My husband always wanted to get married in Key West. I always wanted a traditional church wedding in June. Much to the shock and surprise of our friends and family, we each got we wanted, and it turned out to be a magical time.
We had been on vacation to Key West a couple of times while dating when he brought up the idea of a tropical island destination wedding. We had started talking about marriage but not about our plans. Needless to say, this caught me off guard. I had imagined a big wedding in a church, followed by fun relaxed reception. I couldn’t possibly see myself abandoning all of that, but I didn’t think there would be much of a way to compromise. Instead of letting it blow up into something big, he proposed a compromise. Since it included a vacation, I was game.
We returned to Key West that June. We certainly did all the fun things we loved to do down there, but we also took the time to explore the life of the island. We even found our denomination’s church and talked to the pastor about having a wedding there. Discovering how easy it would be to arrange it was like the first domino falling. Soon everything else started falling into place.
The following summer we returned with 120 of our closest friends. The wedding was everything I had always pictured in my head with one stunning difference: a beautiful beachside tropical sunset that we took our pictures in front of before going off to the reception.
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.
One of the toughest challenges my wife and I had was planning our wedding. I’m not kidding. It got heated from time to time, and what made it worse was it wasn’t us putting the pressure on ourselves. It was everyone else. As the first child to get married in each family, everybody had an opinion on what we should do and nobody was shy about sharing them. It got to the point where we almost eloped, but then we did the next best thing: we decided to get married in Key West, Florida.
We invited everybody that we had planned on, told them all that is was going to be a very simple beachfront ceremony, and that if they wanted to come to the reception, we needed to know a month in advance. Once we had our number, we then scrambled to pick from the Key West restaurants to find the perfect place. We wanted a combination of fresh seafood on the reception menu and outdoor patio areas so we could dine and dance under the stars. We were lucky enough to get a booking at our first choice, and after that, the planning was basically done.
My cousin thought it was the coolest idea ever, so he got his certification online so he could marry us. Most of the people who had shared an opinion agreed that we had managed to throw one heck of a wedding, and as the two of us danced to our first song, both in our flip flops, we knew that we had made the right decision as well…so much so that we booked our one year anniversary trip even before we left Key West.
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.
I was never a huge fan of destination weddings. It seemed odd to me that you would want to invite all of your friends and family to your honeymoon (and odder still if you were going to travel all that way to get married and then travel somewhere else for the honeymoon). My mind was changed for me when my girlfriend’s cousin decided to get married in Key West, Florida.
I had heard about Key West and thought that I knew what it was going to be all about: lots of bars, live music, eating the best crab cakes and the best key lime pie, plenty of seafood, all washed down by margaritas. Let me tell you something: I was right, and I was oh-so-wrong at the same time.
The wedding itself was beautiful, and now I know why destination weddings are so popular, especially if they are going to be done somewhere like Key West. It seemed like everything that could be thought of for a wedding had been and was there. The wedding, though, was just the icing on the cake. Every night, my girlfriend and I ate at fabulous Key West restaurants featuring fine dining on the water, outdoor dining overlooking the night life, and food that was better than I’ve had anywhere else. I didn’t want to leave when the weekend was over. My girlfriend and I haven’t started talking about if we’re going to get married yet, but I know that when we do, we aren’t even going to have to discuss where we’re going to get married. I’m a destination wedding convert, and Key West, Florida is the place for me.
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.
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.
When you become engaged, you will more than likely be extremely excited to lounge around and enjoy your engagement. This is extremely appropriate for a short amount of time, but eventually you must get off your couch and start the planning.
First things first, figure out how many people you are inviting to your wedding. This will lead to choosing the perfect Key West, Florida venue. Normally, about 30% of the people you invite will not come to your wedding. Do not worry, it is not because they don’t want to come, they may have already planned their vacation or other event they cannot cancel. This brings us to the next tip for your destination wedding: Check local black-out dates. This translates to other events or festivals that may be occurring the same weekend of your Key West wedding. The last thing you want to deal with is not having adequate hotel accommodations or venue space because it is the week of Fantasy Fest and all the best Key West restaurants are and caterers are booked solid. Also, check with local hotels to see which establishment provides the best deal with the most amenities.
Another aspect to focus upon is what ranks the highest on your priority list. If you are set on having a designer gown and expensive venue, then you may want to cut some corners on invitations or flowers. This does not mean settle for anything subpar by way of accessories, it just means you should focus the larger portion of your budget to the things that are most important to you. By staying organized and being realistic, your Key West wedding and reception will be truly unforgettable.
When you are putting together your wedding reception plans, every single detail counts. Entertainment, location, and atmosphere are all key elements to event planning. However, one of the most important things that you end up looking at is the catering services. There are many different factors that go into choosing the food you will be serving at your reception. It helps if you know which guests have special dietary needs, so that you can provide an option for them. There are more and more people these days coming forward with dietary concerns, which include, but aren’t limited to, lactose intolerance, gluten allergies, and an inability to consume meat. Since so many of these health conditions have dietary overlap, knowing whether you need to provide a vegan and gluten-free meal option is key. If you are having a destination wedding in an island location, you may also be considering crab cakes and other types of seafood. Island weddings are particularly appealing for that very fact. However, seafood is one of the types of food people are often allergic to, and are another reason why you should provide a vegan option in your fine dining service. Veggie salads with dressing on the side are a great option, and are almost universally edible. Keeping these factors in mind will help you determine the perfect dinner menu for you and your guests, allowing them to enjoy the casual elegance of your ceremony on a full stomach and with a satisfied palate.