Florida-South Florida

Fort Lauderdale destination wedding

Help! I am in the beginning stages of planning a destination wedding in Fort Lauderdale. I want a small simple ceremony on the beach and a reception following. I was this to be budget friendly for us and our guests that can attend.

Any suggestions for all inclusive resort type deal or a la carte type planning? Which way will be cheapest/easiest to plan?

There are so many venues that cater to a larger group where I do not expect over 50.

Thank you in advance :)

Re: Fort Lauderdale destination wedding

  • First, you have to be careful with our weather.  If you are a spring/summer bride, plan on afternoon rains, even when none are predicted, so have a "plan B"  Next, once you are at a resort near/on sand, expect the price to shoot up, especially during high season (winter, but no rains).  There is a lovely restaurant, Bimini Boatyard, with beautiful water views, strictly 5 star food on a 2 star budget, and outdoor ceremony options, but not ocean.  You could try to do the ceremony on the beach then have guests drive about 1 mile to the restaurant.  Also, there are a couple of very nice and affordable hotels right across the street.  There is also an Embassy Suites with a GORGEOUS atrium and lovely ballroom on 17th Street, about a 2 mile drive from the beach.  Nearest the beach, but usually reasonable, is the Bahia Mar.  Not gorgeous from the outside, very pretty inside and very good food.  Finally, sometimes the Mariott Harbor Beach has deals, but I've never been a fan of their food.
    Best of luck to you.
  • Lauderdale Pink about the weather. I'm having a wedding in early March and even though the chance of rain is hit or miss, I'm not even taking a chance (especially with the heat and humidity...I don't want my guests to get uncomfortable in their evening wear)


  • Shannonmaya, you are correct, there are ton of hotels on the beach but this bride is also budget conscious.  Many of the beach hotels can get extremely pricey.  I believe there is also a Marriott in Hollywood, but again, I just don't love their food.  Hotels in Miami are on the higher end of the price range, as they all seem to believe that they have an association with "South Beach" whether they do or not. 
  • MeggisMeggis member
    Seventh Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited June 2014

    Don't use the Marriott in Hollywood.  Their favorite word is "No."  When we met with the woman who runs the weddings there, I was asking for simple stuff (that I was willing to pay for) and she told me "no" to the point that I actually said I was going to leave if she told me no one more time.  I walked out of the meeting.  Just my personal experience.

    As for Ft. Lauderdale hotels, I wanted to do a hotel on the beach.  I thought it would be more fun for everyone who was coming in from out of town, but ultimately decided against it for cost reasons.  I had more compliments from our guests for the hotel rate being $80/night, instead of upwards of $150/night.  I agree with Lauderdale Pink, Bimini Boatyard is great, so is the Embassy Suites.  Another suggestion, depending on time of year, is Bonnet House.  It is a beautiful old house and gardens, literally less than a mile from the beach.  I would only do someplace like Bonnet House if you were doing a winter wedding because you'll be outside.  There is also the Tower Club, in downtown Fort Lauderdale.  Again, it is only minutes from the beach, but it is on the top floor of one of the downtown skyscrapers and you get a view of the entire city.  It is really a pretty view.  You don't need to be a member to do a special event there, which is nice.

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