Florida Wedding Destinations and Honeymoon Travel

The Event Lady of Florida is blessed to live in the beautiful Naples and Ft. Myers area, but knows that many nearby Florida cities, and Southeastern States have beautiful wedding destination locations and romantic honeymoon spots to offer. Wedding locations from the very quaint, historic, and picturesque, to the new modern, urban feel! The Event Lady of Florida will share her very own personal travel articles on this page, and some of the travel articles from fellow travel writers, who share their knowledge and their experiences. Please Visit this page often, and  read about terrific places to visit for your wedding honeymoon travel plans and all your special occasion celebration options.

Read About The King and Prince Resort

Read about Private Islands of Georgia, Eagle Island.

Read About The Casa Marina Hotel in Jacksonville

Read About Saint Augustine City of Love and Romance

Read about The Sandpiper Inn Longboat Key, Florida

Contest for the Inns of Elegance in Saint Augustine

River Bend Cabins in Sutton, Vermont
a winter wonderland for your picture perfect wedding

Snow White Honeymoons in Vermont

Couples in SW Florida are lucky enough to enjoy a beautiful and warm climate, which is great for planning a dream tropical wedding. Our beaches are famous and our sunsets incomparable.  Yes, we have it made here in South Florida, but how about a change of weather for us warm blooded Floridians?
After a warm tropical wedding, have a plan for a wintry honeymoon; get away and depart by car (the scenic way to go; driving time around 26 hours, distance 1,636.46 miles) or the quick way by plane, and head north, near Canada for a snow-covered, “White Honeymoon”. The city of Burlington, Vermont has a major airport to fly into, and Jet Blue has direct flights there from Ft. Myers Airport.

The state of Vermont offers us this snow wonderland opportunity. The winter months here are blanketed in deep, white snow, and as early as the end of December (around the Holidays), we can see white covered sceneries. This area of North Vermont is well known as the “Northeastern Kingdom”. It is a charming place with picture perfect, postcard landscapes, snow-covered mountains filled with Christmas pine trees, and an architectural style with a New England flavor. A place with covered bridges and a slower, natural lifestyle; definitively another world!

Rural small and cozy towns like Sutton, Lyndonville, St. Johnsbury and many others, are about one hour away from the frequented ski-town of Stowe, Vermont; which is full of quaint shops and fine restaurants. Smaller towns nearby, offer a place to stay at a moderate price; plus many mountain home rentals and wood cabins are available as well. The picture of the cabin shown was the one we chose during our stay in Sutton, Riverbend Cabins. This property belongs to the owners of a large dairy farm in Sutton; their hospitality was unrivaled. The owner is Beatrice Riendeau, and you may contact her directly for cabin rental information at: 802-626-5196.

If farms and quaint small places are not for you…and you prefer to be in the center of everything, you can definitely stay in Stowe, we recommend you visit www.stowe.com . This well-known ski resort area, offers beautiful and luxurious places to stay as well unique country inns.

For fun in the snow the number one attraction is definitely skiing, but I also recommend a tour on a sled or cart guided by Alaskan Huskies, or a ride in a horse drawn carriage pulled by the famous Percheron horses.  Now for the young, or young at heart, maybe you could try fast motorized snowmobiles, ice skating, and snow-sled rides to get that adrenalin flowing and warm up the bones. Long walks during a snowfall, playing in the snow or just enjoying a cup of chocolate are those unique diversions we here in SW Florida cannot enjoy. For a Floridian like my self, this is definitely the best way to change my pace and enjoy the winter wonderlands.

A word of advice, take thermal underwear, insulated and waterproof gloves, boots, wool socks, hats, scarves and heavy outerwear. For complete winter wear options you may visit www.cabelas.com. You will need to keep warm always, since the temperatures fall below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is definitively a honeymoon destination for those with adventurous and romantic souls who can stay warm together. If the view of a snow-covered mountain takes your breath away… then North Vermont is for you!

This Wedding Honeymoon Article written by Isabel Albuerne “The Event Lady”
Editor of Florida Weddings and Special Events Magazine and Webmaster






Main ballrooms at Intercontinental Tampa
A wedding and quince Florida Choice Destination

Tampa, Divine Blend of Old and New in SW Florida

  As a Floridian, I think it is accurate to say, that we are lucky to live here during the harsh winter months; furthermore if I may add, residing in SW Florida, especially the Naples and Ft. Myers area has made me very aware of how incredibly close in driving distance I am to so many wonderful Florida travel destinations. Today, I would like to tell you about a recent trip to one of our great neighboring cities… Tampa.

  I visited Tampa not so long ago, and this trip reminded me of why I ultimately choose to be a Floridian. There is so much to do here; without wearing snow boots and a heavy coat of course, (I can only deal with the beauty of snow for about two weeks.) Tampa has so much to offer to travelers, but especially to our Florida brides looking for another fantastic SW Florida wedding destination, honeymoon experience, or special event or quince celebration location. 
This city is certainly a rich blend of Florida history and contemporary urban development. The Intercontinental Tampa Hotel is a product of combining old and new and getting the best of both worlds. This towering building is proud to be a “Green” hotel, working daily to achieve their contribution to our planet’s environment.

  A cheerful welcome was offered by the staff at The Intercontinental Tampa Hotel, and we were pleasantly surprised by the hotel’s majestic glass towers, elegant design, plus very prime location. We were just three miles from the airport, and five miles to the downtown area.  Our arrival and check-in was very late in the evening, and yet we found friendly, caring faces, ready to direct us and make us feel right at home. This 323 suite city hotel is located right in the middle of everything you could possibly want. You could easily walk to restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping malls.  It is a breeze taking in the many adventures of this city with a scenic drive to the Florida Aquarium, the Tampa Museum, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, the magnificent University of Tampa, and let’s not forget the rich historic and unique “Ybor City.”

   This luxury city hotel has everything you will need to make you feel a pampered guest. Their suites are beautiful and have a definite sophisticated urban feel. The soft beds, cozy bathrobes, nightly-turndown service and yet, the “cannot live without” accessibility to all our modern gadgets (flat screen plasma TV, I pod docking station, wireless internet) make it ideal for any business traveler. Now if you are a contemporary bride and groom looking for a modern, ultra chic location for your wedding reception or honeymoon; this is a perfect wedding destination in Tampa, Florida.
My dear brides… does this hotel have the ballroom for you! The catering department can offer varied cuisine choices and 21,000 feet of space that can accommodate a wedding of  500 or an intimate special event of ten people. I loved the stupendous fountains throughout the property, my camera lens was always on the lookout for falling water (true Floridian that I am.)

The weekend of my visit, offered me a glimpse of the hotel’s commitment to the Florida bridal market. They hosted a wonderful large bridal show on their premises, which offered information on some of their favorite wedding service providers of the area.
   How can I conclude this article without mentioning the food?
The Intercontinental Tampa is home to one of the many highly recognized Shula’s Restaurants. What a magnificent dining experience, offering opulent brunches, elegant dining with a pure state of ecstasy for “huge meat lovers” (my husband is one of these.) 
The welcome we felt upon our arrival was continuous throughout the stay, and well extended by the chef and the waiters here, who were happy to let my try different and exquisite culinary delights while they shared some Dolphin history with us. Did you know that each Shula’s Restaurant has personalized chairs for Don Shula and all the Dolphin players?  The history lesson lives as you just sit and glance at the walls and reminisce of the “1972 Miami Dolphin’s Perfect Season.”

  This Intercontinental Tampa weekend-get-away experience, which took less than a two hour drive from Ft. Myers, was quite relaxing and fun. Should I try to describe this perfect stay with just one statement, it would definitely be; “As a Florida wedding coordinator or a travel writer, the Intercontinental Tampa Hotel is the number one choice location for this “Event Lady of Florida.”  

Travel Article by Isabel Albuerne
The Event Lady of Florida






Honeymooning Along a Legendary Route

A quarter million corks pop each year on the Queen Mary 2 but the best place to taste the bubbly is in the Champagne Bar, a romantic throwback to the Golden Age of Sail.
The Queen Mary 2, Cunard’s flagship is the first great ship built in the 21st century but she’s got the retro-riche vibe down pat, especially on transatlantic crossings between New York and England. This storied route conjures up pre-jet era images of a time when celebrities, royalty and heads of state all mixed and matched aboard impossibly luxurious ocean liners (in first class, of course).
Cruising the north Atlantic just may be the best and arguably the most lavish, way to unwind after the hectic lead-up to the wedding. No port-a-day-anxieties. Just six stress-free days to chill out, sleep late, dine at celebrity chef restaurants like Todd English and get pampered at Canyon Ranch Spa—the only one at sea. It’s the kind of honeymoon you don’t need a vacation to recover from.
“This is not like other cruise ships that jolly around the Caribbean and Mediterranean,” says one of the ship’s officers.
Not by a long shot. For starters, the Queen is not a cruise ship but an ocean liner.
Cruise ships travel from one port to the next. Liners are built to withstand the perils of the North Atlantic.
Others ships are floating hotels. This is a floating city with a capacity of more than 3,000 passengers. She’s four football fields long, equal to the height of a 23-story building and her engines produce the thrust of three Boeing 747s at 530 mph. Of her 1,000 miles of welding, the most unusual are two coins fused to the hull, a tradition that dates back to Roman times. The captain says it’s for luck.
Still it’s not the enormity of the ship that impresses as much as the intimacy of the service.

Article by Iyna Bort Caruso for Florida Weddings and Special Events Magazine






Rosemary Beach

The sand on the beach at Rosemary Beach, Florida is as white as the napkins on the tables at Onano, the Italian restaurant a few hundred yards inland from where the surf caresses the shoreline.  On a placid day the water is a lucid poetic blue and the sand is arguably the whitest sand in the world and has a consistency not unlike powdered sugar, looking more like a snowfall than beach sand.
Rosemary Beach is a newly minted town on the Northern Florida gulf coast where a dozen years ago there was only white sand and the indigenous boscage highlighted by the blue-flowered aromatic evergreen shrub that gave the town its name.
At Rosemary Beach I had the feeling I was on a movie set.  None of the more than 500 homes are more than a dozen years old, but they have been built with an eye toward the architectural styles of St. Augustine, Charleston, New Orleans and the West Indies .  In fact, Rosemary Beach is just eight miles east of The Truman Show movie set and near Seaside , its precursor in the matter of neo-traditional town planning.  Both are the creations of the Miami-based architects and planners Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and they are examples of New Urbanism, a town-planning concept emphasizing cross-breeding of intimate neighborhoods and public spaces.      The "streets" in this town are pedestrian lanes, footpaths and boardwalks, with cars given secondary status just as they are in Amsterdam .  These all lead to a public square, park, plaza, tennis court, swimming pool or the beach and the system of wooden boardwalks running parallel to the main thoroughfare enables you to walk directly down to the gulf, bypassing the activity in the center of town.  Some of the footpaths go through veritable tunnels of vegetation that seem as cool on a hot day as stepping into an air-conditioned room. Walking through the town it becomes apparent that the town's nine structure types, ranging from 1,800-square-foot courtyard homes to spacious 4,000-square-foot units are less festively colored than the Seaside homes, which exhibit pastels and parti-colors; at Rosemary Beach the more sober browns, greens and blues blend with the native vegetation.
You can rent a carriage house or cottage at Rosemary Beach or buy a home, so there is a lively mix of residents and visitors, a mix of tourists and homebody mentalities.  Note the contrast of the homeowners idling on their porches and the tourists on the move to rent sailboats, kayaks and hammocks.  And you don't have to take the short walk to the gulf if you want to go swimming, for there are pools at every turn--the beachside Coquina Pool designed for lounging; the Mediterranean-style Cabana Pool popular with families; the metal-roofed parkside Sky Pool; and the French West Indies-style Barbados Pool with its copper roof, shaded loggia and stucco tower and vestibule fountain.  For those with a kinetic nature there are the Racquet Club, Fitness Center and Bicycle Rental Company.  And there is the inevitable spa, the Solace Day Spa where massage, skin care and body treatments are offered in a tropical " Bali " setting.
I was in a gulf-view carriage house no more than a two minute walk from the town square, which is never deserted because of the number of shops and restaurants.  The aforementioned Italian restaurant specializes in northern Italian Tuscany-style cuisine and the Summer Kitchen is a casual, family-style place to have breakfast or lunch.  Courtyard Wine and Cheese has a self-explanatory name and there is a first-rate bakery and deli called Wild Olives, a candy store/ice cream shop called The Sugar Shak, and of course Starbuck's has also staked a claim here.  There are also apparel and accessory, home furnishings, antiques and gardening design shops.  It should be noted that Rosemary Beach is in the full bloom of expansion, with more shops and homes in the works.  Everywhere I looked there were workers on roofs and the sound of construction was ubiquitous.  One of these new additions will be a 56-room hotel, Hotel Saba, which may seem a bit redundant.  In any case, I was especially pleased to see the small white post office building in the center of town, a sight worthy of New England or some sleepy Southern town.  Rosemary Beach has its own zip code and the town bell rings the number of the hour, a quaint and rural touch.
And to keep the general mood from becoming too slow or low key there is a busy events calendar, featuring such things as Symphony by the Sea, Starlight Ballet, Town Center Trunk Show, Tunes by the Dunes, Town Center Sidewalk Sale, 4th of July and Christmas celebrations, etc.  Yet another source of a festive mood is the weddings that are frequently held in the town.  On the weekend I spent there a white tent the size of a circus big top was pitched for a wedding whose festivities I enjoyed vicariously, watching the celebrants drink and eat, socialize and dance from mid-afternoon through twilight and into a night illuminated by a virtually exhibitionistic moon whose luminescence fairly upstaged even the Rosemary Beach sand.
As self-sufficient as life at Rosemary Beach can be one can easily satisfy an occasional yearning for a somewhat more metropolitan experience with a trip to Panama City or Fort Walton Beach , respectively a thirty-minute and one hour drive from Rosemary Beach.
There's also a historical/scenic bonus to be had by visiting the nearby Eden State Gardens .  There is a picnic area here at the old mill site on Tucker Bayou, but the premier attraction is the house built by William Henry Wesley of the Wesley Lumber Company for his family in 1897, at the time probably the largest residential building in this part of Florida . It was bought in 1953 by Lois Maxon, who used it as a showplace for her collection of family heirlooms and antiques. The house stands near the bayou where once lumber was loaded onto barges for shipment and is surrounded by moss-draped live oaks and beds of azaleas and camellias.  One look at the house with its broad porches circling both stories and I had a nearly subliminal feeling of deja vu, which was finally resolved during the tour when I learned that the house was used in a movie I remember from the 1970's. It was where Ray Milland's character lived in the oddball ecological horror fantasy, Frogs, whose story undertook to make frogs as menacing as such other swamp creatures as snakes, spiders, bats and the like.  History sometimes makes funny bedfellows.

Travel Article written by Larry Tritten for Florida Weddings and Special Events Magazine





Aerial View of Amelia Island
an exclusive Florida wedding and honyemoon destination

Eight Flags Over Amelia Island

     I was expecting banana daiquiri weather--that picture postcard
conception of Florida with green palm trees highlighting sky and water
as blue as the colors in a Disney animated movie.  But when I arrived
the sky was the color it had been in San Francisco--granite gray--and
was littered with clouds looking like God's dirty laundry.  And the
anticipated festive beaches were mostly deserted, the Atlantic in a
surly mood kvetching at a glum shoreline.  It was, in fact, Irish
coffee weather, something I'd thought I would be getting a break from.
     I was also expecting an island, which is to say a parcel of land
surrounded by water and from which the horizons dramatize a sense of
isolation.  But Amelia Island is a barrier island, a strip of land
that hugs the North Florida coastline, anything but remote, and nearly
within shouting distance of Georgia.  I might have been disappointed
if I hadn't been distracted by the only other person waiting at the
airport to be picked up by an Amelia Island Plantation van.  She was a
journalist on assignment to check out the Plantation scene for
Intermezzo magazine and bright enough in both looks and personality to
dispel the meteorological gloom.
     A guidebook in my room informed me that Amelia Island's size
belies the host of activities it offers its guests, which I would soon
discover firsthand.
Amelia Island Plantation is a 1,350 acre resort where magnolias, sable palms,
marshland and sunken forests provide the ambiance for deluxe hotel rooms
and up-to-3 bedroom villas that look like anything one might see along the
coastline in Monte Carlo. 
Worn-out by a long flight, I resigned myself to the fate of an Irish coffee
and sought it out in the Plantation's Verandah restaurant, accompanied
by a monstro cut of prime cow flesh.  The Verandah is one of six
restaurants on the grounds.  There were golfers there grumbling
about the weather that would make chasing a small ball over terrain
dominated by moss-draped oaks, palmettos and huge sand dunes less
enjoyable on the Plantation's three courses, and tennis aficionados
equally peeved about the lack of sunshine lately on the resort's 23
courts. I supposed that the poor weather might also subdue the
enthusiasm of those who had been looking forward to chartering a
sailboat or going on a dinner cruise or going fishing (either in
Amelia's lagoons and lakes or in pursuit of the big ones in the ocean)
or quail hunting.  But I was unfazed by such concerns, being
essentially an indoors type.
     For those not interested in outdoor activities there are other
options at the Plantation, which is in essence a small village.
Emily, the Intermezzo charmeuse, was there to focus on the restaurants
and the spa and before leaving I would see her photographing her
dessert with the diligence of a wildlife papparazo as well as emerging
from the spa after an encounter with the services proferred therein
(such things as Aromatherapy Salt Glow, Detoxifying Seaweed Body Mask,
Anti-Stress Aroma Bath, and Oxygenating Facial) and looking as radiant
and lovely as Boticelli's Venus, Zephyr-blown and newly born of sea
     Shoppers take notice--there are more than 31,000 square feet of
boutiques, gourmet food, spa, and art gallery.  The shops are housed
separately in quaint buildings to enhance the village-like
atmosphere.  Several shops purvey fashions, home furnishings, and
jewelry, and Cooper's Homemade Ice Cream and Desserts has a name that
speaks for itself, as does the Yuletide Attic,
A personal favorite was Marche Burette, an old-fashioned gourmet
food market where one can both shop and dine.
  While checking out the village shops, the Falcon's Nest caught my
eye.  It's an aviation-themed bar and wasn't open yet but I noted that the
display menu outside advertised "Great take-offs. Smooth
landings."  Aviation history is a longtime interest of mine, so I
resolved to return that night, which I did.  I think I expected a low
key piano bar scene, but the place was full of people flying high to
live music that vetoed any attempt at conversation.  It was like any
jumping club in San Francisco on a weekend night and I realized that
it was a hangout for locals no less than Plantation guests.  Since
talking was not possible, I spent most of the time there wondering how
they had decided on the ingredients for drinks named for classic
warplanes, e.g., why is a Thunderbolt characterized by Parrot Bay
Coconut Rum, Stoli, Midori and O.J. (more likely the makings of a
Douglas Dauntless or Devastator to my way of thinking)?
     I didn't expect to find much history on Amelia Island, but in
fact eight flags fly there, signifying the ownership of eight powers.
On St. Croix a few months earlier I'd been fascinated by the seven
flags flying there, but Amelia Island has the record, having been
under the control of eight different powers since the French claimed
it in 1562.  James Oglethorpe, Britain's governor of Georgia, named
the island in 1736 after the daughter of King George II, and the town
of Fernandina was named in 1811 after Spain's King Ferdinand VII.
     Fernandina Beach has been through several dramatic incarnations
ranging from its early days as a hangout for smugglers and pirates
when President James Monroe called it a"festering fleshpot" to its
golden age after the Civil War when it was known as "the Newport of
the South" and was the scene of countless formal balls, coming-out
parties and other galas that rivaled those of the Northern states.
Today the downtown area is on the National Register of Historic Places
and consists of a 50 block area lined with historic buildings.
The streets have old-fashioned gaslight-style lamps and red brick
crosswalks and their exploration might best be started at the
Fernandina Harbor Marina, where working shrimp boats are a customary
sight.  The architecture is a mélange of alluring styles: red brick,
stained glass windows, black ironwork, pastel colors, gingerbread trim
and white-picket fences.  The post office is of 16th century
Florentine design; the Nassau County Courthouse is Victorian with
classic English and Greek Revival influences; St. Peter's Episcopal
Church is Gothic Revival.  If you're in the mood for a potable while
downtown the place to go is definitely the Palace Saloon, which is
Florida's oldest saloon, still operating in its original location,
although it did metamorphose into an ice cream parlor during
     The Amelia Island Museum of History is also a must.  It's the
only spoken-history museum in Florida and you can get one of its more
than one hundred volunteer guides to take you on a seventeen block
walk through town, the most popular being the Ghost Tour which
features stories of the island's haunted past.
   I didn't, in fact, really need Florida's acclaimed sunshine to
enjoy myself in Fernandina Beach or at the Plantation, and as for
banana daiquiris; I knew that their rendezvous with my palate could
wait for another time, another place.

Travel Article by Larry Tritten for Florida Weddings and Special Events Magazine

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