Everything You Need to Know
For couples planning Orlando weddings, there’s a lot to decide on, and it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed. This guide will walk you through the process of planning an Orlando wedding, plus anything else you might want your guests to know if they’re visiting the area and want to explore. So, if you’re curious about finding Orlando wedding venues, vendors, and other elements of your ideal wedding, we are here to help. Even more, our directory of real weddings—full of gorgeous Orlando wedding photos—can also give you inspiration while planning your wedding.
With our guide, you can discover helpful hints about the climate in the area, the best downtown Orlando wedding venues, and some of the key attractions in this part of Florida. The cost of Orlando weddings will also be discussed along with ways to cut expenses for your dream wedding. Most importantly, though, we will look at the various neighborhoods and types of venues available for your wedding. This can allow you to create the exact Orlando wedding you and your partner have always wanted.
What's the best time of year for an Orlando wedding?
While there are many enjoyable things to do in Orlando during the summer months, most Orlando weddings are held during the winter and spring. During these seasons of the year, the temperatures in this area are generally more comfortable, which can make outdoor ceremonies and receptions much more practical for you and your partner.
The peak seasons for tourism in Orlando are usually during the summer and winter months. You should keep in mind that hurricane season usually occurs during the fall, which can create real difficulties for weddings that coincide with these major storms. For this reason, spring may be the best option for many couples who are planning a wedding at one of the many wedding venues in Orlando, Florida.
The cost of your Orlando wedding venues will typically be higher during tourist season. Making sure to factor these higher prices into your overall wedding budget can help you to book the best wedding venues in Orlando without any unpleasant financial surprises.
What are the different types of Orlando wedding venues?
Whether you are considering elegant and opulent museum weddings or a more casual ceremony and reception at some of the most popular outdoor Orlando wedding venues, there are so many ways to host your big day here. When deciding on your Orlando wedding venue, you can choose from a wide range of options. Here are some of the most popular types of Orlando wedding venues that couples often choose:
- Barns and ranches: Southwest of Orlando, Lake Apopka and its surrounding area offers somewhat surprising rustic wedding venues. This outskirting area is home to some of the most popular outdoor venues in the area surrounding Orlando. A barn wedding is usually designed to offer rustic charm and a natural look for Orlando weddings. If you like the idea of a more bucolic setting in Florida, ranch and barn wedding venues in Orlando, Florida could be right for you.
- Estates: Estate wedding venues in Orlando, Florida tend to be upscale locations that feature elegant decor and expansive indoor or outdoor areas. While there might be some small wedding venues in Orlando on estates, most of these are larger venues that generally have limited availability.
- Hotels: With numerous beautiful hotel wedding venues in Orlando, you and your partner can select one that suits your own unique aesthetic and your budget. At Carats & Cake, we make it easier to narrow down your choices for hotel wedding venues in Orlando by allowing you to filter by a variety of criteria. This can make it much more convenient to plan your wedding in the Orlando area.
- Museums: Many of the Orlando wedding venues in museums offer access to facilities and amenities that will make your wedding extra special. Choosing your favorite art or science museum as your Orlando wedding venue will allow you to create a unique wedding experience for yourself, your partner, your wedding party, and your guests.
- Libraries: Some of the most unusual small wedding venues in Orlando are located in libraries. If you and your partner love books, a library wedding could be a romantic, beautifully unconventional choice for you.
- Private clubs and country clubs: Many of the private clubs and country clubs in our area offer venues suitable for Orlando weddings. These facilities may include indoor and outdoor options that can make it easy to manage issues with inclement weather, which can allow you to enjoy greater flexibility in managing your wedding plans. Keep in mind that these Orlando wedding venues will often require you to be or know a member in order to host your wedding here.
- Ballrooms: Some of the most exclusive hotel wedding venues in Orlando feature ballrooms that can create an ideal backdrop for a fairy-tale wedding. You can also find ballrooms and dance floors in other Orlando wedding venue locations to allow you and your partner to establish the dreamiest atmosphere for your celebration.
- Gardens, arboretums, and botanical gardens: Selecting one of the many garden wedding venues in Orlando, Florida can allow you to take advantage of the natural beauty of these outdoor areas to enhance your decor. Some gardens may also offer indoor-outdoor options that can allow you to plan for unexpected showers and other common weather events that might occur at your Orlando wedding venue.
- Parks: For couples who love the great outdoors, park weddings can be a great option for those who want to totally immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. Many of the parks in the Orlando area have restrictions on use and may require reservations for their facilities. Contacting the coordinator for this type of Orlando wedding venue is important to ensure that your plans are compatible with the park you have chosen.
- Restaurants: One major advantage of restaurant wedding venues in Orlando can be the added convenience of catering for these venues. Choosing a restaurant with the cuisine you absolutely love can allow you to enjoy greater convenience and the best food possible at these typically small wedding venues in Orlando.
- Churches and synagogues: For couples who already have a religious affiliation or some sort of connection to one of the churches, synagogues, or religious venues in the Orlando area, these can be an easy choice. Church wedding venues in Orlando, Florida are great options for traditional weddings, and you could also venture off to a hotel ballroom or outdoor space following your ceremony. Be sure to check with the religious leaders of the organization to determine if they have any requirements for weddings held on their premises.
- Zoos: You may not think about zoos when selecting your choice among the many Orlando wedding venues. In many cases, however, these attractions offer dedicated event spaces that can allow you and your partner to demonstrate your love for animals while exchanging your vows in a unique setting.
- Theme parks: Orlando is famous for its numerous theme parks and attractions. Theme park weddings can also offer a unique look and feel for your wedding.
- Courthouse weddings: Elopements and microweddings are ideally suited for courthouse ceremonies. You will likely need an Orlando wedding venue for your wedding reception, especially if you want to celebrate with family and friends after you exchange your vows. But if you are just looking for somewhere to host your ceremony, however, courthouse weddings could be the perfect option for you and your partner.
By considering these Orlando wedding venues as part of your overall planning process, you can create the ideal wedding for you, your partner and all others invited to share this special day for you. Think through your style and other relevant preferences before landing on the best Orlando wedding venues for your specific gathering.
What are the different areas within Orlando?
Most experts divide Orlando into 13 distinct neighborhoods, each of which offers its own advantages and unique style. Many of these are neighborhoods, and likely don’t have many venues, but it’s great to know about Orlando’s key spots. When selecting wedding venues in Orlando, Florida, keeping these distinctive neighborhoods in mind can allow you to make the best decisions about your upcoming celebration:
City District, also known as Downtown, is the heart of this vibrant city. Some of the most popular downtown Orlando wedding venues are located in hotels or in dedicated event venues that may also host smaller conventions or concerts. You can also find some of the best all inclusive wedding venues in Orlando, Florida in the downtown area, which makes this a popular option for couples who want a centrally located option.
Parramore District is home to the Wells'Built Museum of African American History & Culture. This historic area is a popular choice for sightseeing and exploring.
Ivanhoe Village Main Street is a popular area just north of some of the best downtown Orlando wedding venues. Hotels and restaurants are among the most popular options for receptions in this area. Nearby Lake Concord offers opportunities for waterfront photos and is located close to some of the best downtown Orlando wedding venues, which can make the Ivanhoe Village Main Street area a popular stop for those attending your celebration.
Loch Haven Cultural Park is technically part of the Ivanhoe Village Main Street area but has a unique atmosphere that’s all its own. Located close to both Mills 50 and the Audubon Park Garden District, Loch Haven features museums, galleries, and many other attractions that will appeal to artistically inclined couples and their guests.
The Milk District takes its name from the T. G. Lee Dairy Plant, which is located at the heart of this part of Orlando and serves as a focal point for gourmet dining and music in this vibrant city. In this neighborhood, you’ll find several unique Orlando wedding venues and top restaurants to make your celebration super-special.
Mills 50 is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Orlando and is located close to some of the most popular attractions and venues in the area. For those looking for unique wedding venues in Orlando, Florida, Mills 50 can be a great place to start. This area is also known for its Instagram-worthy murals too, making them a can’t-miss spot for visitors heading to the top wedding venues in Orlando.
Thornton Park District is located to the east of the famed Lake Eola Park and near many of the Orlando wedding venues in the downtown area. With elegant architecture and ample entertainment options, Thornton Park is known as a center for nightlife and fine dining in the Orlando area. You can also go for a swan boat ride or see a live performance at the Walt Disney Amphitheater.
SoDo District derives its name from its location, which is south of downtown. The neighborhood is home to Lake Lucerne, which can offer stunning backdrops for couples who get married at downtown Orlando wedding venues.
Audubon Park Garden District is the home of the Audubon Park Community Market as well as the center of Orlando's vibrant organic gardening and farming community. Couples and wedding guests with green thumbs will enjoy a detour to this area before or after heading to wedding venues in Orlando, Florida.
College Park Main Street may sound like a district where you’ll find the city’s local college. In fact, this part of the city has named its streets after some of the most famous colleges and universities in the United States. Located close to top Orlando wedding venues, College Park offers a unique experience for guests and sightseers to the area.
West Lakes District offers access to Sunset Lake, Clear Lake, and Lake Mann, each of which can provide a beautiful backdrop for wedding photos within easy driving distance of top wedding venues in Orlando, Florida. While most of the options for dining or accommodations in this area are decidedly mainstream, the public parks and green spaces in the West Lakes District can sometimes provide a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of other areas of the city.
Curry Ford West is a family-friendly neighborhood with numerous homes and parks. Churches and garden spaces are among the most common Orlando wedding venues available in Curry Ford West. However, this area is also close to some of the top Orlando wedding venues in the downtown area or close to the Orlando Executive Airport to the north.
Gateway District is truly the gateway to the city and to many top Orlando wedding venues, especially for those arriving at Orlando International Airport. The Gateway District has only a few Orlando wedding venues within its borders but is located close to some of the top spots for tying the knot in this cosmopolitan city.
Whether you are interested in one of the elite downtown Orlando wedding venues or are looking for potentially more affordable options outside the city center, you can find the best options for your wedding within our directory. We offer a look at real-life weddings and Orlando wedding venues that can help you pick the right location for your ceremony and reception. This can help you to find the wedding venues in Orlando that you and your partner will love, no matter what your style or ideas are for your big day.
How much does an Orlando wedding cost?
The average cost of a wedding in Florida was $15,936 in 2020. With prices on the rise and supply chain disruptions in recent years, however, you will probably see somewhat higher costs for your wedding services and locations. Some venues may offer Orlando wedding packages that cover more than one element of the celebration, so make sure to inquire about these during visits or initial calls. This can often cut down on the cost of your wedding and can provide you with added value when planning your event.
Checking out some of the all inclusive wedding venues in Orlando, Florida can sometimes make a difference in the amount you pay for your wedding. Event spaces and estates can provide Orlando wedding packages that include decor, rentals, catering, and other elements of your ideal wedding. By selecting one of these all inclusive wedding venues in Orlando, Florida, you’ll rest easy knowing you have fewer decisions to make and it can typically reduce the overall cost.
Reducing the number of guests that you plan to invite to your wedding can also be a practical strategy for controlling costs. Your Orlando wedding venue will typically make up a significant percentage of your overall expenses (think around 40-50%). By opting for small wedding venues in Orlando that accommodate fewer guests, you may be able to keep your expenses lower for your wedding. Some outdoor wedding venues in Orlando, like city parks, can also be less expensive than comparable indoor options.
Along with the cost of your wedding venues in Orlando, the catering expenses for your reception will also take a considerable bite out of your wedding budget. Downsizing your guest list or opting for less expensive catering options can also make a big difference in the price you will pay for your wedding. Be aware, however, that some exclusive restaurant and hotel wedding venues in Orlando may have specific requirements for the type of catering allowed on the premises and the companies you can choose for food service at your wedding.
Whether you decide on all inclusive wedding venues in Orlando Florida or opt for upscale options that will cost much more, you can find a variety of solutions in this bustling city. You can also review our photos of Orlando wedding venues and weddings hosted there to get an idea of what you need, and which vendors can help make that happen.
How do you find Orlando wedding vendors?
Once you’ve decided on your Orlando wedding venue, you need to build out your team of the best vendors in the area. Here are some of the most important vendors to consider when planning your Orlando wedding:
- Orlando wedding planners: Orlando wedding planners are responsible for providing you with information and access to pretty much every element of your wedding. It’s also recommended to enlist one of these pros before your Orlando wedding venue hunt, so you can get expert advice on this major aspect of your celebration. Orlando wedding planners can offer their expertise and knowledge of the area to provide you with recommendations that will help you make the most appropriate choices for your ceremony and reception, from start to finish.
- Orlando wedding florists: Florists for Orlando wedding venues can provide flowers that match your color scheme and theme. Your florist will work with you to coordinate your floral arrangements with your decor, your choice among the many Orlando wedding dresses, and other elements that showcase your style.
- Orlando wedding photographers: For photos that will capture all of the most beautiful moments of your ceremony and reception, you need the best Orlando wedding photographers. In many cases, your Orlando wedding photographer will work from a shot list you provide, which is basically all of the people and combinations of people you want photos with. Most often, Orlando wedding photographers can recommend videographers, and vice-versa—this gives you the opportunity to hire content-makers who already know they work well together.
- Orlando wedding videographers: Your Orlando wedding videographer is responsible for filming and editing together a video of your wedding ceremony and reception. Orlando wedding videographers can often work hand-in-hand with your Orlando wedding photographer to create comprehensive photo and video records of your celebration too. Your venue may be able to suggest Orlando wedding videographers and photographers who have experience with your venue or your wedding theme. Having a trusted Orlando wedding videographer who knows the venue well can make it that much easier to highlight the best elements of your event space, decor, and more.
- Orlando wedding caterers: Caterers for Orlando wedding venues may offer buffet-style or plated catering arrangements. Depending on your budget, you may be able to find Orlando wedding packages that include catering and decor, or you could even host your event at a restaurant where you know you love the food.
- Orlando wedding DJs and musicians: Finding the right Orlando wedding DJs or other musical accompaniment for your wedding can enhance the guest experience and keep them dancing all night long. Finding the best Orlando wedding DJs for your celebration will create the atmosphere you want for every part of your special day, so it’s important to know which genres and instruments (if any) you want these pros to provide. Plus, your music choices can even serve as a soundtrack for videos created by your Orlando wedding videographer.
- Orlando wedding cakes: Deciding on your Orlando wedding cakes is usually a process that requires tasting the various options and selecting the look you want (which is arguably the most fun part of wedding planning!). You can find inspiration for the best cake maker by consulting with your wedding planner or checking out the local options for Orlando wedding cakes on our site. And don’t forget to tell your Orlando wedding photographer to get a few good photos of the cake before cutting into this culinary confection too!
- Orlando wedding dresses: When shopping for Orlando wedding dresses, be sure to consider your venue and your overall theme. Outdoor wedding venues in Orlando work well with more ethereal, lace gowns, while a ballroom could welcome more formal, ball gown styles.
Your vendors can have a major impact on the success of your wedding day celebration at any of these Orlando wedding venues. Think about your wedding-day must-haves and review the work of these professionals in our directory. If you gravitate toward someone’s particular taste or designs, reach out and learn more about their services.
What are some things for guests to do in Orlando?
When choosing wedding venues in Orlando, you can also let your guests know about the local attractions and entertainment options. Your wedding website is a great way to alert your wedding guests of attractions that go beyond the typical theme park experience, and it can get them even more excited about attending your event.
Some of the top attractions are listed here for your convenience:
- Art and science museums: From the information wonderland that is the Orlando Science Center to the exquisite artworks held by the Orlando Museum of Art, there are so many museums you can tell your guests about—and many of them are very close to the top Orlando wedding venues.
- Concerts: Concert venues located in Orlando include smaller clubs offering live music, the famed Hard Rock Café, the House of Blues Orlando, and The Plaza Live, which is one of the oldest theaters in the city.
- Outdoor activities: Parks, trails, and other outdoor adventures await guests who travel to our area to attend your Orlando wedding venues. For avid golfers, there are plenty of clubs and centers with the most popular links in the area.
- Botanical gardens: The Harry P Leu Gardens are among the most famed botanical gardens in Orlando and include the Arid Garden, which features an array of desert plants.
- Professional sports competitions: The Orlando Magic is perhaps the best known professional sports team in the city and competes from October to April each year in the NBA.
- Theme parks: While perhaps best known for Disney World, Orlando is also home to so many other theme parks, including the Epcot Center, Legoland Florida Resort, and Universal Studios Florida (just to name a few). There is truly a little something for everyone to enjoy in the Orlando area, and these spots are particularly fun for the pint-size party guests.
By including information about local attractions on your wedding website, you can help your guests to have the best possible time when attending your celebration. With our wedding websites, you can give your guest easy access to this information, plus anything else you want them to know about your wedding. Even more, you can communicate any last-minute changes or other useful tips with the click of a button.
How do you get to Orlando?
If some of your guests will be arriving in Orlando by plane, letting them know about the primary airports serving this part of Florida can allow them to plan their trip more efficiently. The three main airports serving Orlando wedding venues are listed here:
- Orlando International Airport (MCO) is located southeast of downtown Orlando. It served more than 19.5 million passengers in 2021 and is considered the busiest airport in the state of Florida.
- Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) is located in Sanford, a city positioned just north of Orlando. It covers approximately 3,000 acres and features four runways, and there were nearly 2.4 million passengers who journeyed through it in 2021.
- Tampa International Airport (TPA), as its name suggests, is located in the Tampa area and offers some short hops to Orlando for guests arriving to this airport. Many major airlines fly in and out of Tampa International Airport, including Southwest, Delta, American, and United. Tampa International Airport served approximately 18 million passengers in 2021.
Car rental options and accommodations are located near each of these airports to provide added help for your guests in planning their trip. Your wedding website is a great place to provide this information and communicate with your guests during the lead-up to your celebration.
How can you start looking for the top Orlando wedding venues?
If you want to learn more about the available Orlando wedding venues and vendors in this popular area, the Carats & Cake directory includes photos of real-life weddings and information to inspire your own unique celebration. We are here to help when you are planning your once-in-a-lifetime wedding day, especially when it comes to finding all of your inspiration and learning about those who can bring your vision to life. To properly start your wedding planning process, visit us online and take notes about all of the possibilities for your Florida festivities.