Besides adding some fun to their wedding, which every wedding should have, the couple had other reasons for choosing to have a destination wedding in Key West. “We chose Key West because I wanted a destination that felt like a tropical getaway, but was still in the United States, so guests wouldn’t have to worry about international travel or needing passports to attend,” says the bride. “The funny thing is, I had actually never even been to Key West before I booked everything. I made my decision because Lyle had spent a lot of time there and he loved it. Lyle was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like it because he feared it might be different than I was picturing, which was that it’s a lay-on-the-beach type place, but I instantly fell in love when we went there for the first time for a planning trip.”
For guests, they were excited to travel to Key West for the couple’s big day. Many of the guests had never been to Key West before and had always wanted to go, while others had been to the location and couldn’t wait to go back. “Others that didn’t really know what to expect had a great time, so it was a great mix,” says Heidi. “There were some that couldn’t attend because it was far for them to travel, but they also wouldn’t have been able to make it if we had it in our hometown, so although we missed them greatly, we didn’t regret our decision in the slightest.”
Busy Bees Events, a Florida-based wedding planning and design company, teamed up with a group of talented vendors to create this cosmopolitan beach styled shoot, which showcases a natural glam aesthetic. Here is what Bettina Benizri of Busy Bee Events and J. Morgan Florals had to say about this culturally exotic styled shoot:
“When the new Conrad Hotel opened in Fort Lauderdale Beach, I automatically had a vision of a wedding I wanted to create after seeing the spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean from the deck. The hotel has a modern understated elegance, and my design was meant to complement that perfectly with touches of the tropical aura that this location exudes. I envisioned a mix of gold spheres, tropical monstera leaves and cascading, delicate white phalaenopsis orchids; so of course, I started to pull the look together with my amazing team of vendors to help bring this vision to life. For the bride and groom, I knew I wanted Doreen and her fiance as I’m working with them to design their wedding in the summer time. They are both from Africa and moved to the states for college. And then they fell in love and stayed, just like me!
With our gorgeous couple from Cameroon Africa, a place that heralds the most exquisite emeralds, our vision was fast to follow. We wanted to show a modern tropical wedding that showcased the couple and the venue rather than distract from them. We used monstera leaves that we painted with gold veins to add personality to them and a touch of glamour, as well as a plethora of white orchids. For the bride’s bouquet, we used a gold hoop as our base and entrusted it with the emerald green leaves and orchids, which created an unexpected twist. The table we used added some height with its tall centerpieces, which drew attention to the landscape’s stunning views and varied, simply lined containers intermixed with hand-painted candles.”
From The Bride: For our wedding, we knew we wanted to create not just a beautiful environment, but an experience as well. While we both consider ourselves to be religious people, we didn’t want our wedding to be completely traditional. Cayne and I have always had our own connections to nature and the ocean, so we knew we would want to incorporate them into our theme. We decided a beach wedding at a private estate, in Islamorada, would be perfect. It was especially perfect because we could host the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and brunch all on one property and all in different places. Since we were getting married on Earth Day, we though we could incorporate my love of plants and fondness of fresh flowers as part of our theme. We even picked our caterer based on our theme; we went with a lady who does farm-to-fork, so everything was natural and fresh. Our color palette was very simple. For our flowers, we went with ivory, subtle blush, pops of burgundy and lush green garland. For the ladies’ attire, we had different shades of ivory, sand and champagne. For the men’s attire, we had different shades of blue, white, and sand/brown. I like to say our theme was “A night of growth, love and nostalgia.”
Shane is from Galway, Ireland and I am actually a south Florida native, having grown up in West Palm Beach. We chose Islamorada for a few reasons–we both have a love of south Florida, where our relationship began and flourished. We thought the Florida Keys would be an ideal location for our wedding, not only because the scenery if so beautiful, but also because it was easily accessible to Julia’s family and friends. We also knew that Shane’s family and friends in Ireland would jump at the chance to take a trip to south Florida and escape the cold and rain of Ireland!
My favorite elements without a doubt was all of the lush greenery. It was so important to me to create that natural feel. I knew strongly that I didn’t want the tropical flower explosion that many beach weddings have. Peggy and her team really put that together in a beautiful way. I also LOOOOOVED my shell chandeliers! It really topped off the bohemian feel that I so strongly resonate with. We have shell chandeliers all over our house!
Mindy and Cort wanted a venue on the beach where they can accommodate their family and close friends, including 5 puppies. Cort proposed on the most original way:
It took a lot of planning and preparation. He knew he had to include our dogs somehow in the proposal. He originally tried to do it in my hometown of Vermilion, OH surrounded by my family and our pets. When schedules wouldn’t permit, he decided to propose in Aruba but enlisted the help of my neighbor to craft a creative proposal that incorporated our pets. They came up with the 4 dogs holding a sign that read “Will you marry me?” and placed it on a card. While in Aruba he took me to the Renaissance Private Island to get a couple massages in a bungalow hut over the water. Once the massage was complete, the masseuse handed me a packet. In the packet was the card with the 4 dogs and an china egg that my dad used to propose to my mom! I knew exactly what that egg meant and the card was the perfect way to ask. To see more click in Style Me Pretty click here.
From the bride:
Cort is from Columbus, Ohio and I’m from Vermilion, Ohio. I used to work in Fort Myers, Florida, but after we met on Match.com, I changes jobs and moved back to the Columbus area to be with him. When I was in the middle of changing jobs, Cort took me to the Cheeca Lodge and Spa for a weekend getaway and celebration. For that reason, the Florida Keys have a special meaning to the both of us. We knew we wanted a small wedding with just our families and 4-legged family members. Finding a venue that allowed dogs, and that our families would enjoy, was a priority for us. Our wedding planner Julia, from Blue Water Weddings, found a realtor who showed us a few homes and walked us through how things would be for the wedding. It was perfect seeing the homes with her because she could visually walk us through the layout for the wedding.