Two of Old Town Manor’s favorite locals were married in December 2017 at Higgs Beach with a reception to follow in our gardens. Jessica, a middle school teacher, and Jonathan, a hotel manager, celebrated their wedding in true Key West fashion. We are pleased to share Jess & Jon’s big day by Mary Veal Photography.
After a jog on the beach and a healthy Old Town Manor breakfast, Jess spent the early afternoon in our Anniversary room, preparing for the day with her mother, friends, and plenty of mimosas. Key West Hair and Makeup made great use of the light to achieve a natural look. Doesn’t she look stunning?
Jessica wore a custom gown with rose undertones, ivory tulle and lace details. The story of this particular dress is one to be told and retold.
Six months before the wedding, the dress was purchased and waiting in storage at a bridal shop in Miami. Without warning, the business went bankrupt and closed its doors to thousands of brides-to-be. Jess would never see her dress again.
She and her mom, after freaking out for just a minute, spent weeks searching for a replacement and finally found a similar dress at a bridal shop in Europe. They had it shipped across the world to Key West, and diligent tailoring by a local seamstress at Key West Bridal brought the dress of Jessica’s dreams to reality.
Jonathan’s outfit was much easier to find! The groom prepared for the day with his brother and friends at Rose Lane Villas. He looked handsome and sharp in tailored linens and a tropical boutonniere.
The bridal bouquet accented Jess’s natural beauty and colors. Her oversized bouquet bursted with coral peonies, pink protea, white dendrobium orchids, hypericum, pepperberry, thistle and eucalyptus. A few blooms in her hair added a delicate touch.
The couple transported their 70 guests from Old Town Manor, Rose Lane Villas and the William Skelton Home to the late afternoon ceremony at Higgs Beach on the Southeast side of the island. The bride’s brother, perfectly clad in linens and sandals, instructed his eager children on their upcoming walk down the aisle.
Oscar, the couples’ oversized pooch, could not be left out of this joyous celebration. He enjoyed staying the weekend at the pet friendly Old Town Manor, and especially enjoying dressing up for the occasion.
The young kids’ entrance was perfect. Wedding guests, along with The Southernmost Reverend, encouraged the two tots ahead. The aisle was simply lined with white lanterns and guests were seated in rented white chairs. Manzanita branches set the stage for the ceremony.
The groom’s parents were escorted by the Best Man, Jonathan’s brother. In true beach style, mom was barefoot with sunglasses! We love the way these locals brought the Key West culture to every step of their celebration.
Jonathan beamed as he saw his bride-to-be for the first time. The couple opted for their First Look to take place at the ceremony, and his reaction is priceless.
Here comes the Bride! Jess was happily escorted by her proud father.
The couple shared their own original vows, along with a few laughs! The weather was perfect for December – high 70s and clear skies.
Jonathan’s father read an original poem he had prepared for the occasion. The sentiment provided another personal touch to the ceremony and was a priceless wedding gift for the couple.
Jessica and Jonathan glowed in the magic of their special day. They joined hands in unity after being pronounced husband and wife.
Following the ceremony, the couple sent most of their guests on a rented trolley back to Old Town Manor to start the reception celebration. Their families hung back to take priceless photos they will cherish for years to come.
As the reception began at Old Town Manor, Jessica and Jonathan posed for popular couple shots around famous Key West landmarks. As locals, they knew the best spots to catch the beautiful glow just before sunset.
In lieu of a traditional guest book, the couple enlisted a local friend with a thriving woodworking business, I Decor 4 You, to design and build a wooden anchor for their guests to offer their well-wishes.
Friends of the couple flew in from Michigan, Texas, North Carolina, and one even from Hong Kong. They used the wedding weekend as a good excuse to vacation in Key West.
Jessica and Jonathan opted for a no-fuss, casual reception with a slider station and a fajita stand. Guests were greeted with a signature cocktail and passed hors d’oeuvres. As always, Catered Affairs put on a grand feast of delicious food.
The newlywed couple’s entrance was quickly followed by their first dance, and the father-daughter and mother-son dances. Old Town Manor’s natural ambience was complimented by high-top tables decorated with lanterns and antique books.
Toasts to the couple began with Jonathan’s sister-in-law reading a sentiment from a close friend who could not make the wedding. By the end, there was not a dry eye to be found!
Cheers to Jessica, Jonathan, and their guests!
The newlywed couple posed with their niece and nephew in front of Old Town Manor. The hotel was decorated for the holidays, and the white poinsettias and bright red ribbon offer a festive compliment to the celebration.
What happens when your wedding date falls on the same day as the local holiday parade? The DJ made a quick announcement and the reception was moved from the Manor’s back courtyard to Eaton Street! Jessica and Jonathan were thrilled to have the parade pass by the hotel at just the right time.
And so were their guests! The party was kicked up a notch when it was moved to the street. Jessica’s brother gave the Ring Bearer a front row seat to the action.
In true Key West fashion, a parade goer wished the couple L-O-V-E!
Event coordinators made a quick decision to move the cutting-of-the-cake to the street where many guests were enjoying the parade. This was a first for Old Town Manor… cutting the cake on Eaton Street! The spur of the moment change made for an exciting and spontaneous celebration.
Cheers to a fantastic beach-wedding-by-day and parade-reception-by-night! A perfect end to a perfect day. Here’s to you, Jessica & Jonathan!