Humphrey Bogart starred in it, the Beach Boys sang about it and modern couples are flocking to it. Uh huh, I’m talking about Key Largo – the tropical US wedding destination that should be on your radar. Not only is this colorful Florida town brimming with experiences worthy of their own Netflix series (lookin’ at you underwater hotel), it’s not-so-surprisingly serving up unique wedding venue options for parties of all sizes, styles and formalities. With dolphin encounters, Everglade tours, snorkeling charters and more, Key Largo is an instant hit for guests traveling near + far to celebrate with you. So today we not only want to talk about why we have such a penchant for the Florida Keys as a wedding or honeymoon location, but we also want to share a few fun ideas for incorporating the local culture into your own beautiful fete this side of the Atlantic. Can I get a shell, yeah?!
Key Largo Properties
Sea-to-table cuisine, waterfront pools, private beach cabanas, state-of-the-art tech, artisanal bath products, easy marina access… Key Largo properties run the gamut from awesome to even more awesome. And this doesn’t just cover guest accommodations. They’ve got killer wedding venues too! There’s always an assumption about weddings in beach destinations having to happen on the beach, but let’s be real and take a cue from Mean Girls… the limit does not exist. Restaurants, rooftops, villas, ballrooms, museums and galleries are all potential venue options. Heck, we’ve even seen a ceremony happen on top of an infinity pool with those crystal-clear waters glistening in the background. This tropical US wedding destination offers exponential choices whether your wedding is a more intimate gathering of loved ones or a luxe glam soiree bringing everyone you know together.
Key Largo Experiences
One of the things we adore about destination weddings is their innate ability to immerse the couple and their guests in a multi-day experience. And you don’t have to host multiple parties to achieve this! We’ve been seeing more and more couples plan loose weekend itineraries where their guests can choose to opt in (or not) to shared experiences like scuba diving in underwater sanctuaries, sunset sails with wine and charcuterie and wildlife spectator tours. In fact, Key Largo is considered the “Dive Capital of The World” thanks to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. There are 70 nautical square miles that you can explore via snorkeling, scuba diving or glass-bottom catamarans offering underwater views.
Your guests may arrive and depart on different days, but offering them the flexibility to choose their own adventure (whether that’s embarking on a group excursion or doing their own thing during the vacay) is a wonderful alternative to a series of formal events they feel obligated to attend. Give your guests the ability to get to know your other loved ones in a more laidback setting and lose the pressure of entertaining when you should be enjoying these precious moments as an honored guest too. Let’s face it. You’re THE honored guest!
Key Largo Luxury
Luxury abounds in the first and northernmost island of the Florida Keys. Just a stone’s throw away from Miami, Key Largo is rich with all-inclusive resorts, adults-only experiences and chic departures from the touristy bits of the Sunshine State. Oversized bungalows, bougainvillea staled verandas, floating tiki bars, outdoor soaking tubs and vibrant cruiser bikes for island exploration are just a few of the exciting perks of luxury resorts – click here to explore places to stay in Key Largo. Before or after the wedding day, you could even unwind with a couples massage overlooking a black bamboo forest. Tranquility, white glove service and incomparable beauty are staples of the Key Largo experience, which further establishes this divine locale as a MUST for couples seeking a tropical US wedding destination.
Weddings in Key Largo
While Key Largo in itself provides the ingredients for a wedding weekend experience your guests won’t soon forget, there are some other special touches you can incorporate to really wow the crowd. Trust me, they won’t have experienced a wedding like this before!
- Create a curated playlist for your wedding website with upbeat beach music to get your guests in the mood for their exotic giveaway. Hey, I’m sure they’ll be catching some sun before and after they watch you say “I Do”!
- Surprise and delight them with contemporary island style welcome gifts featuring handpicked goodies like tacos and tequila, mesh market bags, Turkish towels, watercolor maps and local recs… whatever treats fit your wedding style, tell your story and point to the culture of Key Largo. Bonus points if your guests can use these gifts over the weekend! Just be mindful of what they may and may not be able to fly back with. There’s a reason you often see wedding welcome gifts that are either edible or compact!
- Build anticipation for the destination on your wedding website! Here’s where the curated playlist can come in handy, but it’s also where you can encourage them to try famous recipes from the region at home before their trip, share inspired packing list ideas, tell the story about why you fell in love with Key Largo and what they can look forward to, etc.
- Get creative with transportation! Maybe you could plan a group sail from the ceremony to the reception, offer Florida Key staples like Key Lime Pie in a snack pack for the shuttle ride from the room block resort to the venue, level up your evening sendoff with a pink golf cart featuring scalloped trim. Ask yourself, “How can we have fun with this part of the day?”
- Include specialty entertainment during party time! It’s always a thrill to have local performers put on a show during the welcome party, rehearsal dinner or reception. Fireworks may have been the go-to in the past, but today, couples are opting for live painters, fire dancers, sand artists and the like.
These are just a few of many ideas to get started! You can brainstorm all the creative ideas under the sun with your partner and planner, but trust me, Key Largo has no shortage of inspiring ideas.
Beyond the wedding though, Key Largo makes for an excellent honeymoon destination. The botanical scenery and glistening, mint-colored Everglades are reason enough to head South for your post-wedding getaway. 2,400 square miles offer rare opportunities to glimpse endangered species in their natural habitats. Manatees, American crocodiles and Florida panthers, oh my! Of course, there are also activities like canoeing, kayaking, fresh and saltwater fishing, biking, and wilderness camping to be enjoyed in the Everglades. Ultimately, Key Largo is a tropical US wedding destination teeming with romantic experiences that can help you tune out the rest of the world, live slowly and marvel at the wonder of this moment.
To explore some of Key Largo’s best properties, experiences and wedding vendors, be sure to visit their official tourism site here! For the latest protocols on health and safety, please visit their website.
This post was sponsored by The Florida Keys. All opinions are our own. Thanks for supporting our sponsors!