Obvious Decision

A Gorgeous Day in Key West


February 19, 2016
Words by Sydney Bowen
Photos courtesy of White-Klump Photography

When a native New Yorker and a South African born, Australian raised meet and fall in love in London, there’s no obvious decision on where to say “I Do”. Before selecting a location for their destination wedding, Shauna and Jonathan chose their date, New Year’s Eve.

Many of their friends and family had opinions on where they should exchange their vows, so much so that the groom’s family had an ongoing bet as to where the destination would be. Nobody guessed it would be in Key West, at the Hemingway Home Museum.

“All of them thought it would be somewhere in America, but nobody guessed Key West and they were shocked and excited,” says Shauna. “Most of them had never even heard of it!”

After falling in love with their chosen venue, Shauna and Jonathan were unaware how popular Key West is during the holiday season. “We realized right away that it could be really difficult to plan a wedding at this time of the year so the first thing we did was hire Kelly of Just Save the Date to help us.”

With the help of a trusted planner, the remainder of the planning began. Guest accommodations were easy for the couple, as everyone opted to stay together at the Old Town manor.

Despite being set on having a destination wedding in Key West, Shauna admits that planning wasn’t always a walk in the park. The popularity of Key West during the holidays plus the distance made planning a tad stressful, but hiring a planner was a huge asset to the couple.

Shauna had a lot of creative direction with their stationery, working alongside a professional designer to ensure everything was perfect. The save-the-dates, invitations, gift bags, programs, favors, place cards and Thank You notes all had Shauna’s touch of DIY to them. Since their wedding fell on New Year’s Eve, traditional NYE favors were also given to guests.

The remainder of the vendors were coordinated via their planner, phone calls or emails. “One funny thing we learned is that most Americans don’t know how to make an international phone call or use Skype!” says Shauna.

In the end, the couple feels that they spent more on a destination wedding since it was also a holiday, but their day turned out to be a beautiful celebration with loved ones.

For couples who are in the beginning stages of planning their own destination wedding, Shauna and Jonathan say, “We tried really hard in everything we did to let our guests know how much we appreciated the effort they were making, special touches go a long way. We thanked everyone a million times!”

Vendors: Photographer: White Klump Photography, Wedding Planner: Kelly of Just Save the Date, Ceremony/Reception Site: Hemingway Home Museum, Florist: Milan Event, Stationery: Athenaeum Creative, Hair & Makeup: Studio Marie-Pierre, Gown Designer: BHLDN, Groom’s Clothing Designer: House of Bespoke

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