key west beach wedding ceremony

Last year Simply You’s Erica Fuhrman had the pleasure of working with Ashley Miller and Joe Smith on their destination wedding in Key West. This is a couple who knew what they had in mind down to the details. As you’ll see in the photos to follow, there wasn’t any little thing that hadn’t been carefully considered. The process can seem grueling for some, but not for Ashley and Joe. They made it fun, and that’s really what it’s all about when you’re putting so much energy and effort into making a destination wedding really successful.

The week opened up with Ashley and Joe’s arrival in Key West at the Marquesa on Simonton Street. It’s a classy Conch hangout with fine dining and a “new Old World” charm about it. After a day spent finalizing arrangements, Friday brought on the rehearsal. Everyone gathered at Fort Zachary Taylor for midday, and later that night at another popular Key West spot, 915 Duval.

Wedding Day was underway early with deliveries from Prestige of rich mahogany chiavari chairs and a classic black and white checked dancefloor. Meanwhile, Lorri of Key West Hair and Makeup met up with Ashley at the Marquesa. While Lorri was curling and teasing, Ashley enjoyed champagne and the company of her mother and bridesmaids. Flowers were soon delivered by Milan Event, a fantastical assortment of themed flowers with white or coral ranunculus, and bouquets of white hydrangea, white roses, pale pink spray roses, white ranunculus and dusty miller wrapped in understated burlap.

flowing white wedding dress

With Ashley’s makeup nearing completion, Johnna Brynn arrived to photograph her getting ready. Elsewhere, at Hemingway House, Great Events Catering and Soundwave Productions arrived to set up for the evening feast and Erica was supervising final preparations. The famous Conch Tour Train pulled up to the Marquesa to pick up the Bride and her party and whisked them off to Fort Zach. What a fun way to get from A to B in this funky little town.

Waiting at the head of the aisle with the ocean in grand relief was Father Larry Hooper and Ashley’s smiling groom, Joe. Everyone was all smiles as you can see (well, Joe had a tear or two, but they were pure joy). Where else can you wear flip flops with waistcoats and sport horn-rimmed sunglasses with formal wear? With a prayer and a cheer, these two happy souls took a moment to watch the sun over the water, then took a private train to Hemingway’s house for the feast.

conch tour train key west

At Papa’s poolside there were hors d’oeuvres of beef carpaccio on parmesan wafers with pesto, mini cherry tomato caprese on peppered brioche, bacon wrapped scallops with citrus agave, and slow roasted mojo pork carnitas with grilled pineapple mojo verde. Milan Event added some beautiful touches with white floating orchids in Papa’s pool.

centerpieces with lanterns and pink lysianthus

They did even better at dinner with 6 tables full of Portuguese glass vases of white hydrangea, lanterns set between pink calla lilies and pink and coral roses, all on aqua linens that popped in the light. As the sun set, dinner was served. Guests enjoyed Caesar salads with grilled pineapple, or a mixed greens Samba salad with avocado and mango. Ceviche was tendered in four varieties from tuna with avocado and yuzu ponzu, to roasted beets with blood oranges and yucca chips, and smoked mahi mahi with jicama, or a classic Key West “pinks” shrimp presentation. Skewers were served up from the Polynesian style grill for all to see, a real show with dinner including Jerk style chicken, Thai beef with lime and cilantro, and tuna rubbed in seven spices and grilled truffle oil glazed vegetables.

polynesian style grill

The sweet side of dinner was a broad assortment of gourmet cupcakes from Cakes by Karol in flavors of Key Lime, Mini cheesecakes, Chocolate raspberry surprise shooters, Chocolate trifles, red velvet mini cupcakes with cream cheese icing, Creme brulee, and topped off with a 6” cake top of white chocolate with strawberry filling under vanilla butter cream.

So was the evening fun? You’ve seen the photos and you’ve seen the smiles. Ashley and Joe had a day to remember for a lifetime. That’s what Simply You is working to give couples – the opportunity to let it be enjoyable right from the beginning. Let it fill you up with anticipation. Let the vision come together the more you invest in it and see it become what you knew it could be.

Congratulations, Ashley and Joe, and best wishes.

Special thanks go to our partner vendors, Fort Zachary Taylor, The Hemingway House, Marquesa, Great Events Catering, Prestige Party Rentals, Milan Event, BBJ Linen, Johnna Brynn Photography, Musician Jim Wist, Soundwave Productions, Cakes by Karol, Lorri of Key West Hair & Makeup, Historic Tours of America’s Conch Tour Train, 915 Duval, and Father Larry Hooper of St. Paul’s Church.

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