When Christina and Don from Hollywood, MD got married on Smathers Beach it was a bit of deja vu. I had officiated at the wedding of Christina’s mother 2 years earlier under the same palm tree!
Christina had ordered a custom bouquet as well as keepsake champagne flutes. The bouquets on my website are the most popular bouquets, but you can have anything you wish. Some flowers need to be ordered well in advance, so if you do want a custom bouquet, it’s best to order as far ahead as possible.
Christina and Don are both in the military, and they brought little military ducks that they wanted incorporated into one of their pictures. I think Peter did a fine job with that!
Jean and Derek of San Antonio, TX got married on the Pool Deck at Ocean Key House. Although I am a preferred vendor at Ocean Key, Jean and Derek found me on Weddingwire. There are any number of wedding sites where you can look for vendors and post reviews. I think the most important point when choosing an officiate is comfort level. Getting married, no matter how simple or elaborate the ceremony, is stressful. No matter how long you’ve been together it’s a big change in your life. Having an officiate that puts you at ease is a big plus. So feel free to ask me all the questions you like. After all, this is something I do all the time! I’m happy to answer any questions about the ceremony or Key West. Anyway that I can assist, I’m happy to help.
No two couples are alike. No two ceremonies are alike. That’s one reason I have couples pick out the ceremony they want to use. It should reflect them and what they want to say. There is no “right” or “wrong” to a ceremony. There is tradition, which some may wish to follow and others do not.
In the slightly untraditional category are Bonita and Jeff from Fredericksburg, VA. Peter and I met them on Higgs Beach and Peter took lots of lovey pictures of them around palm trees, walking along the water’s edge and all the other pictures he normally takes after the ceremony. Then we walked to the very far end of the Higgs Beach Pier where we held the ceremony. Immediately upon being pronounced husband and wife, Bonita and Jeff took a little running start and jumped into the ocean while holding hands! Talk about starting off with a splash! There were lots of approving cheers and applause from swimmers and sunbathers.
What a fun way to start their lives together! Now that’s a wedding they won’t soon forget, neither will the sunbathers!
For couples that are looking for a more traditional destination wedding, any of our resorts works beautifully. Resorts can provide everything from the venue to reception to sleeping rooms for the guests. It’s truly one stop shopping. Jean and Derek from San Antonia, TX chose the Ocean Key House for their ceremony and their 30 guests.
With traditional ceremonies, guests invariably ask me which side of the isle they should sit on; which is the bride’s side and which is the groom’s side. The unofficial motto of Key West is “One Human Family”, so I always tell them that it doesn’t matter which side you sit on, you’re all family now.
You’ll find that “One Human Family” motto on bumper stickers, wrist bands and t-shirts. Feel free to take home a little One Human Family with you.
Some weeks are more popular than others for weddings. Sometimes it’s for obvious reasons like the week of Valentine’s Day. Other weeks, it just seems to happen! Congratulations to Janet and Jeff of Wichita, KS, Whitney and James of Spartanburg, SC and Sandra and Perry of Fitchburg, MA. I was honored to be a part of each of their weddings on Smathers Beach this weekend. Also, Kristi and Nick of Statesville, NC celebrated their 10th anniversary with a Vow Renewal Ceremony on Smathers this weekend.
Smathers Beach is a very popular place for ceremonies for many reasons. The beach is very pretty, there are palm trees right on the beach, there’s a rock jetty which makes for great pictures, there are usually hardly any people there and there’s no fee to have a ceremony on Smathers.
If you want to have your ceremony on Smathers be aware that it is a public beach. There is a chance there could be another ceremony going on at the same time as yours. But, no worries! Smathers is about a mile long, there’s plenty of room for everyone! The more the merrier!
Couples often ask me what paperwork they need for a Vow Renewal Ceremony. The answer is….nothing. A Vow Renewal Ceremony is a personal recommitment between husband and wife. Some couples have a renewal ceremony every year. Others commemorate milestones like their 10th, 20th or 30th anniversary. And for some couples, a Vow Renewal helps them put their relationship in perspective after a life altering event. Whatever reason, a Vow Renewal Ceremony helps couples remember why they married each other in the first place!
For Tammy and Gary from Buffalo, NY, it was their 30th wedding anniversary. With a few good friends (including the best man from their wedding), they celebrated on Smathers Beach with lots of pictures and lots of bubbly.
I think Vow Renewals are important reminders and so I create a Vow Renewal Certificate for each couple. Even though this ceremony is not going to be recorded in any County Clerk’s office, I think it is important for the couple to have a physical reminder that they care so much for each other they were willing to did it all over again!
Smathers Beach is a very popular place to get married. It’s a beautiful beach and there’s no fee to have a ceremony there. There are stairways that lead up to the beach from the roadway about every 100 feet. All of the stairways are numbered. Stairway 11 is my favorite part of Smathers. There are palm trees right on the beach and a rock jetty which makes for lovely pictures. Also, it’s far away from any vendors or amenities so there are normally very few people at stairway 11. That’s where Key West locals Nina and Matthew got married. They had a few friends with them and 2 of the couples were couples that I had married! Quite a little reunion!