Ahh … weddings. Few things have the power to evoke so many emotions simultaneously as a wedding does. Joy, celebration, romance, gratitude, excitement, teary-eyed-admiration — usually all in the span of a few hours.
Here on the Space Coast, the peaks and valleys of wedding season are generally the inverse of other regions of the United States. While the rest of the country is swooning over summer nuptials, Floridians are busy sticking to the seats of their cars and sweating through their shirts. For us, “wedding season” happens late fall through late spring, and coincides with cooler, drier temperatures.
An abundance of gorgeous outdoor venues in Brevard County has made us a prime destination for weddings from across the southeast, with a surprising number of couples coming up from South Florida to say “I do” on the Space Coast. Perhaps this is because wedding costs are significantly lower in the greater Melbourne area than they are places like Miami, Tampa, Savannah or Atlanta.
Maybe it’s because we have everything from historic venues nestled under old oak canopies, to toes-in-the-sand, oceanfront options to offer. Or maybe it’s because we’re centrally located along the I-95 corridor, a literal straight shot east from Orlando, and a one-road trek from places like West Palm Beach or Jacksonville.
Whatever the reason, it’s a torch we’re proud to carry.
Bringing friends and family together to celebrate a marriage is often the biggest event many of us will host in our lifetime, with average attendance at American weddings hovering around 150 guests, and average cost falling somewhere between $25K – $35K. Unfortunately, the big event is over quick, with the majority of weddings lasting about four and a half hours. Ask anyone who has walked down the aisle what they regret most about their big day, and they’re likely to tell you they wish the experience had lasted longer.
What if you COULD make it last longer?
By opting to gather your friends and family in a place where everyone can stay together, it stretches out the festivities, adding a couple of days to a celebration that might otherwise be over in hours. With room to sleep multiple families and friend groups under one roof, Harbor Stay makes a positively perfect venue for this type of approach.
The waterfront property features enough room to comfortably sleep up to 45 guests, with plenty of space to come together for meals, drinks and other festive fun inside or out. Since the estate was designed with team retreats in mind , there are small workstations and conversation corners in just about every part of the house. This makes it easy to find a quiet spot to share a cup of coffee, or get caught up on your emails, without ever leaving the house.
As a venue, Harbor Stay is best suited for very small weddings (<50 guests), but as a “home base” for a larger wedding’s friend and family group – the property shines. The estate’s Melbourne location (right in the middle of the Eau Gallie Arts District ) means accessing some of Brevard’s most epic wedding venues is generally less than 20 minute journey by car. Whether you’re dreaming of a historic venue with room for 200, or a laid back, toes-in-the-sand affair — you can get there on your big day in a flash.
Here’s a quick look at a few of our favorite venues within a 20 minute drive from Harbor Stay …
Banyan Estate, Malabar, FL — 19 minute drive
This stunning 1927 building was once a local schoolhouse. The property has been impeccably renovated with weddings in mind, and it shows in every thoughtfully vintage detail. Inside, there’s room for up to 150 guests. Up front, a window lined-parlor space makes a perfect setting for cocktail hour and a receiving line. The larger ballroom is neutrally decorated, and full of character. Outside, mature Banyan trees add an element of natural romance guaranteed to enhance both the experience and the photos of the big day. Learn more about the property by visiting their website – www.banyanvenue.com – or by giving them a follow on Instagram @thebanyanestate
Photo: Oak and Iron Photography
Up the Creek Farms, Valkaria, FL — 22 minute drive
Up the Creek Farms, Valkaria, FL — 22 minute drive
Nyami Nyami River Lodge at Brevard Zoo, Melbourne, FL — 21 minute drive
How cool would it be to get married at an actual ZOO? You can do just that at Nyami Nyami River Lodge – an event venue with room for up to 200, overlooking the Savanna at Brevard Zoo. The indoor lodge has a naturally-inspired feel, a covered veranda and offers guests private access to the zoo! Learn more about weddings at Brevard Zoo at brevardzoo.org/host-an-event/weddings/ or by getting in touch with their wedding specialist – Erin Gracie – via email at [email protected] . Photo: Brevard Zoo
The Harbour House Oceanfront, Indian Harbour Beach, FL — 7 minute drive
If you have your heart set on a beach wedding, you’re in luck — the Space Coast has 72 miles of coastline to offer! The newly-renovated Harbour House Oceanfront is a 8,000-square foot, Key-West style venue with an oceanfront patio, wrap-around deck, private beach crossover, and room for up to 85 guests. Whether you prefer something all inclusive, or a more laid back, toes-in-the-sand kind of ceremony, you can make it happen at Harbour House. Visit http://www.harbourhouseevents.com/ to learn more about the property, or give them a follow on Instagram @Harbourhouseoceanfront Photo: Harbour House Oceanfront