A Floridian Fun Filled Wedding
The Colony Beach and Tennis Resort, Florida
From time to time life throws us moments we will forever cherish, creating a powerful sense of memories. One such occasion is the exchanging of wedding vows. Don’t some of us crave to create the quintessential romantic setting for this momentous event?
For the past several years, destination weddings, where couples travel to a special place for their weddings, have been gaining in popularity. Some of the reasons for this phenomenon include a desire to have an intimate wedding inviting only a few close friends and family, who may be from different parts of the country, combining your wedding and your honeymoon, convenience, or just wanting to be different and unique. The challenge is to find the ideal setting that will exude the perfect romantic appeal, and at the same time making sure your destination is a fun place for you and your guests. After all, your guests may have traveled many miles for this event. Why shouldn’t they have a fun time celebrating this sacred and joyous occasion?
One of the most popular wedding destinations is Florida with its magnificent pristine beaches, sunsets beyond description, mild subtropical temperatures, beautiful waters, and luxurious romantic accommodations. A charming Florida venue you may want to consider is the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort located on Long Boat Key with its breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico, providing a spectacular backdrop for the exchanging of vows.
The Colony’s history dates back to the late forties, when a gentleman by the name of Herb Field moved from Chicago to Sarasota, and began purchasing strips of land on Long Boat Key.
Financial institutions at the time, however, were very reluctant to provide mortgage funds on vacant land in an area that was sparsely settled, thus forcing Field to build cottages, one at a time. It was only around the year 1954 that these cottages had any resemblance of a resort, and eventually Field constructed 110 cottages to be known at the time as The Colony Beach Club. There is a very old adage that three of the key elements of valuable real estate is “location, location and location.” No doubt, Field realized that he owned one of the best beachfront sites in Florida.
In 1969 a Buffalo orthodontist, Dr. M.J. “Murf” Klauber, purchased the resort from Field, and transformed it into a top notch resort comprising 208 one and two bedroom villa-suites, 26 VIP suites, 3 private beach villas, 21 tennis courts, 2 waterfront restaurants and a meeting space for up to 200 persons. Today, Dr. Klauber’s daughter, Katherine Klauber Moulton, is president and general manager of operations. Hotels magazine recently recognized Ms. Moulton as one of the leading hoteliers in the world by honoring her with the distinguished and esteemed “Independent Hotelier of the World Award.”
The Colony has preserved and renovated three of Herb Field’s original cottages. Honeymooners can relive the 50s, stepping out from one of the cottages, hand-in-hand, into the stunning white sands of Long Boat Key and the breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico.
The ideal beachfront setting of the resort provides couples with endless creative possibilities in the planning of their wedding. The experienced folks at The Colony can make it all happen. All you have to do is show up, and they will take care of everything.
You may want to celebrate the wedding barefoot directly on the beach before sunset followed by an awesome display of fireworks.
You can opt for The Colony’s various packages, such as “The Colony’s Vow;” an elegant beachfront ceremony for 50 guests or more, where a beautifully decorated archway is provided, as well as white chair decorations and runner and flowers for the various participants in the ceremony.
If you wish to have a one hour cocktail reception including all of the above, there is the “Barefoot Wedding.”
If you really want to go all out, you can choose the “Whole Nine Yards” comprising all of the elements of the “Barefoot Wedding” plus a jumbo cocktail shrimp display, imported and domestic cheeses, premium open bar for three additional hours, elegant buffet style or three-course dinner for 50 persons, and a personalized ice sculpture.
If none of the above suits your fancy, The Colony will gladly tailor a ceremony and reception to match your yearnings. Some couples have opted to be flown into the ceremony by helicopter. Others have chosen to cruise in by boat. As long as it is something not impossible, The Colony’s super staff will oblige.
Evening at the Beach
Food and drink always make for a powerful sense of memories. The Colony can set the perfect stage for the ultimate in a gourmet adventure with their “Colony Chef’s Table – A Personal Gourmet Experience.” This is a grand tasting menu prepared with an incredible selection of wines that all takes place in the Chef’s table located in the middle of The Colony’s Restaurants’ shiny state-of-the-art kitchen. In addition, and to add some excitement, The Colony Chef joins the diners at the table at the top of each course to explain the pairings of ingredients and wine matches.
I guess the ultimate in narcissistic indulgence is having one of The Colony’s Chefs prepare a special candlelight dinner with all of the trimmings in the comfort of your own honeymoon beach cottage, while gazing at an unbelievable sunset. Hey, why not go for it!
As for fun for your guests, Tennis magazine, for the past eight consecutive years, has recognized The Colony as the number one tennis resort in the nation. If you or your guests are not into tennis, the resort’s many facilities provide a spectacular playground of other possibilities. The long list includes water sports activities, bicycles, snorkeling, sailing, swimming, state-of-the-art fitness center, or just sunbathing and people watching on the beach. There is also the health spa, where men and women enjoy separate facilities equipped with whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, showers, lockers and massage rooms.
Between the many memorable festivities you may have organized and the resort’s facilities, your guests may choose to explore Sarasota’s cultural community, where they can enjoy dining, theatre, and the many charming shops located on St. Armands Circle.
However, wherever the day may take them, at the end, your guests will without doubt be delighted to return to the comfortable suites of The Colony, resembling a home away from home. Perhaps, they may even encounter vacation ghosts of a bygone era!