Post # 1
Hello! I just joined and this will be my first post!
We live in Florida and most of our immediate family lives here. We have some out-of-town family that will be here for another reason in June and we are seriously considering an “elopement” of sorts. Really, it would be an intimate wedding with the element of an elopement surprise.
We wouldn’t have more than 20-25 people, including ourselves. Ideally we would like a quick, special ceremony in a beautiful location for photographs & a nearby fun restaurant that has good food, can accommodate a large party, and has music.
At this point, we would like to find the restaurant and work backwards from there because we want the time with family to be memorable and fun. We know that our vows will be special no matter where they occur.
Any thoughts or suggestions of a restaurant that has a fun atmosphere, good food & music for dancing would be very appreciated!
(Also- we are thinking late afternoon into evening hours.)
Post # 2
Are you somewhere specific in Florida?
Post # 3
Looking in the central to south Florida area!
Post # 4
I know it’s a bit of a drive but would you consider making a weekend trip to Sanibel/Captiva? It’s one of my favorite places on earth. There’s lots of fun restaurants and beachfront bars, and also very romantic spots in nature- the sunrise in front of the lighthouse is amazing if you’re willing to get up early. Plus there’s plenty of condo type hotels and air bnb’s to help with affordability.
Post # 5
Thank you for the input! Those are two places we are considering, but neither of us has been there. Good to know they have the scenery and beachfront restaurants we are looking for!!
Post # 6
Of the two areas I would recommend Sanibel, as it’s more walkable/bikeable. Captiva is more residential and quiet.
We stayed at the Sundial before. They have 1-bedroom (and up) suites with nice new kitchens which makes it really cost effective for drinks and snacks. They also have multiple pools and an outdoor covered restaurant overlooking the ocean and a seasonal poolside bar.
You could just find a spot on the beach to get married (does require a license), or go to the lighthouse or the gold course. You could also get married on a dolphin watching boat or take a boat over to an uninhabited island. They are famous for the beautiful seashells. A justice of the peace who offers marriages on the island could probably recommend some places.
Post # 7
Here is a picture taken from the hotel restaurant and from the lighthouse at sunrise. I was hoping to find a picture of the bars that you can literally walk out to the beach from but had no luck.
Post # 8
Are you open to anywhere in Florida, or trying to keep it pretty central?
I’m a Destination Wedding Photographer, and used to live in Florida. If you’re thinking waterfront you could do the reception/dinner at Inlet Harbor Restuarant in Ponce Inlet (south of Daytona) – it’s on the water with a marina but right around the corner from the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse & the beach. You could easily do the ceremony on the beach or at the lighthouse for a variety of photos – and scoot over to the restuarant for dinner. It’s a super casual atmosphere but I used to see receptions and small parties there all the time. They pretty much always have live music too.
I also really love St. Augustine -so it could be worth looking into restaurants up there. The historic area is so quaint..it was one of my favorite places to photograph!
Post # 9
Hey! I grew up in Punta Gorda, FL! It is a quaint town on the gulf and it’s gorgeous to have a wedding on the water. Look at restaurants like Captains Table, which is on the water in Fisherman’s Village. Ponce De Leon or Gilchrist Park would be perfect fora ceremony. There is a small beach and gazebo.