A Swankey Wedding: Kelly & Darrell

Kelly and Darrell hail from Orlando and made the trek south for their Key West destination wedding. Fun fact, Darrell proposed to Kelly at an Orlando Magics basketball game! They had a traditional ceremony at Key West’s United Methodist Church. It was a truly touching occasion. Kelly’s a twin and the final of the pair to get married.

After the reception, the party shuttled over to the Hyatt Resort aboard the Conch Tour Train for a spectacular cocktail hour and reception. Milan Events created a gorgeous decor theme and Eventfully Yours covered us for extra party rentals. I especially loved the wedding cake topper that Kelly ordered custom from Etsy to resemble the couple. Adorable!

DJ Jimmy Jamz got the party started and these guys danced the night away to old school hip hop. So fun!

It was such a charming family affair. Congratulations to Kelly and Darrell! You guys were awesome. Of course, the amazing photographs are courtesy of Studio Julie. Check out more pictures of this bright and beautiful wedding here.




Swankey Hearts BHLDN For Bridesmaid Dressing

Megan was recently sent to a website to purchase a bridesmaid dress for a friend’s upcoming wedding. When she got to BHLDN.com she was pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous selections of bridesmaids dresses with a flair for the modern and an emphasis on individuality.

With its fashion forward approach to bridal styling, BHLDN is certainly no David’s Bridal. Think of them as the Anthropologie of bridal, which is actually where they got their start.

While bridesmaid fashion has improved drastically over the years with so many original offerings, it’s great to see companies like BHLDN pop up to make the selection even easier. The site is beautifully curated almost like a Tumblr blog with intriguing stories, videos, and pictures that go beyond just plain-old-shopping.

Right now, their bridesmaid dresses are inspired by the pastel colors of French macarons. With a variety of cuts, colors, and prints in complementary shades, the options are endless for your bridal party. Your girls can mix and match gowns to their heart’s desire and still look pulled together and coordinated at the wedding. Here’s an assortment of dresses we love at BHLDN. We think they’d make for stunning bridesmaids dresses in a Key West destination wedding.

Marchioness Dress $350

In Full Bloom Dress $400

Macaron Shoppe Dress $220

Miraflores Dress $310

Sunroom Dress $220

Not just bridesmaids dresses, BHLDN also has a gorgeous array of wedding gowns, accessories, decor, and beauty items to browse through.

What do you think? Would you mix and match bridesmaid dress styles and colors? Both? Neither? Tell us how you made your bridesmaids happy and beautiful on your wedding day!

A Swankey Wedding: Moria & Cory

Some brides-to-be thrive in the wild world that is DIY wedding decor. Our bride Moria was definitely one of these brides! Her one-of-a-kind creations put a personal touch on what was already an amazingly intimate and special day.

She and hubby Cory wed on the beach at Fort Zach just before sunset officiated by Aaron Wechter. The reception moved to the Southernmost on the Beach for an intimate dinner and dancing under the stars. While Studio Marie-Pierre got Moria gorgeous and Mama Flowers created lovely floral centerpieces, Moria rocked the rest of the details.

First of all, I absolutely loved her citrus color scheme of green, orange, and yellow. It’s original, yet so appropriate for a tropical Key West wedding. We utilized Florida Keys Party Rentals for all of the chairs and tables.

How great are these handwritten sand dollar name cards? This is the personal touch I was talking about. Underneath, you can see the handmade dinner menu.

More great touches here with table cards decorated with orange coral drawings, starfish name tags to hang off the side of the chairs, a special wedding book (orange ink!), and flip-flop bins for him and her!

Another unique twist was the wedding cake designed by Key West Cakes with a traditional top tier and then mini cupcakes layered beneath. Yum! Soundwave DJs kept the party going into the night along with Bongo D on the steel drums for that island party feel.

Of course, Studio Julie was behind the lens of all these great photos. For more of Moria and Cory’s wedding, visit her blog here.

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.

A Swankey Rehearsal: Leslie & Patrick

Whew! This summer is flying by and we’ve been in the full throes of wedding season! In June, Megan took the reigns for Leslie and Patrick Cadic’s gorgeous wedding. Their photographer from Atlanta, Blake Burton snapped up some absolutely amazing pictures.

The couple toured the island with family and friends by renting scooters from Pirate Scooter Rentals. They rode through Bahama Village, Duval Street, and past the White Street Pier by the beach. To finish off the day, the party piled aboard Fury Water Adventures for a beautiful sunset sail.

Here’s a few of Blake’s gorgeous pictures of this gorgeous couple the day before their Key West Wedding. To see the entire day, head to Blake’s website.

Leslie & Patrick. Photo Credit: Blake Burton.

And they're off! Photo Credit: Blake Burton.

Sunset sailing. Photo Credit: Blake Burton.

Aboard Fury Water Adventures. Photo Credit: Blake Burton.

The lovely couple. Photo Credit: Blake Burton.

Purple Is Oh-So Swankey For Bridesmaids!

Bridesmaids styles in plum. Photo courtesy of BRIDEfinds.com

At Swankey, we have long felt that rich shades of purple, plum, violet, and eggplant are beyond chic! That’s why it’s one of our official colors! This regal and royal hue looks fab on so many skin tones from porcelain ivory to tawny tan. If you choose this lovely color for your bridesmaids’ dresses, we think they’ll thank you, especially since we just came across this article on BRIDEfinds.com earlier this month proclaiming plum as the “It” shade for bridesmaid dresses right now! We were tickled… well, purple! :)

Check out these gorgeous stylings  for downright plum bridesmaid dresses:

J.Crew Cotton-Silk Faille Blakely Dress, $235

The Limited Mia Strapless Dress, $69.23 (on sale!)

Alice+Olivia Debbie Stretch Silk-Blend Dress, $345

Alice+Olivia Mariska Halter-Neck Silk Chiffon Dress, $400

We, of course, love these pretty purple dresses. What colors are you working with for your bridesmaids? There really are so many gorgeous shades to choose from! And any dress looks good with the tropical backdrop of a Key West destination wedding!

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.

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.

Protecting a Serious Shoe Fetish

Protect your $595 Louboutin investment with...

... the Clean Heel - Heel Stoppers?

by Shayne Benowitz

A few month’s ago Kristin came across a novel product at the Pretty Pink Toes Boutique: Clean Heel – Heel Stoppers!

Heel Stopper in black.

Clean Heel – Heel Stoppers? What’s that, you might ask?

[Psst…  read next paragraph as if  it’s a voiceover for an infomercial!]

Well, ladies they’re the solution to keeping your lovely stilettos from sinking into soft sod, grass, mud, and—why not?—even sand at outdoor parties and events! Clean Heel – Heel Stoppers come in a variety of colors and sizes to accommodate any pair of pumps! They’ve even got decorative Heel Stoppers to perfectly complement any ensemble, including glitter, pearl, heart-shaped, and metallic designs. Call now and we’ll throw in two additional pairs of Clean Heel – Heel Stoppers at no extra charge!

Heel Stoppers with some diamante bling and glitter!

Okay, okay, enough silliness!

The Pretty Pink Toes Boutique may be onto something. I can vividly remember many formal outdoor occasions where my heels sank into grass or mud: my best friend’s wedding on a Palm Springs golf course, the Atlanta Steeplechase Horse races, and most recently at the Key West Food & Wine Festival. Dirtying up a pair of heels is particularly distressing and unbalancing (literally!). It’s certainly something you don’t want to worry about on your big day!

I did a little fantasy shoe shopping for everyone at the Net-A-Porter Bridal Shoes Boutique, and picked out some breathtaking pumps you wouldn’t dare scuff. Do you think Heel Stoppers would protect these babies from the elements at an outdoor destination wedding? Get ready to eat your heart out…

Valentino leather and tulle embellished mesh sandals. $1,250 exclusively at Net-A-Porter.

Alexander McQueen lace-covered satin pumps. $995 exclusively at Net-A-Porter. (Kate Middleton would so approve!)

Drum roll please... Brian Atwood Aurora embellished satin sandals $3,440 exclusively at Net-A-Porter.

What would your solution be for a wedding on a sandy beach? Frolic sans shoes? Sport flip-flops? Glide down the aisle in ballet slippers? Or would you rock a pair of these unbelievable stilettos?

Ladies, these the important questions! :) For more drool-worthy bridal shoes (and drool-worthy merchandise, in general) head to Net-A-Porter right now!

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

Swankey Hearts Jill’s Regalia for Bridal Jewelry

By Shayne Benowitz

A good friend of Megan’s visited 623 Swankey recently with her new collection of bridal jewelry. Jill Herasme, originally from Key West, has studied and worked in fashion  in New York, London, and Paris. She’s worked with such iconic American brands as Levi’s, Nautica, and Old Navy, and now she’s brought her talents back to Key West with this beautiful and chic collection of bridal and everyday jewelry.

Jill of Jill's Regalia.

Her Key West Collection is a perfect complement to any bride with an exotic destination wedding in the works. The pieces are handcrafted, delicate, and inspired by nature. They feature seashells, Swarovski crystals, pearls, and aquamarine, and are fashioned into organic shapes like flowers and starfish. Here’s some of our favorites from the Key West collection:

Bridal necklace with abalone shell pendant.

Aquamarine flower necklace.

Swarovski crystal and pearl starfish bracelet.

Pearl drop bridal earrings.

All of these beautiful pieces come in full sets including necklace, bracelet, and earrings. If you envision your perfect bridal jewelry, but can’t find it in stores, Jill specializes in custom-made jewelry. You’ll have a one of a kind piece to cherish for a lifetime.

For those not walking down the aisle anytime soon, Jill also has some amazing jewelry for anytime including a water casting collection and a ring collection.

Multi-gem long necklace.

Water casting is the art of submerging molten metal in water creating spontaneous, organic shapes.

We love Jill’s jewelry, and figure that any other Swankey Girl would, too! For more information, call Jill at 305-712-0064 or email her at info@jillsregalia.com, and of course, check out her website for more beautiful jewelry!

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