Weddings & Romance
Lynn Hobeck Bates, APR | Communications Manager
Weddings and Romance
- Siesta Beach catapulted into international stardom in 2011 and again in 2015 when awarded TripAdvisors’ Travelers’ Choice Award for Best Beach in North America. Couples will not regret sinking their toes into Siesta’s satin-sewn sand. Hyatt Siesta Key Beach, A Hyatt Residence Club, sits directly on the beach and provides concierge service.
- Canopy-covered roads lead you to Turtle Beach in Sarasota. Here the sand is courser and the beaches are less crowded.
- Lido Beach is a short walk from the al fresco shopping and dining district, St. Armands Circle. The Key is also home to Lido Beach Resort, offering special packages by the beach or under its Ocean Gazebo.
- Couples can say their “I do’s” on the beach and then take a short drive to reception locations, such as Michael’s on East, a local fine-dining establishment.
- The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota is located on the mainland with expansive views of the bay and city. The on-site restaurant, Jack Dusty, is ideal for rehearsal dinners. The Ritz’s Beach Club on Lido Beach offers beachfront weddings and fine dining.
- The Hyatt Regency Sarasota, located on Sarasota Bay, is within walking distance to downtown Sarasota shopping and dinner hotspots.
- Longboat Key, home to extravagant condominiums and stunning wildlife sanctuaries, offers appealing venues. The Resort at Longboat Key Club boasts five on-site restaurants and event spaces.
- Nokomis Beach features a restored community building to hold an intimate wedding. Nearby, Bentley’s Resort has a mainland property and beachfront inns.
- Jetties on the island are perfect for sailing off into the sunset. Small inns and places to rent dot the island. Pooch-friendly Brohard Beach is the best bet for couple wishing to include Fido in their special day. Caspersen Beach is popular for searching for sharks’ teeth.
- For total serenity and “Old Florida” charm, head to Manasota Key. Manasota Beach Club has been family-owned and operated for three generations and offers on-site event spaces and restaurants.
Beauty by the Bayside
- Hammocked between Sarasota’s humming streets and Sarasota Bay, harmony and serenity are found at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Couples often wed under the ancient, sprawling banyan trees or a sophisticated gazebo overlooking the bay. Others choose to wed elsewhere and dine and dance at the Mansion or the Great Room near the bay.
- Further down the coast is the 30-acre estate called Historic Spanish Point. Reconstructed to its 1890’s glory, Mary’s Chapel seats 40 people in wooden pews. Those wishing to wed under the Florida sun are drawn to the neo-classic Pergola and Sunken Gardens overlooking Little Sarasota Bay.
- Listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as the Sarasota County Historic Register, Bay Oaks Preserve exudes Old-Florida elegance. A carriage house, mansion and historic boathouse and dock offer a majestic setting for weddings.
- Dance under the stars in the Italian-inspired courtyard at The Ringling, home to Florida’s state art museum, and a legacy left by circus impresario John Ringling and his wife Mable. For a nominal fee, guests can tour the inside of the Museum.
- Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall offers stunning views of Sarasota Bay and the city’s skyline. Get married by the bayfront and have your reception catered by on-site favorite, Mattison's.
- Sarasota’s illustrious circus heritage can add a bit of panache to an ordinary day. Local student circus performers are adept at performing at events and weddings.
- One of the largest Florida State Parks, Myakka River State Park makes a serene environment for a wedding.
- Boating aficionados find Sarasota Yacht Club’s coastal contemporary quarters a great reception venue.
- Mote Aquarium offers space for under-the-sea lovers to get up close and personal with the sea.
- Couples can top off the night and set sail on a catamaran or rent a boat and sail off into the sunset.
Country Club Lovin’
- Acres of manicured green grass and lake views provide stately backdrops for wedding receptions. Many are adjacent to one of Sarasota’s 50-plus private and public golf courses—a major plus for golf enthusiasts.
“Re-do” & We all Say “I Do”
- Couples lucky enough to find true love for the second or third time find Sarasota a warm and inviting place to say “I-do.” Sarasota’s simple serenity and ample options for intimate affairs are appealing to these couples.
- Every Valentine’s Day, thousands gather on Siesta Beach at sunset for the annual vow renewal, hosted by the Sarasota County Parks and Recreation Department.
- Marriage licenses are needed to marry in Florida. Licenses may be obtained at the Clerk of the Court Circuit Court, Marriage License Division of Sarasota County. There is a waiting period of three days after issuance, except for non-Florida residents.
- Be sure to plan ahead as all the keys are hot locations for weddings throughout the year and permission is required by Sarasota County.
- Specialized and talented local wedding planners make sure the planning or the wedding itself doesn’t turn into a three-ring circus. Consultants offer custom-planning services for turnkey weddings. https://www.visitsarasota.com/weddings-home
For more information on discovering Sarasota County, contact Visit Sarasota County© at (941) 706-1253 or visit visitsarasota.org. Information may also be found on smartphones and tablets by downloading the Visit Sarasota County© app.