Florida Keys & Key West Weddings & Honeymoons
Why do so many couples choose to get married in the Florida Keys? One of the best reasons is that the Keys are very easygoing and informal — so that much of the stress of typical wedding planning simply doesn't happen.
The Keys have excellent professional wedding planners who offer diverse packages at area resorts, and can make the brides choices easy while behaving in a laid-back yet professional manner.
Sites for meaningful photos abound: at the water's edge with a famed Keys sunset as the backdrop, at a historic Civil War-era fort, at the Southernmost Point that marks the southernmost spot of land in the continental United States, on a private cruise aboard the restored African Queen vessel used in the film of the same name, at the wheel of a historic tall ship, and much more.
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Unique, Florida Keys Wedding Themes
Bogart and Bacall Love Story
The iconic original vessel from John Huston's classic 1951 film "The African Queen," starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, set sail on Florida Keys waters again in 2012.
Visitors to the Florida Keys can now enjoy a boat trip on the original African Queen after their Key Largo wedding or hold a small, intimate ceremony on-board for four guests.
The Keys' clear, warm waters even attract scuba aficionados ready to tie the knot at the continental United States' only living coral barrier reef, with exotic sea creatures in attendance. Take the plunge next to a shallow reef that perfectly sets the mood for bride and groom to "exchange" their vows on writing slates, nod in agreement and seal the deal with a kiss.
In the world's most popular dive destination, the wedding party and guests don gowns, tuxedos, boutonnières and bathing suits for a uniquely marine matrimony. If not all the guests want to get wet, couples can charter a glass bottom boat for passengers, and an underwater HD video package of the happy event can be made available.
A famous Upper Keys underwater nuptial niche is the nine-foot-high shrine of "Christ of the Abyss," a 4,000-pound bronze statue within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, in waters adjacent to Key Largo's John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The statue is one of the most photographed underwater sites in the world, and its welcoming arms make a perfect place to exchange "I Do's."
Ceremonies with Sea Creatures
Animal lovers can enjoy a playful celebration with gentle bottlenose dolphins in attendance at Islamorada's Theater of the Sea, where wedding guests enjoy a private dolphin and sea lion show before the ceremony.
A watery chariot accompanied by dolphins can carry couples to the altar to exchange vows, with dolphins serving as ring bearers as well.
After vows are exchanged, guests can attend a lush island paradise reception at the Starlight Terrace. The terrace is surrounded by exotic orchid-filled tropical gardens, with a winding path lined with fiery torches and natural saltwater pools featuring reef and game fish, sea turtles and sharks.
Tall ships, sailing vessels, glass-bottom boats and luxury motor yachts are all available for declaring "I Do," and couples can swallow the anchor in a pirate-themed wedding aboard a private ship, with guests dressed as scallywag crew. Guests can imbibe in the traditional rum and grog along with champagne.
Avid anglers have been known to cast lines after officially getting "hooked" aboard one of the Keys' many charter outfits. Picture this: taking your vows against an orange sunset, and wild dolphins jump up near the boat to celebrate with you following the ceremony. Mother Nature works in mysterious ways.
Celebrate on the surface with guests aboard a spacious catamaran, complete with live music, a nautically themed Key lime wedding cake and a bouquet made of shells and starfish to toss.
Hemingway Literary Wedding
Literary buffs can say "I do" at the former home of Ernest Hemingway, one of America's most influential 20th-century writers, who lived in Key West throughout the 1930s.
The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum occupies an acre of land with lush tropical gardens, swarms of polydactyl cats, and a breathtaking home that is an official historical landmark.
Special events at the Hemingway Home are held outdoors and can include private guided tours through the museum for guests.
To contact a wedding planner or find venues and resorts that specialize in weddings, please click on the region of the Keys that interests you:
- You'll need a photo ID (passport/driver's license) to get a marriage license.
- Fee is $93.50
- If you are from out of state, you will need to get a marriage license from any county in Florida.
- Both people must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
- The date of a divorce or death of a spouse must be provided, if applicable.
- No blood test is required.
- There is no waiting period for non-residents of the State of Florida.
- If one of you is a resident of the State of Florida, a three-day waiting period applies.
- Other conditions/restrictions might apply. Call the Monroe County Government office: 305-292-3550