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Destination I Do
Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Key West Destination Wedding

Words by Kyra Goodman
Photos courtesy of Rebecca Keeling Studios

Joey and Kristin were originally planning a wedding in their hometown, but then they decided to throw a curve ball and have a Key West destination wedding instead. They chose Key West because Joey’s college roommate lives there and it’s where they got engaged. “We decided Key West would be the perfect place to get married and spend time with our family and friends,” says the couple.

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The couple had already put a deposit down on a venue in North Carolina when they completely changed their plans. “Kristin’s parents eloped in Key West in the 90s so they were thrilled to be going back!” says the couple. “When we ultimately selected February for our date, our guests were thrilled to take some time away from the cold and relax in sunny Key West!” Guests either flew into Miami or Fort Lauderdale and drove to Key West or flew directly to the location. 

Planning a destination wedding is a lot of work but the newlyweds said the process could not have been any better. “Logistically there are a lot of details that need to be planned that are not necessary of a local wedding,” says the couple. “It’s hard to plan all the moving pieces from afar, but luckily with the help of our planner and family, everything seemed to work out flawlessly.”

The newlyweds relied on email and photos during the process. They made a trip to Key West in November to meet with vendors and see the venue in person. One DIY touch was using an Etsy template for the ceremony programs and having them printed at a local shop. “One of our favorite parts of our reception was our Polaroid photo book. It’s such a fun reminder and keepsake from the night!” says the couple.

The couple was happy that they had a destination wedding and their favorite part was seeing how much their friends and family loved Key West. “The entire long weekend was a vacation, rather than just a six hour reception on a Saturday. Between the welcome party, rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception, we fortunately got to spend quality time with each one of our family and loved ones,” say the newlyweds.

We asked the newlyweds if they had any special advice for other couples planning a destination wedding. Here’s what they said: "Shipping is your best friend, but do not forgot to budget for it. We shipped about ten boxes in total, including my wedding dress down to Key West. This was extremely helpful in the flying process to know that everything was already down there waiting. Two-day shipping and a little extra insurance goes a long way in the grand scheme of things!"

Vendors: Photographer: Rebecca Keeling Studios, Wedding Planner: Just Save the Date, Christina Gonzalez, Ceremony/Reception Site: Ocean Key Resort, Sunset Pier, Florist: Karro Events and Florals, Stationery: Knots and Pearls, Cake: Publix Bakery, Hair and Makeup: Headlines Hair Design, Gown Designer: Casablanca, Groom’s Clothing Designer: JoS. A. Bank, Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: JoS. A. Bank and Alfred Sung, Other Vendors: Linen Rentals- Party Reflections

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