A few months ago we received an invitation from the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island to come down and experience their property. They have been doing a number of destination weddings, and noticed that they were attracting a number of New York brides, so the decided to invite a few planners to come and check out the property! Um, how excited was I? So while Xochitl packed sweaters for the ABC conference in Indy, I packed my summer favorites and headed to Florida!
The flight from JFK to Jacksonville was nice and short. The hotel had arranged shuttles and cars for everyone, and we were on property in what seemed like a blink of an eye. I can not begin to explain to you the service and attention to detail that I experienced when I arrived. First of all, I was met (the way a couple getting married is greeted when they arrive on property) with champagne! I had a glass before I had even set foot in the hotel! Once inside, a wonderful gift bag awaited. I loved that it had a Sunblock with a “Hoping for Sun” tag along with an umbrella labeled “Prepared for Rain”. Awesome idea for anyone having a destination event!!
The view from my room!
Anastasia, the Catering Sales Manager at the Ritz, arranged for every area of the property to be set up and for us to see how each portion could be used. It was all gorgeous. Even Tropical Storm Ida couldn’t put a damper on the evening. Below is a photo of me and Ayal from In Any Event sitting under the ceremony set-up on the beach (Love the flip flops they handed out to all of us before we hit the sand!). For those brides that want an outdoor wedding, but might now want to get on the actual beach, you can always use their lawn for a ceremony. The first photo is of the area being set up (photo taken from my room) and the other photo is of the finished product. I loved the colors!
To showcase some of the other wonderful things that your guests would be able to see and experience if you choose this as your destination, Anastasia arranged for us to go out and see some local sites and sounds. One of the highlights was lunch at the The Ribault Club. A beautiful venue for anyone interested in having their event off-site. The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island offers off-site catering, and they provided our meal here, which was wonderful. Below is a set-up of the tent in the venue.
What stole the show? The giraffes at the White Oak Conservation Center! An awesome place where you can take your guests for a tour! When I showed Xochitl the photos, this one was what made her sad she couldn’t make the trip:)
The trip was wonderful and left me wanting to return to Amelia Island. For any bride looking for a destination where you will be met with a beautiful location and venue, fantastic service, and the most helpful staff I have ever seen, then this is a real contender ladies! It made me feel like it was a great destination, without many of the destination headaches!
Last but not least, this was the first course for one of our dinners, and now I want to have all my soups in a pumpkin!
I will post the professional photos soon so that you get a real sense of the property, but I was so excited that I couldn’t wait!