Sheila and Jose were married on May 6, 2017 at the Historic Shadow Point property in Key Largo, Florida. In planning the ceremony, they shared with me that Bogie was rumored to have played at this poker table which still sits on the sun porch. So, the Bride and Groom wanted to make sure we signed the license there. Well, weeks after hearing this news, what do I find tucked away at a friend's local antique store, but this lifesized Bogie (pictured here). i snapped him up for Sheila and Jose, and had the pleasure of keeping him in my house for several months (he even scared the s*** outta me a few times!) Not only was this handsome Hollywood legend a part of their memorable wedding day, but guests - and this officiant - were asked to pose for selfies with him during the cocktail hour. I was so thrilled to help them incorporate local history into their wedding! It is all about the small personal touches. "Here's Looking at you Kids"
Upon entering the Coral Beach property, I was struck by the boldness of the
solid, bright yellow bouquets of roses against the bridesmaids deep navy dresses.
The décor mirrored this clean and simple motif. Their memory table featured a contemporary approach to the nautical theme – clean and fresh.
Stacy and Tommy invited guests to write messages and insert them in bottles…
with a choice of which “anniversary year” in which the couple would be allowed to
read the message. Creative spin. I found out from the groom’s grandmother
that his is how Tommy proposed to Stacy, with a message in a bottle.
In the ceremony, a “parents” vow was included at the beginning – in addition
to a gratitude message thanking their parents. Tradition and honor.
The wedding party and guests were easygoing yet full of life, which makes
being an officiant that much easier. We play off of each other’s energy and
go with the flow.
Sand ceremony included the groom scooping sand from right there on Coral Beach,
to add to their cherished memory jar. Lastly, some couples need to be
reminded to “hold that first kiss” for the cameras. Not these two, passion
and joy was quite evident !
At the beginning of dinner…. they presented a playful twist, as read by
DJ Russ Ginsburg
Printed sheets on each table listed all the different tasks which guests
had to complete in order for the Mr. and Mrs. to comply with a smooch. No one
was getting away with just “clinking the glass.” Examples included
(singing a line from a song with the word ‘love’; answering a question drawn
from a little treasure box, etc. etc.)
Now of course, every wedding is stunning with the Florida Bay backdrop,
and this night was particularly spectacular – full moon and crystal clear.
Just wondered how they all made out the next morning with one hour less sleep
All in all… another romantic, successful, unique celebration of love ! Captured in the accompanying images by Jannette de Llanos Photography.
Kudos, as always to all my fellow outstanding partners:
Trinity at Keys Planning and Events for her seamless coordination.
Venue: Key Largo Lighthouse Beach
Florals: Akalia Delatorre
Hair and Makeup: Ana Baidet, A Makeup Artist
Catering: Chef Wes Brage
Cake: Maggie's Bakery
Q. What ONE VENDOR must you hire when getting married?
A. Officiant, Of Course!
There was a time, not too long ago, when the celebrant/clergy/officiant performing and legalizing a ceremony was contacted simultaneously, or not too long after, the date and venue were selected. What happened to those good old days? Since everything old is new again (or RETRO, I should say), then perhaps that trend will return. Maybe in some markets, it never changed, but if 2014/2015 were any indication here in The Florida Keys, the shift was definitely towards booking officiants much closer to the wedding date.
Being the inquisitive type, I asked myself “Why? After a great deal of ruminating, here is what I was able to pull together from the answers rattling around in my head:
All valid and legitimate *Except for #2 and #6.
The individual creating and performing your ceremony is vital to your day and like, the other vendors, the exceptional ones are booked early. Their calendars mirror everyone else's and time is required to process your contract/payment, confirm and communicate with you as well as build the relationship and assist you in many ways. Sufficient time is needed to create the ideal bond and perfect wording without applying undo pressure. Ultimately the final product does not have to be crafted until much closer to your date.
The extra time will allow your officiant to make sure you have had a chance to go over all the options and resources that she will make available to you.
Most planners/venues/photographers will be happy to refer. Searching “Florida Keys Wedding Officiants” is a good way to find a pool of qualified professionals in this area.
A visit to the Florida Keys Wedding Center is another excellent option – either in person:1 Bowen Drive, Suite 1, Key Largo, FL 33037 -- 305-451-0370 or on their informational website.
So call your officiant early and improve your chances of booking one who is reliable, professional and the right fit for you.
©2016 Kat, Newman, Wedding Officiant and Writer
Ceremonies by Kat, The Florida Keys
Ponder this: Would you hire a photographer to do your catering or expect your venue manager to also be your DJ? Odds are the answer to both questions is a resounding “NO”.
So, if logic and common sense prevail, only a qualified and seasoned Wedding Officiant should be entrusted with the daunting and intimate process of crafting and performing your unique and personal ceremony.
Just as the other pros on your wedding team take great pride in their training/education, experience, talents, creativity and ability to provide you with exactly what you want in a professional manner, so too does a Wedding Officiant, such as myself. In my case, this is my calling, my passion AND my profession. This is not a something I do “on the side”. Nor is it offered “as a convenience” or “add-on” for couples for whom I am providing another service. When you choose me to celebrate your vows, you have my complete and total attention and commitment to that job only.
So, as you do your research and planning, please consider what Ceremonies by Kat, in particular, will provide (just to name a few):
I am proud to be a member of the American Association of Wedding Officiants. This group exists to support each other in our profession with shared knowledge base, experiences and resources. We are a vital resource for clients in search of an officiant in their region and we also act as a referral service to fellow members.
Our group is moderated by:
Dr. Jerry K. SchwehmE-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chaplain Fig Street Ministries
New Orleans, LA.
He has been an invaluable source of assistance for me in building my business.
One word: trust. Couples trust me with their stories, their words, their thoughts, needs and wishes. They trust me to do what I say I will do and when. They trust me to be tactful when needed, spontaneous as required and to maintain a calm and measured tone.
WOW... that is incredibly humbling to know that I can earn that trust and run with it to give loving couples the ceremony they deserve.
Kat is a native New Yorker who came to the Florida Keys (Flakeys!) in 2012 for the best reason - LOVE. She is now pursuing that passion professionally as a Wedding Officiant and has never been happier. Here she writes on all of this and more ....