Florida-West Coast

New here! Outdoor Beach venue questions...

Hi everyone. This is my first post so sorry if I ramble on too much.  Im just starting the planning process, living in the DC area, and want a Florida beach wedding.  My parents live in Tampa so I've been looking at venues near there. I plan to visit in Oct but want to narrow down my choices before then.   I figure on having about 75 guests, and I would like to  keep the ceremony and reception costs under 10k. (preferably closer to 7k)  Is that possible?

Im looking at TradeWinds, Sirata, Lido Beach Resort, Marriot Clearwater, Holiday Inn Clearwater, Doubletree Resort, The Beachhouse, and The Sandbar.  I'm leaning towards Sandbar because it looks affordable, its gotten amazing reviews, and I LOVE the outdoor pavilion on the beach.   I'm concerned about how they charge for drinks.   Can anyone give me info on how Sandbar charges vs some of the other places that are all inclusive for food and open bar?  Their prices look great for the food, but it looks like they charge per drink vs. per person. Is this true? That could be dangerous!

Almost all guests will be from out of town, are there many lodging options near the Sandbar?

How far in advance do I need to book a venue?

I appreciate any suggestions and help! Thanks. 

Re: New here! Outdoor Beach venue questions...

  • edited December 2011
    Hello!  Sounds like you have done a lot of your reseach- so first off Good Luck!
    I'm not sure when your wedding is but mine is next year- 10/27/12 :)
    I too plan on having a beach wedding and have looked at one of the places you mentioned Lido Beach Resort.  I have been there personality and can tell you it is great, beautiful really.  The prices for the venue it's self is more than what I am willing to spend and that is why I am a still looking.  Thanks for the suggestions of the other locations you mentioned.  I too do not plan on having a lot of people.  I currently only have 80 and my budget is in the $8,000 thousand dollar range. 
    If I hear of anything else in the beach for a good deal I will def let you know.  I plan on driving down to that area next month with my fiance as it will be exactly a year from our wedding date and we want to make sure we have a better idea of what the weather could be like for us next year.  I live in Orlando so it's def a lot easier for me but you sound like you have done a lot of your research and sounds like you will find a wonderful place.  Best of Luck and many blessings to you and your fiancé.

  • teachermegsteachermegs
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
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    edited December 2011
    I got married at the Sandbar 6 months ago. They do charge per drink, but you also could do a rum punch which isn't charged per drink. The prices were not bad at the end of the night. The prices for beer were by kegs and wine was by bottles (I think). We did a buffet and it was delicious.
    Here is a video of my wedding: http://www.vimeo.com/21596947
    There are not major hotel chains on the island, but a lot of smaller places and private rentals. We stayed in a condo down the beach. We had an awesome DJ, Chris Grumley and Patti at the Sandbar is awesome. We also hired a private shuttle to drive people home since the trolley on the island stopped at 10. The music has to be done by 10 and everyone out by 11.  I would email Patti and ask about certain dates. I don't know the dates you are looking for, but Feb, March, and April are high season so prices are a bit higher for people to stay.

    Feel free to ask me anymore questions.

  • mfragomenimfragomeni
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    Sounds like we are looking for similar places, prices, and time frame! I was thinking October 2012 also, but I may actually push it a few more months just because there is so much I have going on over the next few months, I cant devote my time/money to wedding planning until early next year.  But dont want it to be too cold, so if I do push it further, I'd probably have to go to April.  I figure once I find a venue I want, I will set a date based upon their availibility.

    I plan to visit as many places as I can when I go down in October.  So, I will be happy to share any info I find.  If you say Lido Beach was out of your price range, then it will be out of mine too.  Many places list their prices for food/bar online, but dont mention how much it costs to rent the room, which Im scared may be alot more than Im willing to spend! 

    Thanks for responding and best wishes to you!! 
  • mfragomenimfragomeni
    First Comment
    member
    edited December 2011
    Thanks for the info Teachermegs!  I wasnt aware that Feb - April are high season so thats good to know.   The Sandbar really looks like what I'd had in mind and once I saw it, I thought.. this is it! But, I am a little concerned about it not being convenient for my guests. :-( Kinda bummed.  Im already worried about making my guests travel 1000 miles as it is, I really want to make sure its very affordable and as convenient as possible for them.  But, I plan to go check it out in a few weeks, and then I'll get a better idea. Im going to check out your video now!

    Thanks again.
  • edited December 2011
    I don't know if this is "beachy" enough as it's on the water, but not on the sand.

    We're getting married at the Island Way Grill next weekend and they have been so awesome to work with. We're having 75 people and the food and open bar cost with tax and gratuity will be under $8k, which we thought was pretty reasonable. They don't charge cake cutting fees and the ceremony set up fee was minimal (they charge per chair- which is included in that $8k number I mentioned.) The staff helps with everything, and the events manager Sheri can marry you (she's a notary) and will set up your favors and everything so we didn't even have to hire a day of coordinator.

    We wanted the "beachy" feel without getting married on the beach so we're having portraits done before the ceremony on the beach and then we'll drive to the restaurant for the wedding itself. All of the vendors in the area have raved that the food is awesome as well, so we're looking forward to that!

    Here's some photos pulled from their web site:
    http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/creativeapps/slideShow/Main.jsp;jsessionid=43E07B9CEEDDAA5E6C9FAD2A8E44FD3F.ecom101_main?sourceId=179909816903&cm_mmc=Share-_-Event-_-shareCopyLink&_requestid=117552

    And all of the hotels on Clearwater Beach are within 10 minutes of the restaurant.
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