By Kara Franker

Since opening in 2013, The Alfond Inn has quickly become one of Florida's most celebrated locales for weddings.

Today's brides are looking for unique new alternatives to mark their special day, including a more personalized environment and a place that resonates with their own set of values. It's what makes the appeal of a charming, historic American town like Winter Park so irresistible.

The classic Main Street setting, walkability and architecture, combined with the elegance of The Alfond Inn, provide the essential elements for a dream destination wedding in Florida.

Winter Park is frequently cited as one of the best small towns in the United States. The pace is relaxed with a neighborhood vibe that comes from walking the cobblestone streets, a vibrant café life, the stately elegance of Spanish Mediterranean-style mansions, live oaks and Spanish moss and a backdrop of multiple lakes and waterways.

Winter Park is the home of Rollins College and three major art museums, with a downtown anchored by Park Avenue and lined with upscale shops, restaurants and cafes.

One and Only Bride for the Day

Thanks to its intimate size with just 112 rooms, The Alfond Inn is perfect for brides looking for a manageable and very personal wedding. The hotel features a number of varied and interesting venue options for rehearsal dinners, wedding ceremonies and receptions, farewell brunches and overnight accommodations for all of the wedding guests.

Yet it's not a wedding factory with multiple events happening at a given time. "On your wedding night, you're it," says Jane McLean, Director of Social Catering at The Alfond Inn and a hotel social director in the dynamic Florida wedding market for almost a decade. "Our brides are not competing with a convention and there won't be another wedding. Each one of our team members is focused exclusively on the special wedding taking place that day."

Trending Now in Weddings

The small town backdrop and boutique hotel venue have proven to be a match made in heaven for couples looking to get married in Florida. In 2014, the first full year of operation since opening, The Alfond Inn held nearly 50 weddings. The average wedding size was 150 to 220 guests. In 2015,

McLean is seeing a similar demand as well as an increasing number of small weddings of 30 guests or less, part of a growing "intimate" market. McLean also sees more couples opting for fully produced weddings, tapping local floral artists and stylists to create highly customized lighting choreographed to change the mood from the first dance to the last song.

For today's couples, it's what the wedding venue says about their own values and lifelong outlook that becomes just as important as the wedding. McLean says that "at The Alfond Inn, the compelling difference is the hotel's profound commitment to philanthropy."

Owned by Rollins College, one of the country's most lauded liberal arts colleges, The Alfond Inn was funded in part with a $12.5-million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. The intention of the Harold Alfond Foundation is that the net operating income from The Alfond Inn will be directed to The Alfond Scholars program fund, the Rollins College premier scholarship fund, over the next 25 years or until the endowment principal reaches $50 million, whichever comes later.

The Alfond Inn is also the showcase for The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art for Rollins College, a growing collection of more than 220 works of art purchased for the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College by alumni Barbara and Ted Alfond. McLean says that "the art of this caliber enriches the entire wedding experience for both the couple and their families" at The Alfond Inn.

Farm to Veil

Wedding menus are curated by The Alfond Inn's culinary team, recognized for their innovative take on fresh American fare and Floridian-inspired dishes rendered from locally sourced ingredients hand selected at the Winter Park Farmer's Market. Each menu is different, crafted for each couple based on their personal style and seasonal availability. Private dining spaces at The Alfond Inn create exclusive settings for intimate wedding and rehearsal dinners.

The Almond Inn All-Inclusive Package:

  • The Conservatory: The glass-domed Conservatory is the heart of the Inn and the ideal location for ceremonies, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.
  • Tropical Gardens: Features 7,500 square feet of lush lawns to accommodate alfresco wedding ceremonies and receptions for up to 225 guests.
  • The Ballroom: A stunning centerpiece of the Inn, the elegant 5,000 square foot Ballroom that can accommodate up to 300 guests for seated dinners and banquets and gala occasions.
  • Intimate Weddings: The Alfond Inn's distinctive private event space is just over 2,000 square feet and is ideal for smaller indoor weddings. The space is divisible in half to allow for intimate gatherings of close friends and family.

The Alfond Inn's Wedding Package includes a suite for the bride and groom on their wedding night, along with an offer to return for a complimentary stay on their one year anniversary. Contact the Inn for pricing.

When you go...

The Alfond Inn is located at 300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789. For more information, call 407-998-8090 or visit