Traditional Wedding in Key West: Carla & Justin’s Destination Wedding

Traditional weddings are some of the most elegant and most challenging weddings for a couple to plan. It’s important to them to include the elements that are close to their hearts, but they also want to make sure they’re visually and sensually stunning.

Carla and Justin pulled it off perfectly.

It all began with an incredible welcome for all their guests at one of our most popular local destinations, Conch Republic Seafood Company, located in Key West’s historic seaport district. Guests enjoyed butlered appetizers including bacon wrapped scallops, beef wellington, and mushroom and goat cheese tarts. Dinner was served buffet style with crab cakes, jumbo shrimp cocktail, Masterchef stuffed shrimp and a broad selection of fresh sushi rolls, and a Key West classic – fresh oysters on the half shell.

Carla's wedding makeup by Studio Marie-PierreThe wedding day began with a visit to the Bride’s suite at Casa Marina by Studio Marie-Pierre. A full session with these hair and makeup experts created fabulous effects for all the ladies of the bridal party. Meanwhile, one of our favorite floral designers, Milan Event Florals & Decor, delivered a grand presentation that was simply breathtaking: lavender rose wrist corsages and white orchid boutonnieres with lavender accents, and a bouquet of all white roses tied with ivory ribbon.

Decor also brought understated grandeur to Casa Marina’s Flagler Ballroom, with white padded silver chiavari chairs, and silver beaded charger plates set with purple smoke shantung linen and silver for the head table. Milan Event’s masterful centerpieces were placed on fountain vases, all white arrangements of hydrangea and white roses, orchids, lilies with Italian ruscus and white orchids floating in vases. To top it all off was a 5-arm candelabra with julep cup arrangements of white hydrangea, roses and calla lilies.

The ceremony commenced at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, a true piece ofKey West history. Inside, surrounded by priceless restored stained glass, the only touches needed were two garlands of babies breath and lemon leaf, two stone columns topped by the trademark all white arrangements, and a single runner of pure white. Reverend Larry Hooper received Carla and Justin at the altar where they solemnized their vows in traditional fashion. A short time later bells were ringing and the organ shouting their celebration throughout Old Town.Carla and Justin just married at St. Paul's Church in Old Town Key West

The famous Conch Tour Train conveyed guests to Casa Marina while the Bride and Groom made their exit in a white vintage Rolls Royce, the perfect getaway vehicle for a classy couple. A cocktail reception got underway on Flagler’s Patio as torches burned into the evening. Vintage chic regalia were placed there, like a bird cage for cards and a map for guests to sign. Hors d’oeuvres consisted of ahi tuna on crispy wontons, lemon and clove duck confit with spiced currant chutney, phyllo purses with pear and brie, and, of course, oysters on the half shell.

3-tier red velvet cake with buttercream by Cakes by Karol

Dinner began with the acoustic talent of Rusty Lemmon and Robin Whitehead playing in the background. Pan seared jumbo scallops with roasted tomato, artichoke and fennel salad comprised the first course, followed by spinach crepes with ricotta cheese, sundried tomato pesto sauces and crispy pancetta. Finally, a duo of tenderloin rubbed with truffle butter in a burgundy reduction and a lemon and garlic glazed lobster tail. To top it off, designer desserts served with flavors like Key lime tarts, chocolate covered strawberries, tiramisu trifle and authentic macaroons from France. The supreme finish was a 3-tier wedding cake of red velvet with cream cheese filling and almond buttercream.

Carla and Justin’s dedication to a traditional wedding led to an awesome fusion of vintage taste and contemporary glamour. In a way, it’s the perfect combination for any marriage – keeping love’s old flame burning with new nourishment. May it burn long and bright for Carla and Justin.

Continue the conversation with us on Facebook and share your favorite visuals on Pinterest. If you would like to find out how Simply You Weddings can help create your destination wedding experience, simply Contact Us.

Thanks to our fabulous vendors, St. Paul’s Church, Casa Marina Resort, Milan Event, Keys Limo, Historic Tours of America, Ambrosio Photography, White Orchid Studios, Rusty Lemmon, Visualize Entertainment, Cakes by Karol, Eventfully Yours, BBJ Linen, Prestige Party Rentals, Conch Republic Seafood Company and Studio Marie-Pierre.

Spanish in Sunset Key West: Taiss & Patrick’s Destination Wedding

Sunset is one of the most beautiful things about Key West. It’s an event that people from across the world flock to see on our little island. It’s the colors – the contrast of a deep blue sea stretching off to the horizon, where it drops off onto the edge of a warm orange glow descending toward the earth.

Of course, for Taiss and Patrick the theme of yellows and oranges and an array of other sunset colors for their destination wedding decor actually came from the draw of Spanish flair. Color is a sign of life and these two were about to embark on a brand new one together in homage to Spain’s own draw to the sunset.

It began with a beautiful rehearsal dinner at the Roof Top Cafe on Front Street in downtown Key West. This classic venue hosts guests just beyond the din of the Key West nightlife. It’s toney and spacious, a rare combination in our old “New World” atmosphere. Guests savored gourmet dishes such as Mahi Mahi with coconut rice and tropical fruit salsa, bacon wrapped pork tenderloin, spice rubbed with mango chutney and sweet potato mash, and pasta basilico with choice of chicken or shrimp and Italian herbs and sauces.

black and white wedding prep

The next day was all energy and entertainment with fishing chartered on the Tortugas IV. That evening the family enjoyed a sunset sail on the Fury, a popular party on the water surrounding Key West. Fury is always a win for everyone, a state-of-the-art catamaran with plenty of room for amenities like a live band, as well as Great Events Catering’s specialty hors d’oeuvres.

Finally, as the wedding day arrived, Taiss was preparing at Ocean Key Resort. Studio Marie Pierre provided hair and makeup for 4. Milan Event Florals and Decor delivered wrist corsages of yellow orchids with orange ribbon, and a fiery bouquet of gloriosa with yellow orchids and billy balls, and orange cala lilies and vanda orchids, not to mention 9 bouttonnieres of gloriosa. The colorful heritage of Spanish flair was in full effect.

Elsewhere, the remainder of our fantastic vendors were setting the stage for a wonderful reception. The bride and groom were blissfully unaware as Photographer Daniel Lateulade captured Taiss and Patrick in all their wedding finery for the First Look.

Arriving at the aisle, Taiss looked down a long white carpet with orange batique toward Patrick, standing tall and handsome between 2 copper pedestals topped with orange vanda orchids. Acoustic guitarist Rolando Rojas struck up a beautiful chord in flamenco style with Sunset Key in the distance. Vows were spoken. A marriage was made.

royal blue tablecloths and napkins with orange calla lilies centerpieces

Celebration was in order and the family retired to Sunset Pier for caprinhas and hors d’oeuvres, including Ahi Tuna Tartar on crispy malanga chip with tangerine ginger sauce, fig and goat cheese crostini, and mojo pork, manchego cheese and guava barbecue empanadas. There was even a made-to-order guacamole station stock with fresh avocados and a wide array of ingredients from shrimp to jalapenos to pico de gallo.


After the sunset hour came dinner, where the colors of sunset remained late into the night. 10 tables were set with royal blue tablecloths upon which were set a mixture of Moroccan lanterns, floral arrangements of orange orchids and calla lilies for a spice of color, and cobalt blue votives and copper chargers to accent. Even the lounge furniture and floor coverings were coordinated right down to the throw pillows and lanterns.

Dinner was served to smiles all around with grill station offering marinated vegetables and churrasco and Key West fresh catch, along with pork tenderloin, risotto cakes, and truffle macaroni and cheese with prosciutto and asiago cheese. A spinach station, likewise, offered all sorts of zesty flavors like red onion, mushrooms, pancetta, strawberries and mangoes. Dessert included 120 individual Tres Leche shooters, a delight designed by Cakes by Karol.

The sun may have set on Taiss and Patrick’s wedding day, but it was just rising on the day of their long life together. We hope they return to Key West one day to take in another Key West sunset and remember the day everyone’s eyes weren’t on the sun, but on them.

Continue the conversation with us on Facebook and share your favorite visuals on Pinterest. If you would like to find out how Simply You Weddings can help create your destination wedding experience, simply Contact Us.

Special thanks to our vendors, Ocean Key Resort, Milan Event, Cakes by Karol, Studio Marie Pierre, The Fury, Roof Top Cafe, Great Events Catering, Daniel Lateulade, Rolando Rojas and Soundwave Productions.

A Magical Wedding: Ashley & Tom’s Destination Wedding


It’s a word often used in popular culture to describe the indescribable. Who can forget the heartfelt scene in “Sleepless In Seattle” when Tom Hanks tells a radio host and millions of people about the moment he met his wife-to-be? Ever wonder if that kind of thing happens in real life?

Simply You lays that questions to rest with this romantic couple, Tom and Ashley. They had a wedding that was not only luxurious and unforgettable – it was truly magical. (Catch the full video here.)

They arrived on a Sunday to kick off a week of preparation and fun in sunny Key West, making their first night’s stay at the regal Hyatt Resort. They then took up residence in one of Key West’s lovely vacation condominiums near the wedding venue, Casa Marina, a resort overlooking the rolling blue Atlantic Ocean. Ashley and Tom’s wedding rehearsal would also be held at Casa Marina. Later that evening they embarked on one of Key West’s famous sunset sails with The Fury.

Wedding Day arrived on Friday of that week with an easy start. Studio Marie-Pierre’s beauty experts attended Ashley and the ladies of the bridal party at Casa Marina. Around that same time, Milan Event Florals and Decor were delivering their incredible floral arrangements. White and green hydrangea were the order of the day, with green berry accents and a green garden mix, creating a very clean yet natural look.

Key West beach wedding

Julie from Simply You was on-hand to coordinate the setup of final deliveries and details. Decor for the reception began to arrive, including mahogany chiavarri chairs with ivory pads. Soundwave Key West were poised to offer great entertainment for the reception in Casa Marina’s Grand Ballroom. Elsewhere, Brio Art’s expert photographer, Katie, arrived to begin capturing each magical moment. You can see the day’s events play out with gorgeous results in Brio Art’s photo above.

Milan Event completed the decor for the ceremony with 60 white resin chairs divided only by a white aisle runner. At the head of the aisle were 2 large wooden beach lanterns on 3-foot wooden columns surrounded by driftwood, a scene so in tune with our island’s natural motif, yet with a look almost like a fairy tale.

Entering to “What a Wonderful World”, Ashley and Tom saw all of this as they joined each other at the water’s edge. They said their vows in view of the wide ocean under the tropical sun, and before all their closest friends and family and a few of those lovely storybook palm trees.

Key West beach wedding

That night, festivities took place in the warm glow of lanterns and torches. Delicious hors d’oeuvres were served in a variety of flavors; sweet watermelon drop with goat cheese on micro green and balsamic, beef tataki with blue cheese and wasabi aioli, crab cakes with caper remoulade and lobster bites.

Guests lounged enjoying entrees of grilled chicken with oven roasted tomatoes and greek olives with roasted garlic thyme lemon reduction, blackened mahi with mango papaya jalapeno salsa, and grilled sirloin with chimichurri and marinated red onion and roasted corn relish.

The coup de grace, the wedding cake, was last in line, a vanilla and strawberry treat under buttercream icing, along with 72 individual cupcakes of pina colada, raspberry, almond buttercream and chocolate dulce flavors.

Last call ended the evening, but unlike Cinderella’s tale, the magic doesn’t fade from a night like this. Congratulations to Ashley and Tom, a prince and princess if ever we saw them.

Continue the conversation with us on Facebook and share your favorite visuals on Pinterest. If you would like to find out how Simply You Weddings can help create your destination wedding experience, simply Contact Us.

Thanks to our magical vendors, the wizards themselves, Casa Marina Resort, Milan Event, Soundwave Productions, Cakes by Karol, Studio Marie Pierre, Prestige Party Rentals, and Brio Art.

Through the Looking Glass, The 2015 Annual Gala
Through the Looking Glass 2015 Gala

Through the Looking Glass 2015 Gala

Through the Looking Glass


At the Magical Home of Stephen Selka

*Creative Attire Encouraged

Wed, Feb 25, 7-10pm
Step through the looking glass into a world of mad hatters, red queens, rushing rabbits, caterpillars and chessboards, where nothing is quite what it seems! Magic!

Join us for this unforgettable evening and help us honor Judith and Stanley Zabar, the recipients of the First Annual Golden Mango Award for Contributions to the Arts in Key West.

Bid on your favorite artist-designed, one-of-a-kind looking-glass mirrors created by local artists as part of the Mirror, Mirror fundraiser for The Studios of Key West.

Purchase your fascinator or festive hat from Mad Hatter and a percentage of sales will be donated back to The Studios of Key West!

For tickets, go to

Their Own Little World: Nicole & Sylvain’s Destination Wedding

Nicole and Sylvain are a picture perfect couple who exude absolute happiness. One look at their photos and you’ll see it right away. It’s lovely to host such incredible people in one of the most picturesque parts of the world, the Florida Keys.

For one day, Little Palm Island was theirs. It was a bright, sunshiny day as the pieces of their wedding day were literally coming together. Two dozen Mahogany chiavari chairs and six tables arrived comprising the dinner reception’s setting. Milan Events arranged reception decor with 16 individual floral centerpieces of all purple set in low silver bowls, and then surrounded them with chrome lanterns and mercury glass votives to provide warm, ethereal lighting in the evening.

outdoor reception purple centerpieces

Milan Events also delivered such gorgeous floral arrangements of pure white and deep purple, combining hydrangeas, calla lilies, lysianthus, carnations and orchids for the bridal party. Nicole and her maids were attended by the ever talented stylists from Studio Marie Pierre. As the afternoon drew on, Solaris Photography was on the scene to begin capturing each precious moment, as well as a brilliant First Look set seen below.

wedding couple on the beach

Popular local musician Rusty Lemmon played in acoustic style as Nicole and Sylvain walked down the aisle. Surrounded by their two dozen guests in the smiling sunshine before the Atlantic Ocean, they spoke their vows and shared in a beautiful sand ceremony on the beach. Such a powerful scene.


The ceremony gave way to a relaxing cocktail hour which included hors d’oeuvres of crepe purses with caviar and chive cream, as well as crab canapes. After a full dinner with delicious vintage wines and Rusty Lemmon’s acoustic talents, the newly married couple cut their designer wedding cake from Cakes by Karol, a 2-tier dream of vanilla buttercream cake with raspberry filling topped by chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream.

2 tier wedding cake Cakes by Karol

These days always go too quickly, but for one day the world stopped for Nicole and Sylvain. We hope they can stop in days to come and enjoy the memory of the day they had an island just for themselves.


Special thanks to our vendors, Little Palm Island, Milan Event, Solaris Photography, Studio Marie Pierre, Cakes by Karol, Rusty Lemmon and John Hernandez.


Continue the conversation with us on Facebook and share your favorite visuals on Pinterest. If you would like to find out how Simply You Weddings can help create your destination wedding experience, simply Contact Us.