If you are planning a destination wedding in Key West, obviously you are going to want to make choices with the menu that reflects where you are. Key West is known for their fresh seafood and tropical fruits and flavors so don’t be shy about including those as options for your guests. While not everyone may be as adventurous as you (and all of the good Key West restaurants that you talk to about hosting your reception will know this and have some more traditional options as well), many of your guests will appreciate the opportunity to fully embrace the island culture. Keep in mind, however, that what you eat isn’t the only important consideration. You should also look at how you eat.
Part of the idea behind having an island wedding is for the ceremony and reception to be a little more laid back and casual. There are some people who make sure their reception is a fine dining affair, but most people prefer to keep it less formal. Instead of creating a traditional dining scenario, many couples instead like to offer a continual serving of smaller, lighter dishes. This lets people relax a little more and enjoy themselves. Keep in mind, too, that Key West is pretty warm all year round, and nobody likes to have a heavy meal in the heat. By going a less traditional route with your wedding reception menu, both in what you serve and how you serve it, you can be sure to create an event that will have people buzzing for months to come.
There is a certain relaxed joy that comes from going on an island vacation. With the dress code being more relaxed, you don’t have to worry about packing as much. The debate that can rage on other vacations about what you are going to do today is pretty much reduced to “relax on the beach or by the pool?” and there isn’t the incessant pressure that comes from trying to do the same thing as a million other people. That doesn’t mean, however, that your island vacation has to be simple and repetitious. Not if you go to an island like Key West, Florida.
Key West has all of the same attributes that make so many other Caribbean Islands a popular choice for destination vacations, but it offers so much more beyond that without raising the pressure. Take dining out, as an example. The meals you will find at the Key West restaurants, for instance, will be some of the best in the world, thanks to the international chefs who have chosen to make the southernmost island their home, but even the finest of fine dining doesn’t mean you have to pack your extra tux or evening gown. On an island known for its casual elegance, dressing up usually means putting on your clean flip flops.
You want your island vacation to be relaxing, so make sure you don’t have to worry about going through customs or doing a currency exchange. Make your plans instead to visit the only Caribbean Island you can drive to…the United States own Key West. And when you are packing light, don’t forget to leave your stress at home, as well.
All sorts of recent surveys say that the majority of people who have paid vacation days seldom take all of what is available, and many end up using less than half. While some of this is attributable to the 24/7 workplace fostered on us by smartphones and instant connectivity, I think some of it also has to do with people not knowing how to take a proper vacation anymore. To get the most out of your time away, you need to be sure you do something that can’t be replicated just anywhere. That is why I am a big fan of “destination vacations” and my favorite one has always been Key West, Florida.
What makes Key West such a special place is that there are many things there I could do other places, but there is no other place I could do them all. With its mix of museums and historical architecture, water sports and golf course, relaxing days on the beach and exciting nights on the town, and the world famous Key West restaurants, I know that when I’m on my vacation, no matter what mood I’m in, I will be able to do what interests me.
More and more companies are instituting a “use it or lose it” policy when it comes to vacation days, and I’m seeing too many of my friends simply take a day off here and there without doing anything special. Don’t be like them. Plan your destination vacation today and make sure you get your money’s worth with your vacation days. You earned them, so go out and enjoy them.
My wife and I have both always loved Key West, so naturally, when we decided to get married, it was going to be a destination wedding in our favorite place. After having a wedding that was even better than either of ever imagined, I have one tip for anyone looking to plan a Key West wedding: don’t. I mean that in the greatest way possible.
There are so many warm, friendly and (most importantly) talented people down there whose mission in life seems to be making sure everybody has the wedding of their dreams, we soon discovered we hardly had to lift a finger in order to put our wedding together. It wasn’t a case of these people making the decisions for us or telling us what they thought we needed, either. Every single one of them listened to us, helped us come up with a perfect plan, and then did everything they needed to do to make it happen. They found us the perfect place for our wedding reception, a great spot to have pictures taken in front of a beautiful sunset, and even found us a “junkanoo” band to help us march from the ceremony to the reception and then again after the reception as we went out on Duval Street.
I can’t stress enough what an amazing time we had getting married in Key West, and how much of it was so easy to take care of, thanks to all of the wonderful people we met. If it is your dream to have an island wedding that is something to remember forever, Key West, Florida is the place to do it.
There’s an old saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” I have always found this to be a great way to travel, especially if I am taking island vacations. It gives me a chance to see the island from a different perspective and grants me a greater appreciation of where I am. Key West, Florida is no different. Granted, as part of the United States, it is certainly less exotic than other islands I‘ve gone to, but this doesn’t mean it’s the same as a trip to St. Louis or Seattle. To get the best out of it, I immerse myself in it.
Keep this in mind when you are planning the reception for your island weddings. The seafood there is some of the freshest you will ever be able to experience, so why would you want to limit yourself and your guests to the same choices they could have back home? Keep in mind that Key West restaurants host hundreds of weddings every year, and that most of those people getting married aren’t from just down the street or the next island over. These restaurants know how to take care of even the pickiest eaters, and the last thing you want to hear after your wedding is how cousin Jerry couldn’t find anything he liked to eat.
The joy of destination weddings is wedding receptions featuring outdoor dining of casual elegance with the finest foods. A wedding in Key West is going to be so special and beautiful. Don’t ruin that beauty by limiting your menu choices to the same old options. Let your guests taste the flavors that brought you there in the first place.
It’s funny. People who otherwise live fully immersed in the 21st century (hybrid cars, smart phones, Bluetooth) hear the phrase “island vacations” and immediately picture something from “Robinson Crusoe.” They expect to have to fend off angry native headhunters while eating coconuts and sleeping under palm trees. At best, they picture something like “Gilligan’s Island.” Let me tell you that the 21st century is alive and well when it comes to island vacations, and no place is that more evident than Key West, Florida.
Key West certainly has the added bonus of being an island you can drive to, which is helpful both in planning how you are going to get there, as well as if you discover you forgot to pack something important. Along with all of the unique shops and Key West restaurants that give the island its singular charm, there are also nationally recognized drug stores and shopping areas in case you forgot a prescription or break your suitcase. This road also helps bring other modern conveniences, so when you are out for a night of fine dining enjoying the fresh seafood, you can do so either under the gentle trade winds on an outdoor patio or in the cool comfort of an air-conditioned dining room.
As for the natives, well, they will certainly come after you, but only to make sure you try their signature Cuban coffee or the best key lime pie ever, or to help you find a charter for the afternoon so you can snorkel or fish (or both). Key West will give you a vacation from the past with all of the comforts of today.
I like amusement parks as much as the next guy. In fact, I probably like them more. I’m a roller coaster junkie, and I love the fact that all of my nephews are now tall enough to join me on even the biggest machines. When I’m planning a vacation, though, I don’t look to see what amusement parks are nearby. I want my vacations to be something I can’t do anywhere else…a true destination vacation. To that end, island vacations often work the best, because no amount of construction and scenery changes can replicate the true feel of an island getaway, and my favorite destination has always been Key West, Florida.
Vacations are big deals, and they should be. As much as I love amusement parks, so many of them now feature the same rides where, at the end of the day, the only thing different is the souvenir t-shirt you bought. To me, those are day trip getaways. My vacations are much more special. I want something I can’t do just anywhere. I want to sit down for some patio dining, I want to taste fresh seafood, have a slice of the best key lime pie, all while watching the stars start to twinkle. Basically I want to know that when I’m telling the stories about my island vacations, I know exactly where and when it happened. Vacations don’t have to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat them as such. The next time you’re planning, make it a destination vacation and take my advice and visit Key West, Florida.