Siesta Key is one of the most popular and beautiful beach destinations in the US. And because of that, it’s a very popular place to plan weddings, either directly on the beach, or at a venue overlooking the ocean.
There aren’t a ton of Siesta Key wedding venues available, since the island is quite small. But there are a few really popular ones that might be perfect for you, as well as a few opportunities to plan a simple wedding in the sand.
Here’s the list of the most notable places to host your Siesta Key destination wedding.
Tropical Breeze Resort
One of the most sought-after venues in the area, Tropical Breeze Resort offers you the chance to enjoy a ceremony in the sand with the Gulf of Mexico just a few steps away.
Not only is it the perfect place for your ceremony and reception, but as one of two Siesta Key wedding resorts, it’s convenient for your guests who are able to book a room, making the logistics of your wedding weekend a breeze (pun intended).
After your ceremony on the beach, your reception can be held either in the lush garden or at the Pool House. Weddings here can accommodate up to 120 guests. Since the resort is technically not on the beach, guests will need to walk or shuttle 1 block from the beach area back to the reception area (about a 5-minute walk).
Sunset Beach Resort
Sunset Beach Resort is your other option if you’re looking for Siesta Key beach resort weddings. It's just a few blocks away from Tropical Breeze, on the northern tip of Siesta Key. This venue sits directly on the beach, making it super easy to walk out for your ceremony on the sand and return to the resort for your reception.
And since it’s a resort, guests can stay on-site to make the weekend easy and hassle-free.
This property is gorgeous, however, there are a few rules and restrictions to keep in mind when planning your wedding here. For example, during turtle nesting season (May 1 to Nov 1), there’s no outside lighting allowed, so your reception will need to take place in a tent, rather than in the open air.
But most couples choose to get married between Dec and April anyways (the nice weather season), making this a non-issue for your Sunset Beach Resort Siesta Key wedding.
This Siesta Key wedding venue is an Italian restaurant and a spacious event space located near the main Siesta Key beaches. However, this venue is a few blocks away from the beach, so this isn’t the choice for those looking for a sandy ceremony.
The good news is that it’s super close, so in between your ceremony and reception, if you wanted to sneak away for some bride and groom photos on the sand, it’s totally doable.
Cafe Gabbiano can host parties of up to 150 people, and their family-style Italian dinners are always a hit. They have a large, climate-controlled outdoor patio that offers the perfect Siesta Key wedding reception space.
It's also a popular spot for wedding receptions, after couples have hosted their ceremony directly on the beach.
DIY Wedding Venues Siesta Key
You don’t have to choose one of the larger Siesta Key Beach wedding venues in order to host your wedding on this beautiful island. There are a few other options for hosting your wedding in the sand. Here are some ideas for a simpler wedding celebration.
Siesta Key Beach Weddings
You don’t need to sign on for a big package at a resort to say “I Do” in the sand. There are companies that help you set up a Siesta Key wedding ceremony right on the sand of a public or semi-private beach.
They’ll obtain a beach wedding permit for you from Sarasota County, and will set up chairs and an arbor so you can host a gorgeous, affordable ceremony with the ocean as your backdrop.
These ceremonies typically last an hour and don’t include any type of reception or party afterward. Since many couples who use this service plan smaller weddings, they will often host their reception at a vacation rental, or in a private room of a restaurant or hotel.
There are a few companies that offer this service, such as Florida Beach Weddings and Tide the Know Beach Weddings. They typically include an in-house photographer to capture your ceremony (which makes me sad), and you only get an hour’s worth of photos.
I’d still recommend you hire a photographer to capture the entirety of your wedding day and to take intimate couple portraits after the ceremony.
Vacation Rental Wedding
There are a ton of vacation rentals on Siesta Key that are capable of hosting small weddings. Many of these rentals are part of larger luxury rental companies, as opposed to one-off rentals that you might find on Airbnb. One such company is Siesta Key Luxury Rental Properties.
Either way, if you find a rental that seems like the perfect location to host your small wedding, it never hurts to ask if you can host your celebration there. There’s a lot to consider though, from noise regulations to parking, so be clear with the host when you ask.
The benefit is that you can often get a spot in a great location, with backyard or beach access, and you only have to pay the nightly rental fees.
DIY Elopement in the Sand
If you’re looking for the bare minimum when it comes to getting married on Siesta Key, then a seaside elopement might be the perfect option.
If you don’t plan to set up chairs, an arbor, or any other decor, you likely won’t need a permit from the city/county for your ceremony. If you and your guests are standing and performing the ceremony on the beach, and you aren’t blocking access for other beachgoers then you’re perfectly fine to perform your ceremony on the beach.
These types of simple elopements are becoming more and more popular. If you can, try to do yours at sunrise, when the lighting is gorgeous and there are very few people on the beach. Also, check this guide for tips on planning a beach elopement in Florida.
Siesta Key Beach Wedding Reception Ideas
So what should you do if you plan a beach wedding ceremony, but don’t have a location for your reception? Luckily, there are more Siesta Key wedding reception locations than there are ceremony locations. Plenty of restaurants on Siesta Key cater to wedding parties looking for a place to hold a casual reception.
Some of the most popular Siesta Key wedding reception venues include;
- Siesta Key Oyster Bar
- Café Gabbiano
- Clayton’s Siesta Grille
- The Cottage
- Captain Curts
- Daiquiri Deck
- Hub Baja-Grill
- Miguels French Cuisine
- Old Salty Dog
- Ophelia’s on the Bay
- Turtle’s on Siesta Bay
Otherwise, you can head back to your vacation rental for a small reception in the yard or by the pool.
Wedding Venues Near Siesta Key, FL
Yes, wedding venues in Siesta Key Florida are actually quite limited. But there are a huge number of options in the city of Sarasota, many of which overlook the water. There are also more wedding venues in neighboring Lido Key and Longboat Key, as well as Anna Maria Island, which is a bit further away.
These venues are just minutes away from Siesta Key:
- The Ritz Carlton
- Lido Beach Resort
- The Resort at Longboat Key
- The Powell Crosley Estate
- Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
- The Westin Sarasota
Book Your Wedding Photographer
Once you know where you’re getting married, and on what date, the next thing you need to do is book your wedding photographer. Photographers often book up a year or so in advance, so the earlier you reach out the better.
If you’re looking for a photographer who is familiar with Siesta Key and who understands how to work with the natural light on the beach, I’d be more than happy to shoot your wedding! My name is Kelsey and I live just a few miles away from Siesta Key.
I spend a lot of time here and take TONS of photos on the island. I would love to hear more about your wedding plans and see if we’d be a good fit to work together.
You can read more about wedding photography on Siesta Key here.