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The Ultimate Guide To Planning A Key West Wedding

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Key West Destination Wedding – J Photography 1
Photo by J Photography via BRIDES

As we quickly retreat inside for a cold & snowy winter season, it’s also the time of year we start daydreaming of a tropical destination wedding on a white sand beach. Enter Key West, Florida — with its turquoise waters and charming Spanish colonial-style architecture, Key West may top the list of dreamiest places in the U.S. to say, “I do” in.

With hopes of receiving an invite ourselves to a tropical party (wink wink), we’ve put together the ultimate guide to planning a Key West wedding. Below, find gorgeous historic wedding venues, recommendations for amazing photographers, planners & florists and all the essential information you need to be jet-setting to Key West.

Why Get Married in Key West?

When it comes to destination weddings, some locations are easier to navigate than others. We love Key West not only because of its laid-back, island life, but because of the variety of vendors that will ensure your big day is as easy as key lime pie. (Which, by the way, is world-famous in Key West and should definitely be on your dessert table.) And with the crazy amount of epic excursions to be had, your wedding weekend will be one you and your loved ones will remember forever.

How to Get There

If you have the time, fly into Miami International Airport, rent a car, and road trip from Key Largo to Key West. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive that traverses the famous seven-mile bridge, one of the longest in the world, and boasts incredible views of the islands.

Alternatively, you can fly into Key West International Airport, and then take an Uber, taxi, or shuttle into downtown Key West.

Where to Stay & Where to Get Married

With so many amazing venues in Key West to choose from, it can be overwhelming to settle on one. We’ve taken the guesswork out for you and handpicked some of our favorites that are sure to make your day a breeze.

  • Given that Key West is only 95 miles from Cuba, how fun would a traditional Cuban-style wedding be?! Boutique hotel Havana Cabana has everything you need to make it happen – from authentic Cuban catering to hand-rolled Cuban cigars, to a get-away ride in a classic 1957 Chevy. Uh, yes, please!
  • Jimmy Buffett’s classic tune comes to life at the Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina. Its prime waterfront location is the perfect spot to dance the night away under the stars (and even take a post-reception midnight dip!).
  • Voted the “Best Outdoor Location” for private events in Key West, Audubon House and Tropical Gardens would be such a dreamy spot to exchange vows. With its beautiful tropical vegetation, you won’t even need to do much decorating!
  • Calling all literature buffs and cat lovers! Add romantic nostalgia to your wedding day by renting out the Spanish colonial-style home of the late author Ernest Hemingway, where he penned many of his great novels. Sixty cats roam the property, all belonging to a lineage that began with a six-toed cat gifted to Hemingway by a sea captain.
  • The stunning grounds at Casa Marina are ripe with romance and grandeur. Say “I do” with your toes in the sand and the Atlantic Ocean behind you at this elegant Waldorf Astoria resort built in 1920.
The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Key West Destination Wedding – Care Studios 4
Photo by Care Studios
The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Key West Destination Wedding – Care Studios 6
Photo by Care Studios

Vendors

As far as destination weddings go, vendors are your best friend. Who wants to be bogged down with DIY wedding stress when there’s so much fun to be had in Key West? With these tried-and-true professionals at the helm, your big day will be a breeze.

Wedding Planners

If you’re new to Key West, hire a wedding planner to take care of the details while you relax and soak up the isle’s magic. Here are some of our hand-picked, award-winning faves:

Photographers

When throwing a wedding somewhere as picturesque as Key West, a photographer is non-negotiable. We suggest hiring one of these renowned locals (some of which are featured in this post!) — they’ll know the best spots for those epic, brag-worthy photos.

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Key West Destination Wedding – Care Images 1
Photo by Care Studios

Floral Designers

Let’s face it: with a stunning backdrop like Key West, you can get away with minimal decor — just add some florals and voila! Hiring a local florist is your best way to ensure the freshest, dreamiest designs.

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Key West Destination Wedding – Julia Rohde Designs – Katie Lopez Photo

Other Vendors

If you’re DIYing the wedding planning, you’ll want to start rounding up other vendors as well. To give you a jump start, we’ve vetted a group of fabulous vendors to cover things like rentals, music, catering & of course our favorite category: desserts!

 

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Key West Destination Wedding – Brett Denfield Photography 2

Things to Do

Outside of the wedding festivities, there is no shortage of fun ways to pass the time in Key West. Give yourself a few extra days after the wedding to make some unforgettable memories as newlyweds.

  • We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate wedded bliss with your honey than a romantic sunset cruise. While Fury offers a variety of packages, we’re eyeing the Rum and Reggae Snorkel Sunset Combo.
  • Explore the abundant wildlife and waterways of Key West with a kayaking or snorkeling tour. Clearly Unique Charters even has clear kayaks so you can see the fish swimming beneath you!
  • Take a seaplane to Dry Tortugas National Park, one of the most inaccessible national parks in North America, and home to some incredible biodiversity and an awesome 19th-century fort.
  • For a night on the town, world-famous Duval Street is a must-see. This mile-long stretch is home to a variety of funky shops, exceptional restaurants, and hole-in-wall bars (like Sloppy Joe’s, a favorite haunt of Hemingway’s).

Essential Info

Learn more about weddings in Key West on the Florida Keys and Key West’s website.

Follow The Florida Keys and Key West on Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest for an abundance of tropical destination wedding inspiration.

This post was made in partnership with Key West.

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