Renting a beach house for a wedding transforms your wedding into something that feels like a beach wedding combined with a vacation or family reunion. Moreover, if you pick the right Florida beach house wedding, you can have privacy. Key Largo Lighthouse Beach is trusted as the Florida Keys wedding destination for the most private and bespoke houses to rent for weddings.
How much is a beach house wedding?
Read Matt and Laura’s story and discover how to stretch your wedding budget wisely.
Florida Beach House Wedding Rentals
Privacy and Time – Unlike a wedding ceremony and reception at a hotel or resort, renting the right beach house for your wedding means you will be with your closest friends and family 24 hours a day in privacy. A Florida beach house wedding is not just one afternoon or evening. Nor is it limited to just your wedding reception or wedding ceremony. You can have a rehearsal dinner the night before and brunch the morning after the wedding. You will be together all day every day enjoying your friends and family and meeting your new extended family and friends. And it is all done in privacy. You create an atmosphere where new friendships happen automatically.
Not all beach houses to rent for weddings in Florida are fit to support a wedding – Before you plan on renting a beach house for a wedding, there are some mandatory considerations.
“Nobody can fix a bad wedding venue. Not even the best wedding planner.”
27 Attributes that make renting a beach house for a wedding a viable wedding venue.
Before you rent a Florida beach house as your wedding venue, be aware of potential obstacles.
Certainly, the proximity to a major airport is essential. You have guests coming to your wedding from all over the country on different airlines and arrival times. A major airport makes your guests scheduling easier, and it simply costs less to fly to a major airport. Our beach house wedding venues (Hidden Beach and Coral Beach) are located near Florida’s largest airport, Miami International. A $200 – $500 per ticket savings is possible. That equals $20,000 to $50,00 savings on a 100 person wedding.
You need sufficient quality hotels nearby. Nearby and quality are the keywords. Don’t rent a Florida beach house wedding venue that doesn’t have many hotels in all price ranges available very nearby. Further, pick a Florida beach house wedding rental that has negotiated rates for you at the better hotels. There should be a discount and also a plan whereby you don’t need to do a room block. If you don’t know, a hotel room block should be avoided. It is a way to ensure there are rooms for your guests by guaranteeing the hotel with your credit card. If not enough guests come to your wedding, or if your guests decide to stay in a different hotel, you could be hit with a huge bill by the hotel.
3. Local Services:
A pharmacy, food store, restaurants, car rental. Renting a beach house for a wedding in an area that can’t support your wedding group creates continual “where do I go for this?” issues.
4. Traffic Problems:
Some beach houses are located on inadequate streets and in locations that are a nightmare to get to on weekends. To be sure ask questions.
6. Proximity To Residential Areas:
Generally speaking, this is a hard one and disqualifies almost all beach house rentals for weddings in Florida for use as a wedding venue. Beach house weddings can’t be in a residential neighborhood where houses are close to one another if you plan on having a wedding DJ or band, or even loud music. Amplified music will travel well over 1,000 ft. In busy vacation neighborhoods. You aren’t only affecting the next-door neighbor whom you might invite over for a beer to console, people blocks away might complain. Meanwhile, your music is reverberating through the entire neighborhood, and a complaint to the police can come from anywhere.
In many localities a complaint means your party is terminated. In fact, local residents won’t easily tolerate your “noise”. And they don’t have to. It is time to use Google maps satellite view to see if there are neighbors nearby. After all it could be a house or mainly a hotel that will force you to keep the volume low.
“Proximity to other houses disqualifies almost all beach house rentals for use as a wedding venue.”
7. Local Ordinances:
Local ordinances. What time is the music curfew for your wedding DJ or band? Almost all municipalities have one. Also, parking can be a huge problem. Expect one car for every two people attending your wedding.
Over the fence privacy – The main idea of renting a beach house for a wedding is privacy and being alone with your family. Are neighbors going to be watching everything you do? I would pay particular attention to fences and neighbors in the area of your events. But what you thought was private might look very public.
9. Disgruntled Neighbors:
DJ’s have told me about many Florida beach house weddings where the neighbors were intent on undermining the wedding. All the way to running noisy leaf blowers during the ceremony. Let’s face it, if you own a home and someone decides to turn the beach house next door into a busy wedding venue, you may be upset too. Loud music, lots of traffic, garbage, people. The best thing to do is check reviews and look for hints about neighborhood problems.
10. East vs. West:
East vs. West – you want to face the sunset. You need a westerly facing wedding ceremony. Any couple, dreams of a sunset wedding. The two of you are standing on a beach and taking your vows can’t be more romantic. Any wedding photographer will tell you that the last hour of light before sunset is called the “Golden Hour.” It is the light that gives that golden glow that can’t be reproduced in Photoshop.
11. Zoning, Permits, Licenses:
Many property owners rent beach houses for weddings in Florida without proper zoning, permitting, or licensing. So, on the day you rent a beach house for your wedding everything might look good. Sure, the owner may get away with it for a while. But then, sometime in the next year as your wedding day approaches, that beach house you rented for your wedding is closed for violations. You need to scramble to find a new beach house venue for your wedding at a time when all the best Florida Beach Houses to rent for a wedding are already booked. And good luck with getting your money back. That owner has bigger problems.
Not all sand is created equal. Our sand packs down pretty hard which make it perfect for driving or parking a car, walking and especially dancing. For example, just sitting in a chair without sinking in is the first thing you should look into. Since many Florida beach house wedding rentals have sand way too soft and impossible to have a fun time on.
13. Vendors and Corruption:
Many beach house wedding venues promote vendors because they get a cut. I don’t allow it at our wedding venues. Because it costs you money in several ways.
14. Information Easily Accessible:
There should be a website or less likely, printed matter. I may have taken this to the extreme at Key Largo Lighthouse Beach. This site is the largest and most complete of any website in the United States. It is a lot of work, but well worth it. We get compliments every day that our website has everything the bride and groom are looking for.
Easy to understand. If you don’t get it, it is probably not you that is the problem. But do check carefully. Ask a lot of questions. If you are getting double talk and half-sentences ask a lot more questions. I can price an entire wedding at our beach houses in less than a minute.
Packages help the booking and planning process – Any venue should have wedding packages. The idea isn’t that it is cheaper. It isn’t. The reason you want packages is the simplification. You quickly get a feeling for what the wedding caterer is good at. And it is much easier to change something that is already working than to sit down with a blank sheet of paper.
17. On-Site Parking:
Where are you going with those 30 -100 cars?
In this case a space big enough for your family to spread out. There should be room for volleyball and other games and at the same time, your wedding ceremony and reception.
19. Quality Control, Management, and Staff:
If you aren’t getting good customer service during the sales process, beware. Excellence is something that begins with management and filters through every fiber of the business. If you are getting positive feedback early, it follows that employees are caring, well-managed, trained, and interested in your wedding. Look for house rentals for weddings in Florida that have some style and grace. At the least people should be polite and organized. What traits you discover before the wedding will follow through your entire event.
20. The condition of Property:
You are renting a beach house for a wedding, not a spring break weekend. Check the photos on the website and check reviews. If you have an uneasy feeling and have no way to visit the site yourself, befriend some of the vendors that the venue recommends. Ask them a lot of questions about the wedding venue. They know.
“I can’t think of anything worse. When the sewer system backs up, the entire party stops and there is no solution.”
21. Amenities and Infrastructure:
The most forgotten element when brides rent a beach house for their wedding is infrastructure.
a) You need bathrooms, lots of them.
And those bathrooms need to be connected to a septic system that can handle a load of your party for several days. A normal home septic system isn’t designed to handle large parties. Weddings are ruined every weekend because a sewer system backs up. I can’t think of anything worse. When the sewer system backs up, the entire party stops, and there is no solution. If the beach house is used every week by families, the load is light, and there is never a problem. But when you put a large group on the property for a couple of days, by the time of your wedding reception the beach house septic system is overloaded and backs up. Again, there is no solution.
b) Rent a trailer bathroom.
Before the sewer backs up there is something you can do. About $1,500 for the weekend will rent a trailer bathroom with 2 or 3 separate bathrooms. It is a large trailer with multiple bathrooms built in. They are beautiful bathrooms with flushing toilets, a working sink, and no odor. It is always a good idea, so much more gracious than people wandering through the house you are living in. I feel so strongly that we include one in the price of all our rentals. There is one downside. You will need one dedicated circuit to operate the lights and A/C. Your beach house probably doesn’t have a spare 20 amp circuit in the area the trailer needs to park.
c) Electrical power.
Not only you need electrical outlets and lights in all areas, but you also need a lot of circuits. I will explain. Every outlet or light is connected to a wire that leads back to a circuit breaker in an electrical panel. But that same wire (and circuit breaker) can be attached to multiple outlets and lights. If too many things are connected to one circuit, the breaker trips. Another thing you can’t fix on the wedding day. You need a property set up for large parties where multiple circuits (wires and circuit breakers) have been installed by an electrician. It is an expensive process. At Key Largo Lighthouse Beach there are 10 separate circuits in the wedding reception area alone. We have an individual circuit just for the DJ. And other circuits for lighting, food service, food prep.
Lighting is something you can add yourself, but the venue should already have it installed. Installing excellent lighting for your wedding can cost several thousand dollars. For this reason is something that needs to be addressed by the property owner. They should have a permanent lighting installation so that all brides use the same lights. A permanent installation means the cost is spread across many weddings and the cost to the owner is very low.
Hope for the best but plan for the worst. A Florida beach house wedding means it is an outdoor wedding. If it rains, you need a plan “B.” Check to see that the beach house you are renting has a backup. It should be free. We provide backup for 130 guests and can easily add more for the largest weddings.
23. Dressing Room:
Is there a beautiful and private area for you and all your wedding party to get ready. Remember you need room for hair styling and makeup, not just dressing.
Experience, longevity – How many weddings have taken place at your beach house rental. Search Google for reviews and the “name of the property.” Then check other beach house rentals. As a result, you will see a pattern. The busier Florida beach house wedding venues definitely will have more reviews on third party sites.
Always ask for a contract. It should be a very simple matter to email you a blank contract. But if it seems difficult, beware. It means that your beach house rental doesn’t do many of them.
The best and the busiest Florida beach house wedding venues will have a sales process. Therefore if you wait over 12 hours for a response, something is wrong.
27. Initial Gut Feeling:
Your brain is a powerful thing. If something seems wrong, ask a lot of questions. And be ready to cut and look for another beach house wedding venue for your celebration.