Our wedding in Key Largo was actually the second wedding we planned within the year. We were engaged November 2016 and planned a destination wedding for Puerto Rico in January 2018, one of our favorite vacation spots. In August 2017 our lives were turned upside down when Erica’s father suddenly passed away. Three weeks following his passing Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. To say we had a lot on our plate is an understatement. Plans were up in the air for the next several weeks as we were grieving the loss of Erica’s father and trying to decipher whether we should hold out hope for our Puerto Rican wedding or come up with “plan B”. Throughout all these trials we had an unwavering support system. Erica’s mom and best friend, Sam continually did research on other wedding venues and locations (including multiple states and countries!) and found Key Largo Lighthouse Beach in Key Largo, Fl. The venue provided us with the same “vibe” as our wedding in Puerto Rico—beautiful weather with a property to host our family and friends for multiple days of relaxing and celebrating together! We wanted a venue where we could maximize our time with our guests and that’s what this venue allowed! We were able to have a rehersal dinner and “welcome party” Friday night, the wedding Saturday, and have all our guests back to the property on Sunday for a relaxing day followed by a SuperBowl party! Our wedding had an added “cherry on top” moment when the Eagles won their first SuperBowl! Erica’s dad was a HUGE Eagles fan so we like to look at it as an extra little sign he gave us that weekend.
Even before we were engaged we knew we wanted Magi as our wedding photographer! Her work speaks for itself! Her pictures are light and bright and evoke a feeling of warmth and happiness. We were always drawn to her pictures and knew she did a fantastic job…but then you meet Magi and it’s like “okay, she’s the sweetest person ever now we NEED her to do our wedding” haha. Taking great pictures is one thing but we knew we also wanted to pick someone we truly enjoyed hangout out with. Your photographer is with you on one of the most important days of your life during your most intimate moments…getting dressed with your mom, reading letters from loved ones and first looks….just to name a few. The hard part was making sure she would not mind traveling because we knew we wanted a destination wedding. Lucky for us she not only agreed to travel with us for our wedding in Puerto Rico, but when that was cancelled after Hurricane Maria she was ALSO available for our new wedding date in Key Largo! We lucked out big time!
I think our biggest word of advice is if you are thinking of doing a destination wedding it is 110% worth it! The best part of a destination wedding is the amount of quality time you get to spend with your guests. After talking with many brides and grooms I know many say the day feels like a blur. There are so many structured parts of the wedding on top of of course wanting to talk to and thank everyone that came to support and celebrate with you. We did not feel that same pressure to “make rounds” after dinner since we saw many of our guests Friday night and knew we would also see them on Sunday after the wedding! It was a giant vacation with all of our family and friends and we had so much time to make memories with everyone!
Venue: Key Largo Lighthouse Hidden Beach
Planning: Cate Tenopir Events
Dress: Jennifer’s Bridal
Dress Brand: Hayley Paige
Florals and Decor: Linens and More
Hair and Makeup: Hair and Makeup By Elaine
DJ: MBC Entertainment