As unique as the love you share, a beach wedding offers memories that last a lifetime! Imagine... walking down the aisle with sand in your toes, sharing your vows as you hear the music of the Gulf of Mexico waves sweeping. A "seashell girl" may replace the traditional flower girl, the white sandy beach is set against blue skies and azure water.
This is what a beach wedding on Anna Maria Island has to offer couples. From small ceremonies to large celebrations, Anna Maria Island has quickly become "The Wedding Capital of Florida" for couples to begin a life together. Beach weddings are unique in many ways -- where else can a few "surprise guests" such as dolphins, sea turtles and wild birds join in on the fun? This doesn't have to be just a dream wedding -- it can be a reality when you contact the experts, listed on this site, to help make arrangements for your special day!The Anna Maria Island Wedding Network is a group of professional, service and businesses dealing with the wedding industry on Anna Maria Island. Couples come from all over the world to get married on Anna Maria Island. Now, for the first time they have a Wedding Guide and corrresponding web site www.amiweddings.com to help them make informed decisions on where, when and how to plan the perfect wedding day and vacation. You can be assured of the highest quality of products and services.
"ON AN ISLAND WITH YOU"
<>Everyone who comes to Anna Maria Island thinks that they have discovered paradise. The film crew who made the movie "On An Island With You" certainly thought that was the case when they built an airstrip and flew in some of the top stars of the era. It was the late forties, when Esther Williams, Peter Lawford, and Ricardo Montalban were as young and beautiful as Anna Maria herself.>
But of course many others discovered paradise before that. The Anna Maria Historical Society Museum is replete with stories of the first settlers dating back to the late 1800s when George Emerson Bean moved his family to the "North Point" of the island. Many a couple got married in the first chapel on the island built by John Roser, who sold his recipe for the Fig Newton to the National Biscuit Company for one million dollars in 1910. His wife Caroline died shortly after they arrived and settled in. Grieving desperately, he decided to build the first church in 1913. The Roser Chapel, still stands today in her memory. The doors are open daily to anyone who wishes to stop in for cool retreat and silent prayer.
Many of you who are reading this now will be making a choice to come here to get married in one of the beautiful venues the island has to offer. Whether on the beach, or in a church, Anna Maria Island will beckon you back year after year to its sugar sands, and turquoise waters. You will walk in the steps of lovers before you who are returning to celebrate 20, 30, 40, and 50 years of marriage or more. Some of them lived their lives on the island. Read their stories in The Early Days written by Carolyne Norwood our Administrator Emeritus, along with other interesting aspects of life on this lovely island available in the Museum gift shop.
Visit Belle Haven Cottage, where you will see a wedding gown worn by Susannah Wampler in 1895 of Ohio and three other generations ending with her great granddaughter who wore it in her wedding at the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation in on Gulf Drive in 1982. In the same display is a steamer trunk owned by the Christy's who bought Belle Haven Cottage for $125 in 1926 after if fell into Tampa Bay. Moved by barge around the North Point, now Bean Point, they settled the cottage at 109 Palmetto Avenue on the Gulf side of the island. Upon their deaths, the cottage was used as a rental until the year 2000 when the land was sold to a couple wanting a newer home. You will have to visit the site to hear the rest of the story.
Of course, if you are in the market for a really novel wedding, the Anna Maria City Jail could be just the place. Bring your own "ball and chain!" Built in 1929 to house the riff raff who frequented a dance hall and bar where the Sandbar Restaurant is today, it was built with bars but no windows. Given the size of the mosquitoes and the lack of air conditioning of the day, many a man thought twice about going back.
Well as they said in the past: "May all your troubles be little ones" that you will bring back year after year to celebrate the love and commitment you will make on your wedding day. Anna Maria Island has a romance all its own which it gratefully shares with all who visit, and of course for all of us who are fortunate to call it home.
Anna Maria Island Historical Society