seated dinner highlighted by kosher cuisine, it’s sure to go down as the-best-day-ever.

    Love Blooms  

    You won’t need a florist when you get hitched at historic, lush Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park, a gem in the crown of Florida’s capital city of Tallahassee, located in north central Florida. The park concocts a symphony of color from camellias, azaleas, dogwoods and magnolias, a masterpiece to soothe the eye and the soul. Nestled by the park’s lake, the reflecting pool is a popular spot to say ‘I do.’ The Gardener’s Cottage has room for 50 diners as well as additional lawn seating for overflow.

    Help is on the way

    Wherever in Florida you decide to go, and whether you do the planning yourself or opt for a resort, the area’s visitors’ services can help. Here’s a list of Florida visitors’ services, including links to each one.

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