There’s something special about a beach wedding – the beauty of palm trees, powder white sand and aquamarine water sparkling in the background, the tranquility of soft ocean breezes, the sound of the surf. Perhaps it represents the beginning of a beautiful relationship or is the perfect location to unite friends and family.
In selecting a venue for a beach wedding, couples will want to look at certain factors, most importantly a full-service and experienced event-planning staff. The right destination should ideally provide a banquet room in case of inclement weather, an attentive and experienced chef and wait staff, a selection of menu options and, to make it complete, appealing accommodations for guests and the wedding couple.
Shephard’s Beach Resort on Clearwater Beach has it all. The director of catering and events is an expert in planning weddings of any size and budget. Her easy-going personality and experience in event planning will put any couple at ease and make the wedding worry-free.
Now that Shephard’s has a brand new modern look and new chef on board, the location has much more to offer in versatile spaces and menus for various types and sizes of weddings for parties from 10 to 2,000.
“The Wave Room has a view of the beach and is the most popular for weddings,” the director of catering and events. “We also have indoor-outdoor locations like the Tiki Bar Pavilion and the pool lounge area. Our Ocean Flame restaurant also has a beautiful view of the water and an international buffet, and can be arranged for any size function.”
For overnight guests, the resort offers 140 attractive Rooms and Suites, some with balconies and spectacular views. It also has a swinging Tiki Bar on the weekends, a trendy tequila bar called Salt and a spectacular Sunday Champagne Brunch. And, of course, Clearwater Beach with its host of nightlife and entertainment is just outside the front door!
Creating Their ‘Dream Wedding’
When Jody Spencer and Norman Taylor decided to get married for the second time, they wanted it to be special. Their first wedding was a “justice of the peace” affair, says Jody, over in a few minutes. This time, however, they wanted to make it a memorable event, do it right by inviting their friends and family to share in the renewal of their marriage.
A destination wedding on the beach was Jody’s dream, but she was having a hard time finding a venue.
“I found in doing research that there are few places on the beach that can provide all the services you need for a wedding, like a banquet room and catering,” said the business analyst, who now goes by the name Jody Taylor. “Some places I called took weeks to return my call, but when I called Shephard’s, they immediately invited us to come in for a tour, and three days later I had made up my mind.”
The couple was married on July 11 in their “dream wedding” on the beach at Shephard’s Beach Resort. Jody was barefoot in a white wedding gown and tiara; Norman wore a white suit (no tie, of course) and sandals. The reception for 40 guests was held just steps away in the elegant white Wave Room looking out on the water. The dinner was a carefully selected buffet from executive chef which featured seafood and carved prime rib.
“It was perfect,” says Jody. “Shephard’s staff made us feel like superstars. The food was excellent, the staff was amazing, and we used all their vendor recommendations – decorator, florist, hair and makeup, DJ and photographer – and they were all perfect.”
The couple stayed for their honeymoon, too, with a view of the water from their luxurious Sunset Suite. A destination beach wedding, after all, should include the honeymoon!
Discount packages are available for weddings, such as a two-night complimentary stay when you purchase two nights. For more details on weddings at Shephard’s Beach Resort, go to https://www.shephards.com/weddings-meetings
Article written by Marcia Biggs for Destination Tampa Bay. Photos supplied by Sheppard’s Beach Resort