DESTIN - The World's Luckiest Fishing Village is quickly becoming lucky in other aspects.

Destin has become a popular destination wedding location as brides and grooms nationwide find the white sand, emerald water and gorgeous sunsets are perfect props for their “I do’s.”

But when it comes to planning, most couples quickly learn that beach weddings are in many ways completely different from traditional indoor weddings.

To avoid a fiasco on that special day, local wedding vendors have offered advice for planning beach nuptials.


Take it from the locals: Beach weddings are not ideal in the middle of the hot summer months in Destin.

Event Planner Tiffany Merrell of Vibe Productions said from her experience, beach weddings are perfect in the cooler months in Destin.

“Beach weddings are best when you’re not fighting the Florida heat and humidity,” Merrell said. “Schedule a wedding for spring (April or May) or fall (October or November) and your guests will enjoy cooler temperatures while you walk the aisle.”

Expert advice: Pair a sweet and simple beach ceremony with an indoor reception and your wedding can continue in style and comfort for you and your guests.


Every bride dreams of the perfect wedding dress, and while she may envision a beautiful flowing train or a curvy mermaid tail, a beach wedding often requires a different style.

“Find a dress that allows ample movement and is not restrictive when you walk,” Merrell said. “Strolling down our soft, sandy beaches requires a little finesse, so a gown that is tight around the calves or thighs can make the walk tricky.”

Debbie West, owner of Simply Elegant Bridal in Fort Walton Beach, had several helpful tips for would-be beach brides.

"We would say that light and airy dresses are ideal for beach weddings," West said. "Look for a dress with breathable fabrics like silk organza or chiffon. Beading details are especially beautiful on beach wedding dresses because the sun picks up the shine so wonderfully. And last thing, not to forget: wedges not heels, or better yet, barefoot."

Expert advice: A strapless or sleeveless (dress) top won’t leave you sweaty or uncomfortable in the sun, and it’s best to avoid trains that would drag.


If you are planning a destination wedding, the best way to is to rely on the expertise of those who know the area best: local wedding professionals.

Merrell suggests hiring a company that specializes in beach ceremony rentals and setups. They will know what permits are needed and will take care of all the setup and breakdown so the newlyweds will have much less to worry about.

Elizabeth Damiani, head coordinator for Crystal Beach Weddings, added that a tried-and-true beach ceremony company can handle this detail for brides.

“We (Crystal Beach Weddings) get the permits and have the couple pay for the permit at the time of signing,” Damiani said.

Expert Advice: Smaller guest counts work best for beach weddings since they require less setup and breakdown.


Beach weddings are stunning, but there are a few laws in Destin that are worth noting before planning your event.

For example, glass is not permitted on our beaches, and there is a law about fireworks/Chinese lanterns as well.

“Glass on the beach could bring along a citation and fine,” Merrell said. “So be careful with your details as you bring your planning.”

Expert Advice: Booking a group of rooms with a condo or beach resort not only offers a great group discount on pricing, but also gives bride access to the private beach area.