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Beachside Wedding: Destination Florida

Every summer when I go to visit my parents at their home on the Gulf Coast just off of Highway 30-A in the “Panhandle” of Florida, I see tons and tons of weddings. It really shouldn’t be surprising that so many people choose this gorgeous (and very eco-savvy) region of the country as the place to get married.

There are a string of eco-friendly New Urbanist developments along Highway 30-A, a long and well-kept secret until stars, like Sheryl Crow, Britney Spears and most recently, Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo began vacationing in the region. Seaside is one of the first and perhaps best examples – it is such a beautiful and surreal community that it actually serves as the backdrop for Jim Carrey’s movie, the Truman Show…yes. It is a real town, not a movie set.

Here are some great neighborhoods, venues and restaurants to look into for planning a wedding along 30-A:

  • Have guests stay in Seaside at the WaterColor Inn, where they can rent bikes to get around town or walk down to the beach. The adjacent restaurant, Fish out of Water, is delicious and would be a great place for an early cocktail reception or rehearsal dinner so that you can watch the sun set over the beach.
  • Get hitched at the non-denominational chapel at Seaside or beachside at Rosemary Beach, where you guests can stay in great lofts townside or beach cottages. You can also choose to get married on the town lawn looking over the beach or at Town Hall in case of rain.
  • Host your bridal luncheon poolside at Alys Beach or at the fantastic Fonville Press for a more casual gathering. The Alys Beach architecture is not only inspiring but also meets the standards for green set by Florida Green Building Coalition. The homes are 50 percent more energy efficient than an average home and employ a live, work and play approach that promotes energy conservation.

Seaside, Alys Beach and Rosemary Beach are all New Urbanist developments sprinkled along the gorgeous coastline off of Highway 30-A. The area, which is home to the world’s coveted coastal dune lakes and spectacular ecology, is the perfect setting for an eco-conscious couple.

Written by Courtney Carlisle Bolton

When she isn't writing or in the library, this tech savvy ecophile can usually be found glued to her mobile or macbook ogling the latest gadgets, scouting the newest designs, traveling or out enjoying the Colorado terrain.

Courtney holds two masters degrees in Psychology and Communications and received her BA from Vanderbilt University in Psychology and English. She recently relocated from Los Angeles to Denver, CO where she is pursuing her PhD in Family and Child Psychology.

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