Real Weddings

Key West Botanical Gardens Wedding – Wendy & Michael

Wendy came to the Florida Keys to do work for an environmental consulting firm, and at the time, she wasn't having much success meeting people at bars, she says that it was actually a horrible experience! So, one of her friends recommended that she join an online dating website because no one would know who she was. So, she did. She joined and then met Michael. He took her out for her birthday to Virgilios and they had a great time dancing and drinking martinis. Fast forward 5 years and they were in Paris for vacation and Wendy was getting ready to go out for the day and as she was curling my hair, she looked over her shoulder to see Michael down on his knee with a gorgeous ring!

The inspiration behind Wendy and Michael's wedding was essentially everything that didn't match. They said that they've been to weddings that had colour themes and beach themes, and an assortment of other themes that just seemed a little cheesy to them. "We didn't want to commit to overplaying one colour or decking out too many starfish or just being too match match. Instead, we wanted to encompass our personalities and the things we like-- really, we just wanted a fun and meaningful  party with our friends and family."

Wendy and Michael decided to have their wedding day celebration at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden; tucked away on Stock Island this gem is a massive property for a Key West wedding. There's a separate ceremony area from the reception, which leaves quite a bit of room to let your mind run wild. Their welcome table had white wooden crates with paper cones filled with fuschia bougainvillaea petals and DIY wedding programs. On top of the table was a vintage gold window frame hand painted with the couples names and wedding date. They used white resin chairs for the ceremony and lined the aisle with blush and white variated bougainvillaeas wrapped in fairy lights. Their archway was custom made, wrapped in fairy lights and draped with white sheer fabric. They had a vintage table dressed in a blue patterned tablecloth for their wine box during the ceremony. During the reception, mini finger foods including macaroni and cheese with bacon, conch fritters, and chicken and waffles were passed. Instead of seating cards, each guest received a glass of champagne with their name and table number. The table was dressed in a navy blue sequin tablecloth and a custom designed sign in a gold vintage frame that read "time to drink champagne and dance under the stars."  They had a couple of interactive tables to keep guests entertained while waiting to be seated before and after the ceremony. Their DJ also played a slideshow during dinner that we made with a lot of personal pictures and music that had special meaning to them both. This couple wanted their wedding day to have meaning and be super personal to them, they had a lot of DIY elements!

Wendy said "our entire day was personalised. Our officiant was awesome, she allowed us to write the entire ceremony script and she read it flawlessly. We had a box at the front of the aisle where we put our rings and had our family and friends bless them before the ceremony.For the reception, we had a DIY photo booth wall, a giant booze piƱata filled with nips of fireball, dunkaroos, and gushers. My favourite part of our wedding was the flash mob dance to Walk the Moon's Shut up and dance with me after our first dance. Our friends came running out of the woods (literally) wearing wigs from Mike's 80's themed birthday party (slash, Axel rose, etc)-- it was awesome and totally defines us as a couple."

"I wore a long dress by Maggie Sottero (Arlyn). I loved my dress, the threading had very subtle sparkle which went well with the maid of honour dresses. I picked it out in a little bridal shop near my hometown in Massachusetts with friends. It was an awesome experience, but I would not recommend doing this. For every dress fitting, I had to fly back to Massachusetts and eventually, the dress was mailed to my house, which was a rather stressful, nerve wrecking experience.  All of my "bridesmaids" were maid of honours so, sticking with the mismatched theme, they wore short sequin dresses in various shades of champagne, blush, lavender, and gold. They meshed together perfectly. The groom wore a navy suit with navy suspenders, a checker oxford shirt, a geometric bowtie, navy blue socks, and camel brown shoes with a blush boutonniere. The groomsmen wore grey suits with white Oxford shirts, chocolate brown shoes, and various geometric navy bow ties."


Photographer: Freas Photography // Venue: Key West Botanical Gardens // Event Planner: Just Save The Date // Invitation Designer: Vistaprint // Hair Stylist: Key West Hair and Makeup // Caterer: Key West Catering Company

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