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 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.
Planning a successful wedding in Key West, Florida is as scary as it sounds, Although it may be a challenge, planning your own wedding can be extremely rewarding. Now that you have decided the location of your wedding, the first decision you should make is whether to hire a professional wedding coordinator or not. Hiring someone to assist you in planning your wedding may be a scary thought, but it will definitely help keep you grounded and help you maintain your sanity during the decision making processes. By hiring a wedding coordinator to take hold of the reins, it will help you to remain worry-free and be able to enjoy your wedding dreams come true.
Another important tip for planning a successful Key West Wedding is to consider your guest list. Whether you are planning a quiet intimate ceremony, or one with everyone you love, you will have to consider their ability to attend. By planning your wedding one year in advance, you not only will give your guests sufficient time to arrange time off and budget for the trip, you also will have less stress by giving yourself ample time to make all the arrangements to insure your wedding is a success.
After you have taken care of these two major tips, you are then ready to plan all the finer details of your wedding day. Knowing you have help in Key West and knowing that your guests have been given the proper amount of time to plan, you will be mentally ready to iron out any wrinkles and perfect the smallest of details with confidence.
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.
Planning the ultimate destination wedding in Key West, Florida is easier than you think. Just because it’s happening so far from you does not mean it has to be a challenge, especially if you follow these three basic steps.
1) Trust the locals. There is a reason Key West is #2 in the nation for destination weddings, and it isn’t just because of the best key lime pie and outdoor dining. Every professional service you can think of (and a few that you can’t) that you would need for your wedding will be available, and your local wedding planner will help you choose the right ones for you.
2) Embrace the unexpected. For all the planning you do, from choosing the seafood to arranging the entertainment, it’s the little things that make Key West unique that will help add to the color of the memories people take home with them. Remember, you’re planning your wedding on an island that sits, literally, at the end of the road. Anything can happen out there.
3) Have fun! This is your wedding, after all, and nobody should be having a better time than you! Key West, Florida is all about embracing life and enjoying it for all that you can. Any island that takes time every day to stop and celebrate the sun setting isn’t a place where you should have any worries.
If you simply take a deep breath and follow these three easy little steps, your destination wedding will be one that people will be talking about for years. You’ve chosen Key West for a reason. Make sure you make that beautiful island part of your wedding.
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.
The toughest part about planning a wedding is that, not only are there a million decisions to make, but in the middle of that, instead of just thinking about you and your spouse, you have to make decisions for one hundred or so people. I’m talking about picking the menu for your wedding reception. Island weddings offer their own unique twists on those constraints, but luckily, if Key West, Florida is the island you have chosen, the Key West restaurants have more options than you could ever imagine, and they will help turn what too often feels like a banquet into a party.
First of all, think light. People don’t eat a lot when they are warm, so instead of planning a big sit down event with heavy steaks and pastas, look to creating appetizer stations that offer a variety of choices without being too much or too overwhelming.
Another trick is to prepare to be a little flexible. Being one hundred fifty miles down the road from Miami, sometime supplies get delayed. The chefs and wedding coordinators are used to this and always have contingency plans. The flip side to that is, with the seafood being caught fresh every day, you may at the last minute get something much more exotic than you imagined.
Finally, skip the big cake and go straight for the best key lime pie ever. Your guests will appreciate this extra little touch of what is making their island vacation special, and it helps to connect your island wedding to your destination of choice. By remembering these three simple suggestions, you’ll truly appreciate how perfect Key West, Florida is for your wedding.