Anna Maria Island Beach Wedding Couple holding hands

Plan Like a Local Pro

Planning a wedding, especially a destination wedding, can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Taking advantage of resources at your wedding destination, including hiring a professional, can help keep the stress away while keeping the magic in your special day. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you navigate the planning of your destination wedding.

One of the first things you’ll need when planning a destination wedding on Anna Maria Island is a local resource, who can be your boots-on-the-ground expert. A local wedding coordinator makes sure that everything flows perfectly, turning your dream wedding into a reality. Hiring someone local can also help you find some of the best talents on Anna Maria Island, from musicians to photographers, videographers, wedding cake bakers, to a bridal dress boutique.

Let’s face it; no one wants to try to juggle flower arrangements on an airplane or attempt to transport a delicate wedding cake masterpiece over a long distance. If you plan to ship some items to the destination site that won’t fit in your luggage, make sure to send them to your wedding coordinator a month in advance.

AMI Beach Weddings Aisle Bouquets and Arch

Take into account the local rules and regulations when choosing your wedding destination. Though beautiful beach weddings are always welcome on Anna Maria Island, not all activities are allowed on the beach.

While furry friends are always welcome here on vacation and perfect for including in your getting ready photos, your pet will not be able to take part in a wedding ceremony on the beach. Pets are not allowed on Anna Maria Island beaches as Anna Maria Island is a sanctuary for nesting turtles and shorebirds.

Sea turtle nesting season takes place May 1 through October 31 on Florida’s West Coast. Local wedding planners know that lights on the beach are not allowed at night during this time to protect the nesting sea turtles and hatchlings. Additionally, suppose you are staying at a beachfront property. In that case, all lights visible from the beach must either be shaded or turtle-friendly, amber or red, at night.

Quiet hours on Anna Maria Island start at 10 p.m. every night, so plan for your wedding ceremony and reception to end before that time. Nothing ruins a beautiful beach wedding more than a visit from your friendly neighborhood police officer telling your guests to quiet down. Keep in mind when booking reservations that you will likely be staying in or adjacent to a residential neighborhood where loud late-night noise isn’t permitted.

Communication with your guests is key to a successful destination wedding. Make sure to send out your Save the Date cards eight to twelve months before your wedding date. The Save the Date offers more than just the location and date. They let guests know what to do with wedding gifts, give information regarding a wedding website or Facebook group, and allow guests to coordinate travel plans.

Couples are encouraged to send invitations three to four months in advance of the wedding date. Set up your wedding website or Facebook page as soon as the Save the Dates go out to give your guests a central location to find information about the wedding, destination, and plans to attend. You can also include any wedding gift registry information or set up a place for guests to contribute online to a honeymoon fund. Another option is to not ask for gifts at all, letting your guests know that their presence on your wedding day is the best gift they could give you.

Sometimes with destination weddings, it helps to keep the guest list small. For a more intimate wedding ceremony that doesn’t exclude any of your extended family, friends, or coworkers from participating, consider limiting the guest list yet including everyone by live streaming your event. Hire a local videographer who can both video your wedding for a lovely memento and also share the magic of your special day with anyone who cannot be there in person. It’s a great way to keep the wedding guest list small without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Keep your sanity intact and your stress level low by getting organized as early as possible. Your perfect destination wedding is within reach on Anna Maria Island.

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