The Couple

Sunny Destination Wedding in Florida


January 20, 2017
Words by Melina Zúñiga
Photos courtesy of Megan Ellis

When picking the perfect place for their destination wedding, Lauren and Patrick wanted to remember the special moments shared on their first trip together in Key West, Florida. “Key West was the first place we went on our first trip together and it seemed to have enough activities that there would be something to keep everyone entertained,” says Lauren.

With a small, intimate wedding shared with immediate family, the couple was delighted that both families were excited to travel outside of New Jersey in order to accompany them on their special day.

The process of planning their destination wedding was made easier for the lovebirds by their wedding planner, Nika. “I definitely do not think we would have been able to do this without a wedding planner,” says Lauren. “She knew all of the vendors and was able to answer any of our questions. I was not looking to be a super-involved bride so it was great that Nika was there to make a lot of the decisions and then just run them by me.”

Having help from a wedding planner really gave the couple a chance to make the wedding their own. “We did all the invitations, place cards, menus and thank you cards through Shutterfly so we did those ourselves,” says Lauren. “We also put together the Welcome Bags for all of our guests. Our music for the cocktail hour and reception was just my phone plugged into a speaker or on a wireless speaker so we also made our own playlists!”

Deciding to have such personalized details to help make the wedding their own at such a low cost made their destination wedding much more affordable than a traditional wedding. “I think our wedding would have been very different and we would not have enjoyed it nearly as much,” says Lauren. “I loved the beautiful setting, that it just felt like a family vacation where our two families could get to know each other better. I don’t think any of those things would have happened if we got married in New Jersey.”

Since her dreamy destination wedding, we asked the bride to give some advice to other brides planning on also having a destination wedding. “You really have to pick the type of wedding that is right for you. When planning, just keep asking, is this what I want? Don’t do things because you think other people want them,” says Kristen. “I am so glad I stuck to our plan of a small, destination wedding.”

Vendors: Photographer: Megan Ellis Wedding Planner: Soirée Key West Ceremony/Reception Site: Old Town Manor Bed and Breakfast Florist: Soiree Key West and Love in Bloom Stationery: N/A Cake: Key West Cakes Hair & Makeup: Bella Luxe Gown Designer: Claire La Faye Groom’s Clothing Designer: N/A Bridesmaids/Groomsmen’s Clothing Designer: N/A Other Vendors: Caterer – Three Fine Cooks, Tables and Chairs – Prestige Party Rentals

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