Stand Out From the Crowd: Five Unique Florida Wedding Venues

Is a church wedding not your style? Hotel not quite your speed? Backyard shindig? Okay, we won’t even go there. When it comes to picking the perfect spot for a ceremony or reception, many brides are skipping the traditional go-tos for something a bit more outside-the-box.

Stand Out From The Crowd: Five Unique Florida Wedding Venues | Weddings Illustrated

Image courtesy of the Florida Aquarium

From historic estates to the world’s largest shuffleboard club, these five Florida venues are sure to provide an unforgettable backdrop for your special occasion.


Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Stand Out From The Crowd: Five Unique Florida Wedding Venues | Weddings Illustrated

Photo by Joe Capasso Photography

Thomas Alva Edison and Henry Ford shared more than an inventive spirit. Their neighboring winter estates reflect a mutual passion for Ft. Myers’ laid-back atmosphere and balmy temps.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates is a 20-acre national landmark that features Edison’s and Ford’s historic homes (“Seminole Lodge” and “The Mangoes,” respectively), in addition to botanical gardens, a research laboratory, and a 15,000-square-foot museum filled with artifacts and inventions. Couples can pick from five unique ceremony locations, each perfectly tailored for a relaxed, Old Florida-inspired celebration. And here’s a fun bonus: In commemoration of their wedding day, couples can plant a tree on the estate’s grounds. A special tree plaque will bear their names and event date.


 

Christ of the Abyss

Stand Out From The Crowd: Five Unique Florida Wedding Venues | Weddings Illustrated

Photo by Adam Opris Photography

Instead of a walk down the aisle, get hitched underwater. Amy Slate, who owns Amoray Dive Resort in Key Largo (and who was recently inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame), conducts underwater weddings at the Christ of the Abyss and other popular scuba sites around the Florida Keys. (The photo above shows the “Christ of the Abyss” sculpture but is not representative of an underwater wedding with Amy Slate.)


The Florida Aquarium

Stand Out From The Crowd: Five Unique Florida Wedding Venues | Weddings Illustrated

Photo courtesy of the Florida Aquarium

Rest easy, water babies. We’ve found your “something blue”—the Coral Reef Gallery at Tampa’s Florida Aquarium. Teeming with hundreds of reef fish, turtles, sharks, and other marine life, this jaw-dropping, 500,000-gallon tank is a visually stunning spot for exchanging precious vows. Guests will receive a rare glimpse into one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems, plus, you’ll save big-time on décor.


Estancia Culinaria

Stand Out From The Crowd: Five Unique Florida Wedding Venues | Weddings Illustrated

Photo by Starfish Studios

Reminiscent of the luxe tranquility of the Spanish countryside, Estancia Culinaria is a feast for the senses. A 30-minute drive from downtown Miami, this family-owned estate features a vintage-themed 19th-century farmhouse with an outdoor terrace overlooking the lush, organic avocado fields beyond.

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride to the coral rock chapel to meet your groom—an utterly romantic way to kick off a pastoral wedding.


St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club

Stand Out From The Crowd: Five Unique Florida Wedding Venues | Weddings Illustrated

Photo by Papered Heart Photography

Once a popular game reserved for Florida retirees, shuffleboard is now courting favor with retro-loving couples who are weaving the vintage pastime into their weddings. The world’s largest shuffleboard facility, the 91-year-old St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club, serves up 73 courts, and the Art Deco and Mediterranean-style clubhouse is well-served for intimate celebrations.

After dinner and dancing, hit the courts for some competitive, post-reception play with your wedding party and guests.
Kerry Shorr

 

 

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