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