Selby Gardens Wedding Pagoda. Photo by Eddie Kirsch.

A special day in Sarasota County

A delicate white gown and flowing veil against a sherbet-hued sunset backdrop—talk about a bride’s daydream. In Sarasota, this fantasy comes to fruition regularly as glamorous weddings find their way to this stretch of the south.

A delicate white gown and flowing veil against a sherbet-hued sunset backdrop… talk about a bride’s daydream. In Sarasota, this fantasy comes to fruition regularly as glamorous weddings find their way to this stretch of the gulf beach.

Local Wedding Planners

Among the bevy of local planning companies for prospective brides and grooms is Gulf Beach Weddings. Since 2001, the company has helped coordinate and organize more than 3,500 weddings. Book a serene 100-guest event or vow renewal ceremony on the sugary sands of Siesta Key. For a fully customized experience, choose one of the packages such as the Intimacy, the Simply Beautiful or the Wedding Dreams. Love Affair Weddings is another tried-and-true planning firm, which has facilitated affordable area weddings for more than 20 years. These pros will bring together the most trusted florists, photographers and pastors for any love-themed soiree.

Need a mega-comprehensive one-stop shop for every wedding need? Before the ceremony, visit the Weddings of Sarasota website and peruse the resource list of bakers, bridal gown and formal wear designers, catering companies, venues, live musicians, videographers, hair and makeup professionals, and invitations experts. Zero in on the right day spas for pre-event pampering, as well as the most idyllic honeymoon locales.

Sarasota Wedding Venues

For couples wishing to take the wedding off the beach and into another equally tranquil setting, there are boundless venue options in Sarasota County. With Ringling Weddings, couples can have an ethereal evening in the Ringling museum courtyard or on the waterfront Ca’ d’Zan terrace. Want a more casual Big Top-themed get-together? Revel at the onsite Circus Museum. Weddings at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens gives couples a similar sense of peace while saying “I do” in the midst of tropical plants and banyan groves. Tie the knot under the Wedding Oak or in the stunning Christy Payne Mansion. Don’t forget to also consider Historic Spanish Point. This beautiful bayfront property in Osprey has a wonderful quaint chapel, formal gardens and more.

Hire Your Officiant

Once the vendors are chosen and the venue has been secured, couples can begin the search for the proper officiant. Non-denominational Pastor Elizabeth Turk of Romanticvows.com has been at the helm of wedding ceremonies for couples of all faiths for more than 15 years. Her goal is to help tell a couple’s “very own love story,” whether during a lavish beach wedding or a small backyard vow renewal gathering.

Hideaways

After the wedding comes the much-needed unwinding. While the blissful couple is off on a honeymoon, in-town guests can lodge at the Old Florida-esque A Beach Retreat on Casey Key, which has a heated freshwater pool and beachfront views. Lido Beach Resort, situated on the Gulf of Mexico, has its own private beach, tiki bar and cabanas.

Dining

Weddings also work up appetites, and a menu that is sure to please all visitors is the one at Currents Restaurant inside the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. Indulge in the upscale breakfast, lunch and dinner items, and the cocktail selections at the sleek bar. There is a private dining room at the restaurant for rehearsal dinners or brunches with relatives, not to mention a view of the lagoon-style pool with its waterfalls and palm trees.

Dine, then unwind in a vibrantly hued hotel room for a calming end to a Florida wedding weekend.