I wanted to put my two cents in since I have seen all 3 types of weddings at my stay at the PPC.
It's small. For a small wedding they squeeze chairs inside and it looks cramped. For a larger wedding they have them on the grass leading to the gazebo which is tiny as well. As far as crowds go, this is a quieter area of the resort, as most of the activities are on the middle or other end of the beach. Building 30 is right there, which is where I stayed, and there is very little foot traffic as the restaurants, activities, and Royal Service are on the other end. You also get the breeze from the ocean.
I would recommend getting married on the beach in a heartbeat. I walked through the gazebo down the beach to the ceremony. There are 2 other locations to get married on the beach, but they are closer to all the action, push for a wedding by the gazebo. I had a big puffy dress and just got sand in my train when walking, which shook off easily. My dress got the dirtiest walking around on the concrete. And it was gross by the end. Make sure when you get dress altered that you tell her that you will be barefoot and you won't get sand caught in it. I was also so sweaty by the end (gross I know) that my dress kept slipping down which caused it to drag.
Because there is very little foot traffic in the area, you will only get people walking along the beach that may cut in front of your wedding. Getting married in the middle of the day it is HOT, like super gross hot. I didn't see that many people walking along the beach then. I got married at 6:30 when there were a lot of people walking. 90% of people were respectful and moved on. I did get some tourists taking pictures and the staff and photographer asked them to keep it moving. Also on the beach at noon you'll at least get a breeze which you will want because it is HOT. I would have stayed on the beach for the reception, but sand fleas come out at night
Very pretty, I think the least private. The garden is close to the main lobby, anyone there can see what's going on you probably won't have them walking by but there will be gawkers. You have noisy, smelly golf carts driving by. There is no breeze up this way, and did I mention it is HOT? Your dress will turn black at the bottom from dragging it along the concrete and grass. My reception was a the pool and my dress was an awful mess by the end. Also there is no breeze away from the beach and everyone was a disgusting sweaty mess at my reception which was at 8p, cause it's HOT.
Also, if you are going to have your ceremony there, I would just have your cocktail hour there. The trek back to the gazebo is 10-15 minutes, and with everyone dressed up, it's going to be a sweaty walk. The will provide transportation, but with a lot of guests, not everyone will fit. I had 56 guests and I wound up walking to the reception so people could get a ride who needed it.
Here is a pic from the Gazebo looking onto the beach, where we had our wedding.
Thank you for the info! Very helpful... you have a point that it's nice to keep everyone together. I'm having right around 50 people so I know that will be a concern for me as well. I didn't realize that the resort was 96 acres?! I just read that. Holy cow. With doing the ceremony in the garden, it seems like the biggest thing is getting people to/from the cocktail hour. The good thing is all my wedding colors will "go" no matter what location I choose- I'm just doing sage green, light brown/goldish color, ivory and a light coral/peach.
Haha too funny about your dress! What kind of material is your gown? I can definitely see how you wouldn't want to get sand on something so nice. Mine is lace (with just a silk layer underneath) so sand would be pretty easy to shake out (heard it's hard to get it out of the organza and other "fluffy" layers). Have you decided on everything (bouquet, cake, etc etc)? I had my power planning meeting but I still wasn't sure about a lot of the items. I can say that I've narrowed things down usually between 2 items (for instance, I was chooseing between white rose bouquet for simplicity and colored lilies for tropical). Also, are you bringing/shipping boxes of items with you? I have been checking with my airline (American) and it looks like I can bring boxes or totes along with items. Most of my stuff I am taking is lightweight- but it's bulky and/or has more volume than weight. I'm just curious how others are bringing items (if at all!)
I feel confident in having the cocktail at the gazebo- that's a beautiful spot. I feel like the only way I'm going to feel comfortable that it will be private is to have it in the garden area. You are right- there's too many people on the beach just hanging around and it seems like a big risk to run- especially with my ceremony at noon.