10 Tips for Your Perfect Destination Wedding in Florida

1. Determine the destination

This may seem like an easy task to tackle, but selecting the right destination can take up a lot of time and energy. Make sure the location and venue reflect the overall feel of your dream wedding; whether it quiet and romantic, or exciting and vibrant.

“A beach destination wedding in Florida is aesthetically stunning,” says Kelsey Holloway, Catering Sales Manager at South Seas Island Resort. “For brides who want the ultimate seclusion and ‘away from everything’ feel, we recommend our Sunset Cove. This exclusive location eliminates the fear of any bystanders wandering into your special day unannounced.”

The beauty of outdoor space is it can offer flexibility and serve as a “blank canvas” for you to “paint.”

Also, consider conveniences – it may be easier to host a destination wedding in Florida at a property with guestrooms for family and friends, as well as one that offers on-site vendors and coordination, and is a potential honeymoon destination. All of these things will make your wedding day seamless and worry-free.

2. Think out of the “sand” box

South Seas Lawn Ceremony Destination Wedding

Lawn Ceremony at King’s Crown | South Seas Island Resort

King's Crown Historic Rustic Destination Wedding

King’s Crown Historic | Destination Wedding South Seas Island Resort

While our experts love a beautiful beach wedding on Captiva Island, you can still maintain an island-wedding feel without the sand by holding a ceremony or reception at a gorgeous lawn or historic building.

“One of our most popular venues is our King’s Crown and King’s Crown Lawn,” notes Ashley Alto, Catering Sales Manager at South Seas Island Resort. “Brides love it because it still offers a beautiful water view and high palm trees, while avoiding the sand. It also provides more flexibility with many lighting options.”

With a lawn or historic venue, you’ll still be surrounded by nature and gorgeous views, but without the sand. Explore your wedding venue options here.

3. Dust it off

If you decide to have your wedding ceremony on a beach, you may want to get rid of the sand lingering on your feet (and so might your guests).

“The easiest way to remove sand is baby powder and paint brushes. Try filling a bucket with baby powder and paint brushes, customized to your wedding style and colors. You could even hang them at the exit of your ceremony,” said Kelsey. “Or, you could get creative and buy miniature baby powder containers and tie them to individual paint brushes so each guest gets one.”

This thoughtful, useful wedding favor will be appreciated by everyone.

4. Use your venue’s people

King's Crown Lawn South Seas Destination Wedding Captiva Sanibel

King’s Crown Lawn | Destination Wedding

Using the venue’s preferred vendors has its major benefits. Not only do they partner with the venue to offer great pricing, they will have a better understanding of the venue and need less direction or guidance.

“It’s essential for your photographer to know the venue well. This can prevent extra work on your end,” says Ashley. South Seas Island Resort has a list of trustworthy vendors, including our on-site photography service Sebrie Images. “They know the property intimately; it’s much easier for our brides and grooms to get the photos exactly how they want them, in all of the best locations.”

For our Brides and Grooms, our team also recommends officiant Dr. Dan Lamey, Floral Artistry Sanibel, Kakes by Karen, and Thank You For the Dance Entertainment. We also recommend Kelly McWilliams and Jet Set Weddings for Southwest Florida wedding planning needs. Many of these vendors are on-site or nearby, and have worked with our team for years.

5. Blinded by the light

Quick tip – if you’re having an outdoor ceremony, set up the chairs in the opposite direction of the sun or sunset. This will prevent your photos from being too bright or distorted, and guests won’t have to squint during the entire ceremony. Your photographer and your guests will thank you later!

6. Plan around the sun

Sunset Island Destination Wedding South Seas

Sunset Wedding | Captiva Island, South Seas Island Resort

If you would like there to be a sunset during your ceremony, and still want to get some photos as well, work on timing with your photographer and confirm with the venue. The sunset at South Seas Island Resort can range from 5:30 – 8:30 pm, depending on the time of year.

7. When in Captiva, eat like Captiva

Meal and cocktail south seas wedding

Meal and Cocktail | South Seas Island Resort

When working with the venue or caterer on a menu, choose food items that reflect the destination. Rhonda Decherd, Director of Catering & Conference Services says, “On Sanibel & Captiva Island, we always recommend choosing fresh, unique foods that are light and fruity, like our Roasted Gala Apple Salad, Seared Tuna Watermelon Appetizer or local fare like our Fresh Grouper Fish with Citrus Butter Sauce.”

8. Maximize quality time

Sunset photo destination wedding

Couple enjoying sunset at South Seas Island Resort

Your wedding day is all about love – and the people you are celebrating it with. Maximize the time spend with your family and friends by staying at the venue.

There is nothing less romantic than having to pack up all of your belongings after your wedding, load them into your car, and drive elsewhere for the night. Staying on property lowers your stress level and creates a seamless end to the perfect day, and the perfect transition from wedding to honeymoon.

At South Seas Island Resort, you can use our Resort Pool Complex featuring Cabanas with waterviews as a place to welcome family and guests.

Plus, you’ll be able to take advantage of discounted room-block rates for wedding parties and guests.

9. Avoid weather woes

If you’re worried about it “raining on your parade,” our best advice is to stop checking the weather in 5 minute increments. Just focus on spending your wedding week with your loved ones and allow the venue to handle weather back-ups, as they have experience in coordinating this. Check out South Seas’ FAQ’s for information on alternative locations.

10. Lather up

While enjoying your chosen venue, remember to wear sunscreen! Our Brides and Grooms always love to arrive early and enjoy our 2.5 miles of white-sand beach, but we always recommend sunscreen, hats and sunglasses to avoid getting an uncomfortable, unsightly sunburn that would be present in your wedding photos. When it doubt, apply sunscreen or take advantage of one of our pool cabanas that offer ample shade.

Cute Sign Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After at South Seas Island Resort

If you want more tips and information from South Seas wedding experts, Kelsey Holloway, Ashley Alto, and Rhonda Decherd, contact them today at 1-800-524-7601 or weddings@southseas.com

Visit our FAQ page for quick answers on your destination wedding at South Seas Island Resort. 



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