2016 Vendor Spotlight: Ivan Apfel Photography

van Apfel of Ivan Apfel Photography is a South Florida based destination wedding and portrait photographer. Having started his career as a documentary photographer with images published in Life and Time Magazine, Ivan has been using his documentary style to create timeless, breath-taking wedding images for over a decade.

Read More

2016 Vendor Spotlight: Caribbean Catering

Start your Florida Keys wedding planning with Caribbean Catering – the Islamorada wedding planning and catering experts! Let their experienced team design a delicious menu of authentic “Florida Keys Cuisine” and personalize every detail of your unique Florida Keys wedding or special event.

Read More

2016 Vendor Spotlight: Mary Veal Photography

Mary Veal Photography is a luxury boutique Destination Wedding Photography studio catering to stylish couples who desire high quality, emotion evoking, artistic imagery that will stand the test of time. For when memories matter.

We asked Mary to share three things that she would like for you to know:

 1. I am one of only 7 photographers in the state of Florida to be accepted into the ISPWP. International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers, a very selective association with strict requirements for admission. 
 2. Before moving to Key West I owned a bridal salon, which means I know how to bustle and lace with the best of them so Bridesmaids and Moms are never lost when trying to help the bride get dressed.  
 3. My "Superpower" so to speak is the ability to calm and be calm, which helps tremendously in high stress situations such as weddings. People say they feel calm, reassured and relaxed in my presence.

Contact Mary Veal Photography
Website: www.marysveal.com
Phone: 305-433-1237
E-mail: maryvealkw@gmail.com

Vendor Spotlight: McLaughlin Photo & Video

McLaughlin Photo and Video has been photographing weddings in the Florida Keys for over 15 years. They offer a team of talented and experienced photographers skilled at capturing the all the emotions and details of your wedding day. 

What makes McLaughlin Photo & Video successful? Experience, passion, innovation, individual effort, caring, on-time delivery – they use all these elements to provide you with a fun photography experience and quality results.  In fact, they have recently once again won the Bride’s Choice Award on WeddingWire.com

We asked them what they love most about their work and they responded, "We love every stage of our work –  personalizing your day, sharing your moments, producing results beyond your expectations, and delivering your family history as promised."

If you are looking for photographer for your Florida Keys wedding, be sure to stop by and say hello to Donna and Aimee at the show! You can also learn more and preview their work at  http://mclaughlinphotovideo.com/.

Vendor Spotlight: Michelle De Ron with Endearing Studios

Michelle De Ron is a local Florida Keys Photographer who strives for excellence in every wedding she  does.  This is her favorite image and the story behind it.

“This image took place after the ceremony. We were heading out to the  end of the dock to capture some sunset photos. The dock was covered  with seagulls. This couple was such a fun and energetic couple that I knew they would be up for running down the dock after the birds. It was such a fun moment. They went running, the bride threw up her hand holding the bouquet and the birds took off. You could just feel the joy and excitement that this couple was feeling.”

Learn more at http://www.endearingstudios.com

Vendor Spotlight: Caribbean Catering

Owners Dave Mansen and Debbie Pierog are the Islamorada wedding catering experts! With over 15 years restaurant experience, they have catered hundreds of Islamorada weddings and other special events throughout the Florida Keys. David and Debbie are fully involved in each Florida Keys catering event.

Caribbean Catering was created so that Islamorada and the Upper Florida Keys would have a quality catering service, capable of handling a party for ten friends or a wedding for hundreds. According to Debbie, "Our intent is to develop a one-of-a-kind experience at each event, delivering excellent gourmet food, outstanding service and a personal ambiance derived from our client’s dreams and ideas."

Islamorada weddings 2
Islamorada weddings 1

Learn more about Caribbean Catering at http://www.islamoradaweddings.com.

Vendor Spotlight: Bob and Mariela Care Photography

Professional photographers based in the Florida Keys with experience in many fields of photography and a special interest in capturing the beauty of weddings.  Living in the heart of Islamorada there lives are unpredictable if not traveling or shooting for pleasure or assignment.  If not shooting, you will find them out in the boat or Kayaks, paddle-boards, enjoying the prestine waters in the beautiful Florida Keys.

We asked Bob and Mariela Care to showcase one of their favorite shots and Bob Care provided this one and said…

“I was just talking with this couple who was all smiles since we met them the first time some weeks before the wedding. They were genuinely entirely happy, while in the conversation they naturally posed next to each other with their incredible smiles. Mariela was taking "behind the scene images" and in the end this was one of ours and their favorite images. The framing around them including the palm and greenery with the turquoise colored pool provided a beautiful color balanced image”.

Visit http://www.bobcareweddings.com to learn more.

By Bob Care Photography

By Bob Care Photography

Vendor Spotlight: Engaged Design Studio

Today we are excited to feature one of our sponsors, Engaged Design Studio, the only full-service wedding invitation and stationery store in the Florida Keys. Located in Islamorada at mile marker 80.9, they specialize in helping brides with all their destination wedding printing needs. From save-the-dates and invitations to place cards, menus, event itineraries and more--you are going to want Engaged Design Studio on your Keys wedding planing team.

Be sure to stop by and meet Monica and Shirley at the Florida Keys Wedding Showcase. You can also follow them for lots of wedding planning inspiration at http://www.fb.com/engageddesignstudio

florida keys wedding table cards and menus

Top 15 Wedding Planning Words Every Bride Should Know

1. Prelude -  Quiet, gentle "background" music played at the beginning of the ceremony as guests arrive and are seated.

2. Processional - Music played as the bridal party walks down the aisle, with the bride and her escort at the very end.  Often the bride's walk is accompanied by a different song.  

3. Recessional - Upbeat, triumphant music played at the end of the ceremony as the bride and groom exit the ceremony. 

4. First Look – Bride and groom see each other for the first time before the ceremony and have it captured by the photographer.  Meant to give the bride and groom a private moment to see each other and also allows for less picture taking during the actual wedding, particularly allowing the bride and groom to enjoy the cocktail hour.

florida keys wedding first look

5. Buttercream – Icing for your wedding cake made of butter, sugar and milk.  Texture is soft and creamy. Your baker can use it to cover the outside of your cake and/or as a filling in between the layers.

6. Fondant - Icing that has a firm, porcelain-like finish. Usually more expensive than buttercream because decorating with it is more complicated and labor-intensive.

7. Canape - Any bite-size appetizer served on a small round of bread, cracker or vegetable.

8. Place Setting - This is your plate and dinnerware.  Usually consisting of main plate, 2 forks and a knife.  Each place setting can differ so make sure to ask what is included on your place setting.

9. Jack and Jill - A shower for the bride and groom where both Bride and Grooms friends are invited to join together.  This coed shower can be a cocktail party at a nightclub or restaurant or a more casual picnic or barbecue.

10. English Garden Arrangements: Fluffy and full, but with pops of color. A traditional look that is less formal than romantic and can look lush in metallic containers and vases.

11. Romantic Arrangements: Fluffy arrangements in white, blush, cream and shades of blush pinks and ivories. Most often used in traditional, somewhat formal arrangements in silver or gold containers and accented by lots of candles and light.

12. Tuscan Arrangements: Warmer and earthy, these rely on sunny shades of yellow and orange and deeper shades of red and often incorporate fruit. These arrangements mix well with natural wood tables, candelabras, and fat cylinder candles.

13. Escort Cards: These direct guests to their designated tables. They're placed on the welcome table near the entrance to the reception room, and guests pick them up as they go into the party.

14. Place Cards: These can be used at very formal weddings to designate each person's specific seat at a particular table.

15. Pin spotting: A narrow field of light used to pick out and highlight an item. An effective way to draw attention to centerpieces on the tables, as well as the cake.

By: Blue Water Weddings



Wedding Evolution - Traditional Meets Today

The last few decades of weddings have been transformative.  Traditional weddings stemmed back from the parents being responsible for paying entirely for the  wedding and therefore having more say, in the look, style and flow of the event. Wearing a veil, church ceremonies, and cake cutting happened in a certain order.  A  bride simply made personal suggestions, but ultimately showed up on her day  without being an integral part of the planning process.   Breaking the mold in  wedding trends didn’t happen often.   Princess Diana was one of the first brides to  create a new wedding trend.  Standing out, and being nontraditional became an  option.  Princess Diana’s 25 foot wedding gown train set the stage for an unparalleled advance into the wedding world today.

Since then, the classic bride still exists in every wedding however traditions have simply shifted.

The Wedding Veil vs. Bridal Head Pieces

 The veil was traditionally used in Western culture as a sign of purity, and the  lifting of the veil was a symbol of possession.  In saying that, wearing a veil is still a  big part of weddings but refreshingly there are newer forms of the veil making their  stylish debut in today's wedding world..

A bridal headpiece is something the bride wears that would compliment her  dress, her beauty, her taste and her style.  It can be small and dainty, full and  detailed and even a mix of floral and jewels.  These hairpieces act as more of a hair  accessory, and highlight the beautiful features of the brides hair, skin and eyes.  

Whether it’s a floral headpiece or a jeweled crown this trend is a symbol of a the  modern yet timeless bride.   Of course some brides want a veil and wear it during the ceremony for traditional  purposes, but take it off in place of a flower for the cocktail hour and reception is  common.  Covering the brides face with a veil as she walks down the isle is rare, and  being able to see the beautiful brides face as she sees her husband to be is much  more favored in today's timeless bride.

Church Ceremonies vs Destination Weddings

blog post 2 a.png

Destination weddings have appeared as early as the 1960’s and 70’s, and the  deviation from the church ceremony has created more outdoor ceremonies, with  non-denominational pastors.  The idea of getting married under the blue sky, with their toes in the sand is a clear indication of a laid back, fun and casual wedding.

Dress code, food, and décor, changes dramatically when deciding to have a  destination wedding.  Floral canopies take the place of a church stage and the clear  open-air replaces the high ceilings and stain glass windows.  A timeless bride today  still incorporates the traditional wedding by bringing the inside out.

Church pews have been brought out on the beach, and catholic priests are now  preforming beach ceremonies.  Using the natural elements of the ceremony like  palm trees and sand makes for an effortless yet classic bride.  In a modern time such  as now, brides are reaching backwards in time.  Wooden hand painted signs,  barefoot weddings and rustic elements play a huge roll in wedding ceremonies of all kind.  Tradition and religion will always be a part of the wedding world, but the brides tend to focus on the happiness of the guests.  Allowing them a vacation when attending their wedding is a sure way to be remembered.  

Cake Cutting Vs. Dessert Bar

The timeless cake cutting tradition with a twist. Instead of the single 3 tier cake, dessert tables are better then ever.  Cupcakes, tarts, and even ice cream bars are included in the dessert table.  If a bride and groom dont like cake, then why have it?  

Feeding each other a treat from the dessert table is just as romantic, and suits the style of the bride and groom.  This timeless tradition of ‘cake cutting’ has been transformed to encompass who the bride and groom really are.

Post by: Julia Timmins, Blue Water Weddings 

Wedding Trends for 2015

Knowing current wedding trends for 2015 can help the direction a couple will take when creating their vision.  Being able to capture a bride and grooms inner most thoughts and feelings through the physical details of her wedding is a process.   Each detail should allow the guest to feel something, whether it be an old memory or a new thought. Mixing colors, patterns, and textures transforms the traditional wedding into a very memorable occasion.  Knowing the trends, and understanding how weddings have recently transformed from traditional to unique allows the bride and groom to really have fun in the design process. 

This coming year, couples will start seeing a mix of contemporary elements paired with hints of glam.   Mixing pastels with gold metallic, modern garden with pops of watermelon, and even the sexy scoop back, off the shoulder, long sleeve wedding dress.  French accents paired with the modern garden will be in, and mason jars and burlap will finally take a break.  Expect brides to be feeling more comfortable with breaking the mold of bringing the inside out but with a pop of glam.  It seems the elements of one theme will be encompassed in another.  Daunting as this may seem to many newly engaged brides, this upcoming trend alert is a fun, laid back yet beautiful time to embrace.  

If you're still not sure, stay calm and hire a wedding planner.

Post by: Julia Timmins, Blue Water Weddings