Top 10 Wedding Trends For 2013

As 2012 draws to a close, here at Swankey Events,  we’re looking to the future and forecasting next year’s top wedding trends. We’ve scoured the web’s best bridal blogs and spoken with our vendors here in Key West to see what’s going to be hot in weddings in 2013. We love what Marie-Pierre’s done with her Studio Marie-Pierre blog. She forecasted three great bridal hair trends for 2013, including the braided chignon, soft waves, and the high bun. We love!

Over at the 3-D Memoirs Blog, guest blogger Gail Oliver, author  of 663 Must-Have Wedding Ideas, put together a top 10 wedding trends list that we absolutely adore. Here, we share with you the list. Do you see yourself incorporating any of these trends into your 2013 wedding?

1. Mint- There are so many great colors for bridal and mint is definitely been a popular one.

2. Birds- Two little birds sitting in a tree… Love birds!

3. Paper Lanterns- Paper lanterns and string lighting makes a party festive and beautiful. We love the lighting design that Eventfully Yours creates for our Swankey weddings.

4. Braids- 3-D Memoirs called braids a major bridal trend, and Marie-Pierre included this gorgeous braided chignon in her top 3 trends. We love it too!

5. Laser Cut Designs- Laser cut designs are so chic, sleek, and modern.

6. Chicken Wire- 3-D Memoirs says chicken wire. We say, Key West chickens!

7. The 1920s- They say the forthcoming Great Gatsby movie has brought 1920s style into fashion. We think it could be a great inspiration for bridesmaid dresses or the bride who really wants to make a statement.

8. Backgrounds- Photo booths with creative backgrounds and fun props are all the rage at weddings right now. We love the fun they create at receptions and Studio Julie makes an awesome one!

9. Garlands- This decorative touch is sweet and great for the DIY bride.

10. Bark- 3-D Memoirs likes decorative bark. For a Key West destination wedding, we like coconuts, pineapples, and conch shells!

Happy Halloween… and Fantasy Fest!

Here at Swankey HQ in sunny Key West, we just finished our annual Fantasy Fest celebration. While many of you are probably gearing up for Halloween tonight, we’re winding down and taking it easy. For those of you who’ve never been to Fantasy Fest, it’s a weeklong party that starts at Goombay and runs all the way through the week for 10 days.

Goombay takes place on Petronia Street where there’s plenty of food, drink, and entertainment all weekend long. You’re certain to see everyone you’ve ever known on our little island! The rest of the week is marked by costume parties at various bars around town. Some of the most popular parties include Kelly’s Kinky Karnival on Monday night, TuTu Tuesday at Mango’s, Fogarty’s Red Party on Wednesday, Sloppy Joe’s Toga Party Thursday night, and the Local’s Walking Parade Friday afternoon.

Saturday night is the big parade and this year’s theme was Aquatic-A-Frolic, which is perfect for our island city considering we’re surrounded crystal clear waters! The floats were pretty impressive with plenty of colorful sea creatures frolicking up and down Duval Street. Amongst the lobsters and lion fish, sea urchins and jellyfish, Hulk Hogan and his wife managed to make an appearance in the parade. Here’s a few highlights courtesy of the Florida Keys News Bureau:

Photo Credit: Andy Newman

Photo Credit: Rob O'Neal

Photo Credit: Andy Newman

It was an amazing Fantasy Fest, as usual. If you were here, we hope you had a great time! For those of you celebrating Halloween tonight, be safe, have fun, and “Trick or Treat!”

A Swankey Wedding: Lylee & Matt

The vivacious Lylee and handsome Matt were married in a gorgeous wedding just after sunset on the pier at the Reach Resort. This Mississippi couple and their families were just as sweet as can be! Lylee was such a pretty Southern Belle and Matt was positively dashing in his military dress blues. She got gorgeous with Studio Marie-Pierre before her big day.

After the twilight ceremony, the party moved inside to the resort’s Strip House restaurant where gorgeous votives glistened amidst the red lacquered dining room. Milan Events did an amazing job with the flowers, table arrangements, and decor. Once everyone had toasted the new couple, the party moved outside for dancing, and of course the ceremonial tossing of the bouquet and the garter. Everyone cut loose and had a rocking good time!

Congratulations again Matt and Lylee. It was a pleasure to play a hand in your special day!

Studio Julie was behind the lens for all the gorgeous pictures included in this blog. For more photos of Lylee and Matt’s wedding, click here.

A Swankey Wedding: Stephanie & Jeff

Stephanie and Jeff tied the knot in Key West at the Southernmost House back in February and it was an absolute treat being involved in their big day surrounded by family and friends.

Stephanie started her day with her bridesmaids getting glam with hair and makeup at the fabulous Studio Marie-Pierre. The girls sported matching pink robes–Stephanie’s favorite color–in true memory-making, girly fashion.

Pre-wedding, Jeff cracked open a 6-pack that was given to him by the Haitian people he assisted as a doctor during the post-earthquake relief efforts. It was a special moment to share with his groomsmen and other members of the wedding party. In true island style, a handy Reef flip-flop with a bottle opener on the sole was utilized for the occasion.

It was a gorgeous, intimate ceremony officiated by Steve Torrence with the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop.

The Southermost House’s famous plunge pool and its iconic pale pink Victorian facade is a classic venue for a Key West wedding. Milan Events was responsible for the gorgeous floral arrangements and decor while Great Events catered a delicious smorgasbord to feast on.

By the time the party started to wind down, some guests took a dip in the pool under a clear, starlit sky. The Bottlecap Lounge was the destination for after party revelers.

Stephanie and Jeff, along with their entire wedding party truly embraced the spirit and beauty of Key West for their tropical destination wedding. Congratulations to you both! It was an honor to be a part of your special day.

Studio Julie was behind the lens for all the gorgeous pictures included in this blog. For more photos of Stephanie and Jeff’s wedding, click here.

Rachel & Donald: A “Trash the Dress” Flip Book-Style Pictorial

Rachel & Donald got married on August 5 at Southernmost on the Beach. The day after their wedding, they headed to Sombrero Reef in Marathon for a special ceremony of their own! The pictures speak for themselves, scroll down…

Congratulations Rachel & Donald! What a perfect way to start your new lives together! We wish you lots of happiness!

Swankey Balcony & Penthouse Available For Fantasy Fest

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s practically August. That means in just a few short months it will practically be Fantasy Fest! Yes, that fabulous, fantastical time of year is nearly upon us. While many of you are last minute planners making trips to Fairvilla the week of, I know some of you want to know where you’re going to be partying, especially the night of the big parade!

Well, look no further than our Swankey Balcony & Penthouse to host a Fantasy Fest shindig for you and 75 of your closest friends. Located at 623 Duval Street above Wyland Galleries, you will be in the heart of the mayhem, yet above it all! Fully furnished and boasting a spacious patio deck, a full kitchen, and a wet bar, you and your guests will enjoy the festivities in true swankey style!

The choice is yours, rent the space, invite your friends, and throw a party.

Or opt for a tailor made all-inclusive Swankey Package to include:

  • Catering
  • Beverage Service
  • Music/Entertainment
  • Party Favors
  • T-Shirts
  • Decor
  • and of course, lots and lots of beads!

For details on availability and pricing during Fantasy Fest October 21-30, call Kristin and Megan at 305-396-7076.

Swankeypalooza At Salute On Sunday

Meet us on the beach! Higgs Beach that is at Salute!

by Shayne Benowitz

Have you heard the news? We’ve taken the party from the pool to the beach! Join us this Sunday, June 26 at Salute on Higgs Beach for our very first summer music festival, SwankeyPalooza, featuring the best acts in the Keys. Get your tickets now and save! You can purchase them online at or by calling us at 305.396.7976. The party will rock all daylong from 11am-9pm. Here’s the lineup:

Raven Cooper gets the day started with a set from 11am-noon.

Nobody doesn't like the Cory Heydon Band! Cory, Tom, & Terry perform 12:30-1:30pm.

Country cutie Chas Blakemore performs 2pm-3pm.

Howard Livingston & the Mile Marker 24 Band are our headliners performing from 3:30-5pm.

Roberto deBourg & the Flats Band perform from 5:30-7pm.

Nick Norman & Caffeine Carl round out the night from 7:30-9pm.

As you can see it’s an all-star line-up of who’s-who in the Keys music scene. Plus, who can resist a day of live music at the beach? We hope to see you there! We’ll have drinks served featuring Pango Rhum all day at SwankeyPalooza. Need to cool off during your day of fun in the sun? Paddle Republic will be their offering standup paddleboard rentals from YOLO and offering lessons!

The after party is at Cowboy Bill’s sponsored by Absinthe. We’d also like to thank our sponsors Fury Water Adventures, Pear Internet Marketing, & DJ’s Clam Shack for their support!

Can’t wait to see you at the beach!

Shayne Benowitz is a freelance writer and social media specialist. Follow her on Twitter @ShayneBenowitz

Key West Brides-To-Be: Win Free Hair & Makeup For You & Your Bridal Party!

Studio Marie-Pierre's "Live Gorgeously!" Facebook Fan Photo Contest

by Shayne Benowitz

To all of the lovely ladies we know planning a wedding in Key West or perhaps even dreaming of planning a wedding in Key West, we have some very exciting news to share! The incomparable Studio Marie-Pierre, who has worked her makeup and hairstyling magic on many Swankey brides, has an awesome contest running on her facebook page!

Natalie Brown, May's "Living Gorgeously!" Semi-Finalist.

“Living Gorgeously” is Marie-Pierre’s motto and it’s also the name of her contest. You could win an amazing prize package that includes free hair and makeup for you and your entire bridal party. All you have to do is head over to Marie-Pierre’s page and post a gorgeous picture that epitomizes “living gorgeously!” Marie-Pierre encourages fun and creativity: post a glamorous headshot, a sweet pic of you and your soon-to-be hubby, a snapshot with you and your girls, or maybe even a picture from your last trip to Key West.

June contestant Becky Crews' adorable picture of her Mallory Square proposal.

The semi-finals round is going on now through December 2011. Every month, the photo with the most “likes” is entered into the semi-finals. You’ll win free false eyelashes application or a free spray tanning session AND be entered for the grand prize. Marie-Pierre will also be selecting a few wild cards along the way, so don’t be shy. Post your pictures and tell your friends!

For more information, check out the full contest rules on Marie-Pierre’s website. Be sure to join in the fun on facebook and keep up with what’s new on her very entertaining and informative blog!

Shayne Benowitz is a freelance writer and social media specialist. Follow her on Twitter @ShayneBenowitz.

Raul Malo’s Private Performance at the Key West Yacht Club

Raul Malo & band.

by Shayne Benowitz

At the tail end of this year’s Key West Songwriter’s Festival, one of our clients had something a little more intimate in mind. We turned the Key West Yacht Club into a red hot Latin-themed lounge with singer/songwriter Raul Malo headlining the fiesta for 130 of their closest friends.

Malo and his band sizzled with songs from his latest album Sinners and Saints. His unique and eclectic sound is definitely rooted in Latin-world music having grown up in Miami, but there’s influences of rock, jazz, blues, and definitely country!

Party-goers at the Key West Yacht Club.

Thanks to Milan Events Decor the Yacht Club felt like a little slice of Cuba with beautiful tropical flowers, sexy red and purple lighting, and even a cigar roller.

A flower arrangement from Milan Events Decor.

Cuban cigar, anyone?

The food was amazing and went with the theme perfectly. We had a whole roasted pig, rice and beans, and lots of passed hors d’oeuvres.

Overall, the party was a huge success. Raul was wonderful and he had everyone shimmying on the dance floor to his flamenco-meets-rock-meets-country stylings. The Key West Yacht Club was the perfect venue and everyone had a blast!

Shayne Benowitz is a freelance writer and social media specialist. Follow her on Twiter @ShayneBenowitz.

Swankey Hearts The Wedding Chicks

by Shayne Benowitz

In a quest to find the cutest and most modern finds in all things bridal, Megan was surfing the web the other day and came across The Wedding Chicks Blog. They’ve positioned themselves as a clearinghouse for “All things pretty,” and we think they’re doing a pretty great job!

We love the shopping section of their website, especially these super adorable tank tops, t-shirts, and tote bags fitted to every member of the wedding party.

A cary-all for the bride who has everything!

Rock that new last name! Hmm... wonder why Megan liked this one?

How adorable is this?!

The perfect accessory for your maid of honor!

For the littlest member of the wedding party!

Because isn't it all about love?

With totes starting at $10 and t-shirts ranging from $15 to $28, we think these items would make the perfect ensemble for your wedding party during your wedding weekend in Key West. They’re casual, cute, and lightweight for our hot summer weather. Picture rocking these lounging by the pool, at the beach, or out on a boat. Love it! Thanks Wedding Chicks!

Shayne Benowitz is a freelance writer and social media specialist. For more visit her Wanderlust Blog & Website.