This article first appeared at GayTravelersMagazine.com
By Steven Skelley and Thomas Routzong
The historic Casa Marina Hotel in beautiful Jacksonville Beach, Florida is the only “Historic Hotels of America” oceanfront property that offers LGBT oceanfront weddings.
Even before Same-Sex marriage was legal in Florida, the Casa Marina hosted LGBT civil unions.
“We’ve done Civil Unions in the past. We just want to make people happy. If you have an opportunity to make someone happy on their special day, why not do that?” General Manager Mark Vandeloo said.
In January 2015, Same-Sex Marriage became legal in the Sunshine State. Thousands of loving couples got married immediately – some within minutes after the clock struck midnight. Thousands more have been married since.
“Now that Same-Sex marriage is a reality in Florida, we cordially invite you to experience why the Casa Marina Hotel is a perfect venue for couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking a beautiful, private and historic oceanfront hotel with a pedigree!” publicist Leigh Cort told us.
The Casa Marina Hotel held its Grand Opening on June 6,1925 on the same day that Pablo Beach changed its name to Jacksonville Beach. Two hundred special guests celebrated by dining and dancing in the Grand Salon. It is rumored that infamous gangster Al Capone actually stayed at Casa Marina!
The Casa Marina Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, the historic Casa Marina hotel offers 24 bedroom and parlor suites that have been decorated to represent “the changing eras of its rich history.”
With such rich history and unique design, the Casa Marina Hotel is the ideal site for a picture-perfect wedding.
“You can’t beat an oceanfront wedding. Casa Marina Hotel appeals to all types of weddings,” Vandeloo said.
“We do about 20 weddings every year,” Executive Chef Aaron Webb told us.
The Casa Marina Hotel offers a number of excellent choices for every wedding need. Couples can choose from the historic Banquet Hall with original pine ceilings, the Penthouse with an oceanfront balcony view, the beautiful Courtyard with beach views or the magnificent Jacksonville Beach itself.
“We are an open canvas. We provide the property. We help you with whatever you need for your special day,” Vandeloo said.
We asked Vandeloo why couples should choose this historic setting rather than a big name, big box chain hotel.
“Casa Marina is a unique and historic property. We make a memory with every guest who walks through our doors. We hear stories from guests who tell us their grandparents had come here decades ago or were actually even married here decades ago. They have great memories of Casa Marina and we are still making great memories today,” Vandeloo said.
The Casa Marina Hotel staff can make recommendations for quality wedding suppliers including florists, musicians, cake designers, seamstresses, day care services, beauticians, and more.
The staff also handles all wedding day logisitics including ceremony, cocktail hour, party timing with photographer, cake cutting and toasts.
Casa Marina Hotel’s Rebekah Lowry has planned hundreds of on-site weddings. Her goal is to make brides, grooms, mothers, fathers and extended family feel as if they are the only people planning a wedding at Casa Marina.
“Getting to know each couple and their families to help create that magical day is my calling,” Lowry told us.
What could be better for your Same-Sex wedding than welcoming management, a talented staff, an oceanfront property and a unique, historic hotel setting?
As a gay, married couple ourselves, we highly recommend the Casa Marina Hotel for Same-Sex (and Opposite-Sex) weddings.
For more information, visit http://casamarinahotel.com/weddings/
The Casa Marina Hotel is located at 691 North First Street, Jacksonville Beach.
By Steven Skelley & Thomas Routzong. Copyright 2015 Sunny Harbor Publishing. Contact Us: PO Box 560318, Rockledge, FL 32956. Phone: 321-446-7552. Email: SunnyHarborPublishing@yahoo.com