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Florida-West Coast

Affordable Beachfront Venues ALLL Along the Gulf Coast

Oh boy,

I feel like I have been up and down the coast already, searching for a perfect ceremony and reception venue that will not break mine or my families bank accounts, and I feel I have yet to find it.

Thankfully, I am not looking to get married till April 2014, but still..would love to at least have a venue picked out.

I have seen/visited:
Postcard Inn, St. Pete Beach
Tortuga Inn, Anna Maria Island (AMI)
The Beachhouse, (AMI)
Manasota Beach Club, Manasota, Venice Beach area
Lido Beach Resort, Sarasota

I'm curious about:
Marco Island Beach Resort, Marco Island
Outrigger, Ft. Myers
Lani Kai, Ft. Myers
Longboat Key Resort, Sarasota
Anyplace in Clearwater, Sarasota, Ft. Myers

I am interested in hearing what you other ladies have to say about all those places, plus anyplace you have discovered as hidden gems or places I should avoid at all costs.  I'm really open except for one thing- must get married with my toes in the sand.  It's always been my one dream and I can't let it go :)

I'm also fine with bringing in my own food and booze, but finding an all-inclusive deal would be fantastic.

Aaaand go!




Re: Affordable Beachfront Venues ALLL Along the Gulf Coast

  • Please don't do Lani Kai. It's a very trashy spring break destination!! There's a tattoo parlor on premises. It's a fun place to people watch but not to get married...

    If you are looking into Ft Myers Beach, I suggest Pink Shell!

    One suggestion is to just do the ceremony on the sand and hop on to a reception site nearby. Clearwater Sailing Center is where I did mine after my beach ceremony at Sand Key.

    Grand Plaza, Tradewinds, Sirata, Clearwater Hyatt, Clearwater Hilton ... what else ... Sanibel Island and Captiva are nice. Tween Waters Inn on Captiva is cute.

    There's soooo many places. I'm sure you will find one!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_florida-west-coast_affordable-beachfront-venues-alll-along-the-gulf-coast?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:62Discussion:ff79f22c-034e-4be8-ba7f-25df63b9a050Post:c4bf936f-3070-4597-bc3f-ed77554a1d20">Re: Affordable Beachfront Venues ALLL Along the Gulf Coast</a>:
    [QUOTE]Please don't do Lani Kai. It's a very trashy spring break destination!! There's a tattoo parlor on premises. It's a fun place to people watch but not to get married... If you are looking into Ft Myers Beach, I suggest Pink Shell! One suggestion is to just do the ceremony on the sand and hop on to a reception site nearby. Clearwater Sailing Center is where I did mine after my beach ceremony at Sand Key. Grand Plaza, Tradewinds, Sirata, Clearwater Hyatt, Clearwater Hilton ... what else ... Sanibel Island and Captiva are nice. Tween Waters Inn on Captiva is cute. There's soooo many places. I'm sure you will find one!
    Posted by KrystalsKitsch[/QUOTE]


    Thanks so much Krystal!  You just saved me a trip lol.  I had no idea Lani Kai was so "casual", but I will def look into that idea of getting married at the beach and then relocating to a reception spot a little more inland.

    I'll also take a look into the Pink Shell.  It sounds cute :)
  • The Sirata is fabulous, it used to be part of Tradewinds, I'm not sure about your budget but if you go on their website, (I just used The Knot to direct me there), and you can request information. I just got an email from them today and for the amount of people I have on my guest list, I dont think its too bad... I mean its still more than I personally want to spend at this time, but hey, looking is free right?
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_florida-west-coast_affordable-beachfront-venues-alll-along-the-gulf-coast?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:62Discussion:ff79f22c-034e-4be8-ba7f-25df63b9a050Post:7359cae4-c338-43b4-baee-d4e6751307f1">Re: Affordable Beachfront Venues ALLL Along the Gulf Coast</a>:
    [QUOTE]The Sirata is fabulous, it used to be part of Tradewinds, I'm not sure about your budget but if you go on their website, (I just used The Knot to direct me there), and you can request information. I just got an email from them today and for the amount of people I have on my guest list, I dont think its too bad... I mean its still more than I personally want to spend at this time, but hey, looking is free right?
    Posted by Katie Mar[/QUOTE]


    You know, I kept coming across that place as well.  I was hesitant cuz I wasn't sure I wanted to have a wedding in St. Pete, but hey, what do I have to lose in looking right?
    Thanks for the tip!
  • We are getting married at Siesta Dunes on Siesta Key May 4th.  Most people get married on the beach there, and then have their reception on the deck with a tent.  It is just a venue and they don't provide anything, so we're getting outside catering, rentals, etc.  It's very affordable as the rental is free if you rent a minimum of 5 condos.  If you don't rent 5 condos I think it's $1500.  There is an additional maintenance fee I think of $250.  

    It's really beautiful there, but I have to say I haven't been over the moon about the customer service so far.  Hasn't been awful, just not stellar either.  If you haven't decided by May, I'd be happy to share my experience with you!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_florida-west-coast_affordable-beachfront-venues-alll-along-the-gulf-coast?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:62Discussion:ff79f22c-034e-4be8-ba7f-25df63b9a050Post:21ce35b3-4a4d-408c-af19-a53025f6c0e3">Re: Affordable Beachfront Venues ALLL Along the Gulf Coast</a>:
    [QUOTE]We are getting married at Siesta Dunes on Siesta Key May 4th.  Most people get married on the beach there, and then have their reception on the deck with a tent.  It is just a venue and they don't provide anything, so we're getting outside catering, rentals, etc.  It's very affordable as the rental is free if you rent a minimum of 5 condos.  If you don't rent 5 condos I think it's $1500.  There is an additional maintenance fee I think of $250.   It's really beautiful there, but I have to say I haven't been over the moon about the customer service so far.  Hasn't been awful, just not stellar either.  If you haven't decided by May, I'd be happy to share my experience with you!
    Posted by orangjul[/QUOTE]



    People have been suggesting renting a house and doing the ceremony on the beach, but I had no idea where to start, so this is really helpful.  I'll def look into it.  We are trying to keep the cost down as much as possible, since his parents might be footing the bill.

    Also, any thoughts on Palm Island Resort anyone?
  • I looked at the Long Boat Key resort.  Its very nice but definitely not what I was looking for.  Its huge and guests have to be transported from the hotel to the vedding venue area which i didnt like.  There was no waterview like I wanted and I didnt think the venue had a "beach" from what I remember.  Its pricey too!  Looks like a nice weekend getaway resort though! 
    I second the Sirata or the tradewinds, great places!!  I also hear great things about the Sand Pearl!
    Good Luck!
  • We checked out Shepherd's resort on Clearwater Beach and it seemed very reasonably priced.  We didn't pick it because it was more of a party atmosphere that we were looking for. The price for a Saturday night beach ceremony including the officiant, reception venue,  and dinner for 30 people was around $2000.  I believe that included a hotel room for the bride and groom for the wedding night as well.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_florida-west-coast_affordable-beachfront-venues-alll-along-the-gulf-coast?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:62Discussion:ff79f22c-034e-4be8-ba7f-25df63b9a050Post:7e1e3d8c-8787-4276-9e82-24438dd80ced">Re: Affordable Beachfront Venues ALLL Along the Gulf Coast</a>:
    [QUOTE]We checked out Shepherd's resort on Clearwater Beach and it seemed very reasonably priced.  We didn't pick it because it was more of a party atmosphere that we were looking for. The price for a Saturday night beach ceremony including the officiant, reception venue,  and dinner for 30 people was around $2000.  I believe that included a hotel room for the bride and groom for the wedding night as well.
    Posted by christal8[/QUOTE]


    That sounds like a pretty good deal.  I may make my way up there since I'm planning on checking out St. Petersburg anyway.  Was really disappointed this past Sunday when I finally did some exploring of Fort Myers. 

    Only really stopped at the Outrigger but I think, as a whole, that area is a little too touristy and GOD the traffic was rough.  Granted, it was a beautiful Sunday during high season- and on St. Patty's day- but still...

    SO I think I'll see Sirata, Tradewinds, and the Grand Plaza in St. Pete since they looked pretty and a bit further away from the super-touristy area (I think).  And if nothing there, I'll stick with Sarasota venues.

    And thanks for mentioning your experience with Longboat Key.  I figured it was going to be waaay too expensive, and really too big.  I may still make an appt. to speak with them but we'll see.

    Final out-of-the-blue area for venue hunting: Bonita Springs.  Anyone had any experience there?

     
  • Oh and just wanted to make sure I said thanks to everyone to who posted something already in response my question.  Your advice and perspectives are all valuable and insightful and have helped me sift through my first major wedding hurdle.

    Thanks again and feel free to keep offering any suggestions you think of!Laughing
  • I live in Bonita Springs ... there's not much here. Were you looking at the Hyatt? Bonita Dolphin? It's kind of dull here though I don't know your style. I'd stay north and look in Clearwater, St. Pete, Siesta Key, etc.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_florida-west-coast_affordable-beachfront-venues-alll-along-the-gulf-coast?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:62Discussion:ff79f22c-034e-4be8-ba7f-25df63b9a050Post:491f0d7a-4e60-4df3-b19b-48241df1c410">Re: Affordable Beachfront Venues ALLL Along the Gulf Coast</a>:
    [QUOTE]I live in Bonita Springs ... there's not much here. Were you looking at the Hyatt? Bonita Dolphin? It's kind of dull here though I don't know your style. I'd stay north and look in Clearwater, St. Pete, Siesta Key, etc.
    Posted by KrystalsKitsch[/QUOTE]


    We happened to drive through there looking for a way around Fort Myers and my fiance and I were just amazed at how beautiful it is there.  But we are hoping to have SOME kind of nightlife for our guests in case they want to wander away from the hotel, so it's good to know that it's pretty low-key.

    I would best describe our theme as elegantly-casual: easy, breezy, beautiful beachy.  But with a nice shot of party-funtime thrown in.

    Just looked at the websites for Sirata, Tradewinds, and Grand Plaza, and I can feel my hopes starting to rise...hope they don't crash to Earth.
  • There is 0 nightlife in Bonita! Hahaha Ft Myers has some action ... if you want to email me to talk more that might be easier! I think yo uare on the right path if you're looking into St Pete hotels. You will find something! :)
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_florida-west-coast_affordable-beachfront-venues-alll-along-the-gulf-coast?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:62Discussion:ff79f22c-034e-4be8-ba7f-25df63b9a050Post:f7225dd5-c1ad-44e6-9ff4-60a212480ecb">Re: Affordable Beachfront Venues ALLL Along the Gulf Coast</a>:
    [QUOTE]I looked at the Long Boat Key resort.  Its very nice but definitely not what I was looking for.  Its huge and guests have to be transported from the hotel to the vedding venue area which i didnt like.  There was no waterview like I wanted and I didnt think the venue had a "beach" from what I remember.  Its pricey too!  Looks like a nice weekend getaway resort though!  I second the Sirata or the tradewinds, great places!!  I also hear great things about the Sand Pearl! Good Luck!
    Posted by Carissab11[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>Hi, Carissab11,</div><div>
    </div><div>I looked at long boat key's website, looks very pretty, make me want to book it,but you said it needs to transported the guest from hotel to the venue, do you mean drom ceremony to the reception place?</div><div>I have never been there,really appreciate your advice!</div><div>
    </div>
  • Have you gone to tradewinds yet? I'm curious because I hear nothing but great things and plan to go check it out next weekend. I am going to check out Shepards this weekend. I saw someone else talked about the party atmosphere there, but the price is very enticing and they are under construction from what I understand. Any advice you can share would be great and I'll do the same! Good luck!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_florida-west-coast_affordable-beachfront-venues-alll-along-the-gulf-coast?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Local%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:62Discussion:ff79f22c-034e-4be8-ba7f-25df63b9a050Post:c3e94b3d-9dfb-4e51-ba23-b4eb4016b1dd">Re:Affordable Beachfront Venues ALLL Along the Gulf Coast</a>:
    [QUOTE]Have you gone to tradewinds yet? I'm curious because I hear nothing but great things and plan to go check it out next weekend. I am going to check out Shepards this weekend. I saw someone else talked about the party atmosphere there, but the price is very enticing and they are under construction from what I understand. Any advice you can share would be great and I'll do the same! Good luck!
    Posted by murphygabriel425[/QUOTE]


    SO funny I should see this today, bc I JUST posted a question about Grand Plaza Resort, whch is right near Tradewinds (if the one you are talking about is the one in St. Pete Beach).  We saw Tradewinds and I'll say this- it is beautiful and HUGE.  We were given a map to explore the resort and while we both agreed that it was gorgeously maintained what turned us off was how much it reminded us of a Disney resort- immaculately decorated, friendly staff, nice looking rooms.  If you are having alot of kids at your wedding, this place would be great- paddeboats, mini golf course, a giant beach slide, etc.

    Since we are going to try for a more party-atmosphere, we were leaning towards the Grand Plaza.  And what made me smile is that fact that you mentioned it was in party area- something I kind of want for my wedding but wasn't sure was around that area.

    Anyway, hope this helps you as much as you helped me!<img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-smile.gif" border="0" alt="Smile" title="Smile" />
  • We are getting married in July on Siesta Key beach in Sarasota.  We found this totally obscure place, that has basically no internet presence.  It's just a venue, you have to hire all your own venders.  But, you can bring your own alcohol so there is a huge savings there, and you could make it super casual and bring your own food instead of caterers.  It's in the Sanderling Club community, it is the neighborhood's beach house.  It has private beach front, a large concreted area off the beach house for cocktails or dancing area.  The building itself is just a rectangle with all glass on the long sides, and it actually all opens up should you want it to.  It's 2 story, but its really just a catwalk around the perimeter up there, but I think its perfect for watching the beach sunset.  They do have tables/chairs you can use, but they are basically lawn furniture.

    Venue itself is a little pricey if you have a large guest list.  For under 50 people, it's $2,000.  We are doing both wedding (out in front of the water), and reception (indoor/outdoor) there.  Definitely provides a nice party atmosphere, beachviews (but not much sand).
  • You said that you visited the Postcard Inn, what were your thoughts? Its actually on the top of my list right now and I am flying down in June to look at venues. Any new ones you can share for an out of town traveler to scope out when I come in? :)
  • Yes, they had various spots for ceremony and reception and in both set ups that I liked, we needed transportation, it was actually on the other side of the street from the resort! We assumed most of our guests would stay there so we would have to transport them from the resort to cermony and then the reception! I love siesta key and long boat key and it didn't give me that vibe, just my opinion ;) but it is a beautiful resort!!
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