I will never forget the iconic words “Don’t forget your roots!” When I think of my photography career, my roots bring me right back to Key West, Florida. This small but vibrant four-mile by two-mile island was where I spent nine years grinding and perfecting my craft. Ocean Key Resort and Spa hold a particular place in my heart as one of the Key West wedding venues that helped me on this journey. So, when Kelsey contacted me to shoot another wedding at this stunning location again, I was stoked to head back to Key West!
Kelsey and Ryan spent time in South Florida during college, so the Florida Keys was a place that they visited. It was part of the influence in their picking Key West as the destination for their wedding. Ocean Key had what they wanted. Central location in downtown Key West, great view, and ease of movement. They invited all of their friends and family and set the date in December of 2022 to get married at the Key West wedding venue, Ocean Key Resort and Spa in Key West, Florida. Located at 0 Duval Street in Old Town Key West.
Kelsey and the girls got ready in one of the suites with a balcony overlooking the Sunset Pier, which was their reception location. It had a great view, which overlooked the Gulf of Mexico, and a partial Atlantic Ocean view. It was perfect because it gave us a location for sunset, which you can see I learned from a previous wedding. After she had a fun reveal with her friends and bridal party, she and I jumped in a car and headed to Fort Zachary Taylor for the first look.
We used the inside of the fortress as a location for the first look, because of the textures and ease of portraits for the two of them. After some up close and personal photos, we headed out to the harbor side and took some big landscape photos to show off the Key West backdrops. The day was full of sunshine and brilliant blue sky, which was the perfect location for a stroll channel side at Fort Zachary Taylor. It was that last moment on the wedding day the two of them would have just to themselves. An intimate wedding day moment.
When it comes to key West wedding decor, any Do-It-Yourself project cannot compare to the results of working with professional vendors. Working with professionals can give your key West wedding a luxurious, polished and stress-free look that is sure to leave a lasting impression on you and your guests. Professionals have the expertise, creativity, skill and knowledge that DIY projects lack, allowing them to create an aesthetically stunning design while staying on budget. With creative and professional key West wedding decor vendors, you can rest assured that your wedding will be one for the books!
Signage and Caligraphy: Blue Thistle Studio
Florals: Duarte Floral Design
The wedding day ceremony took place at the Sun Deck of Ocean Key. Very loving and full of genuine heartfelt emotions. I probably never talk like what you are reading, but it’s true. You could feel how much these two love each other, and I thought it was fucking righteous! Two people committed to one another for the rest of their lives and it was deep.
After some sunset photos, it was time for a wedding reception that would top the charts for the most fun. The wedding guests filled the dance floor all night long, dancing the night away under the stars to the sounds of Velvet City Sound from Atlanta, Georgia. Super fun band and I hope to work with them in Asheville, NC sometime soon.
Kelsey and Ryan! Thank you so much for having me as a part of your day! Seriously the most fun!
Key West Wedding Venue: Ocean Key
Sunset Pier, Ocean Key Resort
Photographer: Michael Freas Weddings
2nd Photographer: Julio G Photography
Planning: Simply You
Ceremony and Reception Music: Velvet City Sound
Hair Services: Jany Did My Hair
Makeup Services: Jaz Makeup Artistry
Cigar: Rodriguez Cigars
AV Equipment: Art of Sound
Specialty linen: BBJ La Travola
Rentals: Table 7
When you’re planning your wedding, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is whom to hire as your photographer.
If you’re looking for someone who can capture the spirit of your day, then a documentary photographer (hey, that’s me!) is there to capture the entire feeling of the wedding day.
While of course there are some posed photos (because there’s no way I’m not doing some killer portraits at sunset) the focus is on you and your family and all the love and emotion of the day.
If you’re planning a wedding in the Florida Keys and Key West, then let’s talk!
I’d love to hear about your day and what you are looking for in a wedding photographer. It’s an easy flight south through the Key West International airport.