There are plenty of times where having a fancy sit down fine dining experience is the perfect plan for a wedding reception. Having a destination wedding in Key West on New Year’s Eve is neither the time nor the place. This is the most fun night of the year – which is probably part of the reason you chose to throw the biggest party of your life on that night – so make sure that the menu you pick for your reception is one that allows for your guests to enjoy themselves.
Conch, Florida lobster and stone crab are three of the fresh seafood choices Key West is most well known for. All of these are certainly items you should consider, especially because there are many ways to serve them as bite sized appetizers. This is the perfect way to combine the exotic flavors you wouldn’t be able to provide at a party back home with the convenience of being able to enjoy them while moving around the dance floor. And don’t worry if you have some picky eaters in your crowd. There are plenty of traditional menu items to choose from as well.
There may be a lot of seafood options, but dessert in Key West comes down to the best key lime pie you’ll find anywhere. Best of all is that it doesn’t have to be served just as a pie. You can have them make a wedding cake with it, or create an easily sharable dessert option as well. Perhaps a little key lime on a stick as your guest’s first bite to eat in 2015 while in Key West.
For someone who has lived in the Northeast my entire life, you would think I’d be used to the inevitable onslaught of winter. You’d be wrong. I have found a way to at least make the transition from flip flops and Hawaiian shirts to work boots and flannels a little easier to take. I throw myself a year end party and wear all my warm weather gear one last time, celebrating New Year’s Eve in Key West, Florida.
Right before I leave, I take all of my winter clothes out and drop them at the dry cleaner on my way to the airport. I’m cautious enough to bring one sweatshirt just in case, but nothing else in my suitcase goes past my knees or elbows. Then, I spend a week enjoying my island vacation. Some days it’s all about the beach, others times I choose an epic meal from some of the great Key West restaurants, but all the time, I’m wearing nothing more than short sleeves and sandals.
That’s probably one of the reasons why I like my trips to Key West so much. Life is so laid back and relaxing down there that even the fanciest of the fine dining restaurants have a dress code of “island casual.” I’ve had some of the best meals ever without a jacket and tie anywhere in sight. I’m not sure if this annual trip makes getting ready for winter any easier, but I do know that I’m going to keep doing it every year. I can’t stop winter from coming, but I can at least take a vacation on an island to hold it off for one more week.
Two popular trends seem to be converging on one small island in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. It seems like many couples are choosing to get married on New Year’s Eve and many other couples are planning a destination wedding to somewhere tropical and fun. Apparently, I have friends who believe in both of those things because, for the third time in four years, I’m going to be spending New Year’s Eve in Key West for a wedding.
The funny part about it is that neither this year’s couple nor the previous two know each other that well. Instead, it is simply a national trend for people to pick Key West as the number two choice overall for destination weddings in the United States. I won’t say which place is first, but if I say that Key West could become number one if they allowed gambling, I bet you can guess.
The good thing about going to a wedding in Key West for New Year’s Eve, besides the fact that it will be much warmer than the twenty or so degrees that I’m used to, is that, because of the large number of weddings hosted on the island each year, everything you could possibly need to make it a great wedding is available. Banquet halls and outdoor dining restaurants to host your reception, florists and bakers that provide amazing flowers and cakes, DJs and bands to make sure everyone has a good time, and of course, some of the best bartenders in the world. Going to an island wedding is so much fun, I’m going to start making new friends, just so I can be invited to even more of them in the future.