More and more couples are finding destination weddings to be the answer to their dreams. They can combine their ceremony with their honeymoon and share it with select family and friends to create a lifetime memory for everyone involved. Surprisingly, a destination wedding reception generally costs less; statistics say 40% less, than the traditional wedding reception. This is partly because the guest list is pared down and because most destination resorts provide services at deep discounts for a wedding party staying on their property. By simply combining the wedding and the honeymoon package, couples can effectively cut down on the stress and the costs!
Water appears to be the most requested element for a destination wedding. Let’s face it; fairy tales are made from images of the bride and groom, barefoot in the sand, starting their new life with the ocean as a backdrop. Lucky for us, the Treasure Coast has miles of sandy beaches and several resorts that cater to making those fairy tales come true. If you are fortunate enough to live here, you don’t even have to leave town. And if you are visiting, you’ve found the perfect place to come back with family for a stress-free destination wedding!
Costa d’ Este Resort in Vero Beach has staged weddings on the beach, by the pool, over the pool and in their elegant private party room. An on-site wedding planner arranges for all the accommodations, catering, ceremony set up, officiator, and reception entertainment, taking the stress off the couple. The bride and groom and their guests simply show up and the coordinator handles all the details!
A full service staff is also available at Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, another beachfront resort catering to wedding parties, to handle all the arrangements for beach weddings in the sand or on their oceanfront deck. Wedding parties can rent a small area on the deck, which has both a gazebo and a fire pit available, or poolside for an intimate wedding. The entire resort can be rented for a larger affair. Large or small, the ceremony can be capped-off with fine waterfront dining in the Cobalt room.
Complete wedding packages are also available at the charming Caribbean Court boutique hotel in Vero Beach. Wedding party and guests can utilize all of the 18 rooms, pool area, Havana Nights lounge and the famous Maison Martinique restaurant. A beachfront wedding is only steps away and Elizabeth Kennedy catering handles all the details professionally.
Capt. Hiram’s in Sebastian offers complete destination wedding packages at their riverfront location with several options to stage the ceremony and a stunning banquet room overlooking the river for the reception. Guests can spend the weekend at the ever popular Capt. Hiram’s Key West Inn!
The Treasure Coast has a myriad of options for unique wedding opportunities. While many resorts pride themselves in providing the complete wedding and honeymoon experience; wedding planners can stage a wedding elsewhere and arrange to bring everyone back to the hotel for the remainder of the stay! LaPorte Farms specializes in weddings with a western flair via horseback or horse drawn carriage. You can get married among the famous works of art at the Vero Beach Museum of Art or in the elegant ballroom at the Port St. Lucie Civic Center. Unique wedding venues are as plentiful as the varied landscapes of the Treasure Coast. In fact, several botanical gardens offer wedding services amid the flora and fauna.
For perhaps the ultimate water-themed ceremony, cruise ships have been hosting destination weddings for decades. My son’s recent wedding service and reception was held onboard while in port, prior to the ship’s departure for a Caribbean cruise. This enabled us to invite family and friends who would not be cruising with us to enjoy the festivities and disembark before we set sail. I was astounded at the level of hospitality and service we experienced for such a small investment.
The wedding planners had everything under control and directed us to the right place at the right time. Our guests were treated to a delightful brunch on the ship’s upper deck, then escorted to the tastefully-converted lounge-turned-wedding chapel. Flowers, a notary, photographers, and even tissues were included in the package. The reception that followed was as grand as the ship itself complete with open bar, sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, wedding cake and entertainment! After the brunch, service and ceremony, the guests who were not cruising left the ship and the rest of us retired to our cabins to relax before the party began again at dinner! It was then that I truly understood the allure of a destination wedding!
So find the right partner…fall in love…then plan a dream destination wedding right in your own backyard!