Throughout the last year, we have all come to cherish the new normal: Florida Keys Micro Wedding. With every wedding day, we are honored to get to hear the backstory of the duo, and figure out how to weave their story into each and every detail of the wedding day. Andrea & Josh have a love story straight out of a movie. Their matchmaker? Groom Josh’s dog, Riah! Andrea shares their unforgettable love story & Florida Keys wedding day below.
Tell us about you two! How did you meet? What made you select the Florida Keys as your “I Do” destination?
“Josh and I met about 8 years ago in Tampa, Florida. I moved into an apartment complex about two doors down from him. One day, we were passing each other in the hallway. His dog, Riah, came running up to me to pet her. Of course she was dirty from playing outside! She got dirt and slobber all over my clothes. Josh basically looked at me, said, “sorry!” then walked away. A few days later, I invited him and Riah over to my apartment when I had friends over. The rest is history!
We actually had a whole wedding planned earlier this year in Costa Rica that we had to postpone and eventually cancel due to the covid-19 pandemic. Since we still wanted to get married this year we were thinking of some cool and laid back tropical places that would make a great alternative. After connecting with Julia, she told us about Cheeca Lodge and the beachfront Casitas. When we saw pictures, we knew that had to be the place. We are also residents of Florida and have traveled to the Keys several times. We love Key West, so we knew having the wedding in the keys was a must.”
What color or theme inspired your Florida Keys Micro Wedding?
“I’m a very natural and minimalistic person, so I think that influenced my overall wedding vision. The color themes I chose were nudes, white, pale blues, pinks, and green. I really wanted the natural views to be the focal point for my wedding since they were so incredibly breathtaking and beautiful, with a few color hints from the flowers and other details.”
What little detail about your wedding day was most meaningful to you?
“For our wedding ceremony I really wanted to do something different than the norm. For us, the Lisa Bradeen lobster release was the perfect way do that. We care a lot about wildlife. It made us happy to be able to release the lobsters back into the ocean to be part of the ecosystem again.
Another meaningful detail we incorporated in our wedding was a little bottle of sand. The day we arrived at the beachfront Casitas at Cheeca Lodge, Josh and I were walking on the beach and happened to find an old glass bottle that washed up on shore with Coquina shells growing on it. We looked up the bottle and found out that it was a whiskey bottle only sold in India. We knew that was something we wanted as a keepsake for our wedding since we found it there. Julia suggest gathering some sand into it on our wedding day so that’s what we did! It was a way for us to have something meaningful as a memory of our wedding ceremony.
The last important detail to me was making sure our dogs were able to attend the wedding and be in pictures with us. Since we basically met because of one of our dogs, having them there to share in our wedding day with us was really special.”
Who designed your wedding dress? Where was it purchased?
“My wedding dress was made by Martin Thornburg of Mon Cheri Bridals. I was incredibly lucky to actually work with Martin Thornburg and Steve Lang (Owner/CEO of Mon Cheri) to design my dream wedding dress. The end result was perfect and they actually released my dress as part of his Spring 2020 dress collection.
The dress I wore at my reception was made by Sophia Tolli of Mon Cheri Bridals. It was an original design of hers that I altered to be more of a reception dress rather than a wedding dress.”
What advice would you give to fellow brides facing a Florida Keys Micro Wedding during the pandemic?
“The first thing I would say is you are not in this alone. No one ever expected this pandemic to become what it has and it has affected so many people across the world. I postponed and then ultimately cancelled the wedding I had originally planned earlier this year and I could not have dreamed of a more stunningly beautiful wedding than what we put together in the Keys. It was an incredible experience and was completely perfect. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Staying patient and positive is key throughout the planning process and maintaining a low level of stress is crucial too. Everything works itself out in due time.”
Big thanks to all fellow Florida Keys wedding vendors for bringing their dream day to life.
Florals: Studio South
Photography: Care Studios
Hair & Makeup: Michelle Bertelli Bridal
Officiant & Lisa Bradeen Lobster Release Ceremony: Lisa Bradeen
Planning & Design by Yours Truly: Blue Water Weddings
Ready to plan your dream Florida Keys micro wedding? Let’s talk!