Swankey Parties With The Paddleboarders

Racecourse maps at the 623 Swankey party.

by Shayne Benowitz

It was another action-packed weekend for Team Swankey with weddings galore, as usual. We were also thrilled to throw the kick-off bash for the annual Key West Paddleboard Classic at our Swankey Space at 623 Duval. With nearly 300 racers registered to compete, let’s just say the place was packed!

YOLO Boards sponsored the party featuring tasty sandwiches and cold beer. Race Coordinator and YOLO-sponsored racer Michael “Westy” Westenberger was on hand with his team to discuss race strategies and answer questions. The mood was definitely festive as racers spilled onto our balcony getting psyched for the big day.

Racers hit the water!

The race Saturday morning started from Smather’s Beach where standup paddleboards, kayaks, dories, sea cycles, surf skis, and prone racers embarked on a 12-mile circumnavigation of Key West. I like a leisurely paddle from time to time, but this was intense! Kristin enjoyed cheering the racers on from the beach.

Westy at the Paddle Republic party.

Sunday evening, Swankey hosted another paddleboard bash. This time to kickoff Paddle Republic, Westy and business partner Rowdy’s new endeavor. The two former rugby team members turned pro SUP racers have united to provide paddleboard clinics, workouts, and ecotours to paddle enthusiasts of all levels. For more information, check out their facebook page.

The cake!

The party was great with an amazing paddleboard shaped cake designed by Key West Cakes.

An excursion with Paddle Republic could make for a great activity for your wedding party or guests during a fun-filled wedding weekend in Key West. They definitely come highly recommended!

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

Swankey Hearts Destination Inspirations

by Shayne Benowitz

Megan was surfing the web the other day and came across the Destination Inspirations Blog. Jess McCann, inspired by her own destination wedding in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, has created a beautiful website full of gorgeous pictures highlighting the best in destination weddings and vendors, along with some great tips for any bride-to-be.

Ahem, hi Jess! We’d be happy to give you the scoop on Key West! :)

At Swankey, we’ve long been fans of Etsy’s wedding stores, and so is Jess at Destination Inspirations. Her blog is updated daily, and on the day that Megan happened upon it, she was highlighting these amazing garters from the Sweetly Fallen shop.

Custom shabby chic rosette garter set (with toss garter) in aqua mint and ivory with vintage jewel accent.

Custom shabby chic rosette garter set (with toss garter) in soft pink and ivory with vintage velvet leaf and vintage jewel accent.

The beautiful rosettes are handmade using 100% dupioni silk. The store is full of other gorgeous accessories and they take custom orders!

Check out the Destination Inspirations Blog for more gorgeous pictures to inspire you daily! (Today’s feature: The Royal Viewing Party Recap)  And if you’re planning your destination wedding in Key West, of course, give us a call! Have a Swankey day!

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

Swankey Rocks Key West Food & Wine Festival

by Shayne Benowitz

The Key West Food & Wine Festival was held January 27-30 and the Swankey Girls were all over town eating, drinking, being merry, and of course, executing some of the festival’s best events!

Meredith took the festival by storm with two events hosted at Azur Restaurant. Friday night was the Espana themed St. Pablo Patron Saint of Shipwrecked Souls Street Party. This was a brand new event for Food & Wine. Azur owners Michael Mosi and Drew Wenzel served up a delectable mixed Spanish grill of fresh fish, sausages, chicken, steak, and more. The highlight, of course, was the enormous barril de vino filled with the finest Rioja wine. The crowd partied the night away underneath colorful Spanish-style flags with DJ Jimmy at the turntables.

Meredith, Kristin, & Megan during Food & Wine.

Saturday morning, Meredith was back at Azur for the Second Annual Bubbles & Madness Brunch. The restaurant was full of revelers feasting on fresh seafood and tantalizing bubbles! It was a classically swankey event executed by our lovely new lead planner!

Megan & the boys at 623 during Duval Uncorked.

Saturday evening, we teamed up with Hogfish Bar & Grill at our 623 Duval Space for Duval Uncorked. Festival patrons paraded up and down Duval sampling food, wine, and cocktails hosted by local bars, restaurants, inns, and galleries. Of course, we were in on the action!

Shayne at Blue Heaven interviewing Fantasy Fest royalty.

Meanwhile, I was running around town with my camera crew as the hostess of local Comcast Channel 5′s Food & Wine coverage. I partied with Bess & Harry Truman at The Little White House for the Grand Tasting, drank rioja and noshed on the Spanish grill with Meredith at Azur, interviewed Fantasy Fest royalty during Coconut Bowling at Blue Heaven, stopped for a sangria at 623 with Megan during Duval Uncorked, and feasted at the Master Chef’s Classic at the Westin Resort & Marina. The coverage will be airing all yearlong on Channel 5, so tune in!

Official poster of 2011 Key West Food & Wine.

Planning for next year’s Key West Food & Wine Festival is already underway, and Swankey plans to be right there with them! For more information head to their website.

Shayne Benowitz is a freelance writer and social media consultant. For more information, check out her Wanderlust Blog & Website.

Swankey Events works with some of the best



One breathtaking image of some of our brides just to give you an indication (or a reminder) of some of the fabulous people we get to work with every day! Not to mention our fabulous brides!!

Hair and makeup by Studio Marie-Pierre and photography by Studio Julie!