Church wedding? No. Hotel fête? Pass. Backyard shindig? Don’t think so.
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 out-of-the-box.
From historic estates to the world’s largest shuffleboard club, these five Florida venues are sure to provide an unforgettable backdrop to your special occasion.
Photo: 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’ relaxed environs 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.
Marrieds-to-be can pick from five unique ceremony locations, each perfectly tailored for a relaxed, Old Florida-inspired celebration.
Photo: Trenholm Photo
Bonus: In commemoration of their wedding day, couples can plant a tree on the estate. A special tree plaque will bear their names and event date.
Photo: 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.
(Photo above was taken by Adam Opris Photography and is not representative of an underwater wedding with Amy Slate.)
Photo: Jules’ Undersea Lodge
Couples can remain submerged when they honeymoon at Jules’ Undersea Lodge, the world’s only subaquatic hotel. The underwater “cottage for two” features modern comforts and stunning views of Key Largo’s Emerald Lagoon.
Photo: Florida Aquarium
Rest easy, nautical lovers. We have 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 the bride and groom will save big-time on décor.
Photo: Starfish Studios
Capturing the luxe tranquility of the Spanish countryside, Estancia Culinaria is a feast for the senses. A thirty-minute road trip from downtown Miami, this family-owned estate features a vintage-themed, nineteenth-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.
Photo: 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 seventy-three 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.