Smathers Beach Wedding

The Offbeat Bride: Elizabeth, Educator

Her offbeat partner: Adam, Real Estate Guy

Date and location of wedding: Smathers Beach, Key West, Florida — April 14, 2013

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We wanted our wedding to be away from where we lived. We also wanted it small, affordable, a vacation, a party — and all rock ‘n' roll. Adam is a lead guitarist and I am a classically-trained musician. But I love rock ‘n' roll, much like him. After trying on many, many new wedding dresses, I ended up buying a vintage Al Rosenthals dress from 1950. It was red, black, and white, and I loved it! I made my veil and fascinator to match. Then it was on to choosing the venue.


Adam and I decided to get married in Key West because we had a ton of fun there on a vacation two years before. We partnered up with a planning service that took care of the officiant, ceremony, flowers, photographer, and DJ for the reception. They were super laid-back and encouraged us not to waste money on things that didn't matter to us. They helped us keep our costs down and stuck with the spirit of our laid-back wedding. We all stayed in the same B&B, which was a historic house. We had a BBQ on the pool deck the night we arrived and went to our respective bachelor and bachelorette parties. We partied our faces off!

Record Plate Chasers

The next day we all hung out and explored, and I took my youngest daughter, who was eight, parasailing for the first time. I am a skydiver and she wants to be one as well. It was the closest I could get her to the experience, and she loved it!

The only limo on the island

For the wedding, we all arrived in a rotating limo, the only one in Key West. We departed to the reception at the Hard Rock Cafe on Duval Street the same way. We did all of our own decorations out of old records from Goodwill, floating candles in glass bowls, and some river rocks. We stopped at the famous Key West Buoy on the way and the entire party was waiting for us.


Tell us about the ceremony:
All of the girls were barefoot in the sand. The bridesmaids wore whatever black dress they wanted. The guests were seated to “Crush” by Dave Matthews Band, I walked down the aisle to “Love Will Keep Us Alive” by the Eagles, and we finished with “Fool in the Rain,” by Led Zeppelin.



We had a simple sand ceremony, and stood in a heart made from roses on the beach as the sun was setting. We had kite surfers in the background, too. After the ceremony, we had our toast, followed by shots instead of champagne on the beach.


Our biggest challenge:
We planned our wedding one year out since Key West is very small and vendors are not very plentiful. Three months before the wedding, I got a job offer and we had to move across the country. We had to bump our wedding date from June 23rd to April 14th. We already had save-the-dates and invitations sent out, cake serving items with the date engraved on them, and shot glasses with the date on them. Shockingly, we did not lose any of our vendors or incur any additional charges! We did, unfortunately, lose half of our wedding party. But we soldiered on.


Hard Rock Reception

My favorite moment:
We all felt so much closer from being together. People that never met shared rooms and left as friends. I realized how much our friends truly cared about us and our happiness. At one point my daughters stood up in the reception and read speeches of well-wishes that brought tears to our eyes. When we arrived at the reception, everyone was on the second floor balcony waiting for us, and all of Duval Street erupted in cheers and a friends chant of “Kiss, kiss, kiss!” We truly enjoyed every single moment of our wedding and in my heart I know it could not have been any more perfect or true to us.



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dresses: Unique Vintage

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Comments on Elizabeth & Adam’s rock ‘n’ roll destination beach wedding

  1. Thank you so much! I literally searched for months, knowing how picky I am. I instantly bought the dress. The lace work on it is gorgeous and the double bow- one red and one black- on the back is amazing. I wish I could say the photos do it justice, but they really do not.

  2. Fabulous dress! Looks like an awesome wedding. I can’t imagine having to change the wedding date after printing invitations, save-the-dates and having items engraved!

  3. Thank you Stefanie and Jessiquita!

    Switching the wedding date was not an easy decision. I was very concerned about the loss of wedding guests, but there was no way we could swing the move, start of a new job, and then a trip back to South Florida. It worked out very well though. We missed our friends and family that could not make it, but we had a smashing time!

  4. Your dress is GORGEOUS! I love the photo where you’re leaning over in your plastic chair to give your hubby a kiss! Congratulations!

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