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Florida Weddings

December 4, 2009 By: Meagan Drillinger Travel Agent


The Inn on Fifth in Old Naples is ideal for clients seeking a more urban setting for their weddings


With a variety of wedding settings available, one of the biggest choices your clients need to make when planning a Florida destination wedding is where to stage the ceremony.

Located on the Florida Gulf Coast midway between Tallahassee and Gainesville, Steinhatchee Landing Resort is ideal for clients who dream of a Southern Belle wedding. The property, secluded by oak and pine trees, is on the Steinhatchee River, off the Gulf of Mexico. It provides a host of venues for all tastes. The onsite, 2,000-square-foot Dancing Waters Chapel seats 125. For an outdoor setting, couples can opt to tie the knot in the Dancing Waters Gazebo and Courtyard or on one of the three lawns. These facilities are also used as reception locations in addition to the Magnolia Room, a 900-square-foot hall with a serving kitchen and dance floor.

To assist with everything from food to entertainment to more mundane details such as table rentals and flatware, the hotel provides an onsite planning staff. Catering options include buffet, plated hors d’oeuvres, carving stations, brunch and bar and beverage service.

There are more than 50 one- to four-bedroom private cottages and eight villa-style honeymoon cottages for your clients and their guests, so the wedding can be as large or as intimate as desired. Each villa is equipped with full kitchens, DVD player, TV, laundry, covered porches and charcoal grills.

Before and after the big day, guests staying at the hotel can schedule canoe and kayak rental, guided paddle trips to the Steinhatchee Falls, boat cruises, fishing and more.

Agents can contact Owner/Manager Dean Fowler at 352-498-3513 or Eileen Johnson at 352-498-7046, [email protected].

Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa has all the elements for a customized wedding, whether your clients are looking for beachside nuptials or a ballroom ceremony and reception. This 250-room hotel on the Gulf of Mexico has six function space choices, but agents should ask about the Belleair Room, the most requested option. This 1,800-square-foot ballroom has floor-to-ceiling windows and an outdoor terrace that overlooks the gulf. The Promenade, on the beach with 5,000 square feet of covered, outdoor space, is another option.

The property has a certified wedding consultant, in-house audio/visual experts, in-house menu options or off-site catering, and valet and self-parking options. Special touch: A complimentary champagne toast at the celebration for the bride, groom and all of the guests is provided.

Agents can contact General Manager Brian Kramer (727-373-1234, [email protected]) or Director of Catering Andrea Honan (727-373-1234, [email protected]).

For a destination in an upscale, urban environment, consider The Inn on Fifth in Old Naples near the city’s many cafes, shops, galleries and jewelry stores.

The hotel has six venue options for weddings, both indoor and outdoor. The three to inquire about are the 3,600-square-foot Pool Courtyard, the 1,500-square-foot Fifth Avenue Terrace and the 1,876-square-foot Palm Ballroom. The Courtyard’s poolside setting comes complete with waterfalls, while the Terrace has views of palm trees and downtown Naples. For an indoor atmosphere, the Palm Ballroom is decorated with chandeliers and mirrored walls. Nice touch: The hotel only hosts one wedding at a time so the event and catering staff can be fully devoted to your clients’ needs—but note that this makes availability something to keep in mind.

Wedding guests at the hotel have access to the fitness center, rooftop pool, two restaurants and the Feng Shui Spa on Fifth. Agents should ask about the “Sparty” at the spa, which is ideal for wedding groups and bridal parties, approximately four to eight people. For $173 per person, each Sparty-goer receives two 30-minute treatments or a 60-minute one, two glasses of champagne, light lunch or snack, spa gift and unlimited use of the sauna, steam room and exercise facility.

Agents should contact Director of Catering Sandy Lacefield, (239-280-2705,
[email protected]) for all wedding questions.

Rules and Regulations

Both partners must be at least 18 years old and single to obtain a Florida marriage license. Both applicants must appear in person and provide a photo identification with the date of birth shown, such as a driver’s license, passport or student ID. The marriage license is issued at the time of application and is valid for 60 days. No blood tests are required in Florida and there is no waiting period between issuance of the license and the ceremony. The marriage license fee is $93.50 and must be paid in cash. The marriage license is issued by the Clerk of Courts in each County of Florida but can be used throughout the State of Florida. A license obtained in a state other than Florida cannot be used in the State of Florida.



Steinhatchee Landing Resort hosts outdoor weddings at its Dancing Waters Gazebo


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