We’ve Found the Perfect Spot for Your Beach Wedding

Islamorada just might have the most stunning beaches (and sunsets) in all of the Florida Keys. Here are seven seaside venues that prove it.
by Jaime Buerger

If you’re unfamiliar with Islamorada, a cluster of small islands in the Florida Keys, you’re in for a treat. Less known—and thus, less crowded—than Key West, Islamorada sits about 85 miles from Miami. Acclaimed for its sportfishing scene, coral reefs and out-of-this-world sunsets, Islamorada is, simply put, a slice of tropical paradise—and who wouldn’t want to wed in that? Although you’d be hard-pressed to find a spot along its shores that isn’t completely jaw-dropping, we’ve rounded up our favorite destination wedding venues to help you narrow down your search.

Resorts and Hotels

Getting hitched at a hotel has many perks. Among them: Your guests will be able to stay in one place, making it easier to sync up for activities and excursions (not to mention the after party!).  

Casa Morada

Perhaps the biggest draw of this renovated 16-suite mid-century hotel is its very own private island, reached by a charming footbridge and featuring a freshwater pool, cabana and open-air bar primed for catching those famous sunsets over Florida Bay. Around the property, lush gardens and tropical vegetation provide exquisite photo ops, and its tucked-away location on a quiet side street will make you feel as if you have the island all to yourselves.

Venue 411: Casa Morada offers two wedding packages: one for up to 20 guests, with the nuptials taking place on the property’s sandy pier, or—if you book all 16 suites—a larger event for up to 80 on the private island. (And if you’re a couple looking to make a grand entrance, you could even arrive by boat!)

Cheeca Lodge and Spa

Built in 1946, this 214-room resort is both a local institution and a world-class destination. With three restaurants, a golf course, saltwater lagoon, watersports facility and an oceanfront tiki bar—sold yet?—you’ll have just about everything you could want at your fingertips. All that, and it’s surrounded by 27 acres of tropical gardens and a stretch of private beach. 

Venue 411: The Cheeca Lodge and Spa has seven event spaces to choose from—including a grand ballroom that opens up to a sweeping oceanfront terrace, and an intimate, Tahitian-inspired island awash with picturesque palms and waterfalls—but you can also say “I do” just about anywhere on the property. For outdoor events with over 120 people (capacity is 200), a tent rental is required.

La Siesta Resort and Marina

Cozy fuchsia, periwinkle and tangerine abodes dot this hidden gem of a retreat, making for a charming rainbow of low-slung bungalows. For larger groups, there’s also sleekly designed multi-bedroom houses, guaranteed to tickle any architecture fan’s heart. The Atlantic-facing resort also boasts six acres of unspoiled coastline, an onsite marina, a heated freshwater pool and a poolside cantina.

Venue 411: La Siesta Resort and Marina offers two wedding packages, with the more deluxe version including a three-night stay in the five-bedroom Starfish House. You’ll have your choice of two beach locations for your ceremony, followed by a reception for up to 200 guests.

Estates

Why get married at a private property? Easy—flexibility. Though you will almost certainly need the expertise of a local event designer to help pull off your day, you and your guests will be rewarded with a an experience that feels completely tailored to your vision.

Sea Ranch Estate

You and your partner, along with your wedding party, can stay in two cute cottages—one ocean-facing, the other tucked among verdant gardens—on this oceanfront estate with a beachside pool. An expansive dock that juts out into the Atlantic is primed for wedding portraits, and the cottages even come prepped for after-party shenanigans thanks to a lower-level area with a wet bar and pool and poker tables.

Venue 411: Get married right on the sand of Sea Ranch Estate’s private beach, then decamp to the pool area for cocktail hour before heading back to the sand for a tented reception. The two-acre property, which can accommodate a celebration of up to 100 guests, requires a seven-night minimum booking during peak season (late November through mid-August).

Sunset Reef

Unlike most waterfront estates, this gated property offers both an expanse of grass and 100 feet of shoreline. The 5,000-square-foot, three-story house is a marvel in its own right: An exterior spiral staircase connects the middle and upper levels to a rooftop sundeck. From your perch, you’ll get a 360-degree view of the bay, the ocean and, just off into the distance, Everglades National Park. The house sleeps 10 and includes a hot tub, pool and sauna, plus a fully equipped outdoor kitchen.

Venue 411: Sunset Reef can accommodate about 100 guests. Say your vows at the base of a 90-foot-long dock, then mosey over to the lawn for the reception before ending the night at the firepit. All vendors must be local and approved by the owners, and you’ll also need to rent portable restrooms. A seven-night booking is required.

Restaurants

If exceptional food, top-notch service and built-in décor are among your priorities, consider a well-appointed restaurant to host your wedding. Another bonus? Doing so means you won’t have to shell out for things like tables, chairs and linens.

Whale Harbor Restaurant

It may be known for its seafood buffet, but the waterfront restaurant offers so much more than an impressive spread. Indeed, through its offshoot Harbor Events, the sprawling spot has professionals dedicated to helping you pull off your wedding vision, whether that be a beachside ceremony; an expansive rooftop patio reception with panoramic views of the water; or a grand ballroom celebration overlooking the Atlantic.

Venue 411: Besides five indoor and outdoor event areas—which can hold between 75 and 300 people—Whale Harbor can also arrange a more intimate affair aboard a yacht at its adjacent marina. And while the space restrictions at many restaurants don’t allow for live musicians, that’s not the case here, which means you can book that band you’ve been dreaming of.

Pierre’s Lounge and Restaurant

To say that this upscale restaurant takes its design and décor as seriously as the French-fusion cuisine it serves is an understatement. The interior of the grand, two-story plantation house, decorated with centuries-old artifacts from Morocco and India, is nothing less than stunning. Outside, wraparound decks on both levels provide unparalleled views of Florida Bay and a sliver of beach dotted with picture-perfect leaning palm trees. For family and friends looking to make a vacation out of it, Pierre’s sister property, The Moorings Village—probably most famous as the gorgeous backdrop of Netflix’s Bloodline—offers 18 private villas.

Venue 411: Pierre’s Lounge and Restaurant offers two venues: For weddings of more than 100 guests, both the ceremony and reception is held on the white sand beach, with exclusive access to the lower-level veranda and downstairs lounge. A smaller event of fewer than 40 people is also held on the beach, followed by dinner in the restaurant’s second floor VIP room.


Learn more about why you should consider the beautiful setting of Islamorada for your wedding here.

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