My fiancé and I wanted to have a special destination wedding. We felt it was important to start our marriage together in a meaningful place. We both love to travel, and between the two of us, have visited most of the states and about a dozen countries, but neither of us had ever been to Key West.
At first we kind of dismissed it, mostly because all we knew about it was its reputation as a party town. But we decided that the place we chose should be new to both of us, so our first memories of it could be together, so we bought a couple of plane tickets and headed down for a week to see if it would be our tropical island wedding.
It turned out to be far more than that. We immediately fell in love with the beautiful weather, the warmth of the people and the laid back island lifestyle. We understood the reason why so many people we met told us stories of having come down for a week ten years ago. We knew we couldn’t quite do that – we each had responsibilities back home and there was still a wedding to plan – but we decided to do the next best thing.
We still had a destination wedding. We had a beautiful oceanfront ceremony and chose among our favorite new Key West restaurants for our reception. The only thing that made our wedding different than most was that when everything was over, all of our guests went back, and we stayed in our beautiful new island home.
My husband and I are perfect examples of opposites that attract. Luckily, we’ve always been able to compromise. He teaches art and sculpture at the local college while I commute to the city for my finance job. I own at least two dozen professional outfits and I think he has one suit and maybe two ties. When it came to our wedding, I wanted a traditional church service and he wanted a tropical island celebration. Key West offered us the perfect solution.
We told the local Key West wedding planner we hired what all of our concerns were and she helped us arrange the perfect destination wedding. We found a beautiful church to hold the ceremony at, and she took us to several different Key West restaurants to look at for the reception venue. We got to sample some of the fresh seafood and key lime pie that would be part of the menu, and found a beautiful location with outdoor patios and plenty of room for dancing.
Most of the guests on my side were a bit surprised when they saw the invite for a tropical wedding, knowing as they did my traditional wedding dreams. I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first, too. Much of that was due to how little people know about Key West beyond its reputation as a partying resort town. Everyone thanked us afterwards not only for having such a beautiful wedding, but also for introducing them to a great new vacation destination. Every time someone said that, my husband just gave me a wink. He was too polite to take credit himself, but if not for him, I never would have learned how beautiful Key West is.
My fiancé and I were looking into having a tropical island wedding, but we were disappointed by the lack of options. It seems like it didn’t matter which island we looked at. All of their wedding packages were basically the same. The bigger drawback to not being able to customize the plan was the expense of having guests. It seems like most of these resorts expect the wedding to basically be elopements.
One of my fiancé’s co-workers had just returned from a vacation in Key West, Florida, and when she told my fiancé about it, it got her to thinking. We did a little research, got in touch with a wedding planner and told her what we were thinking. She presented several different options that were all within our budget. Soon we made plans to fly down, meet with her in person and see what we could do.
She took us around to several different Key West restaurants so we could choose our reception menu. We visited a dozen unique locations where we could have the ceremony. She pointed out all of the different hotel options for our guests, as well as different travel options, and helped us design a wedding that worked for us.
We both fell in love with Key West so quickly that we decided to not only have a destination wedding, we were also going to make it our honeymoon as well. I don’t think we’ll be able to do everything we want to in a week, but we’re going to try. And if not, it gives us a reason to come back.
My kid sister got married last year. Her and her husband wanted to have a tropical island wedding and they wanted as many people to come as possible. That means they needed to find ways to save money and make it affordable, so they settled on Key West during the summer. I love Key West and I knew that it was a great spot, but I wasn’t so sure about the summer. Still, it’s my kid sister and I wasn’t going to disappoint her.
It ended up being a spectacular vacation all the way around. The wedding itself was everything she hoped for: beautiful ceremony on the beach and a reception on a gorgeous outdoor dining deck with fantastic fresh seafood and a super fun DJ. What was more surprising was how cool the rest of the trip was, and I mean that in every way possible. It wasn’t as hot or as humid as I thought it would be, there were so many things to do when we weren’t involved in the wedding, and I got a chance to hang out with some of the locals.
They took me to some of the great off-the-beaten-path Key West restaurants and bars and even hooked me and my boys up with a fishing charter. We had such a great time that a few of us have plans to go back this summer as well. If it’s going to be just as hot in South Boston as it is in the southernmost city, you better believe I’m coming back.
My fiancé and I wanted to do something different for our wedding. We both grew up in the same part of the state and over the years had attended far too many weddings at the reception hall not so affectionately known as “the wedding factory.” We had both been to Key West before and we knew that having a tropical island wedding would be just the special sort of event we were looking for. We started looking into it and realized it would be a lot easier than we thought.
Apparently we aren’t the only people who thought Key West would make a good destination wedding spot. It is voted year after year as the number one choice for couples looking for a tropical wedding. It’s an obvious choice, not just because of how beautiful it is, but also because of how easy it is to get to, all the different choices for the ceremony and reception and the fact that you don’t need passports. In fact, with so many people getting married there each year, we were a little daunted that we wouldn’t have the experience we wanted.
Turns out we had nothing to worry about. We interviewed a few different wedding planners and once we made our decision, we told her exactly what we were looking for. She came back with a list of options that all fit within our budget and we put together not just a scenic ceremony and a fun reception, but also several activities for our guests to do as well. We are both so excited to head back down to Key West this summer to make our dreams come true.
Pretty much from the first date, my husband and I knew how to compromise on almost everything so we would both enjoy what we were doing. Still, I was a little nervous when we started talking wedding plans. I always envisioned a traditional ceremony and reception, while he wanted a tropical island wedding. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work out until we discovered Key West.
We went down on an early scouting trip even before we knew much about it, and almost right away, many of my fears were put at ease. There were several churches to choose from, and many Key West restaurants had the menu, style and décor that I was looking for, but then a strange thing started to happen to me.
The more I thought about our time down there, the more I realized I didn’t want to have the same wedding I could back home. We started looking at some of the different options, including getting married on a boat at sunset, or at a historic fort on the beach, and I realized how much fun and how memorable that could be.
My husband was so excited about my change of mind that he blindsided me and found the perfect reception spot that was everything I could have hoped for. There were beautiful outdoor dining decks, some of the best seafood I ever had, and a casual elegance to the whole evening that was fancy enough to make the event special but relaxed enough so everyone had a great time. And when the reception was over, we didn’t even have to pack for the honeymoon.
I have always dreamed about getting married on a tropical island. My husband-to-be was smart enough to not tell me that we couldn’t do it, but cautious enough to make sure we took care of as much planning in advance. He made a valid point by saying the things we are used to here at home may not be an option when it came to a destination wedding. So before we started even talking to wedding planners and travel agents, we started comparing the Caribbean islands to see which would be best.
Turns out the one that won our business you don’t even need a passport for. Key West, Florida has everything that we – okay, I – was looking for when it came to island weddings. There are plenty of different venues and Key West restaurants to choose from, the travel options means that most of our guests will be able to afford to come, and it even has plenty of things to do for people who are going to make a family vacation out of it.
Best of all, they host literally thousands of weddings a year, so not only do we – okay, I – know that we’ll have the right flowers, the right cake and the right entertainment, I was able to find a wedding planner who has years of experience and all the right contacts. She will be our eyes and ears on the ground, making sure that all of our plans come to fruition and will be able to handle any emergencies as they come up. Between my fiancé’s practical nature and my wild dreams, we are going to have the perfect island wedding.
One of the biggest mistakes my husband and I almost made when we were planning our island wedding in Key West, Florida was with the reception menu. We thought we had all the tips for picking a great reception menu, but we forgot that the reception we were planning was not going to happen in our small town. Our wedding planner made us realize what the point was of having such a beautiful ceremony if we were going to offer the same experience and not embrace all that Key West had to offer. Armed with this realization, we sat back down and rethought our plan of attack.
We knew that we wanted the menu to feature seafood. One of the reasons my husband and I fell in love with the island was because of all the great Key West restaurants and the chance to have amazing food we had never heard of before. We wanted to be sure that our guests would have a chance to experience some of the food that Key West is famous for, like its crab cakes and pink shrimp. That was when my husband had a great idea.
“Why not go all the way,” he said, “and trade in the traditional wedding cake for a key lime wedding pie?” That was exactly what we did. It was one of the biggest pies I had ever seen in my life and it was delicious. Everyone loved it. It was such a memorable part of our island wedding that I don’t even mind the little green stain of it that my husband got on my wedding dress.
Are you at a loss for what to choose for your wedding reception menu? You are probably not the only couple who is debating on what to serve at their island wedding. Lucky for you, there are many options available.
Everything depends on what kind of couple you are and what you would like to see at your wedding. There is always the discussion of pricing, but to some people, that falls really low on the priority list. If you and your guests are more of the party animal types, you may not want to have a sit-down dinner. Sit-down, formal dinners take time and you may view that as time you would rather spend clinking glasses, catching up with old friends and making new ones. People are often under the impression that sit-down dinners are more expensive, but this is not necessarily the case since the caterer knows exactly how much food to prepare. A buffet will offer your island wedding guests more options, but the caterer will also have to factor in second and third trips to the food line. It all depends on what you want your guests to have.
You should also be aware of any allergies your immediate family members have. Although it will be up to the caterer to label certain items in your buffet table, you should be sure to tell them about any allergies you discover along the way. Before you know it, your island wedding will come together and you will be caught up in a whirlwind of excitement!
When it comes time to plan your island wedding, you will be so excited you will not know where to start. Before you know it though, you will be halfway through with the planning and your wedding will seem closer than ever. This is the perfect time for you to get really excited about your upcoming nuptials!
Before you even begin planning your wedding, make sure you take as much time as you want to enjoy being engaged. Sometimes couples get overly anxious about planning their wedding and they forget to simply enjoy one another’s company for a little while. This is the perfect time to daydream about your ideal wedding and also not feel any pressure from anyone. You will have many friends and family members who will offer their ideas. One may wish for you to have a huge hometown wedding while another will want an island wedding. At the end of the day, it is your wedding and you can do whatever you want to do. Do not let anyone pressure you into doing anything you do not want to do.
Once you have made up your mind and you are set on having an island wedding in a tropical paradise, make sure you shop around for the best prices and packages. This may not seem like something you want to do, but it is a necessary evil in order to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Everyone loves doing a little bargain shopping, especially in the name of destination weddings.