The 2020s is a decade in which one of Florida’s most historic wedding venues will celebrate its 100th anniversary. As a favorite destination for luxury South Florida weddings, The Boca Raton has long been known for its pristine resort setting, world class amenities, and timeless Floridian style. Tia Azzara, Assistant Director of Catering, shares more about what couples can expect when hosting a wedding at The Boca Raton, and what the wedding planning process entails.
GO: If you had to describe The Boca Raton in three words, what would they be?
A: Truthfully, I only need one word – “iconic.” “Iconic” is the first word that always comes to mind when I describe The Boca Raton. Not only is the 200-acre property stunning, but it also has nearly 100 years of storied history. I would also say “glamorous” and “reimagined” are fitting. This is a property with strong roots in the community, and our recent $200 million dollar transformation has allowed us to reimagine every aspect of what luxury is, as well as elevate those experiences.
GO: How far in advance does a couple need to reserve a wedding date?
A: Our wedding bookings are open 12 to 18 months in advance. Once a couple expresses interest in The Boca Raton, we begin with a phone call to explain the property’s offerings and to learn about the needs of the potential client. Then we require an in-person site visit to understand the scope of the selected space and physically visualize the wedding we are curating for them.
GO: Are onsite wedding planners available for the wedding process?
A: We have a preferred list that boasts the industry’s leading wedding planners. Based on the couple’s needs, we make recommendations for a wedding planner. In addition, we have Boca by Design, a very talented floral and design company located on property. They help secure everything from entertainment to creating centerpieces. In addition, the sales and catering team are also excellent resources for couples. Together we have deep-rooted knowledge and skills to curate unrivaled wedding experiences for our couples.
GO: Are accommodations and buyouts available? What is the capacity limit?
A: We absolutely offer accommodations and buyouts. It’s important to remember there are five distinct hotels at The Boca Raton, which means there is an abundance of room options. For example, The Beach Club offers 212 beautiful rooms and suites overlooking the ocean, while the Yacht Club offers 112 junior suites overlooking Lake Boca Raton. We can also do buyouts at our restaurants; currently, there are more than 10 restaurants to choose from. Typically, we only host two weddings on property at any given time. First, there’s exclusivity, but equally important, we make sure that each event is special and has our dedicated attention.
GO: What spaces are available for ceremonies and receptions?
A: Within the 200-acre property, we have so many different intricate and bespoke spaces that can be used for a full wedding experience. Of course, we host the weddings, but we also host rehearsal events, after-parties, brunch and so much more. We can accommodate groups from 80 to 800.
There are three specific locations that I must mention. The grandeur of our Mizner Center is the ideal venue for larger weddings (from 300 to 800 people), with so many spaces to choose from, such as the outdoor Spanish Terrace or the Grand Lawn. The Cathedral Ballroom is our most celebrated venue because of its elegant architectural details and its history, which dates to 1926. The ballroom accommodates up to 225. We also have beautiful oceanfront accessibility at the Beach Club. There is nothing more romantic than a beachside wedding experience.
GO: What are some of the amenities, incentives and activities that The Boca Raton offers a couple?
A: The beauty of The Boca Raton is you never need to leave the property. We have everything you need. With our variety of restaurants – four of which are signature dining collaborations with Major Food Group – every palate can be satisfied. Our 50,000 square foot Spa Palmera, inspired by Alhambra Palace in Spain, is a dream with its exotic ritual baths and treatments. Every couple should experience a ritual bath; it truly relaxes the mind and helps to prepare for the weekend. Of course, we offer the quintessential outdoor sports – golf, tennis and pickleball. Lastly, there are the marina experiences where we can schedule activities such as chartered boats or snorkeling excursions. The Pool Club, which overlooks Lake Boca Raton, boasts three pools, a lazy river and a slide. There are also beachfront and private cabanas.
When it comes to our offerings, we always aim to take the experience one step further. It’s what we call creating “#OnlyAtTheBocaRaton moments.” Whether it’s a sunset cruise for a couple, a private bonfire on the beach or orchestrating a proposal on a private yacht…anything you can dream, we can curate.
GO: Food is such an important element at a wedding. Tell us about your wedding menu options and customization services.
A: If you have a vision, our acclaimed culinary team, led by Chef Andrew Roenbeck and Pastry Chef Steven Day, can create it. This is one of the most fun parts of my job. I sit down with the couple to learn their favorite culinary experiences, memories, and inspirations and of course, their taste preferences. With this information, we create a menu that fits their vision. And the beauty of the menu is that anything goes! From chicken and waffles at the after-party to an ice carving with caviar and all the accoutrements featuring the couple’s personal logo, we can do it all. One of our biggest strengths is creating that unique cocktail hour experience. This is usually where the couple can get the most creative and whimsical, and our team shines at creative small bites to larger stations. And when it comes to the cake…there are no limitations. We have hundreds of combinations of fillings, flavors, fresh fruit, and buttercreams for the ultimate custom cake experience. The coconut cake is by far one of my favorites.
GO: Service is imperative in the wedding industry. What does The Boca Raton offer couples and their guests that set you apart?
A: We offer all those services and more. We have a fleet of luxury cars that are available to our guests, and secure transportation around town. Our five hotels each have distinct amenities such as floor butlers or personal concierge. We can do custom snack selections or welcome giftbags featuring macarons and chocolates from Maison Rose adorned with the couple’s monogram. At The Boca Raton, we can personalize anything.