Florida is known for its great weather throughout the entire year, especially the hot temperatures in the summer months. While couples are planning their “Big Day” and they decide on an outdoor wedding, usually the fall season is the best time to have one in Tampa Bay. When planning a wedding in the fall, choose an outdoor venue like most Bay area couples and have the best wedding day that you have been dreaming of.
Cross Creek Ranch
12950 E. Wheeler Road
Dover, FL 33527
(813) 651-0934

If you are looking for a Florida country-style wedding in the fall, the Cross Creek Ranch just outside Valrico should definitely be at the top of the list. The Cross Creek Ranch has two different venues in one location. For an elegant wedding venue, there is “The Carriage House Stable,” and for an elegant but a little less classic style, there is “The French Country Inn.” Both packages include consultations with a professional wedding designer as well as vendor coordinator to ensure that all of the details are just right for the big day. Both packages also include access to a DJ, ceremony and reception set-up and breakdown as well as private parking. The Carriage House Stable has a bridal cottage with a bridal assistant for the bride and the bridal party as well as a man cave for the groom and groomsmen. This package is also all-inclusive so all you have to worry about are the favors and invitations.

“The French Country Inn” has all of the country charm that Cross Creek Ranch has to offer but at an affordable rate. The garden setting of “The French Country Inn” also has a bridal dressing room for the bride as well as many other amenities to make the big day special as well as stress-free. No matter which option you choose, the Cross Creek Ranch provides a special ambiance surrounded by all of nature’s simple pleasures that you and your guests will truly treasure forever. To see everything that the Cross Creek Ranch has to offer, take a tour of the grounds and see why it is so special.

Davis Islands Garden Club
81 Columbia Drive
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 251-3123

The Davis Islands Garden Club is a great Wedding venue for those looking for a waterfront venue surrounded by a beautiful garden ambiance. The Garden Club is a great place to view the downtown area of the gorgeous City of Tampa, tropical plants and fantastic sunsets and be able to host the garden wedding of your dreams. In case of inclement weather, there is a covered veranda adjacent to the garden. To plan a wedding at the Davis Islands Garden Club, couples must place a $700 security deposit to ensure that you will have your planned date. One of the most popular times of the year to hold a wedding at the grounds is October and November, making it a great place for fall weddings. The Garden Club allows just one event per day and is open from 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. daily but asks that events conclude at around 10 p.m. to ensure that everything is completed by the 1 a.m. deadline. There is seating for about 175 guests and chairs and tables are included in the rental of the gardens. The Davis Islands Garden Club does have a list of preferred vendors that are familiar with the setup for events and by inquiring about hosting your wedding at the venue, couples can find out more about the gorgeous property and the amenities that are offered to bridal parties.

Lowry Park Zoo
1101 W. Sligh Ave.
Tampa, FL 33604
(813) 935-8552

Tampa’s top-rated Lowry Park Zoo brings the perfect venue for couples to marry amongst some of the most unique and interesting wildlife in the world. Lowry Park Zoo is not only a beautiful place to get married, but also brings a lot of different options to make your day just the way you pictured it. Couples can choose from five different venues at Lowry Park Zoo depending on which type of scenic route is chosen and whether the couple chooses an outdoor or indoor event.

The Safari Lodge is an outdoor venue in the Safari area of the Zoo which allows guests to enjoy a state-of-the-art facility amongst some of nature’s beauty. This venue can hold up to 500 people, and for a seated plated meal at Reilly’s Reserve, which helps host the reception, can feed up to 125 guests. The Ituri Forest location is an outdoor venue and is usually for a smaller wedding. There is a paved patio that leads to a gazebo and deck, both covered, where couples can exchange vows amongst African species to really make this day one of a kind. The gazebo can hold about 60 guests seated where the patio and deck can hold around 175 guests. The Wallaroo Station has an Australian motif while offering an indoor venue as well as an outdoor patio for wedding guests to enjoy. An average size wedding would fit perfectly at this venue with 80 guests seated comfortably inside. This venue is also great for a wedding party with younger guests in attendance as there is a Parakeet Feeding Station, playground and pony rides. The final venue is the Banquet and Lecture Hall which is a traditional-style indoor location that holds 200 guests and offers a buffet-style meal. All weddings will include complimentary Lowry Park Zoo passes for a year for the bride and groom, cake cutting and table settings, champagne toast for the bridal party and complimentary fruit and cheese platter as well as complimentary bottled water and soda for the bridal suite. Visit the Lowry Park Zoo website and schedule a consultation for more information about having a wedding here.

Tampa Bay Watch Lighthouse
3000 Pinellas Bayway S.
Tierra Verde, FL 33715
(727) 867-8166

The famous Tampa Bay Watch Lighthouse is perfectly nestled on Cunningham Key at the beginning of Fort De Soto Park in Tierra Verde. The Tampa Bay Watch Lighthouse is the perfect place to say “I do” if you are hosting a nautical-themed wedding. The Lighthouse has two buildings that feature both indoor and outdoor amenities which allows couples to marry on either the balcony or outside on the lawn for scenic views of the Bay area. The patio is covered and prevents extreme weather from interrupting the big day. The Lighthouse provides over 2,000 square feet on over two acres for up to 150 guests for both the ceremony and the reception. For the reception, the Tampa Bay Watch Lighthouse has bamboo floors which is perfect for a spacious dance floor for everyone to enjoy. The venue also has a preparation room for the bridal party to get ready and also a large parking lot as well as an overflow parking lot to accommodate all guests in attendance. Only one ceremony per day is held at the property and the ceremony and reception are considered as a “Package deal” and both must be held on the premises. The Tampa Bay Watch Lighthouse is also easily accessible for guests from the local area as well as out of town and close to Tampa International Airport and many local attractions. To inquire about having your wedding at the Tampa Bay Watch Lighthouse, call the number above or visit the website. The Tampa Bay Watch Lighthouse is not only spacious but also provides the great views of the Tampa Bay for you and your guests to enjoy.

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Yacht Starship
603 Channelside Drive
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 223-7999

Tampa’s famous fine dining dinner cruise, the Yacht Starship, is great place to host your upcoming nuptials in an unique experience that will definitely make a fall wedding truly “one of a kind.” Located in the Channel District of downtown Tampa, the Yacht Starship hosts ceremonies, receptions and even rehearsal dinners. There are four packages to choose from depending on the style of wedding that you wish. Ceremonies are usually held on dock for a set fee, but if couples wish to say “I do” while aboard the Yacht Starship as they cruise through Tampa, there will be an additional fee. All packages include the rental of the Yacht Starship, two consultations with the wedding coordinator at the Yacht Starship, rehearsal dinner, DJ, menu selection for plated dinner or a buffet, cake cutting and the champagne toast. There is a large variety of gourmet menu options for couples to choose from.  Two-time winner of “The Knot, Best of Weddings” in 2012 and 2014, the Yacht Starship’s unique setting in the Tampa downtown area will provide a venue like no other and create memories that will last a lifetime for families. Visit the Yacht Starship website to get an overview of the wedding packages available and to schedule a consultation.

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Bethany Cohen is a resident of Tampa and enjoys sharing her love for the city with others. Bethany loves traveling and learning about new cultures. She currently writes for Examiner.com. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.