Gulf Oil Spill Putting Slimy Wet Blanket On Beach Weddings

The ever-expanding pool of oil once known as the Gulf of Mexico isn’t just crushing the local fishing industry; it’s also caused many couples who had planned waterfront weddings on the beaches of the Florida Panhandle to move their nuptials further inland.

Says one wedding planner who claims to have lost $12,000 in business since the oil spill began in April:

It’s not just me hurting: it’s the DJs, caterers, photographers, everyone involved… Sixty percent of my beach weddings are canceling. This is worse than a hurricane because we don’t know what is going to happen.

A non-denominational woman of the cloth says she usually performs about 40 weddings each year — most in the summer and early fall — but now has nothing on her calendar through July and nothing booked for the fall.

“It’s hurting everyone from the ministers to the people who put the chairs out on the beach,” she explains. “They are talking about fisherman — and that’s huge — but our wedding business along the Gulf Coast has been growing for years.”

But with the white sand of the Panhandle now being dotted with balls of tar, it’s a tough sell for couples hoping to have a picture-perfect ceremony.

The wedding manager for the Carillon Beach resort, which is predicting it will only host half of its yearly average of 40 weddings this year, says she cried tears of joy when a couple recently called to confirm their plans for the venue: “If I could have reached through the phone and hugged them, I would have.”

At the very least, those couples that decide to go ahead with waterfront weddings on the Gulf could have some interesting memories.

Recalls one recent bride:

My biggest concern was one hour before the wedding when I looked out on the beach and a hazmat crew had set up near our site… I have pictures of our wedding trellis and the hazmat team.

Gulf Oil Spill: Wave Of Couples Canceling Beach Weddings [HuffPO]


Edit Your Comment

  1. smo0 says:

    My mother lives in Ft. Myers and I grew up in Florida… this all is just devastating – I loved to walk along the beach and see the small weddings – said that will be going away … maybe even for decades.

    • trey says:

      talk about fear mongering… i live in clearwater and the water is as clear as the name. people are too quick to condemn the whole of the Gulf and that is just immature. this is going to take a long time and we wont know the extent of the damages until it is here. but that could be next month or not at all. right now it all depends on mother nature and what she decides she wants to do with the coast.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        yeah really.

        I lived in Clearwater for 10 years and my family still lives there. They said everything is fine there right now.
        Plus, hell, people were swimming when red tide came through, so I doubt a lot of people will care too much about some oil balls.
        Although, like you said, we don’t know what will happen. Could be worse… could be nothing at all.

      • smo0 says:


    • Fidget says:

      From Pensacola here. And depending on who’s putting up fb pictures, I can’t tell the state of things, but my grandmother’s been telling me she can smell the oil from her porch. Without the beach, most of the panhandle is a really shitty place. So my plan for cheap, nice wedding goes out the window, along with several hundred turtles.

  2. areaman says:

    But according the BP it won’t hurt the overall economy. They’re going to say it even helped the economy because bookings for places to hold weddings in doors are now going at a premium.

  3. HogwartsProfessor says:

    That might be a good sneaky way to get pictures, since BP doesn’t want the journalists to take any.

  4. sopmodm14 says:

    just take a regular photo, and photoshop it anywhere they want the scenery to be

    then again, you could be a part of history with proof you were at one of the worst disasters in history

  5. MaxPower says:

    Is the skeleton bride in the picture pregnant? It looks very big for a skeleton.

  6. aleck says:

    People are not canceling weddings, they are just moving them. So, where is a matching article showing the booming wedding business at conference centers, restaurants, etc. The business is not lost, it just moved somewhere else.

  7. Project_J187 says:

    Quick fix:

    Decorate your wedding to look like an episode of X files, call the oil “black ooze”