Couples love Florida weddings. Especially our LGBTQ destination wedding couples!
Easy to reach, balmy and laid-back, it’s a slice of paradise right in your backyard. What’s not so well known is the diversity of its many LGBTQ destination wedding-ready properties, from quaint inns to historic hotels to sprawling beach resorts.
Whatever your dream wedding is going to look like, Florida has the LGBTQ destination wedding venue you’re seeking.
Here are our top Florida LGBTQ destination wedding venue picks.
Alys Beach – South Walton County – Mazes of shell-stone paths and rows of whitewashed villas hug a private sugar-sand beach on the eastern end of Highway 30A. Hold the rehearsal dinner at Caliza, where guests will feel like they’ve teleported to an intimate Moroccan Kasbah with an elliptical pool, a Moorish tower and billowing curtains.
With sweeping views of both the Gulf and the community’s 20-acre nature preserve, the lawn of Kelly Green is a favored site for outdoor LGBTQ destination wedding events (seats 250).
Casa Monica – St. Augustine – Old-world charm pervades this circa-1888 landmark in America’s oldest city, and is perfect for a LGBTQ destination wedding.
Marry in a tropical, fountain-filled garden, then hold a fantasy-themed reception (think Gypsies or Pirates of the Caribbean – to offbeat LGBTQ destination wedding events recently held at this venue) in one of the ballrooms. Make your exit in the property’s getaway car — a vintage Model A Ford.
Celebration Hall – Santa Rosa Beach – If you want a blank slate on which to paint your perfect LGBTQ destination wedding picture, Celebration Hall, with its vaulted ceilings, wrought-iron chandeliers and room for 300 guests, is a classic canvas.
Surrounding gardens have ample space for a reception tent; or hold cocktail hour on the lawn while the staff transforms the hall from ceremony site to party place. If you’ve got your heart set on a beach wedding, the hall is just a few minutes from the shore and only 50 feet from 30A Suites, a boutique condo hotel, so no one will have to drive after your bash.
Ancient Spanish Monastery – North Miami Beach – The directions say Miami Gardens Drive in North Miami Beach, but the old street signs call it NE 183rd Street. And NE 185th Street. And NE 186th Street.
Maybe they don’t want you to discover this former abbey, hidden amid Spanish oaks dangling moss as long as a cathedral veil. The 870-year-old building, moved stone by stone from northern Spain, is remarkably versatile.
Opt for the intimate French Altar if the guest list for your LGBTQ destination wedding is under 10, or stretch your legs in the Gothic, 80-seat Monastery Chapel. Twenty acres of gardens make a breathtaking backdrop for any wedding album.
The Don CeSar – St. Pete Beach – Opened in 1928, the 277-room Pink Lady was once the stomping grounds of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, baseball star Lou Gehrig and infamous mobster Al Capone.
In addition to its prime Gulf Coast beach location, the Don also boasts three restaurants, a pool with an underwater sound system, a host of specialty shops and an 11,000-square-foot spa.
Most LGBTQ destination wedding affairs take place in the sand or on the iconic Courtyard staircase, while receptions occur in indoor-outdoor ballrooms or covered beachside pavilions.
The Gasparilla Inn & Club – Boca Grande – This Old Florida resort, which dates to 1913, features 62 rooms and suites with Tempur-Pedic beds and soft Southern decor, while 17 individual cottages house private parlors, screened porches and kitchenettes. Pets are welcome here too.
LGBTQ destination wedding sites include the Inn’s Beach Club, the Golf Course Gazebo (seats 100), the banyan tree shading the fifth hole of the golf course, and the Inn’s spacious living room (buyouts only; seats 300). An outdoor reception, with seated dinners available poolside or on the Croquet Lawn overlooking the bayou, is a must here.
Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum – Key West – A circa-1849 Old Town estate where Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote for almost a decade now welcomes tour groups and LGBTQ destination wedding affairs — and shelters about 50 six-toed cats, all named after famous people (continuing a tradition that Hemingway himself started).
Surrounded by a tall brick wall and a canopy of trees, its garden is a natural for destination weddings.
Ocean Key Resort & Spa – Key West – Tucked at the tip of Duval Street within walking distance to the evening Sunset Celebrations at Mallory Square, this 100-room property is right in the middle of the action. But holed up in a private cabana by the sexy waterfront pool, you’d never know it.
Hold your LGBTQ destination wedding on the waterfront on the Ocean Terrace, then enjoy a private cocktail party and a reception dinner at Sunset Pier (seats 200). Catering is available via onsite Hot Tin Roof restaurant (seats up to 60), with options like ceviche and Florida spiny lobster.
Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort – Amelia Island – Choose the view for your LGBTQ destination wedding — golf course, freshwater marsh or ocean — at this 404-room stunner, fresh from a significant face-lift.
The Plantation offers a glimpse into the more natural side of Florida. Think lakes and marshes for fishing, kayaking or paddle boarding, and even a nature center for the kids. Welcome guests with a beach bonfire; then hold your LGBTQ destination wedding event in the chapel, on the sand or in the rustic Walker’s Landing event building outfitted with a fieldstone fireplace.
Ponte Vedra Inn & Club – Ponte Vedra Beach – This oceanfront resort still feels like an inn, with 250 individually themed rooms located in 10 low-rise buildings.
Events here, from LGBTQ destination wedding ceremonies to beach-buffet receptions, center on the sand. The Inn’s rooftop terrace and the Surf Club’s beachfront patio are also popular party spots.
Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club – St. Petersburg – The Mediterranean Revival architecture of this 1920s-era hotel landed it on the National Register of Historic Places. For intimate LGBTQ destination wedding affairs, opt for the Tea Garden, or go big with a 450-person bash in the grand ballroom, where former Florida governor Charlie Crist celebrated his nuptials.
Before we go any further, We HAVE to talk about these two Florida LGBTQ destination wedding gems: Captiva and Sanibel Islands.
As the name implies, Captiva Island is indeed captivating. Few visitors can resist the lush tropical scenery, where summer breezes rustle the gently swaying palm trees, and the crystal-clear water laps against soft, silky sands!
The island is a peaceful haven, with plenty of wildlife and nature to enjoy, while also offering a good social scene, with restaurants, cafes and beachside bars.
This romantic destination makes the perfect location for a Florida beach LGBTQ destination wedding.
Exchange your vows whilst directly overlooking the vast expanse of the ocean, and afterwards, enjoy all the luxury and laid-back indulgence that only a tropical island can offer.
Captiva is famous for its spectacular sunrises and sunsets, which are impressively dramatic over the vast expanse of the ocean. It is also renowned for the beautiful, brightly colored shells that wash up daily on the beaches, and the textural quality that they bring to the coastal scenery makes Captiva truly special.
Unlike other beaches in the region, Captiva is more for couples looking to experience a sense of seclusion and intimacy during their LGBTQ destination wedding and honeymoon. The beaches provide tranquility and romantic solitude, though there are still water sports activities for those who want to get active whilst away.
South Seas Island Resort – Captiva Island – Occupying 330 acres on the northern reaches of Captiva Island, this resort village feels more remote than it actually is. And because it’s private to its guests, you don’t have to worry about LGBTQ destination wedding crashers.
For the ultimate in privacy, opt for the Sunset Cove beach area on the Gulf.
Sanibel Island is the very definition of exotic island paradise. Gleaming white sands, tall coconut palms and clear, sparkling water make it an ideal location for those searching for a romantic Florida beach LGBTQ destination wedding.
There are plenty of other great things to do and see on the island to keep you entertained, long after the ceremony has finished.
If you’ve ever dreamed of saying ‘I do’ whilst surrounded by lush and exotic scenery, with the sound of the waves gently breaking on the shore in front of you, then Sanibel Island is the ultimate LGBTQ destination wedding location.
In addition to having some of the finest coasts in the country, and like Captiva Island, Sanibel’s beaches are also famous for their remarkable shells. The beautiful, varied texture that this gives the beaches makes the atmosphere even more magical.
The 22 miles of sand that surround the island ensure that couples can find plenty of secluded space to relax and enjoy the start of your life together as newlyweds.
There is more to Sanibel than just beaches, of course. The interior of the island has a beautiful nature reserve and wildlife refuge, which provides the perfect location for exploration under the balmy summer sun, and there are plenty of activities to enjoy after your wedding, including various water sports, such as fishing and snorkeling.
Casa Ybel Resort – Sanibel Island – This resort spans 23 acres along the Gulf of Mexico and features several Sanibel Island LGBTQ destination wedding locations to choose from for your ceremony.
Whether you envision reciting your vows on our white sand beach, saying “I Do” in a romantic lakeside gazebo or exchanging rings on the resort’s Gulf-front lawn, Casa Ybel Resort is the perfect LGBTQ destination wedding venue on Sanibel Island.
The Ringling – Sarasota – Conjure Gatsby at the 1920s-era estate of circus barons John and Mable Ringling. Rich in architecture and history, the facility’s U-shaped Museum of Art is stunning.
Larger LGBTQ destination wedding groups have ample space to celebrate in its courtyard, graced with replicas of ancient Greek, Roman and Baroque statues. Other venues include a rose garden, a banyan grove and the mansion’s bay-front Ca’ d’Zan Terrace, where Ringling himself threw countless parties.
Once you’ve settled on a Florida location and a date for your LGBTQ destination wedding, get in touch! We’re here to help. Fran is waiting to chat with you about building an amazing suite of save the date cards, destination wedding invitations, and more.
Be sure to visit our curated collection of images to help keep you motivated and inspired. You can find that right here.
A Florida LGBTQ destination wedding is about as romantic and idyllic as it gets. Your dream wedding day is going to magical, enchanting, and altogether memorable.
Simply your Best Day Ever!