A Swankey Wedding: Amy & Ernest

Well, I have to say this was a very special Swankey wedding. Amy is the sister of our good friend and photographer extraordinaire Julie of Studio Julie. At Swankey, we work with Studio Julie for countless Key West destination weddings, and the results are always phenomenal.

I love the look of anticipation in both of their eyes. So sweet!

It was wonderful to feel like a part of the family while planning Amy and Ernest’s intimate October wedding. Amy opted for Studio Marie-Pierre to get gorgeous. The ceremony took place at the lush Key West Garden Club at West Martello by the beach, which is such a sumptuous, stunning venue. Officiant Steve Torrence led the ceremony, but not without a Spanish translator for Ernest’s side of the family making it a bilingual ceremony .

For the reception, we headed back to Swankey Headquarters for a great party and a delicious cake by Key West Cakes. Milan Events was responsible for the gorgeous flowers. It was an amazing evening, even with a little rain, and we were so happy to play a hand Julie’s sister’s big day.

Congratulations, Amy & Ernest. We wish you lots of love and happiness. And now, here’s a parting shot from the couple’s sexy afterthoughts photo session with Julie. For more wedding pix, visit Studio Julie’s Blog here.

Seriously, how beautiful is the backdrop we have to work with in Key West?

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 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.

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!”

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.

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 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.

Shayne Benowitz: Greetings From The Swankeyverse

I have to say, as the new blogger extraordinaire and social media contributor to Swankey Events, I am having so much fun with the company’s name. Doesn’t everyone want to be a little “Swankey?” Especially when it comes to parties and weddings!

The hashtags on Twitter are unlimited: #SwankeyWedding, #SoSwankey, #SwankeyLove, #SwankeyBabe, #SwankeyGirl, #SwankeyLady, and why not… #SwankeyGentleman?!

As I’ve become familiar with Kristin and Megan’s company, I’ve realized these Swankey Gals have nailed it! From our first meeting, I knew I was dealing with sharp, ambitious entrepreneurs. Their events epitomize the exotic and rustic beauty of Key West with class and elegance: Swankey all the way.

I first arrived in Key West in the summer of 2005. All I wanted to do was write, sail, swim at the reef, and be in the sun. I was hired at Fury Water Adventures my second day in town. After that summer, I returned to New York City where I was a middle school teacher with Teach For America.

I couldn’t get Key West off the brain, though, and a year later I made the move. I’ve been a “Fury Girl” through and through ever since as a catamaran and parasail mate, and as the author of the popular Fury Girl Blog and social media marketing campaign.

I love Key West because it has afforded me a free-as-a-bird lifestyle and the opportunity to pursue my dreams as I grow my freelance writing business.

Fun Facts About Shayne:

  • Hopeless romantic, but has never fantasized about a dream wedding
  • Would have liked to be one of Ernest Hemingways’ wives
  • Holds a BA degree in Drama
  • Obsessed with Fourth Hour of the Today Show with KLG & Hoda
  • Has never lived in the same city for more than five consecutive years

I am thrilled for the opportunity to contribute to the swankeylicious Swankey Team! I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship…

Swankey Events Praise: Fantasy Fest

My dearest Megan and Kristin,

What a fabulous party! Everything was perfect. Thank you for all your efforts and expertise! You are totally “swankey!” xoxo, Karen Lockwood

Dear Megan & Kristin,

Thank you for a fun Fantasy Fest Weekend. Jeff & I wanted to thank you for all your hardwork this weekend. You guys have a beautiful space. Hope you have recovered from the weekend. Love, Jeff & Brian

Halloween Glamour

Halloween’s coming up so we thought we’d wipe up some inspiration for anyone having a Halloween themed wedding.

Halloween Glamour

Some Halloween touches.

Petite Josie- Black on Black Bridal Sash

Paris Romance Black Raw Silk Bolero

Dia de los Muertos – Bizcocho Decoracion

Have you ever been to a Halloween theme wedding? What was the craziest thing you saw?