UK Brides: US Destination Wedding Myths Busted!

Are you thinking of getting married in the USA on a beautiful Florida beach? On the fence as to whether or not a destination wedding is right for you? Thinking it may be out of your budget? Well put aside whatever you’ve been told before or doubts you may have about destination weddings in Florida. Many couples travel from England, Scotland, Ireland and other countries to have a wedding ceremony in Florida. We’re going to give you the facts and bust some popular US destination wedding myths!

Siesta Key wedding couple UK

Myth # 1:

Destination Weddings are too complicated to plan.

Fact:

If you can book a flight to the USA and pack a suitcase, you can plan a Florida destination beach wedding. With our Florida Beach Wedding Company, we do EVERYTHING for you to ensure a seamless and beautiful beach wedding. We’re talking about helping you choose a Florida beach location, set up/break down of your wedding decorations, a wedding officiant, professional wedding photographer, and assistance with your Florida marriage license. Our beach wedding specialists can advise you regarding what to do the week before the wedding, how to choose the perfect wedding dress for Florida beach weather, beach wedding make up….we’ve got you covered with all the best tips and tricks to make your US destination wedding perfect. 

Myth # 2:

Destination Weddings are too expensive for UK citizens

Fact:

The average cost of a traditional (non destination) wedding in America is $26,000. Wait, what? That figure should have you running for the hills, but wait, how about running for the beach? Our Florida Beach Wedding packages are coming in somewhere between $1,000-$2,500 USD with almost everything included. Now translate that into your own currency and start clapping with excitement! Add in flight and hotel, dress, hair and  make up to the budget and you will still have room for the honeymoon. Really, you could have roughly 5 beach weddings for the price of 1 “average, traditional” wedding. Once you have booked your date with us, we can provide even more ways to save money with a destination beach wedding with our recommended vendors list for every Florida beach location. 

Destin Beach wedding couple embraces after UK wedding in Florida

Myth # 3:

Florida Destination Weddings won’t be legally recognized in the UK

Fact:

In order for your Florida marriage to be recognized as legal in the UK, the following conditions must be met (per raydensolicitors.co.uk):

  • The marriage must be recognized as a legal marriage in the USA and the parties to the marriage must have complied with the procedures required in the country of marriage: USA. This generally includes giving the relevant notice and having the required witnesses.
  • Each party to the marriage must have capacity to marry under the laws of the country that they are domiciled at the time of the marriage. The country in which you are domiciled will be the country of your main permanent home in which you live, or to which you intend to return. Capacity covers issues such as age, consent and mental capacity.
    Any previous marriage must be properly terminated as per the requirements of English law and you must have the date for your Florida marriage license application.
    It is also important to have evidence of the marriage, which will generally be the original marriage certificate.

The Notary or Minister of your wedding is responsible for posting the marriage license back to the courthouse to have it validated (Florida Beach Weddings takes care of this for you). You won’t receive your marriage certificate straight away. The courthouse will post it to your home address, which usually takes 4-6 weeks, although some people have said they received theirs earlier.

Following Florida’s legal marriage process will ensure that your marriage is legal in the UK. You can obtain it by mail. There is no residency or citizenship requirement to apply for a Florida marriage license but you will need your photo passport. Contact us to plan your dream destination wedding or with any other questions. As you can see, getting married in Florida is easy for UK couples! Email pam@floridabeachweddings.com.

UK couple kiss on Florida beach after wedding in Daytona Beach

Staying Cool at a Summer Beach Wedding

Blue Daytona Beach Weddings with flower petals and black bamboo canopy

Couple married on Daytona Beach Florida.

Our Beach Wedding Company is now preparing to resume beach wedding ceremonies this summer! So time to get ready to be married in the sun and sea! Florida basically has two seasons. 1.Summer  2. The rest of the year! Most of the year the weather is beautiful for an outdoor wedding and the tropical sea breeze makes it even more comfortable. There isn’t much to complain about however, if you aren’t a Florida native, you may need a few tips on staying cool in the heat during your seaside Florida wedding ceremony.

5 Tips on How to Beat the Heat 

Summer is a beautiful time of year to get married no matter where you are, but in Florida we need to take extra care when the sun is highest in the sky. If you decide summer is the best time of year for your beach wedding, our Florida Beach Weddings specialist will help you schedule your ceremony at the best time of day for your comfort. We want to ensure that you have a pretty beach wedding filled with joy! Here are some tips for your marriage ceremony:

1. Stay Hydrated

It’s important to drink a lot of water in preparation for, during, and after your outdoor beach wedding. Don’t wait until right before you walk the aisle to grab a bottle of water. Also don’t wait until you get thirsty to start drinking; 64 ounces is a starting point to get you through the day. Wake up with a glass of H2o and drink continuously throughout the day. If you add coffee or alcohol to the beverage mix you’ll need to up your water intake. Choosing a complete beach wedding package that includes a chilled water station is also an option (your guests will love this!) Staying hydrated will keep you energized, looking fresh, and ready to face the summer sun!

We present the newly married couple at this beautiful Teal Distinctive Package at a Florida Wedding on the beach.

This Teal Distinctive Design includes chilled water station for your guests

2. Avoid Too Much Alcohol

Well, save it for the indoor after party anyways! Drinking too much alcohol can lead to dehydration and increased drowsiness. And there’s something about a hot summer day that speeds up the “buzz” effect. So be a Snow White Bride, not a Dopey, Sleepy, Grumpy, Drunky (okay that last one wasn’t a Disney original) dwarf and save the celebratory piña colada for the A/C.

Fort Meyers beach wedding and reception locations.

Fort Meyers Matanzas on the Bay for post-wedding dinner

3. Keep Inside

Stay inside as much as possible. This also applies to the day/night before. Too much sun can exhaust your body and nobody wants to be hot and cranky on their wedding day. Stay in your A/C car or beachfront hotel until you it’s time to walk down the aisle. Keeping cooler longer will allow you to really enjoy the sunny, breezy beach atmosphere.

Daytona Beach Weddings at the shores resort and spa hotel on the beach

Convenient Daytona Beach Shores hotel keeps you cool before your wedding

4. Made in the Shades

Sun shades. Umbrella shades. Whatever the shade, find it. Use it. Make it. It not realistic find shade directly ON the beach during your ceremony. However, the moments leading up to your ceremony or after you tie the knot, keep your sunglasses on and find a cool, shady spot to relax. And discuss ahead of time if the bridal party will be rocking sunglasses. Pass off the shades to a front row guest so you don’t ruin pictures with an unwanted accessory.

Anastasia Park Wedding Pavilion

Shady Anastasia Park Wedding Pavilion ready for reception guests

5. Cool Off

We love these personal mister fans and if you’re extra sensitive to the sun, check out these fun parasols with UV ray blocking features. These are also great for beach days before and after your summer beach wedding day too – why go anywhere else for your honeymoon! There are many nice beaches to get married on that offer shady pavilions and picnic areas including Sand Key Park, Siesta Key in Sarasota, Venice Beach and Cocoa Beach to relax under (see photo above from one of our St. Augustine Beach weddings).

Fort DeSoto Beach in St. Pete, Florida

Cool shady area in Fort DeSoto Beach in St. Pete, Florida

Dreaming of cold drinks, warm Florida sand, and saying, “I do” hand in hand? We have plenty of options in the Sunshine State. Book your Summer Beach Wedding today!

Wedding Reception Ideas for a Sarasota Beach Wedding

Siesta Key Beach Wedding Celebration

Sarasota/Siesta Key Beach Wedding Receptions

When planning a destination beach wedding this question always arises; what to do about a reception?  Here are some of our reception ideas for your Sarasota Beach Wedding:

Small Weddings of 30 or less guests:

With smaller weddings the easiest, and most cost-effective way to have a celebration after your beach wedding ceremony is to take your guests to dinner. Choose a restaurant that either has a small private dining room to rent, or where they take reservations and can accommodate your guest count. You can even make arrangements to have your cake delivered to this venue. After your first dance on the beach you can have a complete, small wedding reception at a fraction of the cost of a reception at home. Check out Turtles on Little Sarasota, Cafe Gabbiano’s and the Daquiri Deck in Siesta Key Village. The Columbia House, and Tommy Bahama Restaurant in Lido Beach come highly recommended. Sharkey’s in Venice and there are several more throughout the Sarasota, Florida area that may be suitable for your beach wedding reception.

Couple ties the knot in Siesta Key on beach at sunset

Larger weddings with 30 – 100 guests:

There are several venues that can offer you a great reception for an economical price after your Sarasota Beach Wedding.

Siesta Key: Although this is one of the best beaches in Florida, there are no Gulf beachfront hotels or restaurants directly on the Gulf in Siesta Key that offer a reception venue. However, the Boatyard Bar and Grill is a great option (see photo below courtesy of Wedding Wire) — you can have your own reception area on the bay front. The Devyn is on the mainland but is a full service reception venue. Mattison 41 also provides reception accommodations.

Boatyard Bar and Grill wedding reception, Sarasota, Florida

What about a beach wedding reception outdoors? We do not recommend an outdoor beach wedding reception for several reasons.

  • First, most Gulf beach areas do not allow it or the rules are so limiting that it makes it more work for the couples (and more stress). During Turtle Season (May – October) there are many more rules about lighting, hours, on the beach after dark, etc.
  • Your guests definitely will enjoy your Gulf beach wedding, but the comfort of an indoor/outdoor covered area will be inviting and refreshing after you have completed your beach wedding ceremony.
  • If the weather has been a bit uncooperative but we have been able to use the beach for your wedding, you do not want to leave any part of your wedding day to the mercy of outdoor elements (especially if a rain event is approaching). In the case of inclement beach weather you may only have a small window of opportunity to complete your Sarasota Beach wedding, so why not head to your indoor reception area to have a great wedding reception celebration without the weather worries!
  • Older family members usually prefer an indoor/ or semi-indoor reception. It is great to be dressed up and enjoying the sandy beach for a ceremony, but to spend several hours outdoor on the sand is a different story (or the heat).
  • Something not usually thought about, but would be greatly appreciated is indoor plumbing!

There are so many options for a reception for your Sarasota Beach Wedding, you can surely find the one that works for you.  Once you choose your beach wedding package and book your wedding date with us we can provide more local vendors depending on your specific needs.  And, contact us with any questions you may have about your Sarasota Beach Wedding!

Military groom and bride at beach wedding in Sarasota kissing

Sand Key Beach: Say Yes to “De-Stress”!

If you are looking for a Gulf beach wedding venue that has white sand, emerald water and comes complete with a beach, park, outdoor reception areas and parking for hundreds – it’s Sand Key Park in Clearwater, Florida! It’s time to say Yes to De-Stress and get ready to relax in Florida.

Sand Key Park, Clearwater FL

Photo courtesy of Visit St. Pete Clearwater

Perfect for a large wedding party, the park proper has two picnic shelters with grills, a playground, and restrooms. Grills, picnic tables, and water fountains are but a few of the offered amenities. Sand Key also offers disabled visitors beach wheelchairs, which are easier to use on the sand and float in the water, free of charge. A salt marsh with viewing benches further enhances the park where heron, roseate spoonbill, great horned owls and other Florida birds nest and feed.

Sand Key Park is away from the hustle and bustle of the main area of Clearwater Beach, making it a peaceful place for the perfect beach wedding! There are several key areas that make for wonderful wedding day photos: large grassy areas, the white sand beach, and rocky areas. However, Florida Beach Weddings prefers to perform your wedding ceremony on the quietest area of the beach, so you can enjoy an intimate and unforgettable wedding day. A perfect getaway spot when children are included, they will be thrilled with the warm Gulf sea.

Sand Key Beach Restaurant for a Wedding Reception

The Columbia Restaurant was founded in 1905 and is Florida’s oldest restaurant℠. The Columbia Restaurant in Sand Key on Clearwater Beach is the perfect venue for your party or special event. Old-World Mediterranean style dining rooms lend an atmosphere of warmth and elegance to any gathering. Group reservations welcome.

When considering a beach wedding in Sand Key Park here are some things to be aware of:

  • If you’d like to use a caterer, you must use the licensed caterer provided by the park.
  • Reservations are required for the main picnic area.
  • There is a fee for parking using automated meters.
  • A permit fee will be required to be married on Sand Key Beach (our beach wedding company will help you with this process).

So why not tie the knot with beautiful decor on a Gulf beach in Florida? Choosing Sand Key Park will be an unforgettable experience for you and your guests. Contact us today.

Tropical Distinctive wedding arch on Sand Key Beach, Clearwater, FL

 

St. Pete Beach Wedding Restaurants

What is the best St. Pete beach wedding reception venue that includes great food? Read on for a delicious list full of St. Pete Beach Restaurants. So whether you’re eloping and looking for an intimate dining spot or hosting a full on post wedding party, we’ve found the place for you after in St. Pete Beach

St. Pete Beach Wedding couple sitting on sand during sunset in Florida.

Top 5 St. Pete Beach Restaurants for Wedding Receptions

Palm Court Italian Grill

Tucked away at the end of the Grand Palm Colonnade at TradeWinds Island Grand, Palm Court Italian Grill offers an intimate dining experience with your favorite culinary creations from the Mediterranean. Enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner indoors or under the stars on the patio as you savor creamy pastas and the seafood selections that range from fried calamari to fresh grouper. Complement your meal with an extensive selection of fine wines available by the glass, letting you match each course with pairings recommended by your gracious server.

Palm Court Italian Grill St. Pete Beach

The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant

The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant is in the heart of the Pass-A-Grille historical district. Located just across the street from the Gulf, with rooftop twin bars that offer spectacular sunset views, the Hurricane has become a world-renown restaurant for both locals and vacationers, serving the St. Pete Beach community for over 42 years. Offering the finest in fresh, wild-caught seafood in a tantalizing array of appetizers, entrees, drinks, and desserts, the Hurricane dazzles with three levels of dining and complimentary views, seven days a week.

The Hurricane Restaurant in St. Pete Beach for beach wedding receptions

Level Two Hurricane Watch (roof top) and SOUTH DECK BAR AND GRILLE is perfect for hosting parties and large gatherings. They can seat up to 300 people and offer several buffet stations to accommodate large groups along with plenty of space.

Rococo Steak

Rococo Steak embraces a lighter, livelier and decidedly more decadent dining experience. Enjoy an unforgettable Rococo Steak wedding reception whether you envision a lavish affair or an intimate gathering. They take care of everything down to the smallest detail, including custom menu, linens and floral selections and can even create a signature cocktail so your guests can propose a toast to the love the two of you share.

Rococo Steak for St. Pete Wedding reception dinner party

StarLite Cruises

StarLite’s selection of unique vessels and variety of cruise selections are sure to provide the ideal venue for any type of group outing. Take advantage of all that Tampa Bay has to offer—perfect weather, stunning vistas, the tranquil beauty of the beaches—and plan an event that’s sure to leave a lasting impression on your entire group. Why use a basic 4-wall banquet room for your group event, when you could treat your wedding guests to a cruise with open spaces, stunning vistas and an ever-changing waterfront view?

StarLite Cruises for St. Pete Beach Wedding receptions

 

Have we successfully activated your taste buds? Good. And CLICK HERE to book your St. Pete Beach Wedding or view our packages so you can indulge in some amazing cuisine and cheers to a happy marriage!