If you fancy a beach wedding, there’s no better place to do it than Florida. Our outdoor wedding season basically goes from November to May, with dry, warm, sunny weather the entire winter and spring.

And if you’re looking for a seaside wedding venue with white, sugary sand between your toes and gentle, turquoise waves crashing right behind you as you recite your vows and enjoy that first kiss, then Longboat Key in Southwest Florida (close to Sarasota & Bradenton), is an excellent option.

There are only a few Longboat Key wedding venues, since it’s a small island. But the ones that are available are beautiful and absolutely worth considering. And no, your family and friends will not mind making the trip to Florida for your big day…

A quick overview of Longboat Key Wedding Venues

  • All About Longboat Key
  • 1. The Resort at Longboat Key Club
  • 2. Zota Beach Resort
  • 3. Buttonwood Bay at Mar Vista
  • Other wedding venues near Longboat Key

About Longboat Key

First things first, have you ever been to Longboat Key? It’s a beautiful, long barrier island off Bradenton and Sarasota. It’s about 1 hour south of Tampa, and 2 hours north of Fort Myers.

Luckily, we have our own airport here in Sarasota (SRQ) that’s super easy to fly in and out of, and is only about 20 minutes from Longboat Key.

The next island over is Anna Maria Island, a super popular vacation destination (also popular for beach weddings). To the south is Lido Key and Siesta Key. Of all these islands, Longboat Key is definitely the chillest. It doesn’t have huge public beaches like all the other islands, so the beaches are much calmer (which is perfect for weddings). 

It’s an awesome place to host a wedding. It’s a great island to spend the week leading up to your wedding. And it can also serve as the perfect honeymoon (or pre-honeymoon) spot as well.

So without further ado, here are the 3 main wedding venues available on LBK!

1. The Resort at Longboat Key Club

Longboat Key Florida Wedding Venues

The most popular Longboat Key wedding venue would be the Longboat Key Club. This 4-star hotel sits at the very southern end of LBK, just minutes from downtown Sarasota and amazing shopping and restaurants at St Armands (Lido Key).

They have a few options for where to host your ceremony and reception. Here’s their brochure. Most couples choose to have their ceremony on the sugar white sands, right in front of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a private stretch of beach, so it’s the perfect setting.

The Longboat Key Club wedding venue also has a lawn overlooking a lagoon that’s a great option as well.

At a glance:

  • Up to 350 guests, depending on the specific location you choose on the resort
  • Onsite culinary team = amazing food (no need to find a caterer)
  • Most couples stay at the resort during their wedding, making logistics and getting ready easy
  • Pools, beach, golf course, paddleball, etc, will keep family and friends busy and happy
  • Multiple Longboat Key Club wedding venues to choose for a rehearsal dinner, send off brunch, etc (near the docks, at the lagoon, poolside terrace, etc)

What I love Most About Weddings at Longboat Key Club

As wedding photographers in and around LBK, there’s one thing I REALLY LOVE about this Longboat Key wedding venue: It’s HUGE and there are LOTS of places to take photos. Sure, you get the beach, but there are so many other beautiful settings for wedding photos.

For both family photos and couple portraits, you can easily get a mixture of photos on the beach, in the sand dunes, by the turquoise lagoon, under majestic oak trees, strolling through a group of native palms, and much more. 

And as a really fun and beautiful resort, I certainly don’t mind coming here any chance I get. Luckily we only live a few miles from here 😉

2. Zota Beach Resort

Wedding Venues Longboat Key

Surprise! Zota Beach Resort is part of the Opal Collection along with Longboat Key Club. This resort is in the middle of the island, and a little bit closer to Bradenton + Anna Maria Island.

It’s a newer beachfront resort and it’s modern, stunning, yet full of tropical Florida charm.

At a glance:

  • Up to 150 guests
  • Ceremony on the sand with numerous decor options
  • Indoor and outdoor venue options for ceremony, reception, and rehearsal dinner
  • Onsite catering team means great food

Why I Love Zota Beach Resort

There’s a lot to love. When hosting your ceremony on the sand, the “aisle” you walk down will be a boardwalk into the sand. It’s fun, it’s vibey.

Also, they have a “sand garden” location for the reception. It’s their most popular choice. The entire area is soft, white sand, next to the main beach, yet fenced in to keep it private. It’s dotted with native palm trees and string lights. It’s beautiful, fun, and oh so memorable. Shoes are optional here. 

3. Buttonwood Bay at Mar Vista

Wedding Venues Longboat Key Florida

Buttonwood Bay at Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub is on the north end of Longboat Key, just a stones throw from Anna Maria Island, and a few minutes from Bradenton. It’s owned by the same company that owns the Sandbar and Beach House wedding venues on AMI.

(As a photographer who has done weddings at each of these venues, I can confidently say that they are run well and have amazing staff).

The restaurant and wedding venue sits on the east side of the island, facing Sarasota Bay, not the Gulf of Mexico. But it’s still every bit as beautiful, and there’s a lot more greenery and trees, creating a very unique feel here, compared with other venues on this list. It boasts an ‘Old Florida’ vibe, which makes for some stunning photos.

At a glance:

  • Up to 135 guests
  • Fresh seafood meals
  • Dinner under a canopy of ancient buttonwood trees, overlooking the dock and bay
  • Lots of tropical greenery, which makes for fun photos

Your ceremony will take place on the lawn overlooking the bay. There is a narrow stretch of sand, but it’s not a beach like the other venues on this list.

***If you want to add some beach photos after your ceremony, you can definitely sneak away on a 2-minute drive to the west side of the island for beach photos. This venue is actually right by Whitney Beach and Beer Can Island (Gibby Point), which are both favorite destinations for bride and groom photos on a picturesque, quiet beach. 

What’s unique about this venue is the private dock. Guests or your wedding party can arrive by boat at the dock for a grand entrance. Or, you can make your final getaway as a married couple by leaving on a boat from the dock.

Lastly, this venue offers a catch-and-cook special. You can bring in your own fresh-caught fish from the morning to have prepared and cooked for your wedding reception. This would be the perfect idea for a groom and his mates to get out in the morning before the ceremony for some bachelor fishing.

The Fox Mercantile in Cortez (next to Anna Maria Island)

Other Wedding Venues Near Longboat Key, Florida

No, there aren’t very many wedding venues in Longboat Key, FL. The few that are here are stunning venues, but they’re in short supply.

Luckily, there’s a handful of beach wedding venues on the next island over, Anna Maria Island. Here’s the list.

And there’s plenty of venues in Bradenton as well.

Book Your Wedding Photographer on LBK 

If you’re planning a wedding on Longboat Key, or anywhere else in Bradenton, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, or nearby, I would love to hear from you!

Feel free to send me a message and ask about any of these Longboat Key FL wedding venues  if you have questions (I haven’t been to them all, but I’ve shot weddings at quite a few).

Otherwise, I’d love to chat about potentially photographing your upcoming wedding. Use my form here to send a message and let me know your dates. The sooner you do that, the sooner we can lock in your date!

Things To Do Nearby During Your LBK Wedding

There are so many good things about hosting your wedding on Longboat Key. Since it’ll likely be a destination wedding for you, most of your family and friends will be on vacation with you. Here’s just a handful of the things you can do nearby during your wedding week:

  • Dinner, drinks, and cornhole at Whitneys on LBK
  • Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium on Lido Key
  • Shopping and amazing restaurants at St Armands (Lido Key)
  • Kayak or paddleboard through mangroves at South Lido Park or at Robinson Preserve in Bradenton
  • Walk, bike, or bird watch your way through nature preserves like Robinson Preserve or Perico Preserve in Bradenton
  • Stroll through the stunning, historical Ringling Museum in Sarasota
  • Enjoy the many plant species and history at Marie Selby Gardens in Sarasota 
  • Shop for homewares and sip coffee at The Fox Mercantile near AMI
  • Spend a day on the world-famous (and crowded) Siesta Key Beach
  • Go for a hike and see alligators at Myakka River State Park
  • Book a parasailing excursion, a fishing charter, a sunset sailing cruise, or ride horses on the beach at the Palma Sola Causeway

Learn More About Wedding Photography

I live just a few minutes from LBK and love photographing weddings on the island and on nearby Anna Maria Island.

Read more about my wedding photography, and send me a message here!

3 Stunning Longboat Key Wedding Venues to Choose From

Bradenton, Sarasota, Wedding

Happy couple getting married on the beach during sunset.