It’s been one year married to my best friend in the whole world! To celebrate I’m sharing our wedding day with you all on the blog! Spencer and I got married on January 23, 2021 in Key West, Florida and it was the absolute PERFECT day!
Everyone always asks us why we decided to have a destination wedding day. It definitely was not our original plan, and I never really imagined us having a destination or beach wedding to begin with! We got engaged in November of 2019 and immediately jumped into wedding planning. We were searching for the perfect wedding venue in the Raleigh, NC area, and even had a contract ready to be signed for the one we loved! Ultimately, we decided in January of 2020 that we wanted to have a smaller wedding day and started looking for alternative ideas. The idea of planning a huge wedding for a lot of people was a little overwhelming, and expensive!
We both love the beach so we thought about having an NC beach wedding, but wanted something different. We started looking more south, towards Charleston, and basically kept moving south from there! My aunt had just had a small wedding day in Key West and she was telling me about it at my sisters wedding in January of 2020. I thought to myself, wow that sounds so fun. So later that week I called Spencer and I said, okay I have an idea but you have to hear me out!! I basically gave him a whole pitch on why I thought it would be doable, and totally sold him on the sunset cruise with a catamaran. That’s when we decided to really start looking at having our wedding in Key West, and this was the most excited about wedding planning we had been yet!
We knew that by having our wedding somewhere 15 hours away from home, and in a pandemic, that not everyone would be able to be there. That was okay. What was most important to us was getting married. We wanted to have our immediate families and our best friends there by our sides. We just wanted to have a great time!! Mission accomplished!!
We have no regrets about having a smaller destination wedding day. Everything was perfect and we know that everyone had a great time. It was something different, unexpected, and FUN! It’s been one whole year and we can’t get over it. We are already itching to head back to the keys for another trip!
We got up early on Friday for a morning rehearsal at the beach. Then we had the freedom all day to get manicures, brunch, and have fun before our night out.
Spencer and I met our photographers on Friday afternoon. We took our engagement photos the day before our wedding since it was a destination wedding. We found a little neighborhood with colorful houses, flowers, and some white picket fences. It felt so much like Key West!
For our rehearsal “dinner” on Friday, we decided that instead of doing a traditional formal dinner, it would be fun to go on a sunset cruise! Our amazing wedding planner, Jessica, got us connected with Fury Water Adventures to plan the best welcome party ever. Us and 40 of our friends and family got to enjoy a sunset cruise in the Keys with live music, limitless margaritas, and tasty apps. I can’t even explain how fun this was!
Then it was our wedding day!!! I woke up with a text with some of our engagement photo sneak peeks from the day before and it was the perfect start. I cried so many happy tears the morning of our wedding that I had to go last with getting my makeup done haha! My girls and I got ready in our villa early, played cards, and had mimosas. Then I was finally ready to get dressed and go see Spencer!!
We did a first look at our villa and it was by far one my favorite moments from our wedding day. We knew we wanted to see each other before the ceremony so we could get lots of photos, spend the most time together, and have the best schedule possible for our wedding day. This was the perfect way to start our day together.
Our ceremony and reception was at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park at the southernmost point of the US! We got married on the beach with our closest friends and family with the sun setting behind us. Our ceremony ended a little just before sunset. The weather could not have been better. It was 70 and sunny and we got to witness the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen.
We hung around the ceremony site watching the sunset and taking photos before heading down the beach to cocktail hour. Then we got to enjoy our reception and dinner on the beach. It was perfect. After our reception, we took our trolley to downtown for our unofficial after party!!
We are so grateful for our friends and family who made the trip to celebrate with us. We are so thankful for those who supported us from afar too!
Thank you so much to all our amazing wedding vendors, especially our planner Jessica with Simply You Weddings! Having a wedding planner was by far the BEST decision we made for our wedding day. We attribute so much of the success of our day to her. If you are reading this and planning your own wedding day, get a planner!!! We also are so especially grateful for our photographers Kristy & Vic!! They traveled down for our wedding, made us feel like family, and made our weekend perfect!
Happy one year anniversary to my best friend and better half! Cheers to a lifetime of adventures, Spencer. I love doing life with you!!!
My mother in law, sister in law, and I all worked hard to make all of our wedding koozies with our Cricut! It was worth it and I love them, but it took soooo much time haha.
I made our Save the Dates using my apple pencil and iPad! I wanted something fun and different to announce to our friends we were having a destination wedding and everyone loved it!
Spencer and I wrote letters to each other for the morning of our wedding and exchanged gifts. He surprised me with a david yurman bracelet and a fun cozy sweatshirt for our honeymoon!
I’m obsessed with the PJ’s I found for my bridesmaids and I wish I got myself a pair! They’re from Target, and I bought them before we even officially decided to have a destination wedding. They were perfect!
For Spencer’s wedding day gift I got him cuff links engraved with my handwriting.
Another favorite moment from our wedding day is my dad seeing me for the first time. We both cried and these photos are so special to me!!
Spencer and I met senior year of high school. We went to prom together, and took a bunch of silly photos that are now so fun to look back on. This photo on the left is Spencer’s favorite photo, of course, so we recreated it on our wedding day 7 years later!
We had a wine box unity ceremony during our ceremony! We had a box custom engraved with our name and wedding date and included a bottle of our favorite wine from our trip to Italy. Each of our parents wrote us letters that we are going to read together every year on our anniversary and enjoy our bottle of wine. We are planning to write new letters to each other every year for our anniversary, so this little box is so special to us!!
Our wedding cake was a last minute decision, and it was SO GOOD! It was a coconut cake with key lime buttercream!
Our amazing photographers Kristy & Vic!! Thank you!!
Thank you again to all of my amazing wedding vendors who made our perfect wedding day possible!!
Wedding Planning: Jessica with Simply You Weddings
Photographers: Kristy & Vic Photography
Venue: Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
Florals and Decor: Milan Events
Hair and Makeup: Bella Luxe Hair and Makeup
Bride’s Dress: Simply Blush Bridal
Dress Designer: Maggie Sotero
Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden
Bridesmaids Dresses: Kennedy Blue
Cake: Key West Cakes
Catering: Great Events Catering
Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Jos A. Banks
Invitations: The Knot
Officiant: Steve of Key West Officant
Transportation: Trolly Transportation
Getting Ready Hotel: Parrot Key Hotel & Villas
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So very thankful to have been included in your day. Loved reading your thoughts and memories. The whole weekend was wonderful. So much thought put into every detail. Happy anniversary to a very special couple.
Love you both, Sarah and Spencer!
Your wedding g was beautiful, so much fun and enjoyable. Nothing was rushed. Everything and everyone was there to support and love on you guys. We were honored to have been a part of your special day. It is a day I will never forget. Love you guys!! Karyn