TOP 10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE A BEACH DESTINATION WEDDING IN GULF SHORES, ORANGE BEACH OR FORT MORGAN

So you just got engaged and you’re looking for the most perfect place on earth to have your wedding.  Most will agree the beach is indeed at the top of a very short list of amazing places.  Whether the beach is made of stones, pebbles, or soft sugar white sand like the 32 miles along the Alabama Gulf Coast, the beach is undeniably a place where Cupid can usually be found.  Love seems to blossom and thrive among the sea oats and palms that grow in coastal environments.  With seagulls serenading from overhead and the occasional dolphin school splashing just off shore, the beach is definitely romantic by nature.  Having your wedding ceremony in this perfect outdoor chapel will take a little planning, but it is not out of reach.

 

Here are ten reasons why you should make the beach your wedding destination location::

 

 

1       A BEACH WEDDING IS ROMANTIC AND NATURALLY ELEGANT

The beach is simply romantic by nature.  There’s nothing quite like spending a day on the warm sand, feeling the Gulf breeze on your skin as the waves kiss the shore.  It’s a bit like a fairy-tale venue, but its  located right here in Alabama.  Who wouldn’t want to say “I do” in such a special place with the Gulf of Mexico as the perfect backdrop?  Whether you’re planning to hold your ceremony on a beach in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan, be sure to check to see if there are any reservations or permitting requirements.  There are a few guidelines for using Alabama State Park beaches.  They aren’t unreasonable, but brides-to-be should definitely start here when making plans to hold a wedding ceremony on a state park beach.  If you plans include holding a wedding on a private beach near your beach house or condo, you should first check with your rental management company and be sure to follow their guidelines.  Sunset Properties will be happy to quickly get you in touch with the right folks when you stay with us.

 

2       YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WILL CAPTURE SOME FABULOUS PICTURES

They say there’s a time and place for everything under the sun.  Beach weddings are no exception!  You already know the beach is the perfect place for your destination wedding, but what about the timing?  And the sun?  Although there is actually no bad time to take pictures at the beach, great photography often depends on lighting. And what is a better form of lighting than the sun?  Whether you’re wanting a morning, mid-day or evening wedding, we want your wedding photos to be amazing!  To help make sure your pictures reflect all the love you and your partner share on your special day, contact the good folks at Sun Shots Photography  or Chasing the Son Photography.  They will work with you to determine your goals for your wedding album.  They will meet you at the beach or your location of preference and make every effort to capture your memories just the way you want them done.

 

3       OBTAINING A MARRIAGE LICENSE IS SIMPLE AND CLERGY ARE AVAILABLE

Because Bay Minette is the Baldwin County Seat, our courthouse is just a short drive from our fabulous beaches.  Licenses are issued Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00AM and 3:00PM.  It’s a good idea to check out all the guidelines on getting a marriage license in Baldwin County, Alabama by following this marriage license information link.  Do you need a minister?  With so many churches around the island, Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan are sure to be home to a minister or clergy member who will fill your need.  For a list of local churches, check with churchfinder.com or contact our Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau to find the perfect person to lead your ceremony.

 

 

4       AWARD WINNING CATERING IS JUST A CLICK AWAY

You can’t plan a wedding without planning a reception.  And what’s a great reception without great food?  Orange Beach Concierge  and Chef David Pan area ready to help you.  Chef Pan, First Place winner of the 11th Annual National Shrimp Festival Restaurant Challenge, and his team are not only local favorites, but favorites among island guests, as well.  In addition to winning the Restaurant Challenge, Chef Pan and his team will host  the 47th Annual National Shrimp Festival Wrap Up Party. Need a place to hold your rehearsal dinner or reception? Check with Tillie at Orange Beach Concierge.  They have an event space at The Wharf that just may be the perfect venue for your gathering.

 

 

5       ACCESS TO THE BEACH BY CAR OR AIR IS EASY

With Interstate 10 about 30 miles away and Interstate 65 only about 60 miles away, accessing the Alabama Gulf Coast by automobile is pretty easy from just about anywhere. Once you exit off an interstate, Gulf Shores Parkway (AL Hwy 59) and the Baldwin and Foley Beach Express Highways make getting onto our island a breeze.  Did you know we have an airport, too?  Yep!  That’s right.  Gulf Shores is home to a wonderful airport.  If your favorite mode of transportation is by air, Jack Edwards International Airport may just be your first stop in our area.  No matter how you get here, we know that once you arrive with your special day just ahead of you, you will not be disappointed.  Will you need transportation once you get here?  Limousine and taxi services are available on our island.  Contact Luxury Limo if you need an elegant ride for you or your wedding party.  If a not-so-formal mode of transportation is what you desire, consider any one of fine taxi services .

 

 

6       YOUR DRESS CAN BE AS FORMAL OR AS LAID BACK AS YOU ARE

One of the most special things a bride does in preparation for her wedding day is choose her dress.  So many times, her dress sets the tone for the whole affair.  One of the coolest things about a beach wedding is you dress can be as individualized as you are and your wedding will still be perfect.  What do I mean?  Well, if a formal wedding is what you’re heart is wishing for, then you’re in luck.  Reach out to one of our local wedding planners, get your chairs and red carpet aisle scheduled and wear that spectacular formal gown as you cross a beautiful Alabama beach like a princess on your way to meet her prince.  If your style is a bit more laid back and you’d rather be barefooted on the warm sand as you say your vows with your sweetheart, well, that will work great, too!  About the only thing I haven’t seen (so far) is a mermaid wedding.  Would you like to have a mermaid wedding?  If that appeals to you, again I say:  the beach is the perfect destination wedding location to make your special dream come true!

 

 

7       FLOWERS AND WEDDING DECORATIONS ARE AVAILABLE LOCALLY

While the beach, itself, sets a perfect backdrop for a fantasy wedding, you’re probably going to want to dress it up (even if only just a tad bit) with some flowers and maybe a few candles.  You’ll probably want to get some gift baskets for your wedding party or special guests, too.

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are home to some of the most talented florists anywhere.  The skilled staff at Flowers by the Shore has been serving the Gulf Coast for over 20 years.  Check out their website for pictures of their colorful bouquets, cut flowers, fine wines and gift baskets.  The staff there is so accommodating!  After all, you don’t stay in business for 20 years in a small town if you don’t have excellent customer service.

Another option for flowers and gift baskets is All Island Flowers.  Browse their website to see the most popular floral arrangements currently trending on the Gulf Coast.  If you want to add a little color to your special day, either of these florists should be able to get you just what your heart desires.

 

 

8       ENTERTAINING YOUR GUESTS AT YOUR RECEPTION IS A BREEZE

So you have the perfect reception in mind.  You secured your venue or outdoor space and you have the caterer all lined up.  What about the music?  Sure a live band would be great, but if that’s not quite the option you were looking for, how about a live DJ?  Gulf Shores’ own Damon Collins – Event Disc Jockey has been entertaining wedding parties for over 20 years along the Gulf Coast.  As an owner of three FM radio stations, he has the experience to help make your event fun and entertaining.  And boy does he bring the music!  He has more songs in his music library than most of us can count.  He also offers a karaoke option and is very easy to work with.  Lighting and speakers are all provided.  Check out his interactive website and, go ahead, start to choose your special music for your special day.

 

 

9       YOUR HONEYMOON STARTS THE MOMENT YOU SAY “I DO”

Think about it.  Your honeymoon really does start the moment you say “I do”.  No traveling required.  You’re already here!  And you’re married to your best friend in the whole world!  Most people have their weddings somewhere else and drive to the beach for their honeymoon, but you made the great decision to do it all in one place.  You chose to share your special beach destination wedding with your guests and now it’s time for you and your spouse to have your special time together.  Sunset Properties has an extensive list of rental properties available for your stay both before and after your wedding.  Would your whole wedding party like to stay together?  Check out Wit’s Inn or Fort of Fun or Sea Turtle . These amazing beach homes sleep from ten to twenty people comfortably.  Would you prefer your guests stay in the same building but not in the same home?  Consider reserving several condos at The Dunes or The Indies.  But what about your own special place for after your wedding?  We have a couple of suggestions for that, too.  Of course you could reserve your own private one bedroom condo at The Dunes or The Indies.  You might like Beachview 223 or Moorings 414.  If you’d rather spend your first week as a married couple in a beach home instead of a condo, give Rookery 1902 and the Boathouse a look.  Need more suggestions?  Just contact us directly at info@sunsetproperties.com and we will be happy to help!

 

 

10     YOUR BEACH DESTINATION WEDDING IS MORE AFFORDABLE THAN YOU MAY THINK

So I’ve given you a list of reasons why you should hold your beach destination wedding in Gulf Shores, Fort Morgan or Orange Beach.  You’re probably saying, “That all sounds nice, but what about my budget?”   I know every wedding has a budget and every bride and her family face those issues.  What if I were to tell you that your Alabama Gulf Coast Beach Destination Wedding may be more affordable than you think?  Consider this:  no matter where you say your vows, you’re probably going to hire a caterer, buy some flowers, and plan a reception with a special venue and entertainment.  You have to buy a marriage license and you’re probably going on a honeymoon.  I propose to you that with careful planning that you can have it all right here in south Alabama and you can have the wedding of your dreams.  If checking out all the links in this blog seems like too much work, I have one more suggestion:  Gulf Shores Wedding Chapel.  This wonderful little venue located in north Gulf Shores has it all.  Maybe all you need to do is contact the good folks here, let them guide you in your planning, and dress up, show up, and get married.

 

Planning a wedding is a stressful time for any bride.  Destination weddings can be a challenge for anyone.  Here in Gulf Shores, Alabama, however, we are ready to help you make your special day an amazing dream come true.  At Sunset Properties, we are interested not only in making sure your accommodations are perfect for you and your wedding guests, we also want your wedding day and honeymoon stay to be the absolute best they can be.  If you’re looking for some memorable romantic things to do while you honeymoon with us, check out our blog Top 10 Most Romantic Things to do in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan for suggestions.

 

From all of us at Sunset Properties, congratulations on your engagement and we look forward to seeing you on your happy day!

Top 10 Most Romantic Things To Do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

One of the most romantic places on earth is the beach.   Beaches offer a natural ambiance unmatched by any other venue.  The beaches that wrap the Alabama Gulf Coast are no exception.  The sugary white sandy beaches that stretch 32 miles along the Alabama Gulf Coast are a remarkable site.  Just beyond the dunes covered with sea oats blowing in the Gulf breeze, the lapping waves of the Gulf of Mexico kiss the shore.  Whether you prefer long walks into the sunset holding your sweetheart’s hand or a brisk jog at dawn before your morning coffee, for romance, you’ve come to the right place!

Have you made your reservation yet?  Let’s start there!  For an incredible view of the beaches of Fort Morgan, check out The Dunes or The Indies. Consider Beachview 223 if you want to stay in Gulf Shores.  Would you prefer Orange Beach?  Check out Moorings 414Sunset Properties also has beach homes and cottages available if that’s your preference.  Truly, the beach is for lovers and these condos are sure to please!

But what do you do if you want to kick it up a notch? What can you and your sweetie do to make something that’s already great just a tad bit better?  Well, we have a few suggestions that we believe might make your romantic getaway one neither of you will soon forget.

Here are 10 Romantic Things to do while you’re staying with Sunset Properties in Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores or Orange Beach:

1     SAVOR A GOURMET DINNER

You drove all this way down to the coast and you’re too tired to cook.  It happens.  We know and we understand.  You want to rest, relax, unpack and enjoy your time with your honey.  How nice would it be to have a gourmet meal available or a bag of snacks and fruit waiting on your when you arrive at your beach home?  Orange Beach Concierge Services located at The Wharf offers both.  If you’d like to have your dinner prepared, they have an extensive list of menu items including lasagna, New Orleans dishes, salads and seafood to choose from.  In addition, they offer grocery shopping and will deliver your groceries right to your condo or beach house.

If you’d rather go out for dinner, we suggest Wolf Bay Lodge located in Orange Beach. The folks at Wolf Bay Lodge have been preparing local seafood dishes since 1973. With menu items like lump crab cakes, rib eye steaks, and oysters rockefeller, you cannot go wrong with a dinner from Wolf Bay Lodge.

2     STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES

There isn’t a much more romantic gesture than giving your true love a bouquet.  It really doesn’t  matter if your prefer roses or a pretty vase of mixed seasonal flowers, we know just who to call to arrange your delivery.

The talented staff at Flowers by the Shore has been serving the Gulf Coast for over 20 years.  Check out their website for pictures of their colorful bouquets, cut flowers, fine wines and gift baskets.  Order early and have your special arrangement ready to be delivered when you arrive.

Another option for flowers and gift baskets is All Island Flowers.  Browse their website to see the most popular floral arrangements currently trending on the Gulf Coast.  They also offer a great selection of snack and fruit baskets ready for delivery.

3     FEED YOUR SWEET TOOTH

You have a craving for something sweet and you don’t know where to go.  Visit the Chocolate Corner located near the intersection of Fort Morgan Road and Gulf Shores Parkway for delicious homemade butter fudge, pecan caramel paws, gourmet truffles and other chocolates.  And we have to mention their barks.  They have the best barks!  From Sea Salted Almond Bark to Peppermint Bark to their famous Beachy Bark, they have you covered.   They also serve Blue Bell Ice Cream, Frappuccinos, fruit smoothies and espresso.  Stop by and try a treat or two, your whole mouth will thank you.

If you happen to be on Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach, stop by Kayden’s Candy Factory for so “oh-my-goodness-yummy” treats!  From truffles, to fudge, to coconut clusters to caramel apples, Kayden’s has something for everyone’s sweet tooth.  They also serve ice cream and shakes.  Gift boxes available, as well, and we know you’ll want to grab one of those to take back home.

4     WATCH THE SUN SET FROM THE SKY

Have you ever seen the sun set from 500 feet above the ground?  What an amazing site!  Contact the folks at Orange Beach Helicopters and book your evening outing. You’ll fly over the beaches and waters near the Caribe Resort for about 30 minutes as you watch the sun’s rays fade and the evening’s darkness take over.  This ride is a special way to end a day of romance or begin an evening of enchantment.

Ever considered skydiving with your sweetie?  The good folks at Lost Bay Helicopters, a veteran owned and operated Gulf Shores company that leaves out of Jack Edwards National Airport in Gulf Shores, will fly you up and allow you to skydive down.  You don’t have to skydive if you choose to ride with these guys, but if you want to give it a try, skydiving could be a lot of fun!  Beach tours and special occasion tours are also available.  Contact them for reservations and details.

5     PAMPER YOURSELVES

You’re at the beach.  You just went skydiving with your sweetie, took some amazing pictures on the way down, and now you need to relax a bit.  It’s time to book a couples’ massage or salon outing.  It’s time to pamper yourselves.   To have a massage right in the comfort of your own beach house, contact Austin Massage Therapy located on Gulf Shores Parkway in Gulf Shores.  They have a 5.0 rating from TripAdvisor and, with an appointment, they will come to you.  If you’re in Orange Beach, visit Spas of Eden for a day of pampering.  They offer facials, skin, nail and hair services from their location at Palm Pointe Shopping  Plaza.   Serenity at the Beach, located in Orange Beach, features Aveda products.  For deep tissue or hot rocks massages, check out this lovely salon.  If your romance happens to lead to a marriage, they also offer wedding services.

6     DELIGHT IN A DOLPHIN CRUISE

You’ve heard about dolphin cruises.  Your friends have been out on the bays and coves that surround Gulf Shores and Orange Beach to see the dolphins up close, but you haven’t.  Well, it’s time to take the plunge, so to speak.  While you can’t swim with the dolphins when you book an outing on The Southern Rose, you will surely see a few swimming alongside.  This double-decker cruiser has both inside and outside seating.  Choose from an open-air view or an air conditioned one.  Cruises last from one to two hours and there is a snack bar on the boat offering sodas, chips, wine, beer and other snacks.  We know you will have a delightful time watching some of our area’s most playful and friendly local wildlife.

7     LET OUR LOCAL THEATRE CAPTIVATE YOU

You don’t have to be in NYC to see a great live performance.  Gulf Shores is home to the South Baldwin Community Theatre.   That’s right!  You and your honey can experience a well directed, tastefully staged, live play right here.  Our actors are locals from all around South Baldwin County and, though we’re probably a little biased, we believe they are every bit as good as those guys in the big cities.  The theatre is located at 2022 West 2nd Street in Gulf Shores.  Upcoming plays this year include:  Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Snow White Variety Show, and Disney’s The Lion King Jr.  Give them a call.  The box office folks are waiting to make your reservation now!

8     WISH UPON A STAR

It is so hard to see the stars when you’re surrounded by city lights.  We often miss meteor showers, too.  They happen all year long, but we’re just too busy to even notice them.  How about doing a little star gazing while you’re in our neighborhood?  Grab your sweetheart, you favorite blanket and something cool to sip on.  Then kick back and watch the night sky from a perfect vantage point:  the beach.    Let the sound of the Gulf waves lull you into relaxation, while the sky flickers and dances with the natural lights of the stars, planets and meteors.  EarthSky.org provides a list of all the meteor showers and their visibility times.  We suggest paying special attention to the Leonid, Orionid and Perseid Meteor Showers.  Those star shows are usually pretty awesome!  Oh, and don’t forget to make your wish!

9     CREATE YOUR OWN SOUVENIR

Creating something together is a great way to make a special memory.  Visiting an art gallery is also a great way to spend a day.  Why not do both in one place?  The Coastal Art Center of Orange Beach, located on Canal Road, is a 10,000 square foot art gallery overlooking Wolf Bay.  The center itself is a sight you won’t want to miss.  This art center is not only a gallery, but also a place to create.  Visit The Hot Shop and make your own blown glass sculpture or visit the The Clay Studio to create a personal piece of pottery.  Instructional classes on watercolor painting, mixed media and acrylic are also available throughout the year.  We know the quality time you spend together here, coupled with the personal treasure you make and take home, will make an imprint on your heart that will last a lifetime.

10   PHOTOGRAPH YOUR MEMORY

Your stay has been an amazing one.  You’ve made some great memories and you know the time is coming when you’ll have to go back to your busy job and home life.  Why not take a professional snapshot of your trip back with you?  Sure your phone takes nice pictures, but wouldn’t you love to have a professionally done, beautiful portrait reminder of your special romantic getaway hanging in your family room?  The good folks at Chasing the Son and Sun Shots Photography can work with you in an effort to get you exactly the portrait you want.  They will meet you at your desired location and make every effort to get the exact pictorial memory you can see in your mind’s eye.  Both of these local companies offer extensive information about their services on their websites and, as you’ll see, their photography is wonderful!

Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan towns and beaches are spectacular all year long.  Any time is a great time to visit them.  Sometimes, though, we know the best time to go is when you’re celebrating the love you share with someone special.  We also know planning a romantic getaway can be a challenge and we hope these ideas are helpful. We, at Sunset Properties, will be happy to offer any assistance we can when you contact us to make your accommodations reservation and we’re looking forward to seeing you when you arrive.

When you visit, we ask that you leave only footprints.  However, when you leave, we hope you take home romantic memories that will last a lifetime.

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370