Destination I Do
Monday, September 6, 2021

Tropical Wedding Oasis in The States

Words by Lauren Ertl

There are many perks to having a wedding abroad, but perhaps that just sounds like too many logistics or you’d like to spend more money on the wedding itself rather than travel. Well, thank goodness that here in the U.S. you have hundreds of destinations to choose from that still feel like you’ve been transported to somewhere else entirely!

Above photo courtesy of: The Ritz Carlton Sarasota

For couples wishing to say their vows surrounded by a tropical oasis, we suggest Sarasota, Florida make the list of possible wedding destinations. 

Resting just south of Tampa, this quaint city may have you fooled upon first arrival. The pristine streets and sleepy beach-town vibes may have one thinking, “there isn’t too much going on here.” But, talk to any local and you’ll soon have a laundry list of must-do’s while you are visiting.

On a recent trip to this tropical destination, our priority was to experience one of Sarasota’s finest hotels.

The Ritz Carlton Sarasota offers lovely views of Sarasota from all of its spacious suites and guest rooms. But, if you want to do it the right way - we suggest booking a room on the 8th floor, better known as the Club Level. All rooms on the Club Level offer impeccable views of Sarasota Bay. But what is really ideal about this floor is the Club Lounge where a dedicated personal concierge team awaits to book your dining reservations or group excursions. 

However, this is only the start of the perks available in the lounge. Five food presentations are available daily along with wines, liqueurs, beers, spirits & non-alcoholic beverages – a perfect way to avoid the stress of figuring out breakfast or snacks during your wedding weekend. Should a sit-down dinner be on your weekend wishlist, speak with concierge to get a reservation for your crew at Jack Dusty, known for delicious seafood, unique craft cocktails, and story-filled experience.  

Of course, a tropical getaway would not be complete without a five-star beach experience. The Beach Club is just a short shuttle ride away, and it offers endless amenities like round-the-clock service from your lounge chair, a Tiki Bar, a large pool, private cabanas, beach activities and locker room facilities. Also, indulge in scrumptious bites by the sea at Ridley’s Porch – named for the rare Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles that appear on Sarasota’s beaches. 

Now, we wouldn’t be doing this property justice if we didn’t mention its many stunning wedding sites to choose from. Maybe you’ve always pictured an ocean backdrop minus the sand, the Hotel Lawn and Healing Garden each offer just that. Overlooking the marina and bay, both locations can accommodate up to 200 people for a reception or ceremony. Beach lovers can take their celebration back down the road to the Beach Club. With options to wed or party on the sand, the lawn just overlooking the beach, or up at the rooftop Sunset Terrace, your tropical wedding is whatever you make of it.

No matter how you envision your tropical getaway wedding, The Ritz Sarasota has all the tools to bring your dreams to life! See below for wedding package info:

  • Let Love Grow Package: Known for its elegant ballroom and beautiful beachside reception spaces, The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota is offering a brand-new wedding program, made for today’s eco-conscious couple. The Let Love Grow Package focuses on sustainability, a big trend for 2022, and includes eco-friendly ceremony and reception features such as:
    • Eco-friendly items such as menu cards and confetti made of plantable and recyclable materials 
    • Floral arrangements supplied by a local garden center 
    • Custom plant markers’ with the couple’s name and wedding date 
    • All-new vegan banquet and pastry menus.
    • As a sentimental tie-in to the property’s overall commitment to love and sustainability, every couple booking this package will also be able to plant a seasonal bloom in the hotel’s beautiful Healing Garden, encouraging couples to return to the hotel to see their plants blossoming over time. 

  • Indian Weddings Offerings: The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, known for its elegant ballroom and beachside reception spaces, is offering a Maha Utsav of their own with their new offerings for Indian Weddings. Having hosted a Baraat arrival by boat, horse, and vintage car, the property's location along the Sarasota Bay and ample number of outdoor spaces allows newly engaged couples to creatively tie in traditions while utilizing the property's ideal setting. Once the couple decides on the amazing location, The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota offers a list of preferred Indian Planners and can begin to discuss the culinary portion of the wedding with their in-house Indian Chef, noting that all food is freshly prepared and plated at the hotel. Additional details on traditional food preparations and offerings include: 
    • The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota includes an Indian wedding must, a Chaat Station, complete with tasty snacks such as Panipuris and Aloo Chaat.
    • Vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu options are available for the Sangeet Menu, day-of passed hors d'oeuvres, and buffets.
    • Indian celebrations call for lots of partygoers, The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota's 12,000 square foot Ballroom can accommodate gatherings of up to 500+ 
    • The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota is home to multiple venues including two lawns, a Sunset Terrace, The Healing Garden, and the Beach, ensuring that a change of scenery can be accomplished for those events that need to occur in a different location than the wedding such as The Sangeet or more intimate spaces for the Mehendi and Haldi celebrations. 

Images courtesy of (excluding the header image): Photography: Dewitt For Love; Concept, Design, Floral Design: Tas Events and Design; Apparel: Le Trend Boutique; Chair Rentals: So Staged; Neon Sign: Neon Vybes; Floral Sponsor: Royal Flowers Group

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