The Reach Resort

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The Reach Resort has a really pretty gazebo over the water that is a very popular place for weddings. That’s where Katie and Tim from New York City, chose to have their ceremony. They were referred by another couple I had married at Ocean Key Resort, another lovely resort.

They had some very talented friends who played guitar and sang while the guests arrived, and also played during the sand ceremony.

A couple of the guests got very teary eyed during the ceremony. Even though I’ve been officiating for many years, sometimes it’s hard for me not to tear up when everyone around me is crying!

There is a fee to rent the gazebo, contact the wedding department at The Reach for details

People that don’t know what I do often look at me funny when I mention that “I married them”. Just easier than saying “I officiated at their wedding”, I guess!

A Couple of Great Surprises!

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Yesterday, Lee surprised his bride of 20 years with a Vow Renewal on Smathers Beach. They were visiting from New Jersey and she had no idea Lee had planned this. When they got to the beach, Lee got down on one knee and proposed. Deborah said yes, and I presented her with the bouquet Lee had chosen. During the ceremony, instead of reaffirming with their original rings, Lee surprised Deborah with a beautiful new diamond ring. It almost brought me to tears it was so lovely.

Afterwards, while Peter was taking Lee and Deborah’s pictures on the beach, I heard my name, turned around, and there was Richard and Lindsey from Sheffield, England that I had married on February 14, 2013! They were in Florida on holiday and had come to Key West for 1 day to see where they had gotten married. We were delighted to see each other! It really is a small world. What a great day for surprises!

Just Swedish

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Yesterday, Madeleine and Kim who had traveled all the way from Sweden, got married on Smathers Beach. I had a woman who was walking her dogs stop me and ask if this was a commercial photo shoot, because the couple was so pretty. I said “no, they’re just Swedish.” 🙂 The bride had her hair and makeup done at the Casa Marina salon and arrived by limo a few minutes after the groom arrived so he wouldn’t see her before the ceremony.

This is a good example, though, of why no one should not watch the weather. All the weather forecasts called for an 80% chance of rain. Of course, we know that forecast is really for Miami, not Key West. And I think this picture of Madeleine’s and Kim’s wedding prove that! As always, picture taken by my brilliant photographer husband, Peter.



Poker Run

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This weekend is Poker Run. Thousands of Bikers make their way to Key West picking up playing cards along the way and the biker who has the best hand in Key West wins. Duval Street is closed to all cars, and bikes line both sides for blocks. It’s quite a spectacle! Bikes start arriving on Thursday and by Sunday afternoon, they’re all gone. We always head down and walk Duval with friends to look at all of the bikes.

On Friday night at 9pm I got a text from a friend of a friend wondering if I was available to officiate on Saturday. As long as you have a marriage license, I’m good to go! So, before meandering down Duval to gawk at bikes, off I went to Smathers Beach to marry Key West locals, Peggy and Don. They’d been together 5 years and just decided it was time. A simple ceremony and then we’re off to Duval Street. And so were Peggy and Don!


Last Minute Weddings

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When a wedding is at Smathers Beach I always like to get there at least 15 minutes earlier than the scheduled meeting time so that I can greet my Bride and Groom when they arrive. When Peter and I got there yesterday, there were a couple of pretty large weddings just breaking up. But, by the time Lisa and John of Tampa arrived to get married, we had the beach all to ourselves.

John had emailed me only a couple of days before to inquire about getting married. Short notice weddings are no problem at all. I’ve officiated at weddings with just a couple of hours notice. If you live outside of Florida there’s no waiting period after you get your marriage license. If you live in Florida, there is a 3 day waiting period (unless you take the pre-marital course). But, John and Lisa had already gotten their license in Tampa and, on the spur of the moment, decided a beautiful beach in Key West was the perfect place for their wedding. I think it was the right decision.

Loving Tribute

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It was a beautiful day on Smathers Beach yesterday. Just enough breeze to keep the September heat at bay. Jenine and Larry from Baltimore, MD tied the knot at noon. Jenine had ordered my Tropical Explosion Bridal Bouquet for herself, and the Attendant size for her best friend. Jenine had a small picture of her mother which she tucked into the middle of her bouquet. I thought that was such a lovely tribute.

Jenine, Larry and their two best friends were headed to Latitudes for dinner. Latitudes is a wonderful place to celebrate. A five minute ferry ride from Key West to Sunset Key and you’re there. Make a reservation for a table on the terrace. The restaurant is romantic, the food is superb and the service unsurpassed. The perfect place to celebrate such a wonderful event. And, like any restaurant in Key West, shorts, t-shirt and flip flops are perfectly acceptable attire.

Facebook Post

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I found this posted on my Facebook page this morning:

“Had the pleasure of having our vow renewal ceremony performed on Sunday, August 31st, and could not have been happier!!! Rebecca is a total sweetheart and Peter was right there to capture each and every moment on the camera. What a wonderful experience!!! It will be an afternoon we will always remember!!! :)”

Thank you Cyndi and Rick! It was an honor to renew your vows on your first anniversary!

Couples often ask me what time of the day they should have their ceremony to have the best light for pictures. While sunset seems like a picturesque time, it’s definitely not the best time for pictures. With the long shadows, angle of the sun, and growing darkness, sunset is best seen from a Sunset Cruise or Mallory Square. I recommend having your ceremony earlier in the day when the sky and water is a bright blue and the sand is pure white. Cyndi and Rick had their ceremony at 4:30pm which worked perfectly.