Destination Weddings/Real Weddings

In The Staycation Era, Key West Makes The Perfect Wedding Destination

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We love destination weddings at Bridal Musings. Always the first to recommend some faraway destination for a lavish vacation-meets-wedding celebration. The idea brings a sparkle to our eyes.

However, with Covid, we’ve had to get creative to instill that ‘destination wedding’ vibe to venues and regions closer to home. Luckily for Americans, and particularly Floridians, Key West provides a tropical vacation feel worthy of the ‘destination wedding’ label, without a need for a passport or long-haul travel.

Natalie and Richard’s Key West wedding is proof that you can create a remote and memorable wedding weekend while barely leaving your own backyard. Filled with sunshine and joy, we think this Florida wedding day could have been the dream destination wedding option, even Covid constraints aside.

Inspired to plan your own Key West wedding? We’ve written the ultimate guide to Key West’s best venues, vendors & how to best plan your Floridian tropical wedding getaway.

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Our Love Story

We met through the dating app “Hinge”. While neither of us had ever really used the apps before, and we both weren’t actively searching…when Richard saw Natalie’s profile, he knew he had to reach out to her. Thankfully, Natalie’s friends convinced her to give it a chance, and we hit it off immediately. Less than one year later, we were engaged in Portugal!

Richard had planned on proposing to Natalie later in the trip. But, while out on a short paddleboarding trip, we found ourselves alone on the most beautiful private outcove we had ever seen, and he decided that now was the time! The pre-planned speech went out the window, but he managed to get out a few words, get down on one knee and give Natalie the ring he had been hiding in my pack for a few days just in case!

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The Photography

We hired our photography team because we knew they would knock it out of the park for us and we didn’t have to worry about a thing. Alyssa and her team did just that! From the engagement shoot to the ceremony, and of course the crazy dancing – our photographers captured every moment perfectly!

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The Destination & Planning

We wanted a remote wedding, but also wanted something that Natalie’s family in Florida could make it to if they didn’t want to fly. So, Key West was a perfect destination for us.

While we initially wanted an indoor wedding, COVID forced us to move the event outside, and we couldn’t have been happier it did. The string lights, music, and setup generally were absolutely beautiful and the weather cooperated to give us a perfectly clear day, and comfortably cool night. Using the elements on the island ended up making the experience even more magical than we hoped for.

The food, dancing, speeches, and everything else was incredible – so basically we couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Not to forget the actual ceremony, which was amazing as well – reverend Eddie Rodriguez gave a moving, impactful service that left the entire crowd inspired to make the most of their relationship with their loved ones.

Everything from the Saturday brunch event, to the day after golf outing – was full of love, family, friends, and an all-around great time that we will never forget!

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Favorite Moments

The moment that really stood out to us, funny enough, was one that we both have almost no memory of – the wedding ceremony. And by no memory – we mean that we don’t remember what was said, what happened, or really anything outside of the fact that we were both so lost in the moment, in each other, that everything else was just a blur. Thanks to Alyssa, and all of our guests – we were able to relive the absolutely incredible ceremony through our wedding video, but at that moment – the only thing that mattered to us was each other.

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Advice for Other Couples

Hopefully, most of our advice will not apply to couples in the future that aren’t dealing with COVID weddings! But, since we can only speak from the experience we had – I would say our best tip would be to be flexible and don’t freak out! Planning will take lots of twists and turns, you may have to make some tough decisions for invites, decor, or whatever else that feels very important at the moment…but, most of it isn’t! Richard and Natalie may slightly disagree on that last point, but on that note…don’t worry about pre-wedding fights and loving disagreements about the wedding!

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The Honeymoon

We only had time for what she called a “mini-moon”, with the longer, full honeymoon to happen a few months later over summer break, or so we thought…

With less than a week to enjoy, we decided to go to the all-inclusive Andaz Resort in the Papagayo Peninsula region of Costa Rica. The resort was absolutely gorgeous, and we don’t want to blow up their spot – but between us, ether they missed the memo on how “all-inclusive” typically works – or they just don’t like money, because it was AMAZING. Every special drink, every meal, no matter how fancy – all-included. We lost track of the $50 dollar lobsters, and $25 dollar tapas we ordered over the course of the week, but it most likely still didn’t keep up with the number of Pina Coladas!

After we settled back in New York, it was only a few weeks until we had to throw out any plans for an extended summer honeymoon living it up in another all-inclusive resort somewhere, because fate had an even more fun plan in the works!

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Key West Wedding – Bridal Musings
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