St. Augustine Beach is the perfect spot for your Florida Destination Wedding. Florida takes the cake for best beaches in the U.S., and St. Augustine is making a name for itself world wide as a perfect Atlantic coast location for outdoor weddings on the beach. However, Clearwater Beach, on the Florida west coast, keeps holding its own as one of the most beautiful beaches in the USA. Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, this white,  sand beauty is popular with many of our brides. Keep reading for all the details on both beach side wedding venues to make a decision on a location for your Florida ceremony.

Let’s Compare Beach Wedding Locations

Fun is in the air:

St. Augustine: There is no shortage of amazing things to do in America’s Oldest City. Ponce De Leon’s Fountain of Youth, downtown boutiques, delicious cuisine, an alligator farm, lighthouse, romantic cobblestone streets… the list goes on. There is also surfing and fishing. So whether you get here early or extend your stay with a St. Augustine honeymoon, you and your guests will find yourselves thrilled with all the beauty, nature, and charm this historic city has to offer.

Castillo de San Marcos

Clearwater: It’s hard to beat this location for Tampa beach wedding packages. Being so close to the big city, you can take advantage of great entertainment after your Clearwater wedding. Ybor City food tours, Busch Gardens, and the Florida Aquarium will keep you busy and delighted. Clearwater Beach on its on has much to offer any newly married couple: boating, golfing, dolphin sightseeing tours and more.

Ybor City Tampa Bay street tour

Beauty of the Beach:

St. Augustine: Who doesn’t love the thought of the fresh ocean breeze, sandy toes, waves rolling and a relaxed and intimate wedding ceremony? The Atlantic coast of St. Augustine offers a variety of beachfront options for your ceremony and wedding photography. Rocky shorelines at Vilano Beach make a stunning background or you can choose Anastasia State Park with sugary brown sand. Anastasia State Park is just minutes from downtown St. Augustine, Florida and one of the best beach wedding locations! You and your guests can enjoy a small beach wedding reception at the park under their pavilion. Or, if you prefer, it is only minutes to get to one of the many unique restaurants in downtown St. Augustine for dinner. 

Couple kissing on St Augustine beach after wedding

Clearwater: Clearwater Beach is a top choice among our couples for so many reasons. The white sand will make for a perfect aisle-way as you share your wedding. Then, as you say, “I do” and share your vows, the deep vibrant sunset will begin directly over the calm, emerald water of the Gulf of Mexico. Finally, you can finish up your Gulf island wedding with our photographers capturing every perfect moment.

Evening Skies:

St. Augustine: Although sun does not actually set on the east coast (it has the sunrise), you can experience a softly lit sky and ocean with dreamy, pastel color at the end of the day. Your wedding photographs will provide you with romantic memories for years to come. If you love pinks, golds, oranges and blue clouds reflecting off the white-capped water, then a St. Augustine Beach wedding is for you! Vilano Beach at sunset is shown below.

Couple saying wedding vows on Vilano Beach at sunset

Clearwater: Of course Clearwater Beach is famous for its sunsets. We time your ceremony just right so that our wedding photographer can get perfect pictures of the two of you as the sun goes down over the Gulf of Mexico. Vibrant reds and oranges make a stunning backdrop as you share your love for each other…maybe even trashing your wedding dress in the Gulf beach water! 

Sunset Beach Clearwater couple kisses after wedding

Lodging and Reception Dinner:

St. Augustine: a fast growing city, but everything is so easily accessible. You and your guests can choose to stay downtown just steps away from the must see St. George Street where you’ll find a gambit of fun shops and tasty eateries like A1A Ale Works overlooking the river: they have two private dining options for wedding receptions also. Or if you want an entirely tropical get away, you can stay right on the beach! Just make sure you know there is a difference between “ocean front” and “ocean side” if you’re looking to be “on” or “near” the beach. A popular hotel is the Castillo Real resort. We can also perform all of our St. Augustine beach wedding packages here. If you are having a smaller beach wedding here, the La Cocina is located directly in the hotel. 

St. Augustine beach weddings at a hotel on the beach

Clearwater: Like St. Augustine Beach, there are several beachfront locations to choose from in Clearwater including: Indian Rocks BeachRedington BeachMadeira BeachTreasure IslandPass-A-Grille BeachSunset Beach, and Sand Key. Yes…it just got more difficult to choose but our Beach Wedding Specialists can help you with your decision. Lodging in the area includes hotels like the Holiday Inn Harbourside which is an ideal location for couples to both stay and have a reception. It is a one minute walk to 4th Avenue, where we will hold an Indian Rocks Beach wedding ceremony. At Sunset Beach, we highly recommend renting the Sunset Beach Pavilion. This Pavilion is located directly on the Gulf beach, making it easy and convenient for you and your guests to enjoy a simple beach wedding reception. Take advantage of the beautiful sunset, affordable pavilion rental, and let your guests relax on the beach during your beach wedding reception. You also have the option to rent a lot in the parking lot. 

Indian Rocks Beach Weddings and hotels in Clearwater, Florida

Now that you’ve had a chance to look at the benefits and features of both these Florida destination beaches, it’s time to give it some thought. Once you’ve made up your mind you can begin to design your wedding online! Without leaving the comfort of your living room, you can browse our beach wedding packages and customize one just for the two of you. We take care of the rest without you having to lift a finger. Your dream wedding awaits in Florida. Don’t hesitate to contact us at pam@floridabeachweddings.com if you have more questions.