As spring approaches, your thoughts may turn to love. And maybe even to marriage.
Miami has many beautiful venues for weddings, from romantic spots on the beach to elegant venues with all the trimmings. You can indeed get married on a public beach, but you may need a permit. Many hotels, including waterfront spots, offer wedding packages, making them favorite wedding venues in Miami, especially for beach nuptials.
Miami has a few buildings built before the 1930s, and a number of the surviving grand old mansions of the 1920s are now museums and popular wedding spots.
Outdoor wedding venues in Miami are popular, but you need to consider the season. It seldom rains in winter, but you might run into a cold snap in January or February. It often rains during the afternoon or evening in summer, making an outdoor wedding between June and September a gamble – and those months are also hot. Hurricane season runs June 30 through November 30, and a storm can disrupt either an indoor or outdoor wedding.
Here are some of the best Miami wedding venues, listed in no particular order:
1. Ancient Spanish Monastery
The monastery and its outbuildings, originally built in 1133 in Spain, were shipped to the United States brick-by-brick by William Randolph Hearst in 1925. When he ran into financial trouble, the pieces remained in crates until 1953, when they were sold and assembled as a tourist attraction north of Miami. The site is now owned by the Episcopal Diocese of South Florida, which has services there and operates the site as a museum. The sought-after Ancient Spanish Monastery wedding venue offers indoor and outdoor locations, with options for both a wedding service and a reception on site.
2. Miami Beach Botanical Garden
The Miami Beach Botanical Garden wedding venue is a piece of paradise. It offers a beautiful, mostly outdoor space (though there are covered areas) surrounded by enough native Florida plants and trees that you will forget you're in a busy city.
3. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
This 83-acre garden in Coral Gables is a repository for rare tropical plants from all over the world. The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden wedding venue provides attractive indoor and outdoor spaces for both intimate and larger gatherings. But because it's in a residential area, festivities must end by 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends.
4. Schnebly Redland's Winery
This South Dade winery with 30 acres of gardens offers a variety of wedding venues, including a tiki ballroom. Packages include wine and catering.
5. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
This is one of Miami's premier wedding venues, but it's not for those on a budget. The building, built by industrialist James Deering in the 1920s, is a historic landmark and it is a museum during the day. If all you want is a smaller, simple ceremony, you can rent the venue for a daytime garden ceremony, but with no furniture and limited music.
6. Deering Estate
The 444-acre Deering Estate is located on Biscayne Bay, south of Miami, providing a picturesque venue for a wedding and reception. The estate of Charles Deering (brother of James, who built Vizcaya) is now owned and operated as a museum by the state and county.
7. Curtiss Mansion
This 1925 estate in Miami Springs, near Miami International Airport, was the home of aviator Glenn Curtiss, considered the "Father of Aviation," and his wife, Lena. The mansion and its verdant grounds offer both indoor and outdoor venues, for both intimate and larger ceremonies.
8. Historic Alfred I. DuPont Building
This Art Deco building in downtown Miami, constructed in 1939, is now exclusively an event venue for those who want to celebrate weddings and other special days in an opulent setting.
9. Penthouse Riverside Wharf
This new upscale venue in downtown Miami overlooking the Miami River provides a 360-degree wraparound experience, with indoor and outdoor spaces. Your guests can even come by yacht and park at the marina.
10. Miami museums
Among the museums that allow weddings are the waterfront Perez Art Museum Miami, HistoryMiami, the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, the Wolfsonian-FIU in Miami Beach, the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU in Miami Beach and the Barnacle Historic State Park in Coconut Grove (daytime only, no alcohol).
11. City parks and beaches
Small weddings can be accommodated in Miami and Miami Beach parks, as well as in parks run by other Miami-Dade municipalities. Most require a permit. If you want to get married directly on the beach, you may need a permit from the City of Miami Beach or another city.
12. Woman's Clubs
The Miami Woman's Club, the Coconut Grove Woman's Club, the Coral Gables Woman's Club and the Coco Plum Woman's Club all offer top Miami wedding venues in historic buildings.
13. Estancia Culinaria
This 15-acre family farm in the Redlands, about 30 miles south of Miami, offers weddings surrounded by organic avocado trees.