Emily and Richard wanted their destination wedding in Key West to embody all the fun, beauty and quirkiness that the island city has to offer. But they also wanted to keep the celebration semi-formal, so they settled on a “tropical glamour” theme with bright colors like fuchsia, orange, teal and lime green weaved throughout every detail of their décor. The results were stunning.
Limelight Photography did an awesome job capturing all the special details, from the award-winning home brewed beer the Richard included in the welcome bags, to the stunning pink gown Emily donned at the reception! Enjoy!
What was your favorite destination wedding detail and why?
“Rich is a home brewer, so our welcome bags included his award winning Kolsch beer. My over the top wedding style rubbed off on him and he decided that 2 beers were not enough so he decided to give everyone a 4 pack. I took things a step further and found a website that prints custom labels, caps, bottle openers and carriers. We were able to customize them using our wedding logo and theme. The results were incredible! That particular batch of beer has gone on to win 2 more medals since the wedding!”
Was there something special that you incorporated into your wedding décor or theme?
“Since fuchsia was one of our main colors, I had my heart set on a pink wedding dress. I searched high and low for a pink dress that was glamorous and formal enough for our venue. I was initially unsuccessful and so I purchased an off white fit and flare gown with a touch of bling. It was a beautiful dress that made me feel glamorous and beautiful. However, it also happened to weigh a ton so it wasn’t feasible for the reception. As luck would have it, 6 months later I found a sample blush pink ball gown, in my size, priced at a deep discount from thelastminutebride.com. I added a little sparkle and my pink princess dress came to life.”
Destination Wedding Advice from the Bride
How many people attended your destination wedding in Key West?
Why did you choose to have a destination wedding in Key West, and specifically at The Reach Waldorf Astoria?
Rich and I had been dating for many years prior to our engagement and eventual marriage. Every summer, we head down to the keys for vacation, fun and friends so the Keys hold many fond memories for us. We wanted to add even more by having our wedding there too. Our wedding was as much a celebration of our union as it was a celebration for our family and friends who have supported us and our relationship throughout those years. My main goal was for everyone to have a great weekend and enjoy the party. I wanted our guests to leave saying “this was the best wedding I’ve ever been to!” and many people did.
I chose the venue because I knew I wanted to get married on the water, but I hate sand so the beach was out. When I saw the gazebo at The Reach with the draping and chandelier, it was love at first sight!
What were your sources of inspiration when choosing your colors, flowers, cake, etc..?
Leoma Lovegrove is a local Florida artist known for her bold, bright paintings of fish, tropics and sea life. We used her bags for our welcome bags and carried the sunset colors throughout the stationary, attire and décor.
What was your favorite part of having a destination wedding in Key West?
I initially wanted a destination wedding to keep our wedding small and intimate. Everyone who attended our wedding is a close friend or family, which only intensified the love surrounding us. Looking back, it was like a dream vacation with everyone we love.
What was the craziest or most unusual thing to happen on your wedding day?
The craziest thing was when the power went out right in the middle of all the girls’ hair and makeup. At first, I thought it was just a tripped breaker, then we found out it was not only the entire hotel, but the power was out on the entire island! Panic quickly set in and all the bridesmaids were frantically trying to find emergency power. Fortunately, my wedding planner and local vendors were experienced with this common Key West occurrence and assured us that it would be back on shortly. Thirty minutes later we were back up and running and still on schedule!
What was the biggest challenge in planning your destination wedding in Key West?
I’m very visual, so not being able to see and touch things ahead of time was a little nerve wracking. Luckily I was able to do a walk through a few months before the event, but I couldn’t cover everything in my scouting trip so I had to have faith and trust in my vendors.
What’s your advice to others planning a destination wedding in Key West?
Hire a wedding planner and don’t rely solely on your venue’s event coordinator. A wedding planner works for you and will be your right hand. My planner, Kelly, was instrumental in helping me make decisions, find the best vendors and she knew all of the Key West quirks, like having us switch sides for the ceremony so my hair and veil weren’t blowing in my face! Even if you only get someone for “day-of” coordinating, you and your family will be much happier not having to wrangle vendors and worry about details so you all can relax and enjoy your vacation.
Photographer: Limelight Photography
Event Planner: Just Save The Date
Venue: The Reach Waldorf Astoria
Ceremony Dress: Alfred Angelo
Reception Dress: Mori Lee, purchased at The Last Minute Bride
Hair Stylist: Bella Luxe Hair & Makeup
DJ: DJ Buggy
Invitation Designer: Signatures by Sarah
Bridesmaid Dresses: Vanel Designs