Nicole and Mike had an epic Keys wedding with a fun group of people and man, they did it up right! I was introduced to Nicole’s father through the group of people I boat with. In the Keys we call this our “professional groups.” Most of my work comes from referrals, but I don’t take that lightly. Just because someone knows me doesn’t mean I’m the right fit for their wedding, but in this case, let’s just say we fit like a missing jigsaw piece.
The party started out two days before the wedding with a classic welcome party on a boat, pulled up to a sandbar and they hit it good! Beer, Rose, low country boil and tons and tons of fun in the sun. Maybe for Mike a little too much fun because in a good-natured tussle with his future sister-in-law trying to dump her in the ocean, he got himself a shiner! Nicole and I couldn’t stop laughing because days before the engagement session that we did months before, he somehow had a burn mark on the other side of his face. I mean, what are the chances! Luckily it was more show than shine, and with a little ice, all was fine.
This is what I love about my clients when Nicole and Mike told me they wanted me to come and hang out on the boat and party on the sandbar with them on Thursday I couldn’t say yes fast enough. But I also told them that on Friday, all I wanted them to do was chill, hang out by the pool and dedicate themselves to re-hydrating and that’s exactly what they did. Work hard, play hard! Saturday everyone was feeling great and ready to have a fantastic wedding at Casa Marina.
Speaking of Casa Marina, one of the things I love about working there is that I know that the getting ready photos are going to be on point. That’s something I talk to clients about before their wedding, the importance of the getting ready area for everyone before the wedding. I’m not just talking for photos, but also for the general vibe. When you have a place that is bright, airy and where people aren’t shoved into a hot room like sardines, the day just starts off so much better. Better vibes, better photos. At Casa Marina, every room is beautiful and the grounds are the stuff of fairytales. This place has earned its recognition as a Waldorf Resort. Every attention to detail is made, and the staff is always friendly, helpful and accommodating.
The first look between Nicole and her dad and Nicole and Mike were emotional ones and I had to work a little bit to hold it together during them. I’m a big fan of first looks, and if you think it diminishes the feelings during the ceremony, I’m here to tell you that my clients tell me it does not one little bit. In fact, it seems to calm the nerves all around and makes people more relaxed and able to focus a little bit on the marriage vows because they’ve got a good bit of that nervous energy out before the i-dos’. I mean, check out these photos of Mike during the ceremony, doesn’t look to me like he wasn’t emotional! If you’re trying to decide if you should do one or not for your wedding, talk to me. I can help you figure out if it’s best for your personality and your timeline of the day.
The white and green palette throughout the day from the ceremony to reception was sharp! I really liked the look of the tables at the reception because they keep the floral low and lush and then the tables had these beautiful tall tapered white candles which just gave it this pop of elegance with the goblets and plate chargers. They did such a great job with all the decor, start to finish.
Key West is known for its sunsets, and I don’t take it for granted, living in a place like this. But to be really honest, it’s too easy to dial it in and make a quick sunset photo with the bride and groom that I’ve made hundreds of times before in a venue I work at often, that I know will be “pretty” and then get on with it. But instead, I really am interested in making a real piece of art for my clients with sunset photos that break the traditional mold. I’m always trying new lighting techniques, new angles, and new perspectives so they get something that’s never been done before. It’s a little challenge I give myself each wedding, and I think the clients that hire me really appreciate that.
I feel like I am saying this in every blog post lately, but that dance floor filled up and the party didn’t stop until the night was over. I attribute that to my clients, and Nicole and Mike were no exception. They hired vendors they knew they could trust and then they just let ‘er rip. No holds barred, no worries, 110% giving it up all day long. When you surround yourself with wedding professionals who really care about your wedding, the results are stupendous.
Nicole and Mike, thanks for making me a part of your wedding week celebration. Your enthusiasm, love and your posse of amazing friends and family made this one to remember.
VENUE: CASA MARINA – WALDORF ASTORIA RESORT
PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHAEL FREAS PHOTOGRAPHY
2ND PHOTOGRAPHER: FILDA KONEC PHOTOGRAPHY
WEDDING PLANNING: DESTINATION WEDDING STUDIO
FLORIST: DUARTE FLORAL
HAIR AND MAKEUP: STUDIO MARIE PIERRE
SAVE THE DATE: MINTED
WEDDING INVITATIONS: SHINE
DJ/ENTERTAINMENT – COURTNEY HENRY STEEL PANS
BAND: SOUTH FLORIDA HEATWAVE BAND
WEDDING CAKE BAKERY: KEY WEST CAKES
WEDDING DRESS DESIGNER: ESSENCE OF AUSTRALIA