A Colorful, Tropical Wedding in the Florida Keys

Even a hurricane couldn’t put this love story on hold!

Updated 02/16/18

Photo by J Photography

The week after Valentine’s Day 2015, Jaylyn found herself at The Lodge Bar and Restaurant in Tampa, Florida—and that’s where she met Brian. The pair fell in love fast, and less than a year and a half later, they headed to the Bahamas for a vacation in Treasure Cay. That's where, of course, Brian proposed on the beach their friends and family watching from the porch.

The couple wanted a destination wedding and absolutely loves Key West in the Florida Keys. “We chose Casa Marina because it’s a beautiful property, and the location makes it easy for guests to explore and bar-hop,” Jaylyn says. They set the date for October 14, 2017, and got to planning. But they had no idea that Mother Nature would get in the way. In mid-September, Hurricane Irma made landfall and devastated the Florida Keys. But the locals wouldn’t be discouraged, and came together to clean up their beloved community.

Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort reopened on October 13, 2017, and the very next day, Brian and Jaylyn tied the knot!

Their wedding embraced Key West’s tropical vibe, while also incorporating vintage Hawaiian accents and lots of color. “We love to have fun, so as long as we were dancing near the ocean, we were happy!” says Jaylyn.

If you’re dreaming of a tropical wedding getaway, get ready for these beautiful photos by J Photography.

Bride with bridesmaids

Photo by J Photography

Wedding bouquet

Photo by J Photography

When Jaylyn first started planning her wedding, she saved the same dress on her Pinterest board three different times, and decided that she had to find it. It was a Katie May gown featuring ivory lace, a blush underlay, and a sloop back with detailed straps. “I felt amazing in it," she says. "It was perfect for our island wedding!”

The bride paired the dress with beach-ready waves and a vibrant bouquet of proteas, ranunculus, and orchids. “I didn’t even wear shoes!” the bride says, laughing. Her girls were also barefoot, and each each carried a single protea and wore tropical-printed dresses from Show Me Your Mumu.

Bride and groom at altar

Photo by J Photography

The ceremony took place beneath a simple bamboo altar decorated with palm leaves, roses, and lilies. To contrast with the bridesmaids’ tropical attire, the groom and groomsmen wore crisp navy suits.

Wedding performers

Photo by J Photography

Groom in hat

Photo by J Photography

Jaylyn’s father surprised her with a Bahamian junkanoo band after the ceremony. They led the bride and groom up the aisle and to cocktail hour, blowing whistles and wearing colorful headpieces.

Bride and groom in hats

Photo by J Photography

“The Bahamas is a huge part of our lives and is like a second home to me, so it was so special to incorporate the junkanoo into our wedding,” Jaylyn says.

Wedding reception dinner tables

Photo by J Photography

The reception took place in the sand, with tables draped in ivory linens and surrounded by natural chivari chairs. Palm leaves served as chargers, and café lights were strung between the trees. Centerpieces combined lilies, birds of paradise, roses, and tiny pineapples.

The dinner menu was totally crowd-pleasing, with options including grilled chicken with key lime sauce, blackened Mahi with mango salsa, and beef sirloin with chimichurri sauce.

Calligraphy wedding sign

Photo by J Photography

Bride and groom with wedding sign

Photo by J Photography

Local artist and award-winning sand sculptor Marianne van den Broek created a beach sculpture to symbolize the resilience of the Florida Keys in the wake of the hurricane, decorated with the U.S. Highway 1 sign. A nearby sculpture also featured Jaylyn and Brian’s wedding date, tropical flowers, and a pineapple.

Bride and groom in front of fireworks

Photo by J Photography

At the end of the evening, the newlyweds waded into the surf to watch a fireworks display, a surprise for everyone—including the couple!

Wedding Coordinator: Simply You Weddings || Venue & Catering: Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort || Bride's Dress: Katie May || Makeup: Studio Marie Pierre || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Tacori || Floral Design: Duarte Floral Design || Paper Products: Minted || Cake: Key West Cakes || Music: DJ Buggy || Videography: Soundwave Key West || Photography: J Photography

Related Stories