Tropical Inspired Key West, Florida Destination Wedding

key west wedding

Erin and Aaron held their domestic destination wedding in a place very near and dear to their hearts – Key West, Florida! They had spent a lot of time there and it was even the spot he proposed and she, of course, said yes! The happy couple shared with us the story of their big day“Key West has a huge place in our hearts and always will down the road. It was one of our first places we vacationed together and immediately I was in love. Aaron asked me to marry him in Key West as well during one of our many trips down south. We spend a month each summer enjoying the fishing, lobstering & amazing food in Key West as well as many other trips during the year. We figured it was the perfect location for our wedding day, and let’s be honest, guests love destination weddings!”

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“People would think a Florida wedding during the hottest part of the year is crazy, and I agree with them one hundred percent. I actually took my bridesmaids dress shopping and all three of the ladies happened to love the Horizon Blue. (I let my girls pick the color, clearly no bridezilla moments here) I thought it looked great on each of the girls with their hair color and skin tones and it was a great summer color for our wedding down in paradise.”

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“The best advice I was given before the wedding was to make sure you take time for the two of you. You will be so busy running around making sure things were delivered on time, finding out where all of your guests/wedding party are, and answering last minute questions. (Especially with a destination wedding) Take a break before the wedding even if it’s a few days before, or the evening before and go escape from all the craziness. We personally did everything for our wedding and reception without any help from local vendors, so we weren’t able to “relax” wedding morning, we were working hard to make sure everyone had a great time! So the time we did have together meant everything. After all it is a day for the two of you, and your happiness is all that matters.”

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“We couldn’t have been more blessed with the amount of family and friends and that traveled thousands of miles to share our special day with us. My entire side of the wedding traveled from NJ, which was an expensive & long trip. We loved having everyone there to share all of the love we have for one another. It was also very special for myself personally to have my father walk me down the isle, we weren’t sure with his medical condition at the time if he was going to make it to our wedding.”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer:  Love & Perry Photography

Wedding Vendors: Event Venue: Ernest Hemingway House


Beach Wedding Shoot at Night

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Today’s destination wedding is actually a photo shoot designed by wedding planner and designer, Kelly McWilliams, and an amazing team of Florida wedding vendors who wanted to show off a different side to destination weddings – a beach wedding at night! We asked Kelly all about their inspiration and the details from this big day and here’s what she had to say!

JF: Why did you decide to do a shoot at night?

Kelly: We wanted to do a shoot at night for a few reasons.  Mostly, because it is so rare that anyone produces evening styled shoots and inspirational images are hard to find.  We do so many Jewish wedding ceremonies on the beach and it’s hard to “imagine” what they can look like with great lighting.  Finally, we like the idea that if you’re having a destination wedding that you can take advantage of the entire day and night!  Maybe yoga & golf in the morning, a beach or poolside bbq lunch, free time for all the wedding guests to enjoy the island…all before the ceremony & reception.  The best part about a destination wedding is that it is unrushed time with all your guests…days, not 4-5 hours.

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JF: What do couples need to know about the unique elements of planning an evening event outside?

Kelly: By far the most unique part is how you have so many more options with lighting!  You truly can have a candle lit ceremony. You can incorporate chandeliers, or lanterns or strung lights.  Evening weddings are the epitome of romantic. Logistical things to consider are limitations with power and inclement weather.  No matter what, a back up plan (with a location) needs to be set well in advance in case there are instances of rain, lightning or strong winds. 

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JF: Why did you select the location you did?

Kelly: We chose The Sundial Resort because it has several outdoor locations available for ceremony, cocktail and reception.  Also, they have newly renovated indoor locations that would be equally as wonderful if the weather made a turn for the worst.

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JF: What was the inspiration for the decor?

Kelly: My inspiration for this concept was the full moon & open sky of stars.  Sanibel Island is dreamy at night and I wish more people had the opportunity to celebrate under them!  I also wanted to focus on having a contemporary, glamorous and formal design for the ceremony and dinner.  

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JF: How did you see that design through?

Kelly: The first things on my prop list were candelabras and chandeliers.  Lighting was for sure the key component.  To highlight them I wanted everything to sparkle and shine.  So we stuck with all white flowers, focusing on Phalaenopsis Orchids.  We also used sequin pillows & tablecloths, and centerpieces in mirrored vessels.  Even the ceremony programs were in a mirrored box.  To make sure that there was a little note of the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the chargers, menus & place cards, and the cake had a sea blue accent and the pillows on the pews had some sea creatures. Finally, to keep with the intention of the shine, I used ghost chairs so that any hint of sparkle could have the opportunity to show up.

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To see the finished product on video and a behind the scenes look at making this feature come to life, check out the films by Matt Steeves Wedding Films.

Destination Wedding Photographer: Hunter Ryan Photo

Destination Wedding Photo Shoot Team: Shoot Production, Art Direction & Styling: Kelly McWilliams – Celebrations, Weddings & Parties, Venue: Sundial Beach Resort, Floral Design: Floral Artistry, Props & Tabletop: The Prop Closet via Kelly McWilliams’ Celebrations, Weddings & Parties, Linens: Nuage, Chairs/Pews/Lighting: Island Event Rentals, Cake Artist: SweetSlices Cake Design, Fashion: Tie the Knot, Hair & Makeup Styling: Salon Tease, Talent: Clint Wiley & Dawn Kelly, Video Produced & Directed by: Matt Steeves Wedding Films



Getting Married at The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida

getting married at the breakers

The Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida is one of the country’s premier luxury resorts (and home to destination weddings from around the world). We checked out this property firsthand and found that whether you’re hosting an event for 50 or 500 friends and loved ones, you’ll certainly be well cared for by this incredible oasis and its team. We recently chatted with Joan Bever, Director of Food and Beverage – Event Sales and Services, who shared with us a bit about getting married in the area and all the recently renovated 140-acre property has to offer! Located just 15 minutes from the Palm Beach International Airport, The Breakers Palm Beach is easy to get to for your guests, makes your legal domestic destination wedding a breeze, and with eight restaurants and bars and 540 rooms and suites, they have everything you could need and more during your vacation of a lifetime!

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Image: Amy Hill Photography

JF: What are some of the benefits of getting married at a grand resort?

JB: The Breakers Palm Beach is one of America’s premier destinations for magnificent weddings and celebrations. A one-of-a-kind oceanfront destination resort, the bride and groom and their guests never have to leave property. Every need or want is just a stroll away. 

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Image: Alain Martinez Photography

JF: Why is this a great option for destination couples?

JB: It’s a tropical paradise! From the great weather to the stunning ocean and the beautiful blue skies, Palm Beach offers the perfect environment and backdrop for a destination wedding. The Breakers also offers a fusion of old world tradition with modern luxury, giving couples the chance to get married in front of the Atlantic Ocean and celebrate inside a Renaissance-inspired palace – all without a passport required.

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JF: If a couple is planning a wedding at The Breakers, what creative ideas and events can couples plan to enhance the ceremony or reception?

JB: Planning an incredible celebration is all about the details, and a spectacular wedding features customized elements that reflect the couple’s personal styles and tastes.

We encourage our couples to consider incorporating a piece of home (a menu item with local flare), sharing something special to them with their gusts (a specialty cocktail that represents what they sipped on their first date) or by including a personalized element from their family’s heritage (a song or special dance).

Speaking to the menu, a few of the unique and fun items popular today include our Local Fresh Florida Stone Crab Claw First Course, Individual Ice-carved Raw Bar, Signature Giant Martini Sundae and interactive food stations. For dessert, try a pie bar, whoopee pie station or homemade cookie bar and for a new take on the cake, pass bite-sized monogramed petits fours.

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Image: Nancy Cohn Photography

JF: What about activities that aren’t event driven?

JB: Beyond the classic resort amenities offered, guests can also enjoy poolside relaxation in our luxury Bungalows, take a bicycle tour of Palm Beach, delight in beachside Yoga or Pilates (we even offer Paddleboard Yoga!), discover deep sea fishing, scuba diving or snorkeling at The Breakers Reef, and, of course, spend a truly relaxing day at The Spa.

Our team can also help arrange private golf lessons or shotgun golf, tennis or croquet tournaments as well as beach volleyball and private fitness classes.

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Right: Donna Newman Photography, Left: Anthony Vazquez Photography 

JF: What can guests and couples experience at and around The Breakers when coming in for a destination wedding?

JB: The resort’s amenities include four oceanfront swimming pools and five whirlpool spas, a new, spectacular 6,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor Ocean Fitness center, 25 luxury Bungalows for daytime-rentals, half-mile of private beach, an oceanfront luxury spa, 11 exclusive specialty shops, two 18-hole championship golf courses and 10 Har-Tru lighted tennis courts. The Breakers also features a collection of eight distinctive bars and restaurants.

If guests choose to explore the area, world-class shopping, unique entertainment, and captivating museums are located just around the corner. Guests can browse the designer boutiques on Worth Avenue, spend a leisurely afternoon shopping at CityPlace or take in a bit of history at the Henry Flagler Museum – all within minutes of The Breakers.

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Image: Ambrosio Photography

JF: Can couples have a beach-inspired wedding or a black tie wedding?  Tell us about the diversity of the property and who it’s ideal for.

JB: Whether indoors or outdoors‚ The Breakers has myriad of breathtaking locations to suit every couple’s personal taste. From stunning oceanfront settings and lush gardens to magnificent ballrooms‚ we can accommodate ceremonies and receptions for 50 to 500 guests. Our one–of–a–kind venues set the perfect stage for a once–in–a–lifetime celebration. 

A few of our favorites include….

The Ocean Lawn: The Ocean Lawn has a breathtaking direct view of the Atlantic Ocean and provides the relaxed feel of a beachside wedding. Framed by palm trees, the Lawn is a favorite locale for stunning ceremonies. This outdoor paradise can be used for ceremonies, welcome and rehearsal dinners, and brunch. The Lawn accommodates 100 to 500 guests.

Venetian Ballroom: With floor to ceiling windows overlooking the stunning Atlantic Ocean, the Venetian Ballroom is one of The Breakers’ largest ballrooms. This majestic room accommodates up to 550 guests.

The Circle Ballroom: Ideal for an unforgettable ceremony or a gorgeous reception, The Circle boasts spectacular ocean views and a soaring fresco-painted ceiling. The Circle accommodates up to 200 guests.

Mediterranean Ballroom: The Romanesque Mediterranean Ballroom features views of the Mediterranean Courtyard and fresco-painted renaissance ceilings. The Mediterranean Ballroom accommodates up to 250 guests.

Mediterranean Courtyard: The Renaissance-inspired courtyard is a dazzling spot for an outdoor cocktail hour or can be transformed for a romantic ceremony. The Courtyard accommodates 75 to 500 guests.

For more information on getting married at The Breakers Palm Beach, be sure to check them out online and follow them on your favorite social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.


Watercolor, Florida Beach Destination Wedding

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Jamie and Justin traveled from Dallas to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida to say I do at the idyllic Watercolor Inn & Resort with 110 friends and family present to celebrate for four straight days!

To announce the fun to come, Southern Fried Paper created the couple’s custom wedding invitations.

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The bride went with a destination wedding dress that wasn’t “fussy” as she had the beach in mind as her backdrop.  And of course she had the shoes to match!

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Jamie also made the groomsmen’s boutonnieres! She used a basket of shells that she found at a garage sale for $.99.

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Each bridesmaid was given the choice to select their own dress based on their personal styles. A great idea and it came together perfectly in pictures!

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The ceremony was officiated by the groom’s best friend from college while the bride’s grandfather’s school bell from 1940 was rung at the end of the ceremony to pronounce them husband and wife!

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Lots of personal touches were found throughout this special day. Jamie selected tulips in her bridal bouquet because it was her late grandmother’s and mom’s favorite flower.   The bride’s grandmother’s wedding band was tied to her bouquet with a blue ribbon – something borrowed and something blue!

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Great idea for outdoor weddings – pashmina’s to keep warm with a sign that read “to have and to hold in case you get cold.”

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The couple wanted a “beach chic” look to the reception. Mission accomplished!

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“I Think I Want to Marry You” by Bruno Mars was the bride and groom’s first dance song of choice (complete with a choreographed dance routine)!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Goode Green Photography

Wedding Vendors: Location: Watercolor Inn & Resort, Floral: Bella Flora, Inc., Planner: Joseph Lanzy, Watercolor Inn & Resort, Band: Big Night Dynamite, Ceremony Musician: Chris Alvarado, Hair/Makeup: Rolland’s Beauty Bar, Cake: Bake My Day, Videographer: Fletcher Isaacs, Invitations: Southern Fried Paper


A Burlap Inspired Destination Wedding in Florida

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Brandon and Jennifer hosted their destination wedding in the beautiful St. Augustine, FL with friends and family by their sides to share in the big “I do’s!”  We asked Jennifer how they selected this special location.  “Brandon and I met in St. Augustine while attending the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences.  One of our very first dates was to a classmate’s wedding on the rooftop of the White Room and I knew the moment I stepped out onto that rooftop that I wanted to be married there.  Little did I know, that I would get married there to that man I barely knew.  Having our wedding on the rooftop of the white room really was a dream come true for both of us.”  

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We planned the entire wedding in six months, and we somehow managed to do it all from Texas.  We have been living in Austin, TX for over two years now and it was definitely a challenge to plan wedding from so far in such a short amount of time so we had to put trust in our friends still living in town to help us make so many important decisions.   My maid of honor completed our wedding cake testing and an usher had to be the witness to sign the contract for the white room because we were unable to be there.  Even with the challenge of distance, our vendors were so amazing that the entire process went without a hiccup.”

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“One of my favorite photos of my bouquet displays a bluebird pin that was given to me by my mother in law to represent my something blue.  It was given to her by her mother in law on her wedding day, and it holds such a special place in my heart.”  

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The flower girl of course didn’t steal the show but we can’t help but fall in love with this little one!

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The bridesmaids’ neutral palette went perfectly with the rustic design this duo had in mind.

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We asked Jennifer what the inspiration for the rustic wedding décor was.  I am originally from a very small town in southern Mississippi and a true southern girl at heart, so the rustic theme has always appealed to me, however I wanted to find the right balance of classic meets rustic to accentuate our beautiful venue.  The decorating began with mason jars and burlap and the touches of lace and mercury glass were added to make it unique for us.  I also have always loved soft neutrals and that’s usually all you’ll find in my wardrobe so I couldn’t have felt more like myself on our perfect day.”

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“Our favorite element from the wedding was the sweet treats bar.  We wanted it to be bright and fun but simple, and the pop of color in the room was such a great contrast to the otherwise neutral palette.  Brandon proposed at the end of the 5K color run in New Orleans, LA and we were both covered head to toe in bright paint and he had a photographer to capture the moment and it was so special to us and we wanted a way to incorporate it into our big day, so from the photos came the inspiration for the candy bar.”

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And in addition to the sweets bar was this ‘spooned’ cake complete with monogram cake topper.

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And for the grand finale?!  Sparklers for their sendoff!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Pure Sugar Studios

Wedding Vendors: Ceremony + Reception Location: The White RoomDesign: The Conservatorie Floral Event and DesignEntertainment: McGhee Entertainment, Hair and Makeup: Amanda Hopcraft, Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal sculptured A-line ivory lace, Wedding Cake: Publix Bakery