FL - Event planners scrambling after Naples freezes beach wedding permits

NAPLES, Fla. — The City of Naples has instituted a freeze on beach wedding permits for all of Naples proper.

A lack of parking, beach access closures, and hidden debris underneath the sand are all cited as causes for the temporary measure.

“It’s disappointing because people want to come for a destination wedding. This is a great destination for a wedding,” Doug Marshall, the owner of Naples Beach Weddings.

Businesses, specifically wedding planners, have struggled with this new policy alongside their guests.

“We actually had beach patrol and code enforcement come and tell us that we couldn’t be on the beach due to Hurricane Ian. When they came up to stop this wedding a few weeks ago … I said you’re going to have to call CCSO. They showed up and pulled rank,” said Kara Cardinal with KC Weddings and Events.

Others look to reinvent themselves due to the lack of weddings they may see on beaches shortly.

“It’s going to be tough; if they don’t change things soon, I’m going to have to rethink my business model. Think about the long-term affected when you make a decision. Is this helping someone? Is it hurting? Who is this actually helping? It’s only hurting small business,” said Marshall.

A timeline for the permitting freeze was not provided to us.

This is an ongoing story. Count on ABC7 for more information as it comes into our newsroom.

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