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With Lisa on maternity leave snuggling the newest SW beau, I’m thrilled to be joining y’all here on the blog to share some beautiful wedding days with you, starting with Laura and Patrick’s Key West celebration! From opting to wear the veil her mother wore on her parents’ wedding day to tucking handwritten thank you notes into small bottles for each guest, Laura and Patrick took a day that is traditionally about celebrating a bride and groom and instead chose to cultivate the beginning of a life full of love by celebrating their families, their story, and what matters most to them. I hope you enjoy reliving their day as much as I did!

A big thanks to Erika Delgado for sharing Laura and Patrick’s day with us!

I knew I wanted a simple dress, without any lace or beading, that would complement my mom’s veil, which I planned on wearing. My mom’s veil was given to her by her grandmother for her and my dad’s wedding 40 years ago. The first day I decided to make appointments, I went with my mom and matron of honor. After trying on a few options that didn’t wow me, the consultant had an idea to have me try on a dress that came with a lace overlay, but to leave the overlay off. As soon as I put the dress on, I knew it was the one! I felt gorgeous in it–it was simple, classic, fit our venue, and most importantly, I could see myself marrying Patrick in it.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed meant a great deal to me: my grandfather’s dog tag from World War II. I tied the tag to lace ribbon and wrapped it around my bouquet. Even though he couldn’t be there in person, he was there with me as I took some of the most important steps of my life. Something old was my mom’s veil, which she wore on my parents’ wedding day. Something blue was the ribbon on my garter. Something new was two things: my wedding dress and my wedding day gift from Patrick.

Describe your wedding flowers. I knew from the moment I started planning that I wanted an all-white palette for the flowers, keeping it simple and classic. Because the reception was taking place in gardens, I didn’t want to compete with the beautiful landscape there. Our florist created a gorgeous mixture of white peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and lisianthus. Instead of having large centerpieces, I preferred the look of many smaller arrangements mixed with oil lanterns and candles. I collected all of the glassware used for the florals throughout our engagement.

We met in Key West and experienced many memories throughout our relationship there, including our engagement. It made perfect sense to get married in the city where we fell in love. Both of us share a love of the ocean and the unique history and culture that Key West provides. When it came time to decide on a venue, we knew we wanted a location that held true to Key West. The lighthouse, being a beacon of safe refuge for sailors, coupled with Patrick’s time in the Coast Guard, made perfect sense. The large banyan tree next to the lighthouse provided a beautiful spot to say our vows. For the reception, we loved the the gardens of the Audubon House. The layout was unique and it felt like we were inviting friends and family to a backyard celebration in the heart of Key West. Between the ceremony and the reception, everyone boarded the Conch Tour Train to take in a little bit more of the island. The evening was finished off with dinner and (lots of) dancing the night away under the stars. All of our guests generously traveled to be with us, so we wanted to give them as much of a Key West experience as possible.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look on our wedding day. It was important to both of us that our eyes met for the first time in front of our loved ones, moments before we became husband and wife. When our eyes locked as I rounded the corner, all that mattered was each other. We will cherish that feeling forever.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do what makes you and your significant other happy. People will have plenty of advice, but what worked for them may not work for you. Pick the things that matter the most to you, and that will make you happy. Do your research on vendors–choose ones who align with your style and understand the vision you have. When you you feel confident in your vendors, it makes the day run smoothly, and it allows you to relax and enjoy the day! Finally, throughout the planning process, it helps to think of the day from guests’ point of view. It is your wedding, but taking a little extra time to think about their experience will be greatly appreciated–they did travel just to be with you both on this big day!

In dreaming up our day, the inspiration all came from the sea. The colors came from the varying tones of Florida Keys water, from a muted light minty blue in the shallows to deeper blues where the ocean meets the sky. All of the place cards were pieces of driftwood collected by us in Puerto Rico while Patrick lived there. We love the idea of messages in a bottle. Throughout our engagement, we collected small bottles from antique stores. At the wedding, we rolled up a thank you note for each guest and placed them in the bottles. Attached was a tag with guests’ names that led them to their tables. Each table was named after a different Key we had memories in throughout the Florida Keys. In place of a guest book, we asked that our guests leave us a message and drop them into large old bottles.

Our wedding cake was from one of the best bakeries in Key West. We wanted something simple, yet delicious, and went with a three-tiered, all-white ruffled cake, topped with a gold conch shell to symbolize the Keys. Inside, the cake had two flavors: French vanilla layered with mousseline and fresh strawberries, and Key West rum with layers of chocolate ganache, mousseline, and fresh strawberries.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in Key West, Florida in January 2011. I had recently moved to the Keys and one of my best friends from college was in town for the weekend. We went for a night out in Key West, and she decided I had to meet her friend “just in case” I ever needed anything. Her friend was Patrick–they were childhood friends who grew up two streets apart, and he was stationed in Key West with the Coast Guard. Upon meeting Patrick, I was smitten, but never would have admitted it. Having just moved to a new town, I didn’t have much interest in getting into a relationship. I was stubborn, but Patrick’s persistence paid off, and two months later, we went on our first date.
Tell us all about the proposal! Patrick planned a date night in Key West at an amazing sushi restaurant. After dinner, he suggested we go for a walk down the pier next door. We got to the end of the empty pier, and while looking out over the water, we began talking about us and the changes our relationship was going to experience. Patrick was about to move to Puerto Rico for work, while I would continue living in the Keys. In the middle of this conversation, the words “I want to spend the rest of my life with you” came out of his mouth, while he spun me around and got down on one knee. After spilling his heart, he asked me to be his wife. I was completely surprised and, of course, said yes! After the fact, I learned that he had driven across the state to ask permission from my parents, had hidden friends taking photos of the proposal, and even coordinated with my boss to let me have the next day off of work.
When did y’all get married? April 18, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 110
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The bridal party walked down the aisle to the instrumental version of “Skinny Love” by Birdy. My dad walked me down the aisle to the instrumental version of “All of Me” by John Legend. This song really stood out for the message it was sending to my future husband, and now, every time I hear it, it brings me back to that moment. After the ceremony, our song to walk back up the aisle was “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors. Patrick chose our first dance song. We were on a vacation together when we first heard “Hey Pretty Girl” by Kip Moore, and Patrick instantly said, “This is what we should dance our first dance to.” I loved that he was so excited about the song and that he wanted it for our big day. For my dance with my father, we chose a version of “My Little Girl,” sang by SoMo. The lyrics spoke true of the strong bond between a father and daughter, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room during the dance. Patrick and his mom danced to “The Baby” by Blake Shelton. This song has always been “their song,” so there was no question that it would be what they would dance to.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: How personal the wedding was, from the custom crest, to our dog’s silhouette on the drink stirrers. Every detail involved in our day had our personal touch on it.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We got married in the southernmost City in the United States! I carried one of my dad’s handkerchiefs–I’ve never seen him without one. I also had handkerchiefs embroidered for both sides of parents as gifts on the day-of.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just bought our first house! We are looking forward to making the house a home, traveling, and eventually starting a family.

Photographer: Erika Delgado | Planner: Jill Atkinson | Ceremony Venue: Key West Lighthouse | Reception Venue: Audubon House | Florist: Love In Bloom | Wedding Cake: Croissants de France | Caterer: Catered Affairs of Key West | Rentals: Mile Marker Party Rentals | DJ: Kiss Me Entertainment | Custom Crest: Juliet Grace Design | Paper Products: Smitten on Paper | Bride’s Gown: “D1367” by Essence of Australia | Bride’s Bracelet: Coordinates Collection | Hair and Makeup: Studio Marie-Pierre | Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Adrianna Papell, Amsale, Monique Lhuillier, Joanna August, and Donna Morgan | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse | Groom’s Tie: The Tie Bar | Groom’s Watch: Citizen | Dog Silhouette and Drink Stirrers: Fire Hydrant Press | Head Table Sign: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Envelope Calligraphy: Allie Seidel Design | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Tote Bags: Wedding Chicks Shop | Koozies: My Wedding Store | “Vows” Print: Southern Weddings Shop | Transportation: Conch Tour Train | Special Details: BHLDN | Soap Favors: Key West Soap Company

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
6 Comments
  1. avatar Erika Delgado reply

    What a beautiful wedding day! Thank you for sharing:)

  2. avatar Laura + Patrick Married in Key West » Erika Delgado Photography reply

    […] Featured on Southern Weddings […]

  3. avatar Curtis Wallis reply

    Love seeing all the smiles. Makes this day look so much more special. Beautiful wedding

  4. avatar Nancy Ellis reply

    any idea who makes the MOB gown? Thanks

  5. avatar Robb McCormick Photography reply

    Absolutely stunning wedding. Every detail perfectly executed in front of a perfect backdrop!

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Today, I spent most my morning editing Miss V6 (don’t worry, after she’s printed, she’ll become a Mrs.!), and one thing I could’t get out of my head throughout the entire time was how important marriage is. We always say that a strong marriage can change the world, and I truly believe that. That’s why, I’m so excited for Danielle + Chris! Just hearing why they chose the traditional 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 reading makes me jump for joy! Danielle said “I think that those very simple words encompass what a marriage should be about: loving each other in a selfless way and only wanting the best for our partners without a selfish thought.”

The love that these two have for each other absolutely shines right through these lovely photos from Erika Delgado!

What a fun touch, adding a little note to the envelope liner!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I saw the Romona Keveza dress on a wedding website and knew it was the dress. My mother and I drove two and a half hours to try the dress on and that was it! I loved the fact that my dress wasn’t strapless, yet had that same look. I knew I wanted lace and something different, and that is exactly what I got!

Aren’t these little darlings just the cutest?!

Our wedding was all on the beach so I wanted to stick to a very crisp and chic look. I did a ton of white flowers and I love anything big and lush. There was a lot of white hydrangeas, white peonies, and white orchids. At the last minute, I decided to throw some light pink peonies into the bridesmaids bouquets to add a little pop of color. We used tons of lanterns everywhere and there were white rose petals at the bottoms of the lanterns to dress them up a bit. I really loved working with Deb from Floral Fantasy–she was able to make my vision a reality! She is truly talented at listening to what her brides want. The only way we could communicate was through email and phone because of the distance and she blew me away with the flowers on the day of the wedding!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes! Our photographer said that it could be very romantic and private. I loved it because since it was our time alone before the ceremony, we were able to get the jitters out and have a great time!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we didn’t write our own vows. We did write each other very sweet notes to read privately before the ceremony, so that was very meaningful and a private moment between us. We wanted to have a traditional ceremony and we decided on very traditional readings as well. My cousin is a reverend and he officiated the ceremony for us.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had the traditional Corinthians 13:4-13. I think that those very simple words encompass what a marriage should be about: loving each other in a selfless way and only wanting the best for our partners without a selfish thought.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My most memorable moment would be our first look. My parents walked me over to the little island where it was taking place. I walked out to meet Chris, but from afar, my parents were there too. Once the ceremony and reception started, everyone wants a “piece” of the newlyweds, but those few moments were completely peaceful for me and I loved the fact that both my parents were there to watch such a special moment. It wasn’t planned, but it was perfect. I think sometimes the best parts of a wedding are the ones we don’t plan out!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We used mason jars as each of our guests’ water cups at their tables, but they also doubled as place cards to tell guests where to sit at each table. Our calligrapher wrote each person’s first name on a tag and I tied them onto the mason jars with colored twine. To top it off, there was a colorful paper straw! The chalkboards we used from Chalkshop also had a very Southern feel.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? My biggest challenge was being six hours away from where the event was going to take place. We saw the Postcard Inn in Islamorada by chance, and once we walked on the property, I knew it was perfect place to have our outdoor beach wedding. However, I did not know how much organization comes with having a “destination” wedding!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. From the day I got engaged, I knew that I wanted Publix to make my wedding cake. I don’t think there is anyone in this world who doesn’t love a Publix cake! So that was the easiest wedding decision I had! It was a five-tier cake with different flavors. One piece of advice I will tell brides is that there is often extra cake leftover that will go to waste. I decided to purchase little white boxes at Joann Fabric (mine were were the white swiss dot cake boxes from David Tutera’s new line that the store carries) and I asked catering to put the extra slices of cake in the boxes. I printed off a little sticker that said “Sweet Dreams, Love, Dani & Chris” and had those put on top. As the guests walked out of the venue, the little boxes of cake were displayed for them to take. Our guests loved the late night snack, it didn’t cost me anything extra, and the cake didn’t go to waste!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chris and I knew of each other for a few years before we dated. Our parents went to the same church and we would see each other from time to time when we would attend on Sundays. This happened for a few years in high school and then college, but we were never formally introduced. We had a mutual friend and randomly saw each other out one night out through her. We recognized each other right away and started dating shortly afterwards. We have been together ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! Chris proposed at a park in Winter Park, Florida. He said that he had to do something very down to earth or I would know it was coming! He definitely surprised me! He took me for brunch at one of our favorite restaurants and then asked me to walk back to the car through this little park. As we were walking along he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. It was simple, sweet, and perfect!
When did y’all get married? April 6, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a string quartet for the ceremony to set the mood of a traditional wedding ceremony, even though it was taking place on the beach. I walked down the aisle with my father to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”. After our first kiss as husband and wife, we walked back up the aisle to Hall and Oates’ “Making My Dreams Come True.” After the ceremony, there was a steel drum band for cocktail hour to give the fun island vibe, and we were ready to party at that point! For the reception, we had the most amazing fusion band and MC. “Rock with U” kept our guests on the dance floor all night. We couldn’t decide between doing a band or a DJ and “Rock with U” gave us the best of both worlds. Essentially, the band plays along to the songs that we all know and love, so it’s really cool to hear drums live while your favorite song is on!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We had our wedding in Islamorada, FL with all of our closest friends and family. We were there with both sides of our immediate and extended family for the week before the wedding. As the days to the wedding came closer, more friends and family made their way down. It was like a mini vacation with so many people we love. We are blown away by the amount of people who made the trip to Islamorada to be with us on such a special day. The number of friends and family who came doubled what we had expected to be able to attend our destination wedding. The outpouring of love and knowing people traveled great distances to be with us was my absolute favorite memory.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Kim McFadden of Chalkshop Events was a absolute dream to work with. We met when her business was just taking off and we understood each other’s visions so well! I would say it was love at the first conversation about weddings! She is an amazingly talented chalkboard artist, and every wedding that she does is completely original and unique! She drew inspiration off of my Pinterest board and we had a few design meetings, and I was blown away on the day of the wedding. All of the signs at my wedding are done by her! Our guestbook was a “polaroid guest boo,” and the backdrop was designed by Chalkshop. The guests stood in front of the board with some props, took a picture and then put it in the guestbook with a sweet note. I cherish those fun memories and it was something different, unique and fun for the guests during cocktail hour.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Imagine your event through the “eyes of the guests.” Write it down and go through the event from the beginning of the night to the end as a guest. Will they know where to go? If it might be confusing, you could use a welcome sign or sign for parking to help lead them. What happens to them between the ceremony and the cocktail hour? Will they know how to get to where they need to be? Are there going to be things for them to do at the event? Corn-hole is a very economical DIY, and it keeps the guests doing something fun and engaging during cocktail hour. We also had a Flipbook, which is a new and different type of photo booth. Our guests loved it because it wasn’t typical and they had never seen it before! Weddings are becoming so much more unique these days and there are no rules, so don’t be afraid to do something different. It’s a celebration of your love for each other! Keep things fun, fresh and a reflection of your personality as a couple. You can’t go wrong with that!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We look forward to starting a whole new life together! We would love to travel more, settle into a beautiful home and hopefully one day have kids.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
14 Comments
  1. avatar Amanda {Amanda Jayne Events} reply

    I love the idea of using mason jars as place cards – very cute!

  2. avatar Erika Delgado reply

    What a joy it is to see Danielle & Chris photos and read their story on here today. It was a very special wedding for me to photograph and I’m so honored to have been a part of such a beautiful, memorable and fantastic celebration! Thank you for the feature SW :)

  3. avatar Featured on Southern Weddings, A chic Islamorada Wedding » Erika Delgado Photography reply

    […] something so special about that place. It was also a dream come true to be featured on Southern Weddings today, stop by to see the full post and read more about this special destination wedding […]

  4. avatar Laura Leslie reply

    These are amazing! Great job!

  5. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #110 | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] not sure if it's the fun stationery or the gorgeous chalkboard details that I love more from this Postcard Inn wedding. All of the prettiness was snapped up by Erika Delgado including the brides off the […]

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