Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Venue Five: Bentley's on the Bay

Nestled on the Choctawhatchee Bay in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla., Bentley's on the Bay offers a unique alternative to the beach wedding. The setting is beautiful and offers a much more private location than the very public gulf front.

"Beach" area for outdoor ceremonies

Outdoor reception area:

Part covered

Part uncovered

LOVE the dramatic strung lights on the deck


Indoor reception area

The low-down on Bentley's:
Bentley's is unique. To me, that's a huge draw. And it's private. It is nice to know that you wouldn't have randos wandering around in the background or maybe even the foreground of your beach wedding ceremony. Also, the bridal suite at Bentley's is gorgeous!

The biggest drawback of Bentley's is the fact that there is nowhere for people to stay on the property. I love my family and friends too much to allow them to face that deadly option, the option of drinking and driving. I'd much rather have a place where everyone can stay at the same place-- and how much more fun is that anyway?

While on the tour of Bentley's, we were told they have a second venue that isn't even open yet, Havana Blue.. A brand new venue? Now, you're talking my language. So, we headed across the street to check it out. Forget Bentley's we wanted Havana Blue!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Venue Four: Seaside

With it's brightly colored, unique homes, fun beach-inspired boutiques and seafront eateries, Seaside is a picturesque beach town.

The Chapel

Outdoor reception area across from the Chapel

It's surrounded by cute little boutiques and beautiful trees.

Stage area

Unrelated mermaid painting that I passed walking around in Seaside, but I just thought it was AWESOME!

Again, unrelated, but how beautiful?! I need this on my front porch.

The low-down on Seaside:
Seaside is picturesque. Beautiful. Quaint. Happening. Everything you want on a beach vacation. There is always something going on in Seaside from concerts to daily specials at Bud & Alley's. Like some venue options before, Seaside is PERFECT for a vaction, but if you ask me, there's just a little too much going on for a wedding. A little self-centered, yes, but doesn't every bride want to be the center of attention on her big day? There are just too many people and too much going on to have your day feel special. I don't want to be lost in a crowd on my wedding day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Venue Three: Alys Beach

All I can say about Alys beach is that it is a Mediterranean oasis on the Emerald Coast. Tropical extravagance.

These photos are all of the Caliza Pool. Too gorgeous for words.

This would be the aisle.. can you just imagine?? Stunning.

Ceiling detail. Just fabulous.

And this... This is the Gulf Green.

If I could close my eyes and imagine where I would get married.. it would be here. It makes me heart flutter just a bit. Right beyond the beautiful pillars is the gulf. I was devastated to learn that they will doing construction in this area next year.

The low-down on Alys:
Alys Beach is stunning, but unfortunately it is much more a fantasy than a reality. Because with it's beauty comes a hefty price tag. You will run into a $10,000 venue fee and a $5,000 clean up fee to rent just the Caliza Pool! YIKES. The other drawback is that aside from the beautiful pool and homes, there isn't too much else at Alys Beach. It is more of an oasis for those fortunate enough to vacation here. So I say, fantasy vacation-YES, wedding-NO.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Venue Two: Rosemary Beach

The next stop on our venue journey took us to the beautiful Rosemary Beach.

The West Green with a glimpse of downtown Rosemary.

The West Green.

Beach Access area with Bath houses.

Town Hall - LOVE this.

Inside of the Town Hall.

The little green next to the Town Hall.

Entrance to the Barbados Pool.

The Coquina Pool.

The low-down on Rosemary Beach:
Rosemary is gorgeous. Let's just cut to the chase. Everywhere you look families are laughing, riding bikes and just loving life. You can't help but feel like you have magically appeared in an Italian beach town once you step foot in Rosemary. From the architecture to the town square areas, this little beach haven will steal your heart. The West & East (not pictured) Greens are perfect for an outdoor tented wedding. And I LOVE the Town Hall. It is stunning inside and out and can hold around 250 people. Their a 4 pools, 2 of which are pictured. Each one is unique and all can serve as wonderful rehearsal dinner areas. The downfall to Rosemary is the cost and the hoops you must jump through to have your wedding there. Requirements include 3 house rentals for 4 days each, security guards, and following the alternating green policy. What? That's what I said. Chances are there will be another wedding happening at the same time as yours on a different part of the property. For vacations, Rosemary can make you feel like a very special guest, but when it comes to weddings, you feel more like a number.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Venue One: Carillon Beach

We will start with the original, the first venue that stole my heart: Carillon Beach.

The chapel. How you speak to me. If only you held more than 90 people.

The garden surrounding the chapel. The trees are strung with lights. Mmmmm I love you.

The Village Green, a popular reception area.

Market Street! The strung lights are fabulous at night.

Market Street from the other direction with the chapel in the background. Pretty. Pretty.

The low-down on Carillon:
Quaint beach town feel with gorgeous homes and a little downtown area. Carillon's beachfront and walkways to the beach are the prettiest along the Emerald Coast in my opinion. They have an in-house wedding coordinator, Carillon Weddings by Victoria, which is run by Victoria Volpone and her assistant Avis. They are WONDERFUL. (And Avis is a UGA graduate. GO DAWGS!) Coordination fees are included in the venue fees, which is rare and a wonderful service. They require that you use vendors from their preferred vendor list, but the vendors they have selected are all top notch. Though we love all of the selected vendors, there is not much wiggle room to minimize costs by using friends or other connections.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The venue dilemma

And we're back!! My Sailor is home and life is good. Stressful, but good. The beach was wonderful, but it made choosing the venue even tougher. Each place we visited was more beautiful than the next! And just to make things more interesting, as soon as we hit Front Beach Rd. I got an email from Carillon. Their wedding program is back on! Since we had already made the trek, we went ahead and explored some other options. In the next few posts, I will share pictures and a little info from each place we visited. Hope you enjoy!

P.S. We have already chosen the venue! I will reveal it at the end of this little posting series. Feel free to give us some feedback and try to guess which one we chose. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My ship has come in!

At 5:30 tomorrow morning, I will be reunited with my love! I cannot begin to say how excited and overwhelmed with emotion I am. He has been gone since mid April and with him he took my heart. I will be so glad to have it back tomorrow! Please forgive my lack of posts in the next couple days. We will be taking some much needed time together. We will also be going down to the beach to scout a new location for our wedding. I will post pictures of our options next week. Love you all!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Romona Keveza Dress

Okay, so I know that I have completely sworn off looking at dresses until after my Sailor and I finish p90x, but I saw this Romona Keveza dress via the Southern Weddings Magazine blog and I just can't resist. Oh. My. Lanta. I'm in love.

Photography: Incontrast Images
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