10 Historic Florida Wedding Venues We Love
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale; (954) 563-5393; BonnetHouse.org
Newlyweds Helen and Frederic Clay Bartlett built the Bonnet House in 1920 after Helen's father bought the property for them as a wedding gift. Helen passed away just five years later and Frederic only visited sporadically, until he met his second wife, Evelyn. Together, they molded the space into what it is today: a seaside retreat nestled among trees and wildlife, housing a drawing room, gallery, bamboo bar, courtyards and an aviary. Get married in the courtyard or on the veranda outside the beach-front estate, in front of up to 300 guests. Choose vendors from their preferred list, or go with one of their all-inclusive packages.
Coombs House Inn
80 Sixth Street, Apalachicola; (850) 653-9199; CoombsHouseInn.com
Coombs House was built in 1905 by James Coombs, who was heralded as the wealthiest man in Apalachicola at the time. The space was known as a house of luxury, featuring black cypress wall paneling, nine fireplaces, a 12-foot high entrance hall and carved staircases. Only a few years later the home was struck by a devastating fire, forcing the Coombs to evacuate. Various family members inhabited the space over the next five decades and finally abandoned the home in the 1960s. Years later, interior designer Lynn Wilson set out to restore the house, incorporating antiques and paintings that paid tribute to the home's beginnings. Have an intimate ceremony (up to 150 guests) by the grounds' gazebo or carriage house and let the Inn's staff help with all the details. Local catering is available.
Deering Estate at Cutler
16701 SW 72 Avenue, Miami; (305) 235-1668; DeeringEstate.com
This historic estate has a distinctly artistic past. Businessman Charles Deering was an avid art collector and, in 1922, his library holdings were tallied at more than 4,000 pieces and appraised for $60 million. Needing somewhere to house the collection, Deering purchased mansions in Spain and what is now the Stone House at Deering Estate in Miami. Ceremonies (with up to 250 guests) are held on a beautifully manicured lawn overlooking Biscayne Bay and have the Grand Stone House and Richmond Cottage as a backdrop. Bring in your own caterer, florist and other vendors.
Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum
907 Whitehead Street, Key West; (305) 294-1136; HemingwayHome.com
Literary couples will dig this spot, home to the great twentieth-century writer Ernest Hemingway. The Nobel Prize winner penned some of his most famous works in the rooms of this house, set upon gardens and grassy lawns. Up to 200 guests can tour the many rooms of the estate, linger around the property and take a stroll around the Koi pond during evening weddings. Work with their on-site wedding coordinator to choose a wedding package and preferred caterer that fits your vision.
The Powel Crosley Estate
One Seagate Drive, 8374 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; (941) 722-3244; CrosleyMuseum.com
The list of accomplishments on Powel Crosley, Jr.'s resume runs the gamut from producing the first low-cost radio to owning the Cincinnati Reds to manufacturing automobiles. His fortune allowed him to build this estate for his wife, Gwendolyn, in 1929. The two-and-a-half-story Mediterranean home sits on 60 acres of land on Sarasota Bay, boasting 11,000 square feet, 21 rooms, 10 bathrooms and a carriage house. Get married outside in front of more than 400 guests or bring smaller parties (up to 90 guests) inside. Caterers must be approved by the venue and bar services can only be provided by the Estate.
620 East Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale; (954) 467-0671; RiversideHotel.com
This vintage hotel, erected in 1936, is the only hotel located on famous Las Olas Boulevard, surrounded by quaint courtyards and cafes, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. Hold your ceremony on the river patio (which can fit up to 200 guests), move to the balcony for cocktail hour and have dinner and dancing inside one of two ballrooms, each with their own sweeping terraces, perfect for a grand entrance. Use the in-house caterer but bring in any other vendors you'd like.
The Summerlin House
111 North Summerlin Avenue, Orlando; (407) 235-4730; TheSummerlinHouse.com
Built in 1915, this rustic home features charming French doors and a cozy courtyard, perfect for your reception dinner. (Events are outdoors only but there's plenty of space for all your 250 guests on the gorgeous grounds.) Work with the venue's catering partner, Puff 'N Stuff, to create a specially designed menu. All-inclusive packages include a horse and carriage ride around Lake Eola and a honeymoon suite at the Veranda Bed & Breakfast, located right next door.
106 South Swinton Avenue, Delray Beach; (561) 272-5678; SundyHouse.com
Holding your wedding here may make you feel as though you've planned a huge family dinner (for up to 140 loved ones) at this charming location. Say your vows by the pool, in a gazebo or indoors, and enjoy a catered dinner by the acclaimed Sundy House Restaurant. Book overnight accommodations in the Townhouse Building and the Stable Building, which is part of the original 1902 Victorian homestead, which once belonged to the eight-term Delray Beach mayor John Sundy.
1825 4th Street North, St. Petersburg; (727) 551-3102; SunkenGardens.org
In 1903, George Turner Sr. bought six acres of lush property and drained a lake to make room for his favorite pastime -- gardening. Once word spread about the gorgeous space, Turner began charging a nickel for tours, eventually developing the land into the destination it is today. Waterfalls, winding pathways, bridges and more than 50,000 tropical plants and flowers from around the world create the perfect backdrop for a Florida wedding. Choose from one of three outdoor locations for a picturesque daytime wedding or have an evening wedding in the loft-like Garden Room (seats up to 175 guests). An added bonus: You can bring in any caterer you'd like.
Sweetwater Branch Inn
625 East University Avenue, Gainesville, (352) 373-6760, SweetwaterInn.com
The Sweetwater Branch Inn is actually made up of two Victorian-era mansions: The McKenzie House, built in 1895 and the 1885 Cushman-Colson House. Start with a garden ceremony and move up to 200 people inside for cocktails (or 175 guests for a sit-down dinner) catered by the on-site staff. Don't forget to pose for photos on the large wrap-around front porch.