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RSW Living Magazine

Casa Ybel Resort - Tying the knot in style, delivering the perfect wedding venue

Oct 27, 2020 06:00PM ● By BILL WAITES



Weddings are all about love, and the staff at Casa Ybel Resort knows plenty about love and weddings―couples have been saying “I do” at this romantic Gulf-shore setting for more than a century. The tradition began in 1888, when the Rev. George Barnes landed on Sanibel and built his homestead on the shore. His beachside cottage grew into a 30-room inn, attracting celebrities such as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

When the Rev. Barnes’s daughter became engaged to a guest at the inn, a magnificent Victorian house was built as a wedding gift. This structure evolved into the now well-known Thistle Lodge Beachfront Restaurant at Casa Ybel Resort.

Before long, engaged sweethearts discovered the romance of this seaside venue. Each year, hundreds of couples flock to Casa Ybel’s 23 Gulf-front acres to declare their love. With 114 one- and two-bedroom condo suites overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, there are ample accommodations for the wedding party and guests. All have private sleeping rooms, en-suite baths, spacious main rooms and equipped kitchens. Resort amenities include an Olympic-size pool with spa, Coconuts poolside cafe and bar, in-room or on-the-beach spa treatments, tennis courts, access to Sanibel’s bicycle paths, on-site rental bikes, kayaks, paddleboards, beach concession and concierge arrangements for fishing, boating and golfing. 


Venues for weddings include a sandy beach and grassy lawns for ceremonies, the modern Waterfront Ballroom and the Thistle Lodge patio for receptions. Tented lawn receptions overlooking the Gulf are very popular, and Casa Ybel is the only resort on Sanibel that offers them. “Casa Ybel has historically been the place to get married on Sanibel,” says Director of Sales and Catering, Jessica Cardinale. “The view of the Gulf can’t be beat, but it’s the Old Florida charm and character that makes it unique. Even with a tented reception of 200 guests on our Gulf-front lawn, weddings at our private resort feel extremely intimate.”


The resort is reminiscent of romantic settings from literature, another reason it draws couples who want to be wed in a venue suffused with love. As a sanctuary island, Sanibel honors a long-standing respect for the environment and the creatures that inhabit it. Casa Ybel joins that commitment with meticulously maintained grounds and its own small nature preserve.  

Breathtaking scenery, award-winning cuisine and a staff with extensive wedding knowledge all contribute to the authentic Sanibel experience that Casa Ybel couples and their guests experience. And best of all, the newlyweds won’t have far to go to begin their honeymoon. 

Types of Lodging: Luxurious all-suite rooms
Address: 2255 West Gulf Drive, Sanibel Island
Contact Information: 866-748-8958 ext. 1351,  

  • Indoor Venue Options: Charming Old Florida atmosphere in large and small spaces within the historic Thistle Lodge
  • Outdoor Venue Options: Secluded white sand beach, romantic lakeside gazebo, lush expanses of perfectly manicured lawns and gardens
  • Banquet Options: From a beachfront barbeque to an elegant black tie dinner, wedding parties can select from a dazzling array of culinary creations, all with impeccable island flair
  • On-site Amenities: Professional wedding planner and staff, complete coordination of wedding flowers, music and photography