Adventures in Wedding Venues: Location Locked!

Wow - just a note - I never intended for my location scouting information to extend this long! But here's hoping that someone else found my info useful! (If anyone else has questions or needs info about the Panama City area availabilities feel free to email me.)

Without further ado.... our venue... The "Pearl of the Gulf Coast" Bay Point Marriott!!

"As the breeze sweeps across the scenic St. Andrews Bay and washes over the surrounding wildlife preserve, you could forget for a moment that you're in the midst of the Bay Point Marriott Resort. This newly renovated Panama City Beach, Florida Gulf Coast vacation spot is a sanctuary for golfers, boaters, and those simply in search of a soothing escape. Our natural setting provides guests with countless ways to relax. With 316 guest rooms - including 78 deluxe villas - you'll enjoy select comfort amid an array of onsite recreational activities and fine dining."

Details will follow the pro pictures of the resort (courtesy of the Bay Point Marriott website)...
The beautiful lobby with friendly staff!

Their PRIVATE beach!! (No drunken Spring Breakers wandering through this wedding or trashing the beach before we get there! This place is out on the end of a peninsula with nothing else on it, but close enough to the nightlife of PCB that guests can go out for some fun too. How wonderfully secluded is that?)

Aerial view of a portion of the property.

The long dock that leads to the beach. (Yes I realize its odd that you have to walk on a dock over water to get to the beach. Just chalk it up to another one of the fun ironies of our wedding!)

oooohhhhh... aaahhhhhh....

Oh yeah - remember how I said I wanted it to be like a destination wedding? Our guests can rent hobie cats, jet skiis, play volleyball, lay by the pool, go to their choice of restaurants and bars, or get pampered at an award winning spa without ever leaving the property!
Oh, and did I mention the 36 holes of championship golf, featuring two courses - the Meadows Course & the Nicklaus Design Course , the only one in North West Florida?
Ok. Now we enter the not quite as fantastic world of MY photos. Needless to say, I am not a pro photographer. But here are a few pics I snapped while touring the grounds and the areas specific to our wedding.
Out on the beach, where we will hold the ceremony.

There is a great little covered deck that can be set up as a drink bar and shade for guests who arrive early. (And I'll be fibbing on the info that the wedding will start 15 minutes prior to actual start time due to most people underestimating the loooong dock walk.)
Dad and Mom standing at the end of the dock. So I'm gonna have an uber long aisle. See how far you can see down the dock? Yup, same distance my guests will be able to see, and that only gets me to the end of the dock - still gotta get through the sand to my man!

This is the view from the beach of our reception venue. Just too the right of center of the picture is the covered Grand Lagoon Terrace.Walking in from the dock and to the covered deck (reception location)
Getting closer! And walking through big trees and passed the pool and ponds to get there...

Sorry for the bad lighting that makes everything look pink. But thats it! That is the Grand Lagoon Deck that we will be partying on.

Oh you thought the lighting was bad before? Ha.
There are fans to keep air moving if its warm, and they bring out heating towers if its too chilly.

EEEK! I am excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh yeah - and get this - for each venue booked (we laid claim to the beach and the deck) they automatically reserve a back-up ballroom at no extra cost! We'll have a late afternoon ish wedding, so by noon on the day of, we have to decide if we want to move things indoors. How accommodating is that!!? Oh - and their ballrooms... gorgeous too!

I want to be outside, I really do. I love being outside and its just more "us" and the feeling we want. I also realize however that I do not control the weather. And since we'll be getting hitched in early April.... "April showers bring May flowers!" its really nice to have a back-up plan that wont break my heart or my bank or destroy all the fun plans. Oh, and the wedding coordinator is a doll. She couldn't be more sweet and great at responding to my bizarre emails. Some of which have included things like... "would it be feasible to have a volcano cake?" That idea got vetoed in a heartbeat, but the Marriott replied emphatically that it was very doable. I'll share more of my crazy ideas that got vetoed in the near future. I might even make up some inspiration boards for 'em! I'll also share with yall the other great aspects of the Marriott and how great they are, from unbelievable room rates to a vendor audition day! Stay tuned! (Man alive I use a lot of exclamation points!!) :)