My fiance and I are from Iowa are looking to do a destination wedding in the Fort Myers area in late January of 2014 and are looking for any suggestions of where to have a ceremony and possible casual reception. There will only be about our immediate families along with a few other family members attending our wedding (roughly 20 people including ourselves). Looking to have ceremony on the beach but are open to anything. Due to the small number of people attending, we are not necessarily looking to have a formal reception afterwards with dance and etc. Instead, we are more likely to look for a place that we could have just a nice dinner with everyone to celebrate the night because we will be having a larger reception later after the wedding back home. We would like to find something not too spendy since were are only having a small number of family members celebrating our wedding with us.
In the research we have done, we were not sure if it is better to try to talk to hotels/resorts that have a wedding coordinator on staff or to a separate business that deals in planning beach weddings. Again because it is more of an "intimate" setting with the small number of people and looking to do a ceremony with a possible casual dinner/reception afterwards we are not sure which way is better to go. To us, it would seem that if a hotel would accomodate the intimate, casual nature of what we would like for a wedding that would be the best option. If it would make a difference the families are more likely to stay just for a couple of days, where as my fiance and I are probably to going stay for the week for a wedding/honeymoon experience.
Since we are going to be planning this from far away and primarily through email and phone, any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.