Sarasota County, Florida truly has it all when it comes to planning a destination wedding. Nestled along the white-sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, and complete with dramatic bayside settings, modern amenities and cultural hallmarks, this city is the perfect place to celebrate your special day.
We were recently invited to experience all Sarasota County has to offer, and if you’re planning a destination wedding, it absolutely needs to be at the top of your list. Sarasota County’s simple serenity and ample options offers each bride a unique and tailored experience to make their day exactly her own.
We began our first night in Sarasota with sunset drinks and dinner at the luxurious Ritz Carlton. Talented local vendors prepared a magnificent outdoor dining experience, and with the bayview sunset as our backdrop, the night could not have been more lovely. The Ritz Carlton Sarasota is located on the mainland and offers expansive views of both the bay and city. Their hotel captures not only the elegance of the city but also the relaxing atmosphere perfect for a beach wedding. They provide specialized wedding services, and offer multiple venues including their onsite restaurant and Beach Club on Lido Beach.
Across the bay, the Hyatt Regency Sarasota is a resort-style hotel just minutes from the beach and downtown. They offer tailored packages, onsite planners, six venues including the historical and newly renovated “Boathouse” located on the water, and fantastic menu and vendor options. Their goal is to make your day the best that it can be, and their staff does a phenomenal job of serving each couple. Our stay at the Hyatt was full of smiles and quality hospitality, and we highly recommend booking your stay at this top-rated property.
The Ringling, Selby Gardens, and The Resort at Longboat Key Club are three venues in the city that we had the pleasure of visiting. Each had their own unique history, and we couldn’t get enough of their views and enchanting surroundings. The Ringling is a 56-room mansion on Sarasota Bay that stands as a testament to the American Dream of the Roaring Twenties, and is a legacy left by circus impresario John Ringling and his wife Mable. The stunning marbled loggia, courtyards, and foundations provide the perfect elegance for wedding celebrations of all sizes.
Hammocked between Sarasota’s humming streets and Sarasota Bay is the serenity of Selby Gardens. Couples often wed under the ancient, sprawling banyan trees or the charming gazebo overlooking the bay. The Resort at Longboat Key boasts five on-site restaurants and event spaces, and offers the perfect setting for a sunset ceremony and celebration on the water. With miles of secluded beach-front and world-class amenities, this luxury destination is the only AAA four-diamond resort in Sarasota.
And if all this weren’t enough, Sarasota is full of quiet, quaint streets lined with luxury shopping and fantastic restaurants. One of our favorites was the bridal boutique, Blush Bridal. Featuring collections from Hayley Paige, Reem Acra, Amsale, and local designer Camilyn Beth, this couture boutique is a spot all brides must visit. The floral covered walls and feminine aesthetic will have you feeling pampered and beautiful the moment you walk in the doors. After you’re done there, stop at Louies Modern down the street for a lunch that you won’t forget.
Siesta Beach catapulted into international stardom in 2011 and again in 2015 when they were awarded TripAdvisors’ Travelers’ Choice Award for Best Beach in North America. Let me say, couples will not regret sinking their toes into the Siesta sand, but I think you can tell by now that Siesta Beach is only one of the reasons Sarasota, Florida is so exceptional. Our time there was wonderful, and packing our bags to head back home was certainly tough. The dazzling views and experiences created by NK Weddings and other local Vendors was truly unmatched. We couldn’t have had a better time exploring this city. For more information on discovering Sarasota County and the additional venues and wedding amenities and services they offer, go to visitsarasota.org.
This simple bridal portrait session in the mountains is made beautiful and amazing by many different factors, but our very favorite is the breathtaking location. Swap a city skyline for a mountain ridge, lake view, orchard, or garden and we'll take that any day!