Destination Wedding Expenses – Who Pays For What?

There are family members, the bridal party, the guests, so who pays for what when it comes to Destination Weddings?

Bride & Groom

Couple toasting after beach wedding Florida

The bride and groom cover the usual wedding expenses (ceremony costs such as cheap beach wedding packages, beach wedding dresses, groom attire, rentals, photographer, etc.). These are obvious and standard expenses for any type of wedding. However, it gets a little grey after that when it comes to destination weddings in Florida. Some couples still opt for a full reception, while others simply choose to dine with guests (or just the two of you) at a local restaurant. If a wedding reception is not in your plans, it’s still nice to treat your guests to a post-wedding meal. You can find affordable restaurants near your wedding city to celebrate and eat without breaking the bank. Consider the money you’ll be saving with a bigger guest list in your hometown (think feeding 100 people at home vs. 25 in your destination wedding city). Depending on the size of your guest list (and budget), a morning after breakfast or brunch is also a nice treat.

Rococo Steak St. Pete

Rococo Steak St. Pete

Bridal Party

Your bridal party follows same procedure as the guest list with respect to paying for flight and hotel accommodations for your Florida wedding. In addition, they are expected to pay for attire and accessories. So brides, a nice thing you can choose to pay for is hair and make up for your bridesmaids. If you aren’t covering the bill, it’s good etiquette to make it optional. It’s also a nice idea to make or purchase earrings, necklace, or get cute footless sandals that double as an accessory and bridal party gift from you! 

A bridal party celebrates with a Just Married photo at our Cocoa Beach Weddings.

Guests

So your traveling guests are highly likely to look back on your fantastic destination wedding with fond memories. And, let’s face it, who doesn’t love a relaxing tropical vacation? All that said, they should be expected to pay for flight and hotel accommodation out of their own pocket. It’s common courtesy for the bride and groom to provide hotel options and block rooms that might provide cheaper prices. And you could provide a Welcome Bag for an added touch! Some brides and grooms have a welcome dinner AHEAD of the wedding day so that they can mingle beforehand. However, guests are basically footing the bills for themselves with the exception of these events, and the reception/post-wedding dinner. 

Of course it will be different if you have a vow renewal or simply eloped which is normally just the two of you or up to 6 people. A nice dinner will be the perfect end to your small wedding day.

Small Florida beach wedding ceremonies

Bottom line: your guests will be excited to share your special day in the sun and sea. The financial goal for your destination wedding should be for everyone to walk away with an affordable vacation, no unexpected expenses and unforgettable memories of your beach wedding day. This is totally achievable with a Florida Beach Weddings package that includes just about everything you need to get married in Florida. Click HERE to book your Beach Wedding today!

Have a Beach WeddingMoon in St. Augustine

Micro-wedding? How about a Weddingmoon? During this time of uncertainty, an idea gaining popularity is to have a weddingmoon: you combine your big day with your honeymoon and have your closest friends and family there to celebrate with you throughout the whole adventure. Another benefit of a weddingmoon is that you can truly have the wedding AND honeymoon of your dreams in sunny Florida with good weather. Finding an affordable beach wedding package and quality hotel make for a successful experience, and a professional beach wedding company that helps with planning can take the stress away. This Coral Distinctive Design is an example of the perfect ocean theme in St. Augustine.

A beautiful setting to say "I Do" under one of our Destination beach wedding packages in Florida.

Marriage ceremony St. Augustine Coral Design

You will likely be booking your destination wedding ceremony a little into the future, even 2021, so the size of gatherings will vary in different areas but an outdoor wedding on the beach is a good way to play it safe…plus it’s beautiful! Most of the Florida beaches allow up to 50 people for a wedding, but with social distancing you may be able to have up to 100. You will also have a beach wedding planner to help guide you with your beach permit (if required), Florida marriage license filing, decoration ideas, local amenities and more. St. Augustine, Florida is a great choice for your weddingmoon because it has incredible beaches coupled with local amenities and entertainment…even during this time of caution. You and your guests will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy each other’s company for days!

Recommended Location

One of the best St. Augustine wedding ceremony sites is Anastasia State Park. This Florida beach is owned by the state and has a tranquil vibe with natural beauty. There are no buildings on the beach which means you get nothing but beautiful views of the sand dunes and Atlantic Ocean as you say your vows in the sun and sea. No shoes required for this barefoot wedding! There is also a small pavilion you an decorate for a reception meal, like the one below, or you can choose to go into the city for dinner. Try our Teal Distinctive Design package for your seaside ceremony.

Nautical Knot wedding arch in St. Augustine with couple

What is open and what is closed in St. Augustine?

Many businesses in Florida are open, but with restrictions changing often, it is good to have a list of what you can expect when visiting St. Augustine with your wedding party. This list from Visit St. Augustine is updated and can help you plan your post-wedding activities. There are no quarantine orders or restrictions in effect for those traveling to Florida from other states. Many city tours, mini golf, and museums are OPEN but it is advisable to call first and check. At the time of publishing this blog, the Castillo de San Marcos Spanish fortress is not open, but you can walk around it and enjoy the view.

Hotels in St. Augustine

Most hotels are open for business, however some may have limited service. Therefore, it is best to call and get details before booking your stay. Again, the helpful list from Visit St. Augustine is a great resource! Embassy Suites by Hilton St. Augustine Beach Oceanfront Resort is a popular choice among our brides. You can book their oceanfront banquet room as your wedding reception venue for larger weddings, and have one of our beach wedding ceremonies on the sand right at the hotel, depending on the tide schedule as the beachfront area is smaller. However, keep in mind this Embassy Suites hotel is only valet parking.

The Castillo Real resort is an easy walk to the beach in St. Augustine and is a great choice for your wedding and honeymoon. We can perform all of our St. Augustine beach wedding packages here. However, for our larger packages, all of your guests must be staying at this location as the parking is very limited for non-hotel guests. If you are planning a more intimate beach wedding here, consider going to the La Cocina for dinner, located directly in the hotel. 

More Beach Wedding Wedding Ideas

If you love barn weddings but can’t part with the idea of getting married on the beach, then look no further than our Rustic Romance complete wedding package. With vintage vibes and rustic florals in muted colors, this is one of our most popular packages.

Wedding couple kissing on white chairs in St. Augustine

Our staff pick for St. Augustine beachfront weddings is the Floral Distinctive which embodies all the beauty of this east coast beach. With a natural branch canopy topper and flowing, draped material over bamboo it provides class and elegance.

Reserve Your Wedding Date Today

If the idea of a large or small beach wedding in St. Augustine interest you, or even a weddingmoon…contact one of our Florida Beach Weddings specialists to find a ceremony date that works for you!

Couple kissing at sunset after beach wedding Florida

 

Discover Amelia Island Weddings: the Gem Beneath Georgia

There is an alternative to Georgia beaches tucked just below the Florida-Georgia border: Amelia Island is a perfect Florida wedding venue. A special north Florida beach, Amelia Island is located just off the Atlantic coast and offers 13 miles of beautiful sea beaches, abundant native wildlife, sand dunes, and blue ocean water. This barrier island is a beloved destination for visitors and residents alike and makes a wonderful choice for a romantic destination wedding.

Tips for your Daytona Beach Wedding at the Shores

From the sun on the beach to the great restaurants downtown, this area has a quaint island feel. You may wish a small, simple ceremony, a tropical elopement, or a larger decorated ceremony, but having someone help you is priceless, so consider an experienced beach wedding company to help with your planning. Florida Beach Weddings has over 12 years experience and travels to your chosen beach venue to set up your complete wedding package. We arrange your ceremony arbor, chairs, decor and any other details you have chosen for your wedding day. There is no permit fee for marriage on Amelia Island, but you will need a Florida marriage license.

Although there are a few beaches to choose from Seaside Park is a popular, centrally located beach on Amelia Island. It offers parking areas, several covered pavilions, picnic tables and a photo opportunity on the boardwalk to the beachfront. What stunning wedding photos you will have to remember, now and forever.

Seaside Park Amelia Island sand dunes

Sliders Seaside Grill is an oceanfront restaurant/bar with a recently completed upstairs facility overlooking this park: it also has a separate facility for rent that is private and oceanfront. Nearby also is The Ocean Club of Amelia offering space for larger groups.

Sliders Seaside Grill Amelia Island for wedding receptions

Ceremony Design Suggestions for Amelia Island

Natural: If you love driftwood, take a look at our Drift Away Distinctive Design Package. No need to go looking on the beach for driftwood: we bring it to you! This beach wedding package includes the natural scenery of the sun and sea. It is all-inclusive and comes complete with a wedding officiant, set-up crew, chilled water station, sand ceremony vase and so much more. If you want a change from a bamboo canopy, then escape to beach elegance with our driftwood beach wedding package! This package offers two style designs. You can choose the asymmetrical greenery arrangements on the driftwood canopy, or you can have white flower accents halfway up the bottom of the driftwood canopy. For more impact, we can also drape a piece of white or ivory material across the top half of the driftwood wedding arch. 

Our Driftwood beach wedding packages are all-inclusive and come with beautiful decor, white chairs, burlap and babys breath.

Nautical: The Florida Nautical Knot Package is a popular design choice with our couples. It is cheaper than a traditional wedding at home, but a step up from a beach elopement package. If you want to escape to a beautiful destination wedding with a small group of friends and family, our Florida Nautical Knot Package is the ideal choice. With this package you receive beautiful decor including a bamboo wedding arch in your chosen color scheme, decorated aisleway, chairs for your guests, and more. It also comes in a Wildflower option and Beach Chic design.

Nautical Knot wedding package and couple Palm Coast

Rustic Romance: For a unique and elegant beach wedding ceremony, our Rustic Romance package is our newest design. A high, wooden canopy elegantly draped with flowing material and a extra-large cascading floral topper. For the couple that wants those extra touches of elegance and modern design, this complete wedding package will satisfy every wedding day dream you’ve ever had, while still providing an affordable destination wedding.

Rustic Romance Flagler Beach, FL

Other north Florida beaches near Georgia to consider for a beach wedding include: Jacksonville Beach and Vilano Beach in St. Augustine. Contact us today to find out if your desired date is available. Our beach wedding planners can’t wait to hear from you!

Best Barefoot Beach Weddings Guide

Dreaming of a barefoot wedding in the silver sand? The golden hour with oranges, pinks, reds, purples, pinks, across the horizon? A barefoot wedding can be a sign of trust, commitment, humility, and let’s face it…it just feels wonderful. Is a relaxing wedding get away, a barefoot beach wedding for you? Let’s take a look at some of the best Florida Beach Wedding locations for a white sand, barefoot ceremony. 

Daytona Beach wedding couple kissing after vows in the ocean surf

Barefoot Beach Wedding Locations 

Although you can really experience the soft sand and sunset skies from just about any spot along the Florida Coastline, we will highlight some of the beaches that make going barefoot the perfect delight for you and your guests. A destination wedding on the beach will make your special day one where you all can relax and be themselves. Whether it is a larger beach wedding or just the two of you, a barefoot wedding ceremony can feel even more intimate. Even your wedding party can go without shoes! 

Clearwater Beach

The 2.5 miles of white sandy beach line and gorgeous water are what keep Clearwater Beach ranked as Trip Advisor’s best vacation destination year after year. So don’t just take it from us, hear what the thousands of visitors have to say about the dream destination beach wedding location. The variety of hotel accommodations keep prices fair, helping to keep the this an affordable beach wedding option. There are sunset festivals and drum circles taking place for a unique experience. The Florida Beach Weddings team has the inside scoop on some of the most convenient beach parking solutions and can fit your wedding to your personality. So whether it is quiet, calm and serene or fun filled, people watching, music loving, Clearwater Beach has a barefoot beach wedding venue waiting for you!

Barefoot wedding couple kisses at sunset on Clearwater Beach, FL

Aerial view of Clearwater Beach pier and Gulf beachfront

Destin Beach 

Everything we just said about Clearwater beach’s natural landscape, repeat for Destin Beach. Pristine white sandy beach perfect for bare feet, calm emerald water, relaxed atmosphere. This Florida beach wedding location is a hot spot! In case ours and Trip Advisor’s reviews aren’t noteworthy enough, even Oprah has been known to shout out to Destin for it’s awesome beach! So you know it’s got to be good! This is the spot for beautiful beaches with sand as white as snow, abounding golf courses, famous “The Henderson” resort, and still affordable! This beach is an easy road trip destination beach wedding for all the neighboring Florida states. So whether it’s party of 2 or 200, a Destin Beach wedding is a perfect 10 on the barefoot beach wedding list. 

A bride and groom in the Gulf water during one of our Pensacola beach weddings.

Groom kneels before bride at Destin beach barefoot wedding in Florida

Siesta Key Beach 

Well add it to our list of white sandy beach, lovely gulf water views and stunning sunsets! Siesta Key beach is a great location for a barefoot beach wedding. Both family and budget friendly, this beach location will have you kicking off your shoes the moment you arrive. There are a variety of affordable hotel accommodations within a short walk to the beach, fun and lively restaurants, and nothing beats the romantic Siesta Key Beach sunsets! 

Siesta Key Wedding during the sunset are the ideal time to pose with your groom during your Florida beach wedding.

So elopement, small wedding, or full on party wedding, we can help you plan your dream sunset beach wedding! Contact us to find out everything you need to know about planning a beach wedding. From marriage licenses to beach permits, color design choices to photography packages. We surely have a beach marriage package to cover all of your sunset beach wedding needs!

Siesta Key Beach couple during the pink sunset at a Gulf beach wedding

New Smyrna Beach

Dreaming of dunes? Sand dunes rolling as far as the eyes can see like snowdrifts abound in New Smyrna beach! New Smyrna Beach Wedding couples will enjoy a 17 mile stretch of white sand beach, the blue Atlantic ocean with white wave caps, and a typically less crowded location than your traditional beach wedding in the Daytona area. It truly is a paradise beach wedding perfect for barefoot vows! Contact us today to get started planning your barefoot beach wedding.

Beach Wedding couple after vows in New Smyrna sand dunes

Sunrise over sand dunes on New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Virtual Getaway: Weddings on Destin Beach, FL

Destin Beach Florida, Gulf beach wedding site

A stunning white sand beach awaits you to say your vows with views of the Gulf of Mexico as far as the eye can see. Yes…it’s Destin beach, Florida, our fourth installment in the Virtual Getaway series with a review of the Emerald Coast city of Destin and its heavenly beach.

Destin Beach weddings are elegant, classy, and everything you have been dreaming of. Destin is situated northwest in the Florida panhandle and known for its breathtaking white sand Gulf beaches, countless golf courses, and world class resorts and rentals. It’s the perfect place to have one of the best destination weddings in the USA especially if you want those sundown photos during the perfect Florida weather.

Destin beach wedding party posing on the Gulf beach

We use a couple of different wedding venues for your beach wedding ceremony.  if any beach wedding permits are required for your wedding, Florida Beach Weddings will obtain them for you, and add the cost of the permit to your package.

Destin Beach Elopements in Florida on the gulf Coast beaches.

Destin Beaches for Your Ceremony

Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Florida

Fort Walton Beach

When couples decide to have a relaxing destination beach wedding experience, they choose Fort Walton Beach as one of their top wedding venues. With the white, fluffy sand Gulf beaches, and beautiful emerald sea, you will have the perfect back-drop for your beach wedding photos. Fort Walton Beach is a laid back eclectic community that has plenty of unique experiences for every brideal party to enjoy. Learn more about Florida Beach Weddings at Fort Walton Beach!!

Pensacola Beach

When choosing Pensacola for your destination wedding location, you will have a premiere Gulf beach location for your beach wedding ceremony. With many different adventures waiting for you in Pensacola, your guests will be happy you chose this area with so many activities that they can incorporate into their wedding guest vacation with plenty of fun for children. Learn more about Florida Beach Weddings at Pensacola Beach!

Beachfront Hotel & Reception Venues

The Hilton may be a spot you choose for your beach wedding reception. Located on Pensacola Beach on Florida’s Santa Rosa Island, this modern hotel is 16.7 miles’ drive from the National Naval Aviation Museum and 17 miles’ drive from the 19th-century Pensacola Lighthouse. Amenities include 5 restaurants (including a relaxed grill and a sushi bar), 3 bars (including a poolside bar), a fitness center and 2 outdoor pools.

Hilton Pensacola Beach, Gulf beach wedding hotel

A very popular beach wedding reception venue is the Palafox Wharf. Their website says, “Historic, elegant, award winning Pensacola’s Palafox Wharf Waterfront was built in 1880 as a shipping company. You and your guests will treasure every moment of your destination or local Wedding Reception or Event in the beautifully renovated interior venue space, large deck, pier, and spacious green overlooking sparkling water and the harbor’s marina.”

  

With a ton of things to do if you choose this Gulf beach wedding location, you and your guests will not be bored! Aside from the largest protected beach area in the nation, The Gulf Island National Seashore, museums, zoos, zip lining and the Historic Fort Pickens area await!

Giraffe and child at Gulf Breeze Zoo in Florida

Destin is very beautiful and one of the best places to get married in Florida. Reserving your Gulf beach wedding date is easy: just contact Floridabeachweddings.com. We make it easy to plan your once-in-a-lifetime special day by offering complete wedding packages that take care of all the important details of your elopement, small beach wedding or large wedding ceremony.

Destin Beach couple just married kisses on the Gulf beach

Virtual Getaway: Siesta Key Beach Weddings

Our Siesta Key beach Weddings include these beautiful photographs of a groom kissing the brides forehead.

Bride and Groom after Siesta Key Beach wedding

Our second week of “virtual escape” offers you a look into the very beautiful beaches of Siesta Key in Sarasota, Florida. This is one of our most popular beach wedding locations on the Gulf coast of Florida. If you are thinking of getting married in Florida, Siesta key is a great photo spot where you can get married in the white sand as the sun sets over the emerald green water. 

Nokomis beach couple in the surf after beach wedding

Beach couple in the surf after Gulf beach wedding

This great Sarasota, Florida beach is rated one of the top beaches in the world and no wonder: it’s perfect for the beach wedding colors you crave! Our Florida wedding packages are so diverse, with so many ways to customize, that you can easily make your own statement at your beachfront ceremony. Your guests will be wowed as you say your vows on the sand under a beautiful bamboo arch by the sea – what beautiful photos and memories for a lifetime!

Wooden arch on the beach for your beach wedding decor.

Rustic Romance package set up on the Gulf beach

Like many of our destination wedding locations, there are a variety of beaches to choose from in the Sarasota area. They include: Siesta Key main beach area, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Turtle Beach, Venice Beach and Nokomis Beach. Each Sarasota beach wedding venue has it’s own unique personality and style. Whether you are having a small beach wedding, eloping or a fully decorated, complete beach wedding with a larger number of guests, there is a Siesta Key beach venue waiting for you!

Let’s take a closer look:

Siesta Beach – a short drive from Sarasota

From the moment you step foot onto Siesta Beach, you’ll be mesmerized by its sugar-fine, quartz white sand. If you’d like, you can make your way over to beautiful Crescent Beach, which is also situated right in Siesta Key. Once you have enjoyed your time soaking up the sunshine at Siesta Beach or Crescent Beach, you can make your way into town for some delicious dining and shopping. While you’re strolling around town, you are bound to see and hear wild parrots as well as other birds such as plovers, spoonbills, storks, and terns. You’ll find this beach town the perfect low key place to get married and full of friendly, happy people.

Simply Deluxe Beach Wedding altar with bamboo canopy, chairs in Siesta Key

Lido Key – less crowded and relaxed

Lido Beach, which is stunning and attracts people from all walks of life year-round includes great, natural scenery for your Florida destination wedding. There a variety of hotels, motels, and private condos that are available for rent on Lido Key. Although Lido Beach isn’t as large as Siesta Key beach, it’s an excellent option if you’re searching for a less crowded, more relaxed vibe.

Lido Beach Weddings in Siesta Key Beach, Florida during the sunset.

Couple just married at sunset on Lido Key

Longboat Key – quiet island vibe

Longboat Key Beach weddings are an excellent option for couples who prefer to exchange their vows in a casual environment. You are bound to be completely relaxed and comfortable. A five star beach wedding location without the hustle and bustle! For that you have Sarasota just a few miles away.

Military couple gets married on the beach in Longboat Key

Military couple married on the beach in Longboat Key (Nautical Knot Package)

Turtle Beach – tranquil setting with sea turtles

Turtle Beach is a stunning beach situated on South Siesta Key in Sarasota. It is appreciated for its ample amount of sea turtles that nest at its shore. It features approximately 2,600 feet of beach front as well as areas for volleyball, camping, picnics, grilling, and children’s play. Turtle Beach Weddings in Siesta Key allows for an alternative beach location to the main beach in Siesta Key. Manatees may be spotted nearby.

Turtle Beach in Siesta Key, Florida

Turtle Beach for a Siesta Key Beach wedding

Venice Beach – happy seaside town

There’s a reason Venice, Florida was named one of the “Happiest Seaside Towns in America” by Coastal Living. Venice is situated in the heart of Sarasota County and has become a go-to vacation destination. Unlike the majority of other beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Venice beach features dark sand because of their tiny fossils and minerals. When strolling along Venice beach, you’ll notice shark teeth. These shark teeth are so popular that Venice is actually home to a Shark Tooth Festival that is held every April. Venice is a fun, relaxing place to host your Florida Beach Wedding.

Venice beach wedding party jumps in the air after beachfront wedding

Venice beach wedding party jumps in the air after beachfront wedding

Nokomis Beach – stress free seashell hunting

Situated south of Siesta Key in Sarasota County, Nokomis Beach is a beautiful, quiet beach retreat. It is one of the few beaches in Sarasota that features lifeguard stations on both the north and south of the beach as well as numerous free public parking lots. If you enjoy collecting seashells, you’re in luck because Nokomis Beach is known as the best beach in the Siesta Key area for seashells. It’s a very stress-free beach…no Spring Breakers here!

Gulf beach wedding in Siesta Key

Gulf beach wedding in Siesta Key

So is a Siesta Key Beach Wedding call your name? Contact us today to reserve your Florida wedding date.