01 November 2018
FLORIDA KEYS – Weddings in the breezy, balmy Florida Keys can be romantically barefoot or dressy, more elegant affairs. Unique venues found nowhere else in the world are available for pre-event festivities, nuptials, wedding receptions and honeymoons throughout the island chain.
 
Unusual venues – historic forts, picturesque homes of famed authors and artists, and waterfront or underwater settings – reflect the Florida Keys’ historic, literary, artistic and maritime heritage. Some examples:
 
In Key Largo, couples can enjoy an intimate ceremony aboard African Queen, the original vessel from John Huston’s classic 1951 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. Parties of six can cruise. Couples also can marry at the dock. Visit africanqueenflkeys.com or call 305-451-8080.
 
Certified divers can exchange underwater vows at the Christ of the Deep statue, located in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and adjacent to Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Couples also can marry at fascinating Pennekamp, the nation’s first undersea park. Visit floridastateparks.org/park/Pennekamp or call 305-451-1202.
 
In Islamorada, Morada Bay’s Pierre’s Restaurant & Lounge and The Beach Cafe are island-style settings known for their delicious cuisine and scenic sunsets. Pierre’s is a two-story colonial plantation-style venue and The Beach Café fronts a palm-lined white beach overlooking Florida Bay. Across the road lies The Moorings Village & Spa, an 18-acre resort with 18 cottages and homes. Visit MoradaBay.com or call 305-664-8414.
 
At Theater of the Sea, also in Islamorada, wedding parties can enjoy a private dolphin and sea lion show before an evening ceremony with up to 200 guests. Visit theaterofthesea.com or call 305-664-2431.
 
In the Middle Keys, couples with a love for marine mammals can marry at the acclaimed Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key. During a “Private Dolphin Encounter,” a dolphin can serve as a wedding attendant or deliver the ring for an unforgettable proposal. Visit dolphins.org or call 305-289-1121.
 
At Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters in Marathon, couples can schedule an event for up to 300 people, amid natural mangrove hammocks and the aquarium’s grounds that extend to serene waters of Vaca Cut. Visit floridakeysaquariumencounters.com or call 305-407-3262.
 
Bahia Honda State Park in the Lower Keys is a picturesque beach park. Couples can marry in the park or on the Bahia Honda Rail Bridge, originally built by magnate Henry Flagler as part of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway. Visit floridastateparks.org/park/Bahia-Honda or call 305-872-3897.
 
In Key West, literary aficionados can speak their vows outdoors on the grounds of the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. Famed author and Nobel Prize winner Hemingway lived in the Spanish colonial villa, a registered National Historic Landmark, and wrote famous works there during the 1930s. Up to 100 guests can be accommodated. Private evening house tours can be arranged. Visit hemingwayhome.com or call 305-294-1136.
 
The Harry S. Truman Little White House, Florida’s only presidential museum, offers lush palm-framed gardens and three lawns that span an acre. The museum can host indoor rehearsal dinners. During his administration from 1945 to 1953, President Truman spent 11 working vacations at the sprawling West Indian–style residence. Visit trumanlittlewhitehouse.com or call 305-294-9911.
 
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Florida Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS
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11/18

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