November 21, 2023 – SunQuest Cruises is pleased to announce the expansion of their event, wedding, and catering services into two new businesses, SunQuest Catering along with Emerald Coast Florals and Event Design.
SunQuest Cruises was originally founded in 2004 by James (Shorty) Murray II and his late father, James Murray, with a custom-built 125-foot dining and entertainment yacht, fondly known as The Solaris, located at the docks of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
The company has specialized in creating unforgettable memories on the water for all occasions over the past two decades. While the yacht was specifically built to host weddings, The Solaris has hosted various events ranging from corporate meetings and birthday parties to charity dinners and fundraising galas. Their most notable clients include Coca Cola, Pepsi Co., SEC Football Coaches, Yamaha, and Navy SEAL operator, Robert O’Neil. The company expanded in 2010 with SunVenture Cruises when Murray purchased two 45’ Corinthian Catamarans offering a more intimate boating experience for bachelor or bachelorette parties, smaller celebrations, or rehearsal dinners. They also offer daily cruises of the Destin harbor, Crab Island, and dolphin cruises.
SunQuest Cruises has received numerous accolades throughout the years including recognitions from The Knot, regional magazines including Emerald Coast Magazine and VIP Destin Magazine and most notably being placed in the Top One Percent of Wedding Venues in the United States by WeddingWire. Even through numerous hurricanes, oil spills, and pandemics, Murray has kept the business alive and thriving while keeping his clients and employees at the forefront.
Since its inception, SunQuest Cruises has produced over 4,000 weddings. SunQuest Beach Weddings was created under the brand umbrella to offer brides full-serving planning with custom packages and a unique four step process that helps eliminate stress and uncertainty. Their team has a collection of 75 years experience in the event planning industry and guarantees a 24-hour response time to all clients and prospective customers.
“It can be overwhelming for brides who aren’t local or who are overwhelmed with the wedding process in general,” Murray said. “Our team of experts offers a step-by-step process to make sure deadlines are met, selections are made on time, and that all the important details are included. We even offer 3D models of the event space so brides can understand the layout and look of their big day.”
While keeping brides in mind, Murray also wants the business to benefit and be a resource to the numerous wedding and event planners throughout Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, and Walton Counties. Emerald Coast Florals and Event Design as well as SunQuest Catering will be an extension of the business that will do just that.
“Planners normally have to reach out to numerous vendors for their brides or clients to handle rentals, florals, cakes, lighting, or food,” Murray said. “We are going to be their one-stop-shop to essentially take care of everything from start to finish.”
Emerald Coast Florals and Event Design will offer all event rentals ranging from tables, chairs, and linens, to stages, lighting, and sound equipment. They have an experienced team of floral designers to execute the client’s vision, big or small. Planners will be able to work with the event design team one-on-one to develop a concept and make sure all aspects of the event are met to the highest standard.
“Our mantra ‘make it happen’ is very much a part of our company culture,” Murray said. “We are here to execute any request and offer a creative hand when producing any event.”
SunQuest Catering will offer a wide range of cuisine featuring local, fresh ingredients and dishes that are made from scratch. Clients can choose from a variety of service options including plated meals, buffet style, or stations for their event. The culinary menu also boasts fine dining dishes including caviar stuffed potatoes, filet mignon, and rack of lamb to more casual styles including gourmet cheeseburgers and lasagna. SunQuest Catering also offers in-home catering services and beach bonfire set ups across the Emerald Coast.
“Our Drop-and-Go option allows us to work with your property manager to drop off meals to your rental home before you even arrive,” Murray said. “We can cater from an intimate dinner party, game day, or girls’ night to a corporate gathering of 1,000 plus. It’s entirely customizable from start to finish.”
Planners and clients can contact SunQuest Cruises through any of these brands to coordinate and execute their next event. SunQuest Cruises is able to customize any of their offerings and offers a la carte options depending on the needs of the client.
“We want to bring these two businesses to the community to help planners and clients alike,” Murray said. “We understand what people go through when planning an event, and we want to make the process as easy and streamlined as possible.”
Photos courtesy of SunQuest Cruises