Note: This post is in response to WalletHub's article published in the first quarter of 2016.
First of all, I am thrilled to announce that Orlando will be Sebastian Events wedding planning company's primary market for Florida weddings! Relocating from a large city like Chicago and moving to Florida has definitely been the right move for my career as a wedding planner. Before moving here, I had always regarded Orlando as the #1 destination for families to visit attractions such as Disney World or Sea World. And when I thought of weddings in Orlando, I had images in my mind of Cinderella marrying Prince Charming at Magic Kingdom with Mickey Mouse as the officiant and Minnie Mouse as the Maid of Honor. Which, by the way, it was announced by Disney World in May 2016 that couples can now get married in front of Cinderella's Castle in the East Garden Plaza at Magic Kingdom with a minimum investment of $25,000 just for the ceremony. Read all about it here since this post isn't just about Disney themed weddings. There are hundreds of venues in Orlando from world-class golf and spa resorts, affordable four and five-star hotels, rustic barns, churches of every denomination, museums, garden weddings, and pretty much any type venue you can imagine!
According to WalletHub's article titled 2016’s Best and Worst Cities to Get Married, Orlando is the top destination in the U.S. to host a wedding based on average wedding cost for the area compared to the national average cost of $32,641, number of venues along with quality of facilities and level of service, and number of local attractions and available activities. Orlando beats out Las Vegas (ranked 2nd) and Atlanta (ranked 3rd) as the nation's best destinations to get married. Now, the next interesting fact is that Tampa, FL comes in a close 4th on the list along with 9 other Floridian cities. Florida boasts a total of 11 cities listed in this ranking rivaled by states such as California and Texas. As a wedding planner married to an economist, I am absolutely delighted and fascinated by this report mainly due to the sheer amount of recent data regarding weddings in the US, and we just happen to live in this gorgeous state!
11 Florida Cities listed in WalletHub's 2016 Best and Worst Cities to Get Married:
- Orlando (Ranked 1st out of 150)
- Tampa (4th)
- Miami (8th)
- Ft. Lauderdale (19th)
- Tallahassee (37)
- St. Petersburg (39)
- Jacksonville (94)
- Cape Coral (104)
- Hialeah (108)
- Pembroke Pines (117)
- Port St. Lucie (135)
Based on my own recent findings, out-of-state brides and grooms choose Florida as a top wedding locale, because they typically live in a colder climate and want to tie the knot in a warmer coastal climate located within the contiguous United States during the months of September through April. Not to mention, no passports are required and the entire state is extremely family friendly. For example, November through February are the off-season wedding months for cities such as Chicago and New York City due to the frigid cold temps. Couples hire local wedding planners in Florida to act as the primary liaison between the couple and the wedding venue in addition to managing the handful of wedding vendors (i.e., photographers, florists, event designers, glam squad, DJ's, etc.) to pull off a beautiful Florida wedding. The best part is, the average wedding cost for the state of Florida is on par with the national average of $32,641. And from Orlando, you're only a 3-hour drive to stunning sea-side towns such as West Palm Beach, Naples, and St. Petersburg. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your beach bags and come on down! <3