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Destination I Do
Friday, October 23, 2015

Lovely Florida Keys Nuptials

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Jessica Bordner Photography

Laura and Nicholas are travel enthusiasts and, above all, wanted their wedding to be an adventure for them and their guests. In fact, their loved ones were surprised when the two opted to marry within the U.S. at all. “Our families were more surprised we didn’t choose a foreign destination that required 20+ hours of flights somewhere crazy,” says the bride. “So, when they found out the wedding was in the Florida Keys, they were probably relieved. I’m from Boston, my groom is from California and we live in New Orleans. We’ve traveled on many adventures all over the world together and wanted our wedding to be another amazing adventure that all our family and friends could be a part of.”

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So, what made these two globetrotters stay stateside? “We chose the Keys because it was the most tropical location in our budget that didn’t require our family and friends to have a passport,” says Laura. “We did a bunch of research online and found some places we wanted to look at, so we flew over for a long weekend to check them out. When we went to tour locations, we went to the Hilton Key Largo Resort first and, after seeing the location, we cancelled all of our other meetings because we just knew this was the spot we wanted to get married. It was the perfect location for us.”

Once their destination and venue were decided, the couple found the planning process pretty easy and straightforward. “Our wedding coordinator from the Hilton gave us a whole list of vendors who they work with so we were able to check them all out online and pick from there,” explains the bride. “We tried to stick to those vendors since we knew they had been to the location before. 

“[Coordinating from afar] was the easiest part – email! Both of us travel a lot out of the country for work, so email made it easy to coordinate from the other side of the world. All of our vendors were so easy to work with via email. But, make sure you stay organized! Try to use one main email address to coordinate with and then you can easily do a search if you need to find a particular email.” 

When it came to décor, the couple put their creative hats on and came up with some fun and sentimental DIY projects. “I handpainted a globe, which was used as our guestbook,” says Laura. “Our table numbers were frames with nautical charts and wooden numbers overlaying them. Each chart background fit the people who were sitting at that table. For example, my family sat at a table with the Boston Harbor chart.”

The couple have no regrets looking back and achieved a beautiful and successful destination wedding for them and their guests. When asked what advice they would give other couples, here’s what Laura and Nicholas had to say:

“Don’t think of it as a wedding day – it’s more like a wedding week since your guests will probably be coming in early to explore the new area. We had a blast getting to vacation with our families and friends. With everyone living all over the country, when would we ever be able to have that happen again? So, enjoy every minute of it! Almost everyone who came to our wedding stayed on-site at the hotel, which made meeting up during the day and night so much fun! It was like a mini-wedding reception every night leading up to the wedding! We wouldn’t change a thing and love all the memories that were made that week!”

Vendors: Photographer: Jessica Bordner Photography, Wedding Planner: Ann Machesic with Hilton Key Largo Resort, Ceremony/Reception Site: Hilton Key Largo Resort, Florist: Designs by Darenda, Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas, Cake: Hilton Key Largo Resort, Hair & Makeup: Makeup by Marz, Gown Designer: David’s Bridal, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Men’s Wearhouse, Bridesmaids/Groomsmens’ Clothing Designer: David’s Bridal & Men’s Wearhouse, Officiant: Bill Camp with Simple Keys Weddings

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