Where to Wed: 20 Florida Venues That Dazzle
Next to finding your forever mate, pinning down the perfect venue ranks up there among the most key components of a wedding. Happily for brides- and grooms-to-be, Florida is packed with picture-perfect spots to say “I do,” from rustic farms dotted with palms to sleek, sexy beachfront hotels—not to mention a gaggle of classic Grande Dames (like The Breakers and Boca Raton Resort & Club).
Image via The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
Whether you’re looking for an elegant beachfront resort to host your affair of 500 or a more intimate, off-the-beaten-path option where you can celebrate with family and a few close friends, there’s an option out there that’s guaranteed to suit. To help get you started in your search, we’re sharing 20 Florida wedding venues (don’t forget to check out the Grande Dames we mentioned above) that dazzle us. We think they’ll dazzle you, too.
Image via The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
Located on a 13-mile stretch of powdery coastline on Amelia Island, this Ritz-Carlton is one of the most popular beach destinations on the East Coast. Ceremony and reception venues include the beach, oceanfront lawn, courtyard, ballrooms. What we love: Special extra events, from bachelorette martini parties to day-after brunch.
Image via River House
In the heart of the nation’s oldest city, a wedding at River House introduces guests to both the historical downtown area and breathtaking Matanzas River waterfront of St. Augustine. What we love: Spacious outdoor patios and a walkway directly to the water.
Image via Eau Palm Beach
Once the home of The Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach, this oceanfront hotel recently rebranded as Eau Palm Beach, ushering in a new era of glam playfulness for the property, thanks largely to Jonathan Adler, who lent his knack for happy color combos and graphic patterns to guest rooms. What we love: Event spaces and ocean views abound, and the resort’s over-the-top OMG I’m Getting Married! offer promises the ultimate in pampering.
Photo by Shea Christine Photography
Located in south Miami-Dade County, this spot occupies three acres and gives brides and grooms the best of both worlds: It oozes charm and elegance, but its rustic setting will make guests feel right at home in their bare feet—all the better for dancing the night away. What we love: Landscape features include a sunken grotto with waterfalls; rare, exotic palms; and huge, mature oak trees (in other words, gorgeous photo opps galore).
Owned by wedding photographer Sara Kauss and her husband, Zak, this Jupiter Farms ranch is situated on a serene lake and exudes an Old Florida feel thanks to its slightly untamed landscape of palms and its charming barn. What we love: Sunsets over the ranch’s lake are nothing short of magical.
Image via Faena Hotel Miami Beach
Miami Beach has its fair share of world-class hotels and resorts to choose from (exhibits A and B), but we’re especially excited about this newcomer, which opened in December. The hotel anchors Miami Beach’s new art-and-culture-focused Faena District, a six-block stretch of neighborhood spanning Collins Avenue from the Atlantic Ocean to Indian Creek. What we love: Superstar Argentinian chef and grill master Francis Mallmann has a restaurant here, which means your guests are guaranteed to eat like kings and queens.
Created around 1911 by builder Waldo Sexton, today this enchanting venue, which comprises two historic homes connected by a jungle and whimsical sidewalk, can host anywhere from 50 to 300 wedding guests. What we love: The property’s history is as quirky as the site itself and will keep your guests talking about it long after the wedding’s over.
Photo by Hunter Ryan Photography
If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then this Naples venue needs little explaining. Meticulous grounds, babbling fountains, and romantic architecture give this spot a decidedly Southern feel, while swaying palms add the perfect, laid-back touch. What we love: The outdoor courtyard pictured above, which is perfect for ceremonies or dancing under the stars.
Image via LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort
Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches are among our country’s—if not our world’s—most beautiful, and this luxe but low-key resort plays them up to brides’ and grooms’ full advantage (check out the photo above to see what we mean). Manicured lawns, poolside patios, and the sugar-soft beach are among ceremony and reception options on offer. What we love: A variety of wedding packages are offered, designed to take the stress out of the wedding-planning process.
Photo by Wes Weber Photography
This Sanibel Island resort, which can host weddings of up to 200, offers couples 23 acres to work with, including a breathtaking beachfront and rolling green lawns. It feels a million miles away, and with its precious privacy and picture-perfect setting, it might as well be. What we love: Sherbet-hued sunsets over the resort’s secluded beach, and a romantic, lakeside gazebo.
Photo by Karen Harrison Photography
Nature reigns supreme at this stunning outdoor venue, which is located 30 minutes north of Tampa. The ranch’s rustic natural setting is complemented by event-ready amenities, from handmade wooden benches to a ceremony space tucked amid a grove of giant oaks. What we love: The ranch’s hands-on owner is readily available to help, and couples can choose their own vendors.
Photo by Angel Gray Photography
We first fell in love with this property while writing a Real Florida Weddings post, and we just can’t stop swooning over it. Why? The working cattle ranch’s 100 acres are home to a private plantation residence, and its grounds are graced with moss-filled grandfather oaks—a combination that will take you and your guests back in time. What we love: The throwback ambience will make you feel like a barefoot, summer-loving kid again.
Image via Vue on 30A
One of our favorite Florida picks for a modern-day intimate wedding, Vue on 30A has been ranked among Florida’s top waterfront dining spots, and with good reason. Floor-to-ceiling picture windows line its dining room, giving guests unobstructed views of the turquoise water beyond. Its beauty, of course, is second only to the bride. What we love: A full-service planning staff rivals that of many large resorts.
Image via SunQuest Cruises
Couple looking for the ultimate way to take advantage of Florida’s turquoise waters and million-dollar views can do just that aboard the 125-foot Solaris yacht, which is owned and operated by SunQuest Cruises and located at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort’s Baytowne Marina. What we love: Three decks offer guests space for mixing and mingling and provide a natural flow for your ceremony, dinner, and dancing.
Photo by lh Photography
Founded in 1937 as an art colony, today, this unique venue offers a handful of ceremony and reception venues, each with its own distinct style. But with its carved cross and tiled floor—not to mention the knotty trees that hover overhead—its Mayan Courtyard had us at hello. What we love: The charming Cottage at Lake Lily can host up to 49 guests, perfect for an intimate welcome cocktail reception.
Photo by Justin DeMutiis Photography
Four Seasons is synonymous with unabashed luxury, and that’s just what wedding couples will get at the hotel brand’s Orlando location, from its neat-as-a-pin grounds to its events team members’ can-do philosophy, which will come in handy when planning the wedding of your dreams. What we love: With a golf course, spa, swimming pools, and a certain beloved theme park to choose from, your guests will relish every moment of your wedding weekend here.
Image via Hilton Key Largo Resort
Just an hour from Miami, the Hilton Key Largo Resort places couples and their wedding guests on the Gulf of Mexico’s turquoise doorstep. The resort offers 17,000 square feet of event space and can accommodate up to 250 party-ready wedding guests. What we love: Outside-the-box extras, like beachside luaus and Caribbean buffets.
Image via Instagram
The epitome of barefoot elegance, Little Palm Island gives couples and their guests the gift of total togetherness—the resort occupies its own private island, and it’s only accessible by boat, which means you can have the whole place to yourselves. What we love: Thatch-roof bungalows, excellent food, and intoxicating spa treatments that make for the ultimate island-luxe experience.