A Swankey Wedding: Katrina & Ames

Katrina and Ames’ wedding was the last official Swankey wedding of 2011. Their ceremony and reception was held on December 11 at the West Martello Tower and Key West Garden Club by the beach. Ames is a former captain at Fury Water Adventures, and the couple lived in Key West together before moving to the mainland. They chose the island as the location for their destination wedding. Or should we say homecoming?

The night before the wedding, they celebrated their rehearsal dinner on a sunset sail and then had a shindig at the Swankey Space.

Katrina got glam with Studio Marie-Pierre before the ceremony. As you can see in the picture below, she has an eye for detail when it comes to looking good!

The ceremony was officiated by Steve Tepper and Milan Events took care of the flowers and decor. We also utilized Eventfully Yours for the party rentals. As the sun sank into the ocean and the day turned to night, the party  in the gardens got started. Croissants de France catered the reception and created the beautiful wedding cake.

Megan Ellis was the beauty behind the lens capturing all of the special moments of this lovely wedding. Congratulations Katrina & Ames! We hope to see you back in Key West soon.

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: Shannon & Jennifer

Last summer, Shannon and Jen graced us with their gorgeous presence in a commitment ceremony on the beautiful beach at Sunset Key. At Swankey HQ, we’re waxing nostalgic going through old pictures and just realized these two are celebrating their first year anniversary of wedded bliss. And there’s more, the two are expecting a bundle of joy very soon! Congratulations ladies! It was an honor getting to know you and to help plan your special day.

Not to be cliched, but… it seems like only yesterday that we were enjoying Shannon and Jen’s reception at the Doubletree Grand Key Resort slicing into the wedding cake by Key West Cakes, surrounded by beautiful fragrant flowers from Milan Events. Here’s some amazing shots of the wedding from the talented Studio Julie:

Here comes the bride! (And Megan, too!)

With this ring I thee wed... on a gorgeous beach!



Happily ever after...

Let them eat cake!

Congratulations again Shannon and Jen! For even more photos from their wedding visit Studio Julie’s Blog.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Behind the scenes: June FBcasting

What is FBcasting you say? It’s a behind the scenes look at the events we put on here at Swankey Events. Here is the first behind the scenes look we posted. The only difference is we just gave it a cool name now – Facebookcasting. To follow future FBcastings of our events, simply “like” Swankey Events.

Okay, now on to the good stuff. Highlights from our most recent FBcastings.

Deirdre & Ryan’s wedding:

Pretty bridesmaids in green!

Delicious cake by The Reach!

Ryan and Deirdre’s first encounter…

The boys!

Ryan and Deirdre becoming husband and wife. Ceremony at The Reach.

Centerpieces by Milan Event Florals

Tokyo Irie a.k.a Melvin entertaining the guests at cocktail hour after playing beautiful music on the steel pans for the ceremony. Nothing but fun at this Swankey Wedding for Mr. & Mrs. Jonas.


Lindsay & Mike’s wedding:

A start to another fabulous wedding! Congrats to Lindsay and Mike!

Lindsay & Mike’s reception tent at the Westin Resort…we are setting sail for the ceremony aboard The Fury!

More centerpieces by Milan Events!

Cupcakes by Key West Cakes

The tent for Lindsay and Mike’s reception

The wedding party aboard The Fury!

Jammin’ with DJ Jimmy Jamz

A perfect end to a beautiful Key West wedding!

Drink up: weddings favors with flavor

Saw this project on Sunlight Nights blog back in February and was inspired. Wouldn’t these babies look great at a Key West shindig? I mean it practically screams “island”. You just need the labels, huh?  If your wedding or event has a specific logo, you could even use that. And it doesn’t just have to go on beers. For smaller events, this could make a cool treat for out-of-town guests.

Staci, of Sunlight Nights, says to remove existing labels from the beer bottles by either soaking them overnight and scrubbing the remaining residue, or use an adhesive remover such as Goo Gone.  Next, print your labels on sticker paper, cut them out, and adhere to the clean bottles!

This next cool drink idea is much easier and comes from Project Wedding.  All it involves is doing a little research to find colorful, old fashioned soda pop. You know, the ones that come in a glass bottle?

For more awesome images of this old fashioned soda bar, go to Project Wedding. The comments section of this post offers various suggestions as to where you can find these vintage sweet pops.