Florida-North Florida

St. Augustine Beach Wedding - Renting a house?

Hey everyone! This is my first post to the boards and after being engaged for 4 months we are finally getting started on planning! We picked St. Augustine because we spent alot of our college years there together camping and ghost hunting and now that we don't live in Florida anymore it seems like the perfect place to bring together our families.

So my question is, has anybody had a beach wedding in St. Augustine? Something that wasn't attached to a hotel or other beach club? We just want to have the ceremony on the beach and then are looking at a reception at The White Room or somewhere else in Old City (going to look at venues this week) so we don't need a packaged deal.

We were looking into just renting a house on the beach and having the ceremony right behind it but we aren't sure about number of people and whatnot. Has anyone ever done anything like that? Any advice would be helpful!!

Re: St. Augustine Beach Wedding - Renting a house?

  • edited July 2012
    We're planning to do just that.  We are going to rent a house on St. Aug Beach for the week leading up to the wedding as a mini-vacation since we're having guests fly in from the UK.  Our bridal party and UK friends will be staying with us at the house.  We're not doing our honeymoon until a few months later; once we've had some time to recouperate from the wedding.  Three issues have come up during our planning so far:

    1) a lot of the houses for rent will not rent for a wedding or they charge a major upcharge/cleaning fee; we are still trying to work that out and we may have to go the sneaky route and just keep things small and hope the landlord doesn't get upset;

    2) number of guests; most sites only comfortably hold less than 50; this wasn't a problem for us but it's worth mentioning since it may rain and all of the festivities would have to be moved inside; and

    3) parking; we are planning to rent a limo or a van to shuttle people back and forth from the house and a parking area nearby since there isn't much parking near the rental houses we have looked at (we might use it late in the evening to go to downtown St. Augustine to hit Scarlett's after the wedding).

    Other than that we cannot book anything until late October/early November since our wedding date is in the fall of 2013.  I will be able to work out more details once we book the house.  Check out vrbo.com for a great starting point for your search.  We found that there is a guy that brokers a large number of the houses in St. Aug through vrbo.com and his own website.  He seems friendly and easy to work with.  I believe it's Steve Milo with vacationrentalpros.com
  • edited July 2012
    Thanks so much for the response! Seems like we are on the same track! I have actually been talking to Steve Milo's people but as none of their houses want more than 50 people and we unfortunately can't get our list lower than 100 we both have way too big families lol it seems like a no go. We've talked to the City of St Augustine and St Johns County and we can get a permit for 100 or more people for a beach ceremony through them so its just a question of finding a home owner/company that approves I guess. Since all we want is a ceremony maybe we will just look at finding a nice spot on the beach and just rent a house seperately for our bridal party and families. Heads up in case you aren't a native Floridian, October is turtle nesting season so after 730 its quiet time on the beach, some areas even want lights off in the houses. Just wanted to let you know since it sounds like you are going for both the ceremony and reception at a house. Thanks again for responding, hope we aren't shooting for the same weekend! Lol
  • I was in the same situation as you are in. I am getting married in Santa Rosa Beach and I was having a hard time finding a beach house where I could have the beach wedding because everything was extremely expensive and there were so many restrictions. I ended up booking with Princess Wedding Co. for my ceremony. They are out of Destin and I am not sure if they service St. Augustine, but you pick a package and they take care of the entire beach wedding including setup and teardown. When you book with them, they help you to choose a beach (mostly public beach access) to have your ceremony. There are a lot of options. Then I am doing my reception at a venue in Santa Rosa Beach that is unrelated to the actual ceremony. Everyone is finding their own accomodations. I felt this was the best option because everyone had different ideas about where they wanted to stay and I was having a hard time pleasing everyone. Also, by splitting everything up, I have been able to save a lot of money compared to what I would have had to pay to rent a beach house.

    Not sure if this helps, but just thought I would let you know about this option.
  • 5th generation Floridian here.  :)
    We're pretty much set on having  the wedding in November we'll make avoiding the nesitng season (ends Oct 31) the final straw that kills October for our date.
    With Milo, were there any additional fees associated with having a wedding in their houses?  I haven't made it that far in planning since we're over a year out from our date.  I have Raintree as our most likely backup venue if the house doesn't work out.
  • Most of Milo's houses do not offer weddings..it is maybe  5 or so that do.  He has a specific website for those.  If I remember correctly, the fee was $500 plus.  The big kicker too is that almost ALL houses require a full week rental, and only Saturday to Saturday--which makes the timing for a wedding tough.

    I did hours and hours and hours of research and got shot down a lot of times before finding someone who allows it, let me do Tuesday to Tuesday and was willing to waive the fee.  100 will be very difficult to find for a house, 45 was the limit for mine.

    Also, I would suggest always being upfront if you are hosting a reception at the house.  Could save you a huge headache in the long run.  
  • edited July 2012
    I'm starting to remember why I ended up having my first wedding at a local restaurant where I was able to get a massive deal.  I really love the idea of a beach house wedding and everything other than the house has been a breeze to plan.  We had already planned to rent the house for the week leading up to the wedding with the wedding on Friday night but an extra $500 is a bit much (it would pay for our food and beer.)  I'm going to have to sit down with my FH and figure out if this is still doable or if we should meet with the restaurants I had lined up previously.
  • Yeah that $500 fee on top of having to rent a house for a week was kind of a deal breaker (and the number of people). I was in St. Augustine this past few days and did come across Coastal Celebrations (wedding planning company) through the Pena Peck house and they do ceremonies on the beach at Anastasia....I spoke with Lindsay and she was really great. They range from $1300 - $1500. So thats something to look into if you end up scrapping the house idea but want a beach ceremony still.
  • Not too worried about keeping the beach ceremony though.  We can do a beach ceremony for $100 (the cost of the beach permit.)  Spoke about it with FI last night and since he is going to be doing extra overtime (presidential election = lots of overtime), he said it shouldn't be a problem.  We just have to pick a different beach house since the one we really wanted isn't rented during November (I guess the owners are snowbirds that live in it during part of the year.)
  • Found one.  Smile
  • http://www.sunstatevacation.com/112thst.html

    One of the few sites that specifically accommodate weddings.  Four night minimum and a $500 wedding fee.  It's oceanfront with a large backyard that's perfect for a reception but it also has plenty of space inside for just in case it rains.  It sleeps 8 with the regular rental but it can hold up to 12 if you add on the addition in the back.

    I waited until we had a chance to view it and then sign the contract to book it before posting it for open season.  Wink
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