Lesley and Christian’s Florida Keys destination wedding at Islander Resort Islamorada was full of color and maximalism – two of my favorite things! They went ALL out for their destination wedding, not sacrificing aesthetics, decor, or fun. It was such a privilege to spend the day with these two and all of their love, and I can’t wait for you to hear their story!
The two things that stuck out to me the most about Lesley and Christian were their kindness and knowledge of throwing a good party! They made it a point to enjoy the heck out of their wedding day, something I find some couples have trouble doing. They spent hours on the dance floor with their people, took a few shots with us, weren’t afraid to get a little spicy in front of the camera, and truly just wanted everyone to have a fantastic time at their destination wedding. I mean, that’s what destination weddings are for, right?!
One of the main reasons they were able to relax and focus on enjoying their day was that they hired an amazing wedding planner! Couples – if you’re debating hiring a planner, consider this your sign to do it. Especially when planning a destination wedding, there are so many moving parts leading up to and on your day. There’s nothing worse than having to figure out all of the logistics on your own! LMae did an amazing job planning & coordinating their wedding from start to finish. Because there was the least amount of stress possible on Lesley and Christian, they had the most seamless wedding experience they could have asked for.
Okay, but can we talk about all of these beautiful colors they incorporated?! Their florals were absolutely to die for, with hues of pink, blue, and purple all throughout their installations. Fun fact: I was shocked to learn that all of their florals were put together at the super last minute! Unfortunately, their original florist realized they had double-booked the day before, so A Lavish Event Design came through with the most extravagant, beautiful arrangements I’ve ever seen. Lesley and Christian even rented a tree to go under the reception tent and placed an abundance of colorful flowers at the base of it, which was definitely a highlight. Couples, if you have the budget to go all out with your florals, it’s totally worth it!
I loved hearing Lesley and Christian’s love story because it’s so nontraditional! They originally met through friends and dated for a while, but ultimately decided the timing wasn’t right. Quite sometime later, they ended up accidentally getting into the same UberPool on their way back home from a night out! After that night, they ended up rekindling their romance and giving it another shot… and here we are! Talk about Kismet, am I right?! They ended up tying this aspect of their love story multiple ways in their wedding; having the hashtag #youhadmeatuberpool and having the text “Are you my Uber?” imprinted on their vow books. Which, by the way, were little illustrated books that had their relationship in drawings – HOW PRECIOUS.
Speaking of vow books, Lesley and Christian took the time to have a private vow reading during their first look, keeping their vows to each other for their (and my!) ears only. I love when couples carve out time for just themselves so that they can be present and party with their guests later on. And as I said, they certainly did party!
They put so much thought into their guest experience through unique touches like the designated photo area, providing pairs of flip-flops for everyone, booking a cafecito truck (serving Cuban to keep everyone caffeinated for the long night of partying), and having late-night snacks. For their ceremony music, they booked a live string trio that completely elevated the setting. They had a live band for the reception and even booked a Hora Loca (the dancers and bongo players!), which was definitely a highlight of the night and brought tons of infectious energy to the party! They incorporated these unique touches all the way down their wedding dessert; a key lime pie from Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory, the spot where Christian proposed to Lesley. And let me tell you, it was the best pie I’ve ever had!
Their epic night ended with Lesley and Christian staying up until the wee hours of the morning to watch the sunrise on the beach. I had an incredible time being a part of their Islamorada wedding, and I can’t wait to go back and capture yours!
Photographer: Almida Meyer Photography
Venue: Islander Resort
Florist: A Lavish Event Design
Hair: Alda Duraku
Dessert: Maggie’s Bakery and Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory
Band: Fondo Blanco
Rentals: Flaming Flamingo Designs, Coral Keys Party Rentals, Keys Audio Party Rentals, and Mi Vintage Rentals
Dress: Eisen Stein Bridal
Shoes: Loeffler Randall
I’ve got some tips for you! Keep reading for my advice on where to stay, nearby amenities, fun this to do, and where to have your welcome party.
Where to stay: The most popular places to stay in Islamorada are Pelican Cove, Amara Cay, and Islander Resort! The Islander is where Lesley and Christian had their wedding, and it was absolutely gorgeous.
Amenities at The Islander: This resort has tons of activities available without having to leave the property. They have both freshwater and saltwater pools, a butterfly garden, outdoor beach games, and tons of watersports you can rent gear for. They also have daily group activities that are different depending on when you go!
Some fun things to do nearby: Whether you’re getting married in Islamorada or attending a wedding here, there are so many fun things to do here. One of the best things to do is book a private boat charter! There are multiple options just within this one activity – for example, you can do a boat tour with snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking, or you can do a sandbar tour and spend the day bar hopping on the water. You may or may not catch me doing this next time I’m in The Keys!
If you’re looking for something a little less adventurous, I recommend visiting the Florida Keys History and Discovery Center. This is a world-class museum filled with tons of history, culture, and attractions of the Keys. And when you need to wind down, head to Florida Keys Brewing Co. for a locally brewed beer or two!
Where to have your welcome party: There are tons of amazing restaurants in Islamorada to have your welcome party. I would first check out the restaurants available at whatever resort you’re staying out to make things easier for you and your guests! If you want to venture out, head to Islamorada Fish Company, Pierre’s Restaurant, or Lazy Days.
Let’s do it!! To get in touch with me about photographing your wedding or elopement, you can fill out my contact form and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!
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