Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to your burning destination wedding questions.
The idea that people should step back from their “too busy” lives to be together in privacy for a few days is not just foreign, it is a radical idea in today’s culture. Your wedding event will be entirely different than any wedding you have ever attended. We have a better wedding concept. Ours is a slow, low-stress way of hosting a wedding; an updated version of a very old idea. The relaxed way we structure our destination weddings is the reason we have never had a “Bridezilla.” We think our wedding venue reviews bear the feeling that both the couples and the guests share.
You are not alone. You have a personal team to assist you as much or as little as you wish including a seasoned Wedding Adviser, Day of Wedding Coordinator, Private Chef, Personal Decorator, and on-site manager.
We host beach weddings from the simplest to the most elegant. Formal can combine with casual here. Our tropical Florida Keys ambiance mixes with our traditional setting which allows tuxedos to mix with sandals.
The short answer is 30 days before your wedding. Couples can never predict how many guests will attend their wedding during the early planning stages, so a final number isn’t needed until about 30 days before the wedding. That is when the caterer and decorator begin ordering supplies.
For the venue rental, your number of guests can change right up to the wedding day.
I don’t think it could be any easier. A $1,800 credit card deposit locks in your wedding date. You simply sign the contract right on your cell phone. It can all be done in minutes.
Then later, the actual rental payments are paid in equal monthly installments ending the month before your arrival.
Yes. 90% of our couples personalize all menus. Since the caterers publish the packages only as guidelines. And while the packages are accurate, they are seldom sold as published. Feel exhilarated. Treat your guests to something special. Create something personal.
Customary is 15% on our bar packages, and 20% on our food packages.
None. But most packages have an extra cost per person for groups less than 40.
The bar packages quoted are for 5 hours. Additional hours can be added at a small additional cost.
Yes. In fact, that is exactly what about 75% of our brides do. Our “Expert Bride” bar package is what you are looking for. Why do so many brides choose this package? Well, you and your guests will be partying at our venue for some days. That implies your favorite wine, beer, and hard liquors will already be on site. Just let us do all the heavy lifting on the wedding day – All the ice, coolers, soda, juice and the equipment required for a bar; and of course the bartender(s). Our couples say they save a ton.
Our caterers can handle most requests. Food allergies make food station wedding menus more attractive. Your guests can select the food they prefer.
We can serve in any style you like.
For small groups, caterers recommend plated dinners because it is more intimate. Further, they find that stations or buffets appear empty and unappealing. For large groups, the only concern about plated (seated) serving is that it requires a lot of staff so everyone can be served at about the same time. It isn’t necessarily more difficult but is more costly than either buffet style or food stations. Buffet style is the most cost-effective and efficient. But if you want to add more excitement and really don’t like seeing your guests standing in a buffet line, choose food stations. The variations are endless.
Yes and no. Everyone wants your wedding to be a smashing success, so we do not allow vendors outside of our list for catering, decorating, rentals, or DJ. You will find a list of experienced vendors on the website.
Be certain to get the necessary certificates of insurance before contracting outside vendors for other services. For most other services, you can select any vendor who can provide a certificate of these three insurance requirements: (1) general liability insurance, minimum $1,000,000, and (2) Florida workmen’s compensation insurance for all workers, and (3) a liquor license if providing alcohol.
About certificates of insurance: In almost all cases the insurance company sends us a “Certificate of Insurance” within a few days of request and nothing more is needed. If you are told that there is a charge for the “Certificate of Insurance”, someone is misinformed. Certificates of Insurance are provided free by Florida law.
We have great recommendations for Florida Keys wedding photographers and Florida Keys wedding videographers in the wedding packages section.
Bringing effects important to you is probably the single most effective way to truly personalize your wedding. But hire the decorator to do the work. It is your wedding day. Neither you nor your guests should be distracted. Decorating is time-consuming and requires skilled people. Not everyone thinks that decorating is glamorous. Much of it is grunt work.
150 white resin padded wedding chairs and 15 six-foot in diameter round tables are included and delivered to one location on the morning of your event. Your decorator does set-up. It is straightforward and inexpensive to change to different table shapes and sizes or to rent additional chairs if needed. Changing the style and color of chairs and tables to match your decor is simple and affordable.
Tables do not include linens. Linens are part of your decor package. Your decorator has full details.
A good suggestion is to hire a Florida Keys wedding officiant from our list. There are people of all persuasions who can help you with your vows for a moderate fee.
Most couples prefer a late afternoon/evening wedding, which means most brides are concerned about light, time of day and how it affects their photos. Your wedding photographer can advise what time is best for your beach wedding ceremony to end, and therefore dictates when the ceremony should begin.
When the wedding ceremony ends, the photographer typically begins work on your portraits, arguably your most important wedding photos. The photographer wants the best light possible. And the best light is during the “Golden Hour”. Wedding photographers refer to the last hour before sunset as the “Golden Hour”. When a wedding venue has a clear west view, the sun sets low and late. That causes the sunlight to change to a more golden color in the last hour. Optimally, your photographer will want the wedding ceremony to end about one hour before sunset so that all your portraits are bathed in this beautiful, natural light. If the wedding ceremony is timed incorrectly or runs behind schedule, the photographer is put in a difficult position. The “Golden Hour” is lost and the wedding photographer needs to resort to artificial light.
Wedding licenses are available to both Florida residents and non-residents. Licenses are valid for 60 days and issued immediately. Photo ID is required (valid Driver’s License or Passport). No Blood test is required. For out of state, Canadians and international visitors, there is no waiting period or counseling required. You must both apply in person. For Florida residents only, there is a three-day waiting period or 4 hours of premarital counseling is mandatory.
The Marriage License Fee is $86 payable to the local County and can be obtained at any Florida State County Clerk’s Office during regular business hours.
The DJ usually provides this function. Many couples opt to include some live music during the ceremony and cocktail hour like a steel drummer, or guitar, or violin. Our Florida Keys Wedding DJ can give guidance.
Miami International is one hour away. Ft. Lauderdale airport is about one hour 30 minutes.