location: Dexter & Rita's Wedding.
Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. The unnamed location where Dexter Morgan & Rita Bennett were married.
A Miami Beach
hotel is shown in the establishing shot,
so it is probably supposed to be a garden on the hotel grounds.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. In Miami.
wedding invitation reads simply: "Four thirty-seven North Hialeah
Drive". (That address doesn't really exist.)
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In the third season finale, Episode 12, "Do You Take Dexter Morgan?"
It's where Dexter finally married his long-time girlfriend, Rita.
After being abducted by The Skinner on his wedding day, taken to a warehouse, and almost murdered, Dexter escapes in time to make it to his wedding (albeit, with a broken hand), and they are married in an outdoor ceremony.
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. A public
park, far from Miami Beach.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. They shot the wedding scenes at Burton Chase Park, at the far west end of Mindanao Way, in Marina Del Rey, CA.
The official address is 13650 Mindanao Way.
They filmed it on the northwest side of the park, near a white, wood gazebo/shelter atop a small knoll. It would appear that covered the gazebo's white posts with those purple drapes. And they also added flowers, lace, and built a small bandstand nearby.
For most of the shots, the camera is looking north or west.
Burton Chase is a unique park, insofar as you don't often find a large swatch of green lawn in the middle of a city marina, overlooking the water and the boat slips.
Besides the wedding, they shot two other scenes in Marina Del Rey for the third season: the scene where Debra & Quinn bust the Skinner's assistant gardener was shot in this same park, and the scene with Dexter & Prado shopping at a boating store was shot just a block away.
In the second season, they shot exteriors for the Police Station near the park (and they re-used some of those shots in the third season). And from that second season, they also shot the Narcotic Anonymous meeting, Lila's diner and the used car lot nearby.
( The opening/establishing shot of the hotel was taken in Miami Beach. It's the Royal Palms Hotel, on Collins Ave. )
[ I shot the photos below in 2009 ]
this is the actual white gazebo/shelter where they filmed the wedding ceremony.
In the photo above, we are looking east,
[ Note the red tile floor, the buildings across the marina, and the trees in the background - all glimpsed in the scene. ]
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. I'd been to Burton Chase Park many times, including just a few months previously to photograph the new location for the police station in "Dexter". Once you know the place, it's hard to miss. The buildings across the marina are easy to recognize, as is the park itself. The only minor challenge was figuring out exactly where in the park they filmed, and a trip there in person cleared that up.
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