FOR A TOES-IN-THE-SAND WEDDING… THE RITZ-CARLTON, NAPLES
Couples can host true toes-in-the-sand ceremonies at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, or opt to have a carpeted platform placed on the beach so guests don’t have to remove their formal footwear.
Timing is of the essence when planning a beachfront wedding. To coordinate cocktails at golden hour, Lydia Redmond, director of wedding sales at The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples, says the optimal time to walk down the aisle is an hour and a half before sunset.
After the ‘I dos,’ the bridal party can head to the Tea Garden to take photos while guests move to the beach house, which can host up to 120 people and has panoramic, floor-to-ceiling windows framing views of the Gulf of Mexico. “Our venue’s perfect couple is one that has a very strong emotional connection to the Naples area,” Redmond says. “They’re what we refer to as a legacy couple, where either one or both have spent time in Naples growing up.”
The property also hosts many destination weddings and offers remote, full-service planning and execution of everything from rehearsal dinners by the pool to moonlight and candlelight ceremonies on the beach to receptions ending with fireworks.
FOR A QUINTESSENTIAL FLORIDA UNION … SEA OATS LUXURY ESTATE
A historic banyan tree sets the scene for a classic Florida ceremony on Captiva Island. Sea Oats Luxury Estate, said to have once belonged to an inheritor of the Quaker Oats fortune, sits on four acres of paradise between the Gulf and a pristine wildlife preserve. The home, which sleeps 30 guests, is a dreamy setting for an elopement or intimate wedding of up to 75 attendees.
Couples can host rehearsal dinners after a sunset sail, provided by Captiva Cruises, which picks them up at the dock right outside. The property’s planning and design firm, Wedding Hero, takes care of everything, including setting up the reception tent or coordinating for a Champagne wall, a Prosecco truck, a Vespa, balloon art— whatever the bride and groom envision. For a true Florida vibe, the venue offers a tropical design, which includes exotic florals, handmade wooden tables and a locally inspired menu.