Hi Gorgeous! I am supremely excited that you have chosen to marry Prince Charming in my backyard! I am lucky to call this area my home and I am more than happy to share it with you!
Southwest Florida (SWFL) is composed of a local area including Fort Myers, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Cape Coral, Estero, Bonita Springs, Naples, and Marco Island. We are home to some of the best beaches in the state, and gorgeous sunsets are plentiful. We have a plethora of Golf and Country Clubs, as well as several other event hosting sites. From beach to rustic to contemporary, there is a venue to suit every bride's style and needs.
I sat down to write this post after realizing that I have a list of items I routinely find myself covering with destination brides. Here are my main 3 tips to planning your Florida destination wedding.
Consider our Weather | Florida Destination Wedding
You are sitting up north in your cozy home with either some Fall leaves or a Winter snow happening around you. You decide to think Florida. What is the first picture you see in your mind? It is that beach isn't it? You can feel the sun on your face and the sand in your toes. Breathe it in. Is that salt in the air? Perfect.
While it is true, we are known for the gorgeous weather and lack of seasons. We do actually have a seasonal pattern all our own.
Our humidity is high almost always year round. It is not until very late in the Fall where we find a gentle reprieve and typically only for a couple of weeks. If you or your groom tend to sweat a lot, it is something to consider.
You have Summer and Fall: We have a Rainy Season. While most people have become aware that Floridians joke about setting a watch by the summer rain shower, this is both a figure of speech and a fact. We do get rains in the summer that are like clock work. Usually late afternoon between 2 and 4 o'clock. The showers do not last very long, but they do occur and the humidity I mentioned earlier is going to increase. All the way into late October we tend to find longer rain times and more rainy days. I don't feel venues educate clients enough on our weather patterns. I would keep an eye on things from your neck of the woods, and if you choose to have your wedding during our rainy season, have a contingency plan you are comfortable with.
( By the way, a wedding in the rain isn't so horrible. I've seen many many galleries where it was actually quite beautiful.)
Oh! And, the sunsets after the storm are always AMAZING!
Hire a Local Planner | Florida Destination Wedding
I can not stress the value of a good event planner, especially if you are planning a Florida destination wedding! You will find that the service is invaluable. Who better to help you with finding reputable local vendors than someone who has been in the trenches with these folks? Besides that, you will only have one set of contact information to keep up with, your planner, will be a fantastic liaison for you and all your other vendors. While many of our event locations offer a coordinator for the day of your wedding, you will find that hiring an actual planner will provide you with a more personalized service. No longer a number in a years calendar, you and your Florida destination wedding become personalized and cared for.
Meet with Your Vendors | Florida Destination Wedding
Because of the modern technology advances, there really isn't an excuse left as to why you can not have some sort of personalized meeting with your vendors. I personally have done meetings sitting across from the table, over the internet via FaceTime or Skype, or even as simply as scheduling out a time to have a phone conversation.
You want to work with people you like, who understand your vision of the day and who are on your team to make it a memorable one. I personally would steer clear of anyone who couldn't find the time to discuss details with me regarding my wedding. If at all possible to make a trip down before your wedding, meet with as many of your vendors as you can! Plan a trip to have your engagement session with your photographer, tour the venue together, meet with your caterer, have your cake tasting, etc.
Meeting with the team you want around you is vital. Some way, some how, you have to make sure that it all meshes together smoothly!
So there you have it! My top 3 tips for planning your Florida destination wedding! I hope you find them helpful. There are so many more steps to planning as well, but I find that these 3 do not seem to be discussed enough early on in the process. Happy planning and I can't wait to see you here!