Add A Yoga Practice To Your Wedding Weekend


In our years at Swankey Events as wedding planners, no matter how calm, cool, and collected our brides-to-be are, there’s always a certain level of stress and nerves that come with the wedding day. We all have our techniques for de-stressing, and one that’s incredibly popular is yoga. We’re noticing a trend in requests from our brides about adding a yoga practice to their wedding weekend. Whether it’s an activity that you do on the day of your rehearsal or a morning of the wedding practice, it’s a great way to add a little bit of zen to your big day.

Of course, this is something we can completely customize. You could opt for a private class with your bridesmaids onsite at a local yoga studio. Perhaps a class on the beach sounds blissful. An teacher can come to you for a private lesson onsite at your hotel or wedding venue. Or you could just drop in on a regularly scheduled class. Key West is full of talented yogis and beautiful studios.

Here’s a few of our favorite studios that give you a wide range of yoga options for your wedding day or wedding weekend.

Shakti Yoga

Established in Key West in 2005 by Sofia Artola, Shakti Yoga has a loyal following of local Key West yogis. With an emphasis on Hatha and Vinyasa flow, classes are both challenging and thoughtful. Her dynamic roster of teachers present a variety of classes offering something for everyone. Whether you’d like to focus on breathing and stretching, or a more vigorous power practice on your wedding day, Shakti can tailor make a class for you.

Bikram Yoga Studio of Key West

If you’re hooked on Bikram, then there’s no need for us to explain the benefits of this intense, detoxifying hot yoga practice of set sequences. Key West’s studio offers a reliable schedule of classes at convenient times throughout the day. If this is your thing, drop in on one of their classes–they can’t take the heat to you! If you’ve never tried Bikram, however, your wedding weekend probably isn’t the time to find out what it’s all about. The intense heat can sometimes leave newbies light-headed and nauseous, but true devotees get past this to its feel good benefits.

Key West Yoga Sanctuary

One of the newest studios in town, Key West Yoga Sanctuary has become a bastion for the Key West yogi. Founded by Gretchen Mills, the idea is to bring attention to consciousness both on and off the mat. The lovely studio is a tranquil environment offering a variety of yoga styles (and Pilates) from some of the best teachers on the island.

If you’re interested in adding a yoga practice to your wedding weekend, we’d be happy to discuss the possibilities, make arrangements, and visit studios on any of your planning trips.

Image courtesy Key West Insider Guide

Wedding Trend: Afterthoughts Photo Session

Sometimes you just can’t get enough pictures! This may be more true now than ever before, what with the prevalence of smart phone cameras and our constant quest to chronicle our lives and share them on social media. When it comes to weddings, it’s especially true, and why wouldn’t you want a ton of pictures when you have access to such talented photographers. Not to mention hair and makeup professionals to get you gorgeous for the shoot!

One of the trends that more and more of our brides are requesting is an Afterthoughts Photo Session. These are typically scheduled the day after the wedding and offer a unique opportunity to catch the bride and groom reveling in their married matrimony bliss. It’s a relaxed setting for the camera to capture intimate moments that you’ll frame on your walls and cherish for years. Some brides enjoy a “trash the dress” moment by submerging in the water, either partially or all the way, for a captivating photo.

Whatever afterthought is on your mind the day after your wedding, we’ve got talented wedding photographers in Key West to capture your vision. These photos of Amber and James were taken by the talented Studio Julie.

Swankey Named Best of Weddings 2013 by The Knot

At Swankey Events, we have to say, we love the work that we do. It’s an absolute treat to play a hand in so many special days in Key West. The bond that we create with our clients is one the lasts well beyond the wedding day. After all, these are memories that last a lifetime. We love being there to coordinate every last detail, from the wedding pictures that will be framed in your house for generations, to the perfect venue, cake, and entertainment. Wedding planning is such a rewarding industry to work in!

That’s why it’s even more rewarding to be recognized by The Knot’s Best of Weddings 2013 list as a top wedding planner in South Florida. The list is based on bride reviews, as well as editorial input, and we’re thrilled to have made the cut!

The Knot is such an amazing resource for brides-to-be with planning tools, amazing wedding ideas, trend reports, and a guide to the vendors you need to know about. If you’re planning a wedding, chances are you’ve been to The Knot.

We were also pleased to see many of our go-to vendors on the list, including Studio Julie Photography, Christy Transier Photography,Soundwave DJs, Cakes by Karol, Key West Cakes, Cineaverde, Love In Bloom, Milan Event, and Reverend Steve Torrence. When it comes to planning a destination wedding in Key West, you can rest assured knowing your working with true professionals. It’s an amazing community we have down here.

We’re thrilled to have made the list for this year’s Best of Weddings and we want to extend a congratulations to the rest of the vendors we work with everyday, a true dream team!

Style Me Pretty Features A Swankey Wedding

Who can forget the stunning Karli and her handsome hubby Jonathan? Well, their Sunset Key Wedding caught the eye of Style Me Pretty, a website dedicated to bridal inspiration and destination weddings. At Swankey HQ, we’ll often scour their site oohing and ahhing at the gorgeous wedding photos and getting inspired ourselves!

It was a true pleasure planning Karli and Jonathan’s wedding at Sunset Key. It’s definitely one of those gorgeous affairs that stands out in our memories! The pictures by Mi Amore Foto captured the day beautifully. Thanks to Milan Events for the flowers and Key West Cake for the cake! For more pictures from this beautiful wedding click here.

And, now, a final parting shot… (How gorgeous is her back!?)

A Swankey Wedding: Kari & Ryan

Weddings in paradise… palm trees swaying in a sultry, humid breeze, lots of sunshine, and big, puffy cumulous clouds floating lazily in the upper stratosphere. Well, not always. Sometimes it rains, and in the tropics, when it rains it pours! For any outdoor wedding, we’ve got to have a back up plan.

On Kari and Ryan’s late summer wedding day, the sky fell out. We swiftly moved the ceremony from the pool at the Ocean Key House to a beautiful suite. The reception was relocated from Sunset Pier to upstairs at the Hot Tin Roof restaurant. As you can see in Studio Julie’s beautiful pictures, the wedding went off without a hitch and you wouldn’t have even known that it was the backup plan! Kari & Ryan were absolutely wonderful and so were all of the guests at their intimate wedding.

All photos courtesty of Studio Julie.

The lovely flowers and decor courtesy of Milan Events.

Cake courtesy of Key West Cakes.

The sunny reception at Ocean Key House's Hot Tin Roof.

A Swankey Wedding: Leslie & Patrick

Earlier this month, we shared with you some amazing pictures of Leslie & Patrick’s rehearsal day of fun for the their June 4th Audubon House wedding from their photographer Blake Burton of Atlanta. These Georgia peaches were a pleasure to work with and their photos are absolutely inspirational. The talented Marie-Pierre got Leslie absolutely gorgeous for the ceremony and reception, which was catered by the Westin and and decorated with lovely flowers by Milan Events. Steve Torrence was the officiate and our man DJ Jimmy Jamz kept the party going into the sultry Key West summer night.

We’re thrilled Blake shared some of his best shots from the wedding for our blog. Take a look:

Congratulations Leslie & Patrick! What a beautiful wedding. For more of Blake’s photos from the wedding, visit his blog post here.

Duval Inn August Specials + Swankey = Elope Now!

Our friendly neighbors at the Duval Inn, just down Angela Street, made us aware of their fantastic August rate specials. For only $99 a night (Thursday to Sunday), you can enjoy a gorgeous room in this lovely tropical inn. There are lots of options for accommodations in Key West, and the Duval Inn has long been a Swankey-preferred hotel.

A unique bed and breakfast, their guest rooms are inside a historic home along with individual cottages and bungalows. The property’s lush bougainvillea and shady palm fronds add to its appeal as a relaxing oasis just off the heart of Duval Street. They boast a pool and tiki bar–plus close proximity to Swankey HQ! We think it makes for a pretty perfect getaway!

For couples itching for a last minute, no fuss wedding in Key West, this might just be your ticket! With our Swankey event space and event planning know-how, we can whip together a very special ceremony for you and your beau at a low cost. Your honeymoon suite awaits you just around the corner! Seriously, if this temptation is beckoning, give us a call and we’ll be happy to consult.

Perhaps you’re looking for a budget friendly honeymoon or even just an escape with your man? Duval Inn’s package is a pretty cool deal during the sweltering month of August. They’re throwing in complimentary breakfast and happy hour at the Tiki Bar. They’ve even got a luxury sailing yacht at their disposal and their expert concierge can plan a romantic sunset sail for you and your honey, or any other excursion.

Whether you’re heading to Key West in August for a wedding, your wedding, or a late summer getaway, we wanted to give you the heads up on this great deal from our neighbors at Duval Inn. They’re “Steps from Duval Street, yet miles away from ordinary!”

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

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.


by Shayne Benowitz

Mark your calendars for June 26 when Swankey throws a summer music festival like no other! We are taking over the iconic, picturesque Southernmost House overlooking the Atlantic Ocean for SwankeyPalooza! We’ve got the best of the best in Key West musicians coming together for a music festival that translates to laid back island fun.

Our lineup includes the melodious and one-of-a-kind Raven Cooper, the Cory Heydon Band of Fury Water Adventures’ Commotion on the Ocean fame, straight-from-Louisville country crooner Chas Blakemore, a special happy hour appearance by the legendary Howard Livingston & the Mile Marker 24 Band, party pleasers Roberto deBourg & the Flats Band, and to round out the night local sensation Nick Norman & Caffeine Carl. Of course, our favorite DJ Jimmy Jamz will be there to keep the party moving!

We'll have a full bar plus Mark Wood's Last Pango rum punch as our official libation!

Call us 305-396-7076

Make a splash! We'll see you June 26!

We are all supremely excited for what we hope will become an annual summer music festival. Let the good times roll! Psst… the official after party is at Cowboy Bill’s!


Team Swankey

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