Best gardens aroung Tampa/St. Pete

Oct 10th, 2000, 12:47 PM
  #1  
Marg
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Best gardens aroung Tampa/St. Pete

Hi everyone,
I hope you don't mind this post, but everyone has been so helpful about the honeymoon, I was hoping you could shed some needed light on my situation. I haven't moved to Clearwater, Florida yet, but I need a couple of the best gardens to visit when I'm there to select the spot for our wedding ceremony. Doesn't have to be big, just accommodate under 40 people. From what I can tell the best one close by is the Marie Selby gardens in Sarasota. I only want to have to visit 2-3 gardens at most so I can quick reserve a date (May). Which do you think are the best gardens for a small wedding ceremony. Are the Sunken Gardens in St. Pete nice enough? Again thanks so much for your help, my post on a wedding site was not helpful.
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 02:21 PM
  #2  
CMcDaniel
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I wouldn't do the Sunken Gardens--we were there about a year and a half ago and they were in sad shape. The city, I believe, has purchased them and will be making improvements, but you have other choices, and you mentioned the first one that came to my mind...Selby Gardens in Sarasota. It is a beautiful location, right on the edge of the bay and the gardens are lovely. There was a wedding going on last time we were there, in fact. Reserve early...it's a popular spot.

I don't know if the beach is an option you are interested in, but the Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete beach makes a beautiful site as well. The hotel is a 1920s era hotel, pink stucco with white roof...looks like a sugary wedding cake even. Its veranda overlooking the beach is a popular wedding spot too. I know they have a website, so you can take a look at the hotel now.

I went through this as we planned our daughter's wedding. We were living in Savannah when they got engaged and we were planning her wedding for the fountain area of Forsyth Park, then 8 mos before their wedding date, we were transferred down here and I didn't want to deal with planning long distance so I started searching this area. University of Tampa campus has some nice areas that we looked at, and we loved Selby Gardens, but that was a bit far for us to go. I would have used the Don CeSar except my husband runs a Hyatt so that wouldn't be too cool. We are on the bay and we eventually ended up having it here, overlooking the bay.

I was convinced though, to move the ceremony indoors because of the heat. You are cutting it close but still fine (to my thinking) with the end of May. Our daughter's wedding was July. We also needed to take into consideration the afternoon thunderstorms but you should be *just* missing that season, providing you leave the date in May.

Don't know how far afield you're willing to travel, but others have used Cypress Gardens, a bit over an hour from this area. I'm pretty sure I looked at a website for them too when we were searching for the perfect spot.

Best wishes to you--hope you are enjoying the planning!
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 06:35 PM
  #3  
JG
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Look at the Sarasota Garden Club. It's only about 1 mile south of Selby next to the Hyatt on Blvd. of the Arts. I have been to several intimate weddings there and it is a beautiful indoor and outdoor setting with several lovely options for the ceremony itself. The Club is completely glass enclosed on one side allowing a lovely view of the garden for the reception. Selby is no doubt a beautiful setting, but it is very expensive and they have many, many rules/restrictions, while necessary to preserve their grounds, it can make wedding planning a little difficult.
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 04:37 AM
  #4  
Marg
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Hey Thanks! You have given me such valuable feedback. You even answered questions I hadn't quite posted. I was also interested in a place that had a nice indoor setting in case of rain. Since I'm not from there, I don't know too much about when rainy season starts or ends. Am I cutting it too close by doing mid to end of May? Also, more ideas on places that have nice inside backup in case it rains would be great! Thanks again!
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 06:03 AM
  #5  
JG
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Marg
The weather in Florida can be somewhat unpredictable. Typically, early May is cooler but a little more rainy. Late May is warmer but usually dryer. My adivice would be to play it safe and have an indoor option just in case.
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 06:17 AM
  #6  
JG
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I forgot to mention the Summerhouse Restaurant on Siesta Key. I went to a wedding there a few years ago that was beautiful. They also have a glass enclosed room that overlooks a jungle-like setting and the food is wonderful.
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 11:17 AM
  #7  
Leon
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In many states you can access a wedding website, to help you find locations and services. Have you tried this technique for Florida, and specifically for the Tampa area? Also, one of your commenters suggested the Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete beach - a lovely, historic venuee that offers great food and catering. This hotel has a garden area between their building and the beach that has palms, flowers, etc. This might just be the perfect spot for the wedding party. Good luck to you, Leon
 

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