The Keys – framed by the azure waters of the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Gulf of Mexico to the west – are cherished for their stunning, simple beauty.
The Florida Keys & Key West, considered one of the top U.S. wedding destinations for mainstream couples, is equally popular with gay and lesbian duos.
It’s little wonder, then, that weddings and honeymoons in the Florida Keys are in such high demand. And no passports are required.
“The Florida Keys offer enough variety of attractions that appeal to every stage of life. And because you’re on U.S. soil, a valid marriage license is easy to obtain,” said Liana Pyne, wedding sales representative for the Florida Keys & Key West tourism council.
“Mothers of brides are interested in coming for rest and relaxation after a daughter’s big day. And brides and grooms are interested in a ‘mini-moon’ vacation before a separate honeymoon away from their guests,” Pyne said.
Various wedding accolades include TheKnot.com’s citing of the Florida Keys as a Top 50 Destination Wedding Spot, and a “laid-back tropical island setting with all the allure of the Caribbean at a domestic price – and a more convenient location for guests.”
Destination Weddings & Honeymoons magazine also has named the Florida Keys a top U.S. locale among its “Best Wedding Destinations.”
Richly historic venues, casually elegant resorts, scenic waterfront locations and beach parks, fiery sunsets and pastel sunrises add to the island chain’s appeal.
Key West, the southernmost city in the continental United States, is just 159 miles southwest of Miami and 90 miles from Cuba. Driving there is a romantic experience in itself: the scenic 110-mile Florida Keys Overseas Highway soars over 42 bridges. Flights are easily available to Key West or mainland South Florida cities.
Finely elegant and casually funky dining is available throughout the Keys for bridal luncheons or rehearsal dinners. Craft breweries, rum distilleries and lively nightlife offer a spirited backdrop for bachelor parties.
Because of the Keys’ year-round subtropical climate, couples – a bride and groom, two brides or two grooms – and family members and guests can experience never-to-be-forgotten adventures.
Couples can marry on paddleboards or bicycles. They can exchange vows aboard tall ships, sailing vessels, glass-bottom and dive boats and luxury motor yachts throughout the Keys. Scuba aficionados can seal their vows underwater and stay in the country’s only submerged recreational hotel, located in a Key Largo lagoon.
Newlyweds can charter a sailboat to the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. They can swim with dolphins or soar in a seaplane above the pristine waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Throughout the Keys, professional wedding planners are available to assist with attire, flowers, music, rings, catering, cakes, photographers and videographers, transportation and officiants.
Florida Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS
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