Wedding Date - check
Wedding Dress - check check
Wedding Location - CHECK CHECK CHECK!!!
Yesterday Mary and Candy and I headed out to Pensacola Beach to tour the Portofino Resort as a possible location for Mary's wedding. I have stayed at the Portofino a few times, so I was very excited to see how Mary liked it. Before we even got in the building, Mary was already sold, turning to say "this is IT!!" as we headed up the stairs to the office. Candy and I both were relieved to see Mary so happy.
The Portofino Resort is at the "end" of Pensacola Beach, overlooking 8 miles of untouched beach within in the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Each tower is built to give a view of the Gulf of Mexico and the Santa Rosa Sound from any angle. There are seven pools on the property, with the Lifestyle Center Infinity pool right in the center where you can eat, drink, and even get a massage poolside. The Lifestyle Center also has a complete Spa and Fitness facility.
We walked the property and checked out all of the amenities - which with 100 yards between towers we averaged we walked the length of three football fields... made me feel less guilty about the Krispy Kreme Donut Holes I got on the way out there... *ahem*
The last time I stayed I enjoyed a day at their Spa, so I highly recommended we spend the day prior to the wedding getting totally pampered. Mary wasnt completely sold on it until she walked into the spa and saw everything it has to offer. She got particularly excited about the Private Hot Tub.
The Spa has a steam room, sauna, hot tubs, and lounge area. The offer massages, facials, body treatments, nail care, and even some things for the guys! You can see their services here.
The location Mary booked is actually one of their Terrace Condos - over 2,000 square feet inside and over 500 feet of terrace balconies overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. We will be setting up an arbor with chairs and a long white runner for the aisle. Not a bad backdrop for a wedding, huh?
The Portofino offers Wedding Packages to fit any need or budget - in fact it was WAY more reasonable than I expected it to be - better than the Hilton which does not have half of the same amenities, nor the view. I think Mike and I ought to "practice" getting married a few times to get that rate and use it for vacation! Ha!
Mary will be staying for a total of five days, making her Wedding and Honeymoon together in one great location. (and we even get a day beforehand to lay in the pool and get pampered in the spa!)
Portofino is also taking care of all of the catering through Teracotta, their on site fine dining European restaurant - taking yet another stresser off Mary's plate. (pun intended) I have eaten at their restaurant a few times, and I can tell you - it is awesome.
I am getting more and more excited about this wedding, and I know Mary is too! The success of finding a location as amazing as the Portofino, and getting another HUGE task off the "Wedding To Do" list made for a very very happy Bride, and wedding party. My friend transformed from a bit of a Bridezilla (sorry babe, you know I love you) back to my fun, goofy best friend.
Now on to the next adventure... MY dress...