A Complete Guide to Weddings in Destin Florida: What to Consider

There’s nothing as breathtaking as a wedding on the Florida coast. As a local to the Destin area and a wedding videographer who is based in Destin, I might be a little biased…but seriously. 

There are so many beautiful places to get married in Florida. With a robust culture and a different vibe to fit every style and budget, Florida is the perfect place to plan your wedding. 

And there are so many unique places to discover outside of Miami and Disney World. One of these places is Destin! 

A few things to know about weddings in Destin Florida

Many people choose weddings in Destin Florida because of its pristine beaches, tranquil tropical atmosphere, and incredible food. Destin is well known for its fishing and fine, white-sand beaches.

There’s so much to fall in love with here in Destin. If you’re thinking of getting married here, the first place to start is a venue search! 

No need to go visit sites like The Knot or Wedding Wire. I’ll give you a list of my favorite places, as both a Destin resident and an award-winning wedding cinematographer. In this blog, we’ll cover:

  • Why Destin is the perfect place for weddings in Florida 
  • My favorite wedding venues in Destin Florida
  • What to consider when planning Destin beach weddings

Why have your wedding in Destin? 

A wedding in Florida gives you all of the perks of a tropical destination wedding without having to leave the US. Situated in the Florida panhandle, Destin is the perfect location for every type of wedding, from an intimate beach elopement to a huge celebration. 

Many couples come to Destin in search of a luxury wedding experience. This area is famous for its white sands and beautiful vibrantly colored water. You can easily find great restaurants and accommodations all over the area. Destin is also super close to the airport, so if you’re traveling for your wedding, you don’t have to worry about a long trek to get from the airport to your hotel. 

Whether you’re planning your wedding in Destin or somewhere else, one thing is certain: location matters. Your venue is the backdrop of your event. It sets the tone, determines the atmosphere, and controls the flow of guests from one part of the event to the next. As a wedding videographer in Destin, I definitely have preferred venues. Here are some of my favorites that fit many event sizes, styles, and budgets. 

My favorite wedding venues in Destin Florida

Hilton Sandestin Beach

This venue has 60,000 square feet of space to work with between their indoor and outdoor event spaces. Plan your ceremony right on the beach and meet your guests on the outdoor deck or in one of their elegant ballrooms! This venue is a great choice for large wedding parties (up to 1000 guests), though they also accommodate more intimate weddings. 

As the Hilton Sandestin Beach is a beach resort, you can easily plan a full weekend experience for yourself and your guests without ever having to leave the property! 

The Henderson

The Henderson is a great venue for couples looking for an old-charm seaside retreat. This venue accommodates weddings from 25 to 400 guests. Hold your ceremony on the beach or grand lawn and move to one of the huge ballrooms to party all night long. 

The Henderson has weekend experience packages and all of the luxury extras that come with staying in a highly-rated hotel, including a spa and a 4-diamond restaurant. 

Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village

Overlooking the Destin Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico, this venue is perfect for weddings of all sizes (10 to 1,500 to be specific). The captain’s deck has a grand staircase for you to make your entrance and exit, and if it were any closer to the water, you’d be standing in it. You can even be transported to and from your beach wedding by boat! 

With a luxurious spa and over 200 guest rooms and suites, Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village is perfect for large events, has plenty of restaurants, entertainment, and recreation, and they boast spectacular service. 

The Island by Hotel RL

This venue has been around since 1966, and its spaces are easy to style to fit every type of wedding, from beachy casual to over-the-top glamorous. They have multiple venues to choose from, including an outdoor green space that is beautiful for both ceremony and reception! The Island is located in Fort Walton, with spectacular views of the water. They even offer a unique booking incentive program for couples who get married here – every time someone books a room with your unique link, you receive a special incentive. 

If you’re looking for another great place to get married near Destin, Pensacola is another great option! Check out our blog featuring the best luxury wedding venues in Pensacola

A note about Destin beach weddings

Before you book your venue, there are a few things to know about getting married here, specifically for Destin beach weddings. 

  1. Weather 

The #1 reason couples choose Florida as their wedding destination is our spectacular weather. There are over 200 days of sunshine in Destin each year! And although the weather is often sunny, it’s not always super warm. 

Before you pick a date, make sure you check the average temperatures in Destin each month. You’ll be able to gauge what months would be best for your perfect temperature preferences. And of course, always have a backup plan in case of rain! 

  1.  How to get a Destin beach wedding permit 

If you’re going to get married on the beach, you may need a permit. If you’re choosing a private beach owned by your venue, they should already have the correct paperwork in place. 

But if you’ll be choosing a spot on the public beach, you’ll need to get a permit yourself. Beach permits in Destin for weddings and other events can be obtained on the City of Destin’s website. 

And while you’re at it, make sure you know how to get your marriage license! You can learn more about obtaining a marriage license in Destin on the Destin Chamber’s website.  

  1. Crowds & Parking

Destin can get pretty crowded during the summer. Parking can be difficult and beaches are often packed with people. Make sure you leave vendors and guests enough time to find adequate parking. 

A Destin beach wedding might not be the serene, romantic celebration you’re envisioning. Getting married on the beach means dealing with many factors that are out of your control. These include the hot sun, crowds, and noise. There might be trash on the beach. Someone’s bright orange umbrella could totally ruin your vibe. 

I’m not saying don’t have a Destin beach wedding – they can really be beautiful and fun. Just make sure you consider all of the factors before you decide! 

The perfect Destin wedding videographer for luxury weddings

Once you’ve picked the perfect venue, it’s time to start building your vendor team. 

Many couples don’t think of wedding videographers at the beginning of planning, but having a wedding film to remember and relive your day is so valuable. As the owner of Dalton Young Films, I’ve made it my mission to provide couples with the highest quality service and video production available in Destin. 

As a local to Destin, I have tons of advice, and I’m here to help you with any part of the planning process you might need! When you’re ready to discuss your wedding film, I’m here. Just visit my website to schedule your consultation! I can’t wait to chat with you. 

And in the meantime, check out the other posts on our blog to help make the planning process as smooth as possible. You can learn more about weddings and wedding venues in Destin Florida and surrounding areas.