Forget any notion of Fort Lauderdale as being a spring break destination. Sure, Miami's sister city still has remnants of these roaring college-era days (hello Riverwalk!), but this beach town is going more for laid-back vibes than a loud club scene—and hotels are following suit. Say "I do" on sand as stunning as anywhere you'd find in the Caribbean at one of these five beachfront venues that are sure to make both you and your new partner swoon at first sight.
Lago Mar has been in the Banks family since 1959, so it's no surprise this spot is a family-friendly wedding destination for guests bringing the kids along (playgrounds and lagoon pools are just the start). And when it comes to quintessential Florida backdrops, the 500-foot-long private beach—one of the largest in the county—plays the part beautifully. Walk down the makeshift aisle amongst 300 breezy palm trees with a ceremony for up to 130, followed by a reception just as stunning at the chandelier-strewn Lakeview Ballroom overlooking Lake Mayan.
One of just four hotels set directly on the sand, the renovated B Ocean is home to over 14,000 square feet of event space where couples can exchange vows before moving on to dancing. No need to worry about wedding crashers here if you're going for a barefoot beach affair since the spot boasts its own private stretch. If you're all about an "Under the Sea" theme, pair dinner with a show at the Wreck Bar, lined with portholes looking out to the pool where mermaids put on an Ariel-inspired performance.
At Ocean Sky, couples can take advantage of the Fort Lauderdale Beach views in three ways: from the sand, oceanfront patio or ballroom. If you want to capture sand in your wedding shots without actually stepping in it, exchange vows on the pool patio overlooking the sea—equally as impressive by day or night. Leave the fine-tuning in the hands of the planners here who can coordinate rehearsal dinners as well as farewell brunches, with in-house caterers taking care of all the cuisine.
The Ritz-Carlton may not be sitting directly on the sand, but all you have to do is cross the buzzing boardwalk and you're on the beach. Classy vintage-inspired venues abound here from the Grand Ballroom with its hand-strewn Hungarian crystal chandeliers to the tropical pool terrace are sure to impress your guests—let alone overlooking the Atlantic Ocean (where your guests can stargaze from oversized telescopes).
Picture morning ceremonies under a flower-adorned arch or white linen canopy with the sound of the waves lapping in the background—and that's Ocean Manor Beach Resort. The resort's 12th-floor balcony with views of the water from Fort Lauderdale Beach is the first seaside high-rise. If you want to take things outside—but not skip out on ocean views—the Banquet Room or penthouse can seat up to 150.