Destination weddings continue to be trendy in the wedding industry. According to American Express Travel’s Honeymoon Div., destination weddings have grown more than 400 percent. And according to Destination Weddings Magazine, in 2011 one in four couples considered a destination wedding and of those weddings, 70 percent took place in the United States, with Florida ranked as the #1 destination spot. It’s no wonder that Florida ranked #1. The state’s tropical beauty and its coastal towns, cities and beaches appeal to couples looking for paradise, romance and fun in the sun. Plus, it’s affordable for family and friends to join in the festivities and work in a vacation. With its sunny weather and endless beautiful beaches, Florida has something for everyone: fishing, parasailing, water skiing, golf, sailing, shopping and so much more! Winter weddings in Florida are especially appealing to brides and grooms because of the tropical climate. Warm all-year round, Florida is especially wonderful in the winter, making it one of the reasons winter weddings in Florida are so popular. December through March is considered the winter season for South Florida. Noticeably drier [with very little chance of rain or even a sprinkling] and cooler with less humidity than spring and summer, the average temperature is 76 to 81 degrees, with the low being around 60 degrees. The famous humidity known to stick around in the long hot summer months disappears and is replaced with cool, off-shore breezes and clear sunny skies. Winter weddings in Florida offer every kind of event imaginable – from the beach, a private island, city, garden, amusement park and cruise. And each Florida location offers its own unique experience. South Florida – which encompasses Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach – is one of the most popular wedding destinations and vacation spots. Miami is well-known for its beaches, including the famed South Beach, trendy nightlife, the Art Deco District, Miami Design District, Calle Ocho and Little Havana. Fort Lauderdale is also famous for its beaches, arts, culture and events. From shopping on Las Olas to gondola rides on the canals, to a historic riverfront, Fort Lauderdale offers brides and grooms and their guests a more laid back atmosphere to Miami. And for something totally different, there’s Palm Beach. Just 10.4 square miles, Palm Beach has long been synonymous with America’s big name social elite – from the Kennedys to the Pulitzers to the Trumps. Opulent extravagance in a country club-style manner is the order of the day with sites like Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Spa, the Worth Avenue stores and nightlife on Clematis Street. Because of the tropical weather, many couples having a winter wedding in Florida opt to hold their ceremonies outdoors. And it’s no surprise that beach weddings are the #1 choice. Another popular wedding venue is onboard a private chartered yacht. Most if not all chartered yacht companies offer the same services and amenities you would find at a hotel or catering venue. And just like a land venue, chartered yacht weddings can be intimate or large, typically lasting four or five hours on the water. Couples can have both the ceremony and reception onboard, or just host the reception. If marrying onboard, the captain of the ship performs the ceremony and in most cases, a crewed yacht will be used. Many companies like Charter One Yachts in South Florida offer everything needed to create a unique and unforgettable wedding, including fine dining, top shelf drinks and superb entertainment. Couples can choose a day or evening cruise with a breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner menu, or they can tailor their own custom-seated or buffet wedding menu, or keep it relaxed with a cocktail-style reception. The possibilities are endless. And like Charter One, most companies will have experienced event planners assisting couples in creating the event of their dreams. It’s important to note that couples are generally responsible for arranging their own floral, centerpieces, décor and entertainment. The event planners of these private yacht companies work with local vendors, making it easier on couples from out of state; and like hotels and catering halls, the event planners and staff will do the set-up day-of. Keep in mind that not all chartered yachts in South Florida are on the ocean. For example, Charter One Yachts’ The Floridian Princess and The Summer Wind cruise the Intracoastal Waterway and Biscayne Bay. The Floridian Princess allows for up to 400 guests with seating for 350+ guests between two decks. The Summer Wind, formerly owned by the Bacardi family for private retreats, accommodates up to 65 guests. With the flexibility of a number of docking locations in Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, holding your wedding aboard a Charter One Yacht is like having your own private vessel. Amenities include private suites where the bridal party can prepare for the special day, unobstructed open-air decks providing views of the picturesque Intracoastal Waterway and bay, large dining and entertainment areas. So no matter what kind of winter wedding in Florida you have, rest assured you will dance and romance the night away, be it on the beach, private island or your own private yacht sailing on the water.