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Anna Maria a Dream Wedding Destination

Are you planning a destination beach wedding in Florida? Consider Anna Maria Island as a fabulous special event location to make your wedding celebration unforgettable.  We've hosted brides and grooms from all over the world to celebrate their special day with the ultimate beach wedding ceremony on our crystal clear sandy beaches with the turquoise Gulf of Mexico as a backdrop. From the United Kingdom to New Zealand, we've been honoured to have been part of the wedding party's special celebrations from around the world.

A joyful ceremony, carefree reception, a sparkling toast and sumptuous dinner that you and your guests will never forget is right here on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Anna Maria is fast becoming the number one wedding destination in Florida thanks to the abundance of sunshine yearly and average temperatures of 83F/ 29C degrees.



Weddings on Anna Maria range from the elegant and exquisite (gown and tuxedo) to casual beach party. Think white Bermudas and matching citrus shirts!

Anna Maria Island Beach Weddings

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How Do I Plan a Wedding on Anna Maria Island Florida?

Anna Maria offers a network of event planners, caterers, venues, transport companies, stylists, florists and bakeries ready to cater to every taste and budget. These professional vendors will help you plan out the event and guide you through the details to from your rehearsal dinner, to your island honeymoon, there are many tasks to be completed and likely a dozen different wedding professionals you will be working with. Hundreds of weddings take place every year with each detail handled with dedication to your special celebration. The setting sun on Anna Maria is the perfect backdrop for tropical wedding. Have your guests come early or stay late and enjoy the nearby amenities and experiences that the island has to offer. Follow this checklist to help you plan your perfect beach wedding or vow renewal.

Get a Marriage License

The first step to get married on Anna Maria Island is to get the marriage license. You'll need to contact the Manatee County, Florida Clerk of the Circuit Court at 941-741-4020 for information about your marriage license. Both parties that are getting married must appear in person at the Clerk of Court in downtown Bradenton to obtain a marriage license. You can apply for a marriage license by mail, which means the couple does not have to appear in person and will have the license sent to them in advance. This is an excellent option for couples who aren't local who would like to get the license in advance.

Who Files the Marriage License after the Ceremony?

Make sure to get the officiant to sign the marriage license during or after the ceremony. Understand beforehand if the officiant will be mailing the signed marriage license to the same Court of Clerk office that you purchased it from or if you will be responsible for this. This is an important step to ensure the marriage is legally binding and obtain your copies.

Contact the City Hall

It's a good idea to contact the City Hall in the city you plan to be married in and inquire about any necessary permits you may need. Anna Maria Island has 3 cities on the island, Anna Maria located at the north end, Holmes Beach in the central area and Bradenton Beach to the south (not to be confused with Bradenton the city on the mainland). Each city may have different permitting requirements for signage, structures on the beach, music, etc.

Book the Officiant

You can hire your own officiant or use a wedding service to purchase a package wedding to help you achieve your drewm destination wedding in Florida. There are many companies online that you can contact with your questions to help you FloridaWeddings.com. Alternatively you can hire just the officiant on your own to conduct the ceremony. It's a good idea to ask questions and include any ideas you have about customizing your wedding ceremony. Ensure that you organize a ceremony that fits your personality. Things to think about are poems, readings and sand or candle unity ceremonies. These are important to lay out an action plan with the officiant first to ensure the ceremony goes smoothly.

Ensure your Passport is up to Date

This is a biggie if you are traveling to Florida from outside the country. Make sure that you and your wedding party and guests check their necessary passport and travel documents to arrive to your destination on time.

 
Decide on a Theme for the Wedding

Working with the local event planner can help you hone in on the perfect decor and theme for your special event on Anna Maria Island. Whatever the wedding theme you choose...nothing can beat the tropical beach and waterfront venues, fragrant local flowers and seaside decorations adorning your celebrations. Top it off with a catered dinner featuring fresh local seafood. We recommend Lasting Impressions event planning as your local event planner choice. The photos on this page with the soft pastel pink and natural green and beiges were done by Lasting Impressions. Contact our fave Anna Maria Island event planner company Lasting Impressions by Catrina here.

Decide on a Venue

There are a lot of options for venues and locations to get married on Anna Maria Island. From local restaurants on the beach, to a more simple beach arbor. County public beaches and beach parks are a great idea for the wedding ceremony. Once you decide on the venue for the wedding the next step is to decide on a venue for the Reception.

Decide on a Reception Venue

It's a good idea to become acquainted with the bylaws of the local city hall that you are thinking about with the reception venue. Bylaws and ordinances are fancy words for rules for the local city. These are really important to research to avoid any bad surprises on your wedding day. You can call the local city hall and ask for help in understanding what the rules and regulations are for each city on Anna Maria Island. The island is comprised of 3 cities, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria, and Bradenton Beach. Each city has its own rules but most have rules regarding excessive noise and parking. If you are picturing a late night rave dance party it's best to achieve those dreams by using a restaurant, condo resort, or hall reception venue. If you are picturing your dream wedding as a casual affair with some sit down catering and close family friends a local vacation rental might do the trick. Keep in mind to ask a vacation rental host about holding any events at their property first. It's extremely important to get permission from a rental host to avoid any police intervention.

Book the Music DJ

There may be a great D.J. in your guest list that can run a decent speaker and sound system at the venue but if you want to keep things stress free you can hire a D.J. to create the reception ambiance you crave. Ask the D.J. for a music list sample to ensure they fit your style. Also keep in mind the start and end times for the music to avoid any issues with local noise ordinances.

Decide on a Date

Check out our Inside Guide to Weather on Anna Maria Island that will help you choose a month that is best suited to your ideas and experiences that you want to achieve. Keep in mind that it gets super hot in the summer and occasional showers appear that are most often short lived but in some cases longer so it's a good idea to have an alternate plan if it rains or in the event of a natural disaster. The typical hurricane season runs from August to September. The Dry Season runs from November through to April so if you want to get married stress-free of rain this may be the period best suited for your wedding.

Send out your Wedding Invitations

About 8-9 months prior to your wedding send out your wedding invitations to your guests. It's a bit trickier organizing guests for a destination wedding so don't be disappointed if some guests can't find the budget to attend. Give these guests who have to decline a great alternative to get together with you and your beloved when you return. This avoids hurt feelings for both when guests have to decline. For the guests that do attend your destination wedding be sure to spoil them with a fun but relaxed itinerary and a generous goody bag to remember the event.

What Happens if it Rains?

It's prudent to have a backup plan if it rains on your wedding or vow renewal date. Have an alternate inside or under cover location in mind. This could be a county public or private pavilion on the beach, there are a few on Anna Maria Island. You will have to book ahead of time to reserve both a public or private beach pavilion. The BeachHouse and Sandbar Restaurants both have private pavilions that are beachside. 

Figure out if you Need a Rehearsal

Beachfront destination weddings are usually more casual and don't require a rehearsal ceremony and dinner but these are things to think about. Keep in mind the logistics for guest and wedding party arrival dates to ensure the entire group will be available for a rehearsal if needed.

Decide on the Wedding Attire

A beachfront wedding gives brides and grooms a chance to have some fun when it comes to wedding attire. From fancy tropical formal wear to more laid back beach attire there are lots of options to lay out for your wedding party and guests. Flowing and loose dresses and garments may be great options during the summer months. Be prepared to walk the beach in your bare feet or choose a simple shoe, avoid high heels for an elegant walk down the aisle! Keep in mind if you are getting married on the beach the coastal winds are something to think about when it comes to hair styles like loose waves or a tight chignon.

Book Hair & MakeUp Stylists

Florida weddings on the beach are really relaxed but it is a fun idea to book hair and make up stylists to keep your day stress free for both the bride and grooms as well as the wedding party. Local hair salons will be happy to help you with your needs. It's a good idea to book a salon that is close to your accommodations if they cannot meet you at your resort or Anna Maria Island vacation rental.

Find a Wedding Photographer on Anna Maria Island

Need a professional wedding photographer on Anna Maria Island, Florida? There are many local photographers that would love to capture special moments of your wedding for you. Give your photographer a list of 'must-have' photos beforehand.

  • Erin Danielle is a local island photographer known for her casual beach portraits. Check out her portfolio on her website erindaniellephotography.com  

  • Memories by Billi has extensive experience photographing memorable moments in and around the island. Her specialties are weddings, beach and maternity portraits. MemoriesbyBilli.com.

  • Beach Blossoms Photography is another option that may be the perfect match on your special day.  beachblossomstudiophotography.com

Book a Caterer for your Wedding

We recommend the catering services of A.J.’s Island Network for planning your ceremony. A.J. and her team will cater to every detail from planning, decorations, and officiating to exquisite catering. Make sure to order the cucumber water with rosemary...a Sirenia favorite! theloft5.com

Order the Wedding Cake

You can go as simple as ordering a Publix grocery wedding cake or as fancy as ordering a custom wedding cake from one of our local vendors like Hometown Desserts. We know we've mentioned this before but it gets hot in Florida! Make sure you have a plan on where to display the wedding cake in a cool dry place at the reception!

Wedding Guest Goodie Bags

You can go as simple as some take home custom cookies or as extravigant as custom beach towels and insulated cups for guests to take home. The sky is the limit and it's as easy as ever to buy custom products online or at local printing shops. Be sure to organize this well in advance due to any unforeseen production delays.

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Photo Credit: Lasting Impressions

Island Wedding Vendor Directory

Visit the Anna Maria Island Wedding Directory on the local Chamber of Commerce website for more local event vendor information. annamariaislandweddingdirectory.com

 

This directory is a fun and informative way to meet with over 70 wedding professionals to help you carve out your dream wedding, event or vow renewal on Anna Maria Island, Florida.

There are tons of professionals to utilize from wedding planners to photographers and wedding venues. It's a great wedding resource.

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Photo Credit: Lasting Impressions

Wedding Guest Accommodations on Anna Maria Island

The first step is to decide where the wedding party is going to stay. These accommodations may require additional amenities depending on what you are planning to accomplish. You'll need to be open and honest with the host and ask their permission for any event planning details that you want on your special day. Be aware that most rental properties have cameras, noise detectors as well as party squasher products that will alert a host to any unwanted situation. it's best to be up front with your plans to avoid bad surprises. Nobody wants the local police to interrupt and put a stop to your special day.

     1. Ask the property owner or manager if you can host an event at the home.

     2. Be realistic and honest about the number of guests that you will have at the property.

     3. Include the date and start and end times that you expect to hold the event.

     4. Ask the host about any municipal restrictions such as occupancy, parking and noise restrictions.

     5. Ask the host if there is enough room for any table rentals that you will need to set up for the event.

 

Accommodation of the Wedding Party

Find the homes that you want to stay at for the bride and groom and immediate wedding party. These are the most important accommodations to book first. After the main party has been booked ask the host if they are aware of any nearby properties. The host may have more homes close by or may be helpful to point you in the direction of their fellow hosts or property manager that have rental homes close to the main wedding party property.



Anna Maria Island Home Rentals are the perfect accommodations to compliment your intimate wedding celebration. Our homes will spoil your guests with luxurious style and leave everyone with wonderful memories of your special day. We offer Sirenia Beach House and Sirenia Cove that are side by side as well as Sirenia By The Sea that is nearby.

Amenities for the Wedding Party

Ensure you ask the vacation rental host if they have the necessary items you might need during your stay. If you want champagne glasses for you and your beloved to enjoy after the caterer is gone be sure to ask the host. Things like lighters for candles, lighting around the backyard for the wedding reception are little items that may be crucial for your big day. Try to think of all the little household items you might need during your event. Also ask the host if anything like sparklers or fireworks are permitted. FYI on Anna Maria Island fireworks on private properties are not permitted.

Transportation of Wedding Guests

If you are planning on a large dinner or a reception at the property you will need to keep some logistics in mind. How will you transport the attendees to and from the wedding venue. There may be parking restrictions that you will need to think about. Think about renting some large golf carts that a groomsman can collect and transport guests to and from the wedding. It's a fun and unique way to transport the wedding guests on Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria Island Destination Wedding Photos

Tammy & Kenny's Wedding - Sirenia Cove

Our special heartfelt thanks to Tammy and Kenny for sharing their incredible wedding photos with us. Tammy and Kenny rented both Sirenia Cove and Sirenia Beach House for their wedding party. Their small reception was set in the backyard of Sirenia Cove and looked incredible. Backyard planning and decor by Lasting Impressions by Catrina. We wish them a lifetime of happiness. Congrats!

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Photo Credits: Lasting Impressions

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