One of the things that attracted me to my boyfriend at the time was the sense of adventure we both had. It was certainly something that brought us together and made for exciting times. When we decided to get married, we wanted our wedding to be an adventure as well. We were looking at all sorts of crazy ideas, but we both realized we were feeling the same thing: it wouldn’t be the same without our friends and family. We needed something that was bit of a compromise, and that was when we discovered Key West.
So much about it appeals to so many different people that we knew it would be the perfect choice. People who loved to spend time on the water would have plenty to do, as would those who enjoy history. There were coffee shops for early birds, bars and night clubs for night owls, and an amazing number of Key West restaurants for everyone to choose from.
Of course, we weren’t just concerned about our guests. We wanted to make sure our wedding was meaningful and special for us. We found a wedding planner who understood what we wanted and she helped us find the right location for the ceremony and a great restaurant that had an amazing reception menu of fresh seafood and crab cakes, not to mention a killer view. She even helped us violate one of the pre-wedding traditions that says a bride and groom aren’t supposed to see each other on their wedding day until the ceremony.
We spent that morning sky-diving.
I think I’m the only girl who didn’t have a dream wedding planned out in her mind. I knew I would like to be married someday, but the marriage itself seemed far more important than the wedding day itself. That was when my fiancé suggested Key West as a tropical island wedding, I said “Sure, why not?” We’d both been there on vacation, separately as well as when we were dating, we both liked it, and it would be a nice change of atmosphere for us and our friends.
I was definitely excited about getting married, and as we went around the island with our wedding planner, I certainly had opinions of what I wanted and didn’t want, but maybe because I had never built it up in my head, it never became super overwhelming. That all changed on the morning of the wedding.
If I had scripted the day, it could not have been more perfect. The weather was warm, but the breezes were blowing all day so it felt relaxing. The ceremony on the beach was perfect, with the sun setting behind several sailboats. The reception, on an outdoor dining patio under the stars with fresh seafood and key lime pie, went off without a hitch, and afterwards, a few of us were even up for a little karaoke on the Duval crawl.
It wasn’t until I went to bed that night, my first as a married woman, that I realized how perfect my Key West dream wedding had been. Certainly, some of it had to do with everything that beautiful island has to offer, but a lot of what made it perfect was the guy snoring in bed next to me.
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.
When it comes to planning your beautiful and meaningful wedding, you may find it easier to elope in a tropical paradise. Many people have island weddings in order to save on costs and enjoy a very gorgeous setting. When you are sitting down and figuring out your budget for the big event, everything adds up fairly quickly. In the middle of doing this, you may find that you would rather have a very small wedding outside of your hometown. You can always throw a big party when you get back from your honeymoon!
If you are planning an island wedding, there are lots of things you should know. Of course, you will want to go online and do as much research as you possibly can. Any information you can find should be copied to your wedding folder for future reference. You may find that some resorts offer wedding packages for your bridal party and guests. You may receive discounted rates if you are bringing a significant number of people to the event. You never know until you ask! Also, if you are a member of AAA or USAA, you may be eligible for special rates on top of the packages the resort is offering you. This is perfect time to pool all of your resources in order to find the best deals in the most exclusive locations. This will ensure your island wedding is one to go down in the record books for people to rave about for many years to come.
When it comes to pleasing the masses at your island wedding, you must realize sometimes it is not possible for everyone to be happy all at once. One person may love the music playing while the other is scrambling to find ear plugs. One person may rave about the food while another cannot eat because he or she is allergic. Although it is important to try your best to accommodate your lovely guests, at the end of the day it is your wedding, and you should do whatever you want!
Your wedding reception at your island wedding should be a happy and celebratory time for you to mingle with friends and family members as husband and wife. This time is all about you. However, you still want to make your friends and family feel special. They did come to your wedding and expect to be fed and entertained. Choosing the perfect menu for your reception can be a little tricky, but with a little planning and research, there should be no reason you can’t figure it out.
Some couples like to give their guests options. If you are planning a sit down meal for your guests, then the RSVP you include in the invitation should contain a space for them to choose between fish or chicken or whatever you are serving. This will allow the guests at your island wedding to feel like the couple is going out of their way to make sure you have an enjoyable experience, and get a dish they actually want to eat.
He has asked the question and you have said yes. Later, you will say “I do”. The day of your wedding is likely to be, if not the most, one of the most beautiful days of your life. It is now up to you to decide exactly how the day will be.
You will first need to decide on the perfect location for your wedding. Many brides-to-be are deciding to exchange vows in an island wedding. One of the more popular locations for them is Key West, Florida. You, too, can have your dream island wedding, and with a few simple tips, make it a wedding for all brides to envy.
Now that you have decided the Keys will be the ideal romantic location for your ceremony, it is a good idea to plan your wedding a year in advance if you wish to have friends or family attend. This will give them ample time to free their schedule and to budget for the trip. If you are feeling a little intimidated by all that needs to be accomplished, you should seriously consider hiring an events planner or wedding coordinator to do all of your local legwork.
Now you are ready for all of the details. This is where your planner or coordinator will be of the most importance. They have not only the business relationships with the type of services you will need for your special day, they can also be on location to ensure that everything runs smoothly during the planning process. From the venue, to the accommodations, to the caterers, your mind will rest at ease knowing your right hand will be on location to alleviate all concerns.
One of the best things about being invited to a wedding will undoubtedly be the food and the wedding cake. From the hors d’oeuvres to the main course, some of the most delectable dishes can be had at receptions. What you serve will leave a lasting memory with the guests you invite to celebrate your day with you.
If you are planning your wedding reception, the food and cake are two of the most important items to plan. With many tastings and various interviews, this also can be the most enjoyable part of your planning. As you are deciding on your menu and cake for your reception, be sure to take your time in the decision-making process, and enjoy this time as much as you can. Remember that the initial reaction you have tasting for the first time will be your guests’ reaction as they enjoy the menu you provide for them.
As you finalize your menu you should also be sure to keep in mind that you will likely have dietary restrictions for some of your guests. Whether they be medical restrictions or lifestyle preferences, it is always good practice to provide your guest with a few options. With a few additions like vegetarian or gluten-free dishes, you can easily cover everyone’s dietary concerns. Also, by making sure that you have peanut free foods, you can avoid one of the worst dietary allergies. One other consideration you should have for your guests is to have kosher food available for religious reasons.
Even though weddings are still obviously about the bride and groom, the situation that many people find themselves in when getting married these days is not the same as when their parents did. People have moved away from where they grew up, not everyone has the amount of vacation time they used to and, as a result, when people do travel, they want to make the best of it. Island weddings are the perfect way to create an event that will be memorable for the couple as well as exciting enough to encourage as many of the guests to attend as possible. Key West, Florida, already one of the country’s most popular spots for island vacations, is the perfect choice, and here are some tips to make getting hitched go off without a hitch:
1) Key West restaurants are some of the best in the world, and they know how to do wedding receptions right. With over six hundred couples getting married every year on the island, they know what it takes to make destination weddings work. Best of all, by having your wedding there, you can include the freshest seafood and best key lime pie on your menu.
2) The entertainment is already there. You don’t have to worry about planning out every minute of your guests’ experiences while they are in town for a few days. Let them enjoy the patio dining, visit the world famous bars, or even go snorkeling. You’ll see less of them than you thought.
3) Finally, you can go from wedding to honeymoon without packing a bag! Weddings are made to be memorable, so make your memories happen in Key West, Florida.
Island weddings can be incredibly singular and special, despite destination weddings and island settings being a popular wedding theme. No two are the same, although they often have things in common – fresh seafood, palm trees, outdoor dining options for the wedding reception – so guests can really soak in the atmosphere, and, of course, the heat. If you are not used to the humidity that Florida is home to, you might want to familiarize yourself with it before choosing this as your destination. Big wedding parties especially should be conscientious of how this kind of weather will affect all aspects of the event, from hair (frizz becomes a major concern), makeup (which can melt off if it’s heavily applied and the heat it intense), and general comfort, especially for older guests or those more fragile in health. However, a little bit of cursory research can give insight into when it’s best to book, giving you an edge on beating the heat.
Fine dining options in the sunshine state are plenty. Whether you are looking to serve locally harvested crab cakes or you are on the hunt for the best key lime pie to serve at your wedding reception, you have plenty of options. Although it can be overwhelming, checking out restaurant reviews and online communities that deal with Florida wedding planning can be a huge asset in getting everything running smoothly in preparation for your big day. Destination weddings can be fun, unique and incredibly romantic, so do your homework and make sure the event of your dreams is perfect.