Surf, sand, swaying palms, gentle breezes—subtropical Miami Beach has all the feel of a Caribbean destination wedding location while still being a part of the contiguous United States, meaning no worrying about whether or not your guests have valid passports for international travel and no destination wedding paperwork headaches. (Just make sure to apply for your marriage license together and in person sometime within 60 days before the ceremony, notes the County Clerk's website.)
But there's so much more to Miami Beach than its balmy days and temperate nights. In fact, some of the best destination wedding venues here have nary a speck of sand underfoot: think, a gorgeous jewel box theater venue, a Modernist rooftop oasis, an Ocean Drive mansion that was once the private residence of a famous fashion designer. These Miami Beach gems are definitely worth discovering.
Penchant for the Dramatic
From the gilded Damien Hirst wooly mammoth art piece that greets guests entering the gardens, to the opulence of the Faena Theater (pictured above), to the marvelous details of the freestanding Faena Forum (an architectural landmark building designed by Rem Koolhaas that features a rose marble amphitheater and more than 300 custom windows) nothing about the Faena Hotel Miami Beach is meant to be understated—and neither is a Faena wedding.
On the contrary, the property's striking design and rich color-play is intended to make a statement, one that your guests won't soon forget. In total, the four-block Faena District offers couples a dozen wedding, rehearsal dinner, and reception venue options for intimate gatherings of fewer than 20 guests, celebrations for 60 to 125 guests, or even weddings with upwards of 300 guests. After a few days spent poolside or at the beach, some couples head for Faena's sister property in Buenos Aires to kick off their South American honeymoon in style.
For more information about weddings at Faena Miami Beach, contact the events team.
Touch of Wonderland by the Bay
One of only a few hotels of distinction to be located on the Biscayne Bay side of Miami Beach, the Mondrian South Beach is a tucked-away treasure with loads of charm. Whimsical, oversized decor elements and interiors infused with plenty of glamour, too, make for a magical backdrop for wedding receptions and wedding photo shoots, while the hotel's westward-facing grounds are ideally suited for sunset weddings on the waterfront.
Arched, greenery-covered cabanas—each hung with a chandelier—and the property's secluded Kissing Gardens are among the Mondrian's other picturesque delights, and couples will love the wedding weekend perks on offer. Above and beyond room upgrades and a welcome glass of champagne (although those are included, too, of course), the Mondrian's extra amenities include a couple's massage at Guy and Girl Spa, live music entertainment at the rehearsal dinner, a two-hour photo booth at the reception, and one of those lush poolside cabanas reserved for the day after the wedding.
For more information about weddings at the Mondrian South Beach, contact the events team.
Minimalism au Naturel
Not yet three years old, the Miami Beach Edition has made quite the splash with its glamorous update of the 1950s-era Seville Hotel. The Edition's breezy, tropical minimalism extends to La Vista Terrace (pictured above), a 2,400-square-foot space that offers couples unobstructed ocean views plus all the privacy of being set just slightly back and elevated from the beach, removed from any random passersby. Typically, guests linger and enjoy cocktail hour on La Vista Terrace while the newlyweds and photographers decamp to capture a few intimate, celebratory moments.
The Forum, the hotel's primary reception venue, is an 8,300-square-foot space that can accommodate up to 350 guests for dinner and dancing, while the 2,200-square-foot oceanfront Penthouse is an option for receptions of up to 50 guests. A post-wedding brunch could be a private affair on the terrace or at Matador restaurant; all menus throughout the weekend are prepared by the on-site culinary team of Michelin-started chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
For more information about weddings at the Miami Beach Edition, contact the events team.
Modernist Oasis in the Sky
Located on the ninth floor of an otherwise nondescript parking garage adjacent to Lincoln Road, a popular shopping promenade, Juvia could be the poster child for the modernist, design-centric ethos that's taken hold in Miami Beach in recent years. The full-service restaurant and lounge features a vertical garden wall, 10,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor space, and a menu driven by fresh seafood and prime cuts (plus a legendary weekend brunch).
While Juvia might not have the same capacity as a hotel venue, that's surely part of its appeal, too, for brides with a less-is-more state of mind. Whether you want an intimate luncheon, twilight cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, or a sit-down dinner reception, Juvia can readily design bespoke experiences for wedding groups of 12 to 125 guests (seated) or upwards for a cocktail-style soirée.
For more information about planning a reception or private event at Juvia, contact the event team.
The Casa Versace Built
Hidden in plain sight on a busy stretch of Ocean Drive, Villa Casa Casuarina was once the private home of iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace, who acquired the property in the early 1990s and embarked on an ambitious, multiyear restoration and expansion of the Spanish-style mansion and grounds that left no surface, no ceiling, and certainly no dressing room untouched.
Today Casa Casuarina operates as an all-suite boutique hotel and is one of South Beach's most sought-after event venues, thanks to its sumptuous interiors and elegant exteriors that are carefully maintained to preserve Versace's vision. An array of suites and interior rooms, plus an interior courtyard and multitiered pool patio and pavilion, offer couples plenty of options for how to configure the events of their wedding day. With limited capacity at the mansion, another lodging option (and one that's perfect for your guest room block) is the laid-back, fresh-from-a-refresh Hotel Victor, located next door.
For more information about weddings at Villa Casa Casuarina, contact the event team.
Artful Haven on Ocean Drive
Sitting on a full block of real estate at the top of Ocean Drive—a street known around the world for its Art Deco facades, vintage neon, classic cars, and ocean views—the Betsy Hotel checks all the boxes for a destination wedding venue that's stylish and modern yet has a distinct sense of place. Most walls, corridors, even stairwells are a showcase for the Betsy's changing and permanent art and photography exhibitions, which feature some vintage South Beach gems.
Rooftop wedding and reception venues include the Ocean Front Deck, the Skyline Deck, and the Pool Deck, all of which are bathed in copious amounts of sunshine and feature sweeping views of South Beach, the Miami skyline, Lummus Park, and the Atlantic Ocean. From seated dinner receptions for 50 guests to flowing cocktail and dinner receptions for 350 guests (and with space for a live band), the Betsy's venues are fully customizable for weddings of any size. Celebrated chef Laurent Tourondel oversees the hotel's culinary offerings, so you know the food's going to be delicious!
For more information about weddings at the Betsy, contact the events team.