Florida Beach Weddings – Our Destination Wedding Planning!

Have your Florida beach wedding here!

First off, congratulations to you and your bride/groom-to-be! I’m assuming you’ve managed to find our page because you, like us, decided to entertain the idea of a sunny Florida beach wedding! You may be feeling overwhelmed about the decision and planning that lies ahead.  Hopefully, as you read through the articles in our blog, you’ll get an idea of whether a Florida beach wedding is right for you!

Destination Weddings vs. Traditional Weddings
The first question you should be asking yourself is whether you want a traditional or destination wedding.  When my fiance and I sat down to figure this out, we took a slightly different approach than normal.  It’s generally easy to find a list of pros and cons with a simple Google search, but choosing your wedding type involves more than a simple list of good versus bad.  Figure out what you really want out of your wedding.  Here were some questions we asked ourselves that you’ll want to focus on:

  • What kind of wedding photos do you want?  According to most of the folks we know, the photos are the most lasting part of a wedding (besides the actual marriage itself).  In our case, we wanted the beautiful white sand beach photos.  It would have been tough to get great “beach” photos up in Cleveland.  Brown lake water vs. blue Gulf water….Hmm….
  • Who do you REALLY want at your wedding?  Friends, Family, Coworkers?  Will the folks you want to attend your wedding the most truly be able to afford the trip to your Florida beach wedding?  We figured that the majority of folks we planned to invite would be able to attend, especially considering the next question…
  • How much advance notice will you give your invitees?  In our case, we were fine with a long engagement (two years), allowing plenty of time for our invited guests to save the required funds to attend.  We verbally gave everyone the general details of our wedding, and then sent out “save the date” reminders almost a year before the wedding.
  • How many guests do you plan to invite?  I’m not going to lie, it would be tough to do a Florida beach wedding with 200 guests.  Our wedding was still on the large side at approximately 100 invitations, but we figured it was still do-able within our budget and could still be more our style.  Which reminds me…
  • Which type of wedding fits your style the best?  My fiancé and I are both low-key and casual, as our most of our friends and family.  When we thought it through, a Florida beach wedding really exemplified our style, love of travel and sun, and our laid-back approach to life.  A traditional wedding simply seemed too “stuffy” for our preferences.
  • Is it cheaper one way or the other?  Some of our family members pushed back on our decision to do a Florida beach wedding saying that a traditional wedding would be much less expensive.  After considering some of the additional expenses incurred by having a traditional wedding close to home (increased attendance rates, formal attire, increased decorating requirements, etc) and doing some pricing and research ahead of time, it turned out that the estimated costs weren’t that far apart.
Destination Wedding Planning

Having asked ourselves the important questions and gotten buy-in from the mother and father of the bride, we got to planning our Florida beach wedding.  We put together our first set of “to-do” items and set to work:

  1. Set up an account on “the Knot” to help with reminders and overall wedding planning checklists.
    • This will help you keep on top of all the random stuff you’ll need to take care of – vendors, clothing, invitations, etc.  As the groom-to-be, I had no idea how much “stuff” went into planning a wedding!  Without these invaluable checklists, you’ll definitely forget something!
  2. Additional research on potential “venues” for the Florida beach wedding and/or reception.
    • The more venues you find for wedding and receptions, the greater chance you’ll have of keeping your budget under control and booking a location that you love.
  3. Scout for a “bridal expo” near your potential venues.
    • I can’t stress the importance of this item.  My fiancé and I attended the “Bridal Blast” at Germain Arena and had the opportunity to meet a number of the vendors we considered for our own   Florida beach wedding.  Make sure you take a few pens and take notes on any of the flyers/cards you obtain.
  4. Start searching for ideas to incorporate in your wedding!
More To Come:
As we continue moving forward planning our own wedding, I’ll be sure to include you in the fun and challenges we find along the way.  Hopefully our destination wedding planning will help you with your own Florida beach wedding!  Comments are welcome!  Let us know the questions you asked when deciding to plan your own Florida beach wedding!

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About Rob

A northerner that recently moved South! My newlywed wife and I are long-time vacationers around southwest Florida, and our hearts definitely belong on Sanibel Island!

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