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Beach Wedding Venues

by S. Lynne on October 23rd, 2023

Planning a beach wedding on the Gulf Coast is a dream come true for many couples. With its stunning turquoise waters, pristine sandy beaches, and breathtaking sunsets, this location offers the perfect backdrop for a romantic and unforgettable celebration. From selecting the ideal beachfront venue to choosing the perfect coastal decor, planning a beach wedding on the Gulf Coast involves attention to detail. Some couples work with experienced wedding planners, who will ensure that every aspect of the event, from the ceremony to the reception, is tailored to their unique vision. From organizing beach permits, arranging for accommodations, and coordinating transportation for out-of-town guests, a wedding planner will help create a truly magical experience for the couple and their loved ones.

While some of these venues offer facilities that can be reserved ahead of time, others are group and wedding-friendly locations where a bride and groom, along with a small wedding party, may choose a simple ceremony that allows friends to gather on the beach in front of the property where they are staying. There is usually no dedicated space or privacy for this style wedding, but it can be the most hassle-free and just what some couples want.

On the upper Gulf Coast, fall is usually the best time to plan this style wedding because the beaches are less crowded, the weather is usually perfect and the lighting is ideal for photos. Check with your property manager before you make a reservation to see if there are any facilities available for rent or any fees. Most will say you are on your own and welcome to get married on the beach. Or, you may learn you need to secure a permit for any gathering on the beach, especially for a wedding. Be sure to check ahead of time.

Most public beach parks charge a small fee for hosting a wedding. Resort properties that cater to weddings will offer more services and fees. See our selections of beach wedding venues below to find the best one for you.

Destin Beach Wedding Venues

Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

Wedding Venue at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort

One of Northwest Florida’s largest and most beautiful resorts, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort boasts a large choice of venue options, plus onsite wedding coordinators, a catering team, spa services, stylish shopping boutiques, and luxurious accommodations for the whole wedding party.

Sandpiper Cove

The private beach in front of the resort is the most popular wedding venue at Sandpiper Cove.

In addition to a private beach, Sandpiper Cove features an event center that may be reserved for a wedding and/or reception. It has a large deck overlooking the golf course and inside seating for 75 guests in a spacious, open room. Or, for a smaller gathering you can choose to get married right on the beautiful white sand beach.


You will need a permit at any beach on Okaloosa Island from Waterscape Resort all the way to the western end of the beach in front of El Matador. Call 850-689-5790 for a permit, preferably at least two weeks in advance. (However, you can always call the day of your wedding if necessary. The beaches are well patrolled and will not allow even small gatherings without a permit paid for in advance.) Many wedding planners or couples also reserve one of the two pavilions at John Beasley Park as a backup plan in case of rain. The hotels and condos to the east of Waterscape — including The Island Resort (featured below) — sit on privately owned beaches, so you won’t need a county permit for those locations. Contact onsite management for information regarding your wedding plans as soon as you know your wedding date.

If you prefer an inside, more elaborate venue for a large crowd (300 to 3,000), the Destin / Fort Walton Beach Conference Center is right across the highway from Waterscape Resort. While it’s not a wedding-specific venue, they do occasionally host weddings in the ballroom or in one of the meeting rooms. Most conference facilities in the area are limited to around 250 guests. (If you need a DJ, call Kevin Price, 859-806-9612 for a small wedding or other family-friendly event.)

El Matador

El Matador Resort Condominium‘s location next to 17 miles of uninhabited beach ensures peace and privacy for your special day. El Matador’s’ Fiesta Room features its own state-of-the-art kitchen, making it ideal for weddings, receptions, and other special events. Also onsite is The Lounge, a smaller community room with full kitchen and bar that’s perfect for smaller groups. Call today to learn more about planning your beach wedding at this beautiful 12-acre resort on Okaloosa Island.

Waterscape Resort

Waterscape Resort is one of the hottest vacation spots on the Emerald Coast. This Fort Walton beachfront resort is also a great choice for a memorable wedding. In addition to its private beach, this amenity-packed resort offers a multi-level courtyard with swaying palms that includes a waterfall, multiple pools spacious hot tubs, and a Lazy River — all beautiful backdrops for some bridal photos. With over 200 guest rooms, there’s plenty of space to accommodate a crowd — especially when you book in advance for spring, fall or even winter (October books up early for fall break). Call a BeachGuide vacation planner at 888-698-1488 seven days a week for some expert advice on room choices and to make reservations. These vacation planners can also help you find nearby Fort Walton Beach restaurants and plan other memorable excursions just as yacht charters or a Tiki cruise for the pre-wedding festivities.

The Island Resort Hotel

Weddings at The Island Resort Fort Walton Beach are truly magical and unforgettable. This stunning beachfront resort is the perfect backdrop for a picturesque wedding ceremony, reception, welcome dinner, bridesmaid luncheon, and even a post-wedding brunch. This multi-venue resort offers couples plenty of choices both inside and right on the beach. With its pristine white sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, couples can exchange vows with the sound of the waves crashing in the background. The resort offers a variety of wedding packages to suit different preferences and budgets. The dedicated and experienced wedding planners at The Island Resort go above and beyond to create personalized and seamless experiences, taking care of every detail from start to finish. From exquisite decorations and floral arrangements to delicious catering options and accommodations for guests, The Island Resort Fort Walton Beach guarantees a truly extraordinary wedding experience.


Edgewater Beach Resort

Sitting on 110 beautifully landscaped acres, Edgewater Beach Resort offers plenty of wedding venues. Amenities include two onsite restaurants, multiple swimming pools and hot tubs, a health club and spa, and tennis and shuffleboard courts, so there’s plenty for guests to do, before and after the wedding.

Holiday Inn Resort

Facilities at this Gulf-front property include a conference center, a swimming pool with a tropical waterfall, and onsite dining.

Resort Collection Weddings

Offering wedding packages that include a beachside ceremony, Resort Collection works to customize everything, from the bachelor/bachelorette engagement parties to the reception. They also offer vow renewal ceremonies.


Paradise Beach Homes

Beachfront vacation homes make excellent beach wedding venues.

Paradise Beach Homes manage vacation rentals that range from large homes that sleep up to 30 guests, to spacious townhomes to condos. All are on or near Pensacola Beach or Navarre Beach, Florida. Some have their own swimming pools, and many welcome pets, too! Visit Paradise Beach Home’s collection of event-friendly homes.


Gulf Shores Rentals

couple getting married on the beach in Gulf Shores

Offering houses and townhomes as well as condos, Gulf Shores Rentals has accommodations available in Orange Beach as well as Gulf Shores. Guests have access to swimming pools, tennis courts, and other recreational facilities. Some of the homes even boast their own private pool.

The Lighthouse Condominiums

One of the most popular resorts in Gulf Shores, The Lighthouse sits on 635 feet of private beach, so there’s plenty of room for a Gulf-front ceremony without feeling crowded. Bride, groom, and guests will appreciate the property’s stylishly decorated condos, all with stunning views of the beach. There are also two Gulf-front zero-entry pools, a heated indoor pool, and two hot tubs.


Perdido Beach Resort

Ideally situated on the beach, with views of the Pass, Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach is a beautiful choice for a beachfront wedding. Brides can choose between indoor and outdoor venues with options that suit 20 to 500 guests. From the rehearsal dinner to the farewell brunch, Perdido Beach Resort can create the wedding of your dreams.

Summer House on Romar

Another beautiful Gulf-front resort, Summer House offers plenty of private beach space as well as a covered poolside gazebo that is an ideal setting for a small ceremony. There’s also plenty of room for a few guests to gather on the pool deck outside the gazebo.

Looking for vendors for your destination beach wedding?

Visit or and use the directory of services to find florists, wedding planners, invitations, musicians, bridal attire and everything you need to plan your perfect wedding!

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