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.