Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Anna Maria Island

I'm getting married on Anna Maria Island in sunny ol' Florida. My parents have 6 boutiques: 2 on Anna Maria, 2 on local Bradenton Beach, and another on Longboat Key. Everything about the 7 mile Island is beautiful and laid back so it was an easy choice, plus unlike most islands, this one is unspoiled- meaning there are no high rises, panhandlers, or fast food chains-it's just pure unadulterated Island. Best known for its white sand and beautiful clear blue beaches, it has been the best kept secret of tourists for years but recently the secret has gotten out and more and more people are discovering the Island. It has been featured in magazines like Parade, USA Today, Southern Living, and almost every American vacation magazine.
Movies like the Perfect Storm with George Clooney, Palmetto with Woody Harrelson, and Out of Time with Denzel Washington have been filmed there, and it is known as the "wedding capital" of Florida even though I have never seen an Anna Maria Island wedding featured in a wedding magazine or website. This is partly because Anna Maria is naming itself that. An exact number of weddings per year will never be know though- since Anna Maria is just a municipality and vendors wont divulge any official information.

Because my parents do business on the Island and yes, I used to slave away there, we are trying to keep our vendors as incestuous as possible. I am trying my hardest not to have to go out to mainland for anything except my dress and his suit.
Of course, living 4 hours away in Miami gets in the way when I am trying to pick out venues. I'm going up at the end of March to handle my business so I'll be back with plenty of pictures to share.

One of the best things about the Island- There is a free trolley on the Island so my guests will be set in getting to and from the reception, everything is within walking or bike riding distance, and I'm sure everyone will be excited to spot a Manatee nearby! They are too cute!

For the recent USA Today article on Anna Maria: http://content.usatoday.com/community/comments.aspx?id=33533356.story&p=1. You can tell how much people love it from the comments, like "Keep AMI our little secret" and "I've traveled quite a lot, but this gem in Fla. Is truly a piece of paradise!"

What is special about the place you are getting married?

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