Updated: January 2, 2023. We are considering renewing our vows since we've been married for 32 years. Blue water and white sand is a beautiful backdrop for any wedding ceremony in Florida. Choosing the best beach is going to be hard. Here's a few tips.
How To Choose The Best Florida Beach For A Wedding
Whether you choose waves in the Atlantic Ocean or the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Florida is the perfect place to have a beach wedding. It's easy to travel to, get a marriage license and is relatively inexpensive for a ceremony. The only hard part is picking the best beach that you both love. Then you can tailor your wedding day to the environment, conditions and amenities you desire.
How to choose the best location for your beach wedding
The biggest decision: which Florida coast to get married on? This pick is easy for some couples. If you want to tie the knot with a spectacular sunset then the west coast, including Siesta Key Beach and Destin, is best for you. However, don't rule out the east coast (or Atlantic coast) entirely. Some pretty fantastic skies can be seen over the Atlantic ocean at sundown. The clouds can reflect the sunset's colors back over the ocean with special effects. This is called the Golden Hour.
You can also have a sunrise wedding but biting insects can be a factor on some beaches. Rest assured that no matter which Florida coast you choose for your nuptials, you can have fantastic wedding photos. If you choose to get married in the Florida Keys, there are plenty of venues to help you have a great wedding and reception. The Green Turtle Inn in Islamorada is one of them. Keep in mind getting married in the Florida Keys or Miami Beach might be more expensive than other beach wedding locations.
For a wedding ceremony and Florida honeymoon, the choice will likely come down to the beach activities you both love. Do you love to surf, boogie board or jump over ocean waves? Then the east coast of Florida like the Daytona Beach Shores area, is for you. The Florida Keys may also have some waves, but is generally calmer as a beach wedding venue. It also comes with a fabulous ocean breeze which can be cooling (watch those bridal hairstyles with wind and humidity). There are normally very few waves on a Gulf beach, so it's perfect for floating, paddle boarding and snorkeling. It may feel somewhat hotter than the east coast, so choose your outdoor wedding attire accordingly. Avoid heavy wedding gowns and hot tuxedos on all the coasts of Florida.
Getting Married For the Second Time?
If it's your second time around, you probably want everything to be easy. Depending on the size of beach wedding you have, you might try using a beachfront hotel. This is simply convenient for everyone. Guests can walk right down to the beachfront, rather than having to drive and find parking. Parking in Florida can be a nightmare. The wedding couple can also host a reception there so everything is in one place. This is particularly convenient if you are tying the knot in busy wedding destinations like Clearwater, Siesta Key or Fort Myers Beach. It may be more expensive, however.
Couples with a smaller guest list might choose to say their vow by a local wedding provider right on the shore. A small reception at a nearby island restaurant or in the beach park like Sombrero Beach or Anastasia State Park might be just what you need. Beach pavilions can be used for a charming reception your guests will appreciate. It's great for a vow renewal ceremony too. At a Florida beach wedding, almost anything goes. Just check your budget, and make your plans!
Best Time of Year For A Florida Beach Wedding
Summer is the best time for weddings, right? Wrong! In Florida, summer can be uncomfortably hot, humid and stormy. Not to mention, hurricane season begins in June. Living in Florida is very pleasant almost all year round, but to have the best experience choose the following months: March, April or May. Even early June may work, but there will be a higher chance of storms. Late October, November and December are also wonderful and the water should still be quite warm.
The other concern is the best of time day for a ceremony. Rain or storms often happen in the afternoon, usually beginning around 3-5 p.m. For a sunset wedding, schedule it after this time for best results. If it rains briefly, take shelter until it passes. An earlier wedding ceremony can also be fun at 10 or 11 a.m. before the beach really heats up. It's your choice. Just check the weather in advance. Your Florida wedding provider can usually work with you and find the best time for your special day.
Cheap Wedding Ideas For A Beach Ceremony
Choosing a complete wedding package will often be the cheapest option for your wedding on the beach. This package will often include the ceremony provider, the wedding decorations, chairs, choice of vows and processional music. Some packages even include a photographer - so budget-friendly! You can get a really nice package for less than half the price of a traditional wedding. They set up and take down the decorations for you. Companies include Florida Beach Weddings and Gulf Beach Weddings. Other ideas for saving money include:
But Don't Skimp on This One Thing...
One, simple word: photography. This important detail should not to be overlooked. Find the best wedding photographer you can afford. If the beach wedding provider you select offers this service, then make sure you look at their work BEFORE signing on the dotted line. Look at their wedding photos and online reviews. You can never get back the opportunity for beautiful beach wedding pictures if it is lost. Imagine a wedding during a sunset in Siesta Key! These photos will bring you special memories of your Florida ceremony for years to come.
Fun Ideas for Beach Wedding Memories
If you have a wedding outside on the beach, there are some fun ideas you can incorporate into your special day. These are what your memories are made of, so why not try out one or two ideas?
The Beach Wedding Reception
There are couples who wait until they get back home so that more friends and family can celebrate with them. Not everyone can travel to attend your special day. However, if you choose to have it the same day as your seaside ceremony, why not choose a tented venue or pavilion right on the beach in Clearwater? One of our favorite venues is close to home: Wilbur Boathouse is an easy 5 minute walk from the beachfront and is an historic, romantic venue. Sunsets included. In St. Augustine at Anastasia State Park you can rent the Sea Turtle Pavilion.
Easy Steps to Getting Married in Florida
Here is an easy plan to make your Florida beach wedding day come true:
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Susan and Bruno are travel bloggers specializing in Florida beaches on every coast. Take a road trip or plan a Florida vacation.