"Tracy" by Michal Medina

Florida Wedding Inspiration

October 13, 2017
Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of

It’s day four of our Destination: Florida week and today is all about Florida wedding inspiration! We have destination wedding dresses we handpicked, a Pinterest board dedicated to the destination, and several Sunshine State locals and industry experts sharing their insight into hosting a destination wedding in Florida! Read on to find Five Off-the-Beaten-Path Wedding Locations from Courtnie Nichols with TravelBash, sound advice from Megan Velez, a destination wedding pro with Destination Weddings Travel Group, and Six Unique Ways to Incorporate Your Chosen Destination from Just Save the Date wedding and event planners.

Destination Wedding Dresses

This past weekend was the wedding industry’s equivalent to New York Fashion Week – Bridal Market! All of the industry’s top designers premiered their newest collections and we fell head-over-heels for next season’s trends – capes, illusion, plunging and off-the-shoulder necklines, intricate beading and modern, statement lace. We’ve selected some of our favorite, hot-off-the-presses destination wedding dresses that we feel would befit any Florida bride! Click “more photos” above to view our top picks and which Florida destination we think they would be perfect for! Designers include Galia Lahav, Rime Arodaky, Michal Medina and BERTA.

Five Off-the-Beaten-Path Florida Destination Wedding Locations

1. Steinhatchee

This is a beautiful coastal community on the Florida gulf; a romantic oasis. One of our favorites is the Steinhatchee Landing Resort. It’s truly enchanting and a hidden gem.

2. Hutchinson Island

Located on the East Coast of Florida, most people drive right past Hutchinson Island on the way to south Florida. The island has some of the best wildlife in the state. Make sure to check out the manatees and sea turtles. If you are thinking of a smaller, more intimate wedding, this is the place! 

3. Longboat Key

Part of Sarasota County, most visitors spend time in Siesta Key, but if you drive a little farther, you will experience paradise that is a bit quieter. Longboat Key is south of Anna Maria Island between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico and it is another favorite of mine. The water is amazing!

4. Caladesi Island

I’m not sure if I can call this a hidden gem anymore, but the natural island is stunning and has one of the few beaches that remains untouched. It is a Florida State Park and you can quickly catch the ferry over from Honeymoon Island State Park.

5. Apalachicola

This is a very charming and quaint town that has the friendliest people and the finest seafood. It’s perfect for a stylish, luxe wedding. There are cute little cottages and historic buildings that your guests will love. 

Courtnie Nichols is the lead planner and founder of TravelBash, a boutique travel and destination event company that mixes a unique cocktail of exceptional service, expertise and purposeful passion.


Let’s face it; we can’t talk about wedding inspiration without bringing Pinterest to the party! The inspiration site is perfect for couples looking for unique and original ideas to incorporate into their ceremony and reception. To give you a head-start on Pinterest planning your Florida destination wedding, we’ve created a board entirely dedicated to the Sunshine State – Destination: Florida. You can also discover Floridian-finds on some of our other Pinterest boards including Destination Weddings Dresses, Reception Ideas, Don’t Forget the Groom and Light Up Your Wedding! If you like what you see, be sure to hop on over to our Pinterest home page where we have over 3,500 destination-wedding-dedicated pins!

Expert, Inspiring Advice for Florida Destination Wedding Couples

Advice thanks to Megan Velez with Destination Weddings Travel Group

  • “What better place to start your new chapter than in the Sunshine State? From Orlando and Miami to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida has everything to offer in the way of an exciting wedding destination. Sandy beaches and a lively nightlife come together for an incredible experience, perfect for any couple and their guests.”
  • “As Florida is a U.S. state, it makes an ideal wedding destination for couples who prefer not to use a passport for their celebration – it can be much easier to handle all of the wedding plans domestically. It can also be a great choice for those who are concerned about their friends and family making the trip, as flights to Florida are easily accessible from all major cities.”
  • “Florida’s year-round tropical climate and its world-renowned beaches make it the perfect destination for relaxing and soaking up the sun. The state also offers an adventurous experience for adrenaline-seekers. Miami, in particular, offers a wealth of activities in the city, with the chance to take in the Latin culture and unforgettable nightlife scene.”
  • “Consider tying the knot in Orlando if there will be a lot of families in attendance. Home to a number of world-class amusement parks and attractions, The City Beautiful is full of magic for everyone and parents will love the chance to pair a wedding getaway with a family vacation.”

Six Inspiring Ways to Incorporate Florida into Your Destination Wedding

Advice thanks to Kelly Fowler with Just Save the Date, a Florida-based destination wedding and event planning company. 

1. Overall Theme

We recently worked with a couple that truly wanted to embrace the Sunshine State state of mind by incorporating lots of bright, citrus hues throughout their wedding. They paired the bright color palette with preppy, black seersucker stripes and stark white linens, reminiscent of a chic, but classic Florida country club. Mix in some actual citrus fruit, unique, but bold two-piece bridesmaids dresses and lots of bright flowers and you have a wedding that is uniquely “Florida.” 

2. Stationery

Stationery may be the easiest, but one of the most creative ways that we have seen couples pay tribute to their chosen destination wedding state. From a “Save The Date” postcard depicting a hand-painted Florida postcard, to a custom designed stationery suite complete with floral flamingoes and vintage-inspired Florida-themed postage to unique seating assignments, our couples love to show their love for Florida. We also love to see maps and other travel-themed stationery ideas infused into our clients’ weddings. 

3. Centerpieces & Decor

We love a great tablescape and when you mix-in classic Florida elements like cigar boxes, vintage postcards, tropical greenery and flowers, you end up with one-of-kind looking tables that embrace the location of the wedding! This particular client used a lot of king protea within their centerpieces, as well as their personal flowers. They then infused the look of the large palm leaves, monstera leaves and protea flowers throughout their stationery suite, including custom menus used as place cards.

4. Bouquets

Speaking of flowers, we always fall head over heels for a bouquet when it has something a little unexpected. For this particular bouquet and boutonniere, the florist decided to do something completely different and out of the box, so he created bouquets using kumquats, green cymbidium orchids and lots of greenery.  It was such a unique idea and gave just the right amount of pop. It also smelled amazing! 

5. Unique Touches

From tropical print dresses to dining under the stars on the beach, our couples stop at nothing to put their personal spin on their big day, while also embracing their love for Florida. We are constantly inspired by the unique, personal touches our clients add to their big day.

6. It’s All About the Alma Mater

In the South, college football is big and in Florida, it’s even bigger! Many of our couples choose to show their alliance and pay homage to their alma mater by including it as part of their wedding. Custom cakes and cookies, large group photos spelling out the letters of a particular school, entrances (and exits) to college fight songs…the list goes on and on! We actually see lots of our clients scheduling their wedding around game time during football season.

In case you’ve missed this week’s earlier Destination: Florida posts, be sure to check them out here: Florida Keys Destination Weddings, Plan a Florida Destination Wedding, Destination Wedding in Key West and SPG Weddings in Florida. Please stay tuned tomorrow for a gorgeous Florida real-life wedding finale!

Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Mike Colón for BERTA Fall 2018 Collection (1st-4th), Thomas Concordia for Galia Lahav Fall 2018 Couture & GALA Collections (5th-12th), Michal Medina Fall 2018 Collection (13th-16th), Greg Finck for Rime Arodaky 2018 Bridal Collection (17-20th), Esther Louise Photography (21st), Mari Sabra Photography (22nd), Stephanie A. Smith (23rd), Rachel E. Ligon Photography (24th) & Madison Hope Photography (25th).

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