The offbeat bride: Jackie, Museum Site Manager
Her offbeat partner: Steve, Audio Engineer
Location & date of wedding: Smathers Beach in Key West, Florida on May 20th, 2008
What made our wedding offbeat: Our first vacation as a couple was Key West, FL. We made a promise at the end of our stay that we would return and get married on the beach. But we didn't want to spend a lot of cash on sharing a few words and signing some papers. We wanted a quick getaway.
We booked a local to perform the wedding and had a veteran take some shots of the ceremony for our families we left behind. Once the uncomfortable “I-Do's” were over, I hopped on the back of our scooter and headed to Duval Street in my $99 dollar David's Bridal dress to score as much free booze and cigars as I could get.
We later toured Key West in an old Chevelle with our photographer Tom Flip in tow. He took pictures of us at the graveyard, Blue Heaven (an old brothel now converted into the locals favorite food joint) and in a church parking lot.
Our getaway wedding was everything we wanted. Basically, we had the honeymoon first. We didn't feel married until we flew home and threw our party. We rented a lake house in New Hampshire and had a 3-day BBQ for our families to meet. I wore sweats when I cut our cake!
Our biggest challenge: We paid for the wedding ourselves, but budget was the not the biggest challenge. Planning a destination wedding has its perks, but the hardest part is not being there. We were fortunate to have such a talented photographer that really saw our vision. The trash the dress photos were a very important part of our wedding. I choose to pack my dress in a hard-shell suitcase which (OF COURSE) didn't arrive to our hotel until 30 hours later.
My favorite moment: When we pulled the Chevelle into a church parking lot. We took pictures under the street lights. It was about 11pm at night. I understood this was the last that I'd wear this silly dress, and it made me kind of sad. At the same moment, the Priest walked out back to greet us and blessed our union.
My offbeat advice: Pack a sundress like I did just in case the airline loses your luggage! Also, invest in the right photographer. I called photographers for quotes and I would explain that it was a private ceremony no guests and it was as if they weren't even listening. “Ok, so you'll need a package to snap pictures of your family and his”… I NEVER REALIZED before but wedding photos are so very, very important. You should make them something you want to see and share again and again.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn: Click the photo below for some killer shots of Jackie & Steve's destination wedding spectacular!