I was more than willing to leave the cold, wet Chicago winter this past March and travel to Key West to shoot the first part of Joy and Augusto’s wedding celebration. Their tropical nuptials were followed up with a reception in Chicago for their friends and family who couldn’t make the trip- look for that party on the blog soon! Joy and I were talking about how absolutely perfect the weather was as her hair and makeup were completed.
Joy slipped into her dress.
Joy’s mother was attending to the perfection of every detail. Here, though, I think I may have been too much of a distraction.
I thought it best to leave Joy’s Maid of Honor to attend to the bride without my interference, so I went to check in on Augusto.
Here he is! The groom was looking handsome in his suit, ready to walk the aisle.
Augusto took a moment to read the letter Joy had written him. He had composed a letter for Joy as well, to be read before they had their first look.
Joy was ready to go as well, and read Augusto’s letter before stepping out the door.
We chose to have their first look on this gorgeous pier.
Joy was beaming with happiness as she approached her groom.
The soon-to-be-newlyweds took each other’s hand as we set off to take pictures before the ceremony.
And there were a ton of great spots to photograph at, too.
Everywhere I looked were lush displays of tropical plants.
And of course, we wanted to spend some time on the beach. Watch out for baby Velociraptors!
Next up was a photo tour of Key West proper. Joy and Augusto’s wedding planner, Peggy Russell, kindly employed her husband to serve as chauffeur. Here, Joy and Augusto take a minute in the car to prepare.
The three of us jumped out of the car at the marina. This postcard mural on the side of a coffee stand was too perfect to pass up.
I was having a great time… every corner of Key West seems to have the funky, interesting details I love to photography.
A signpost, in case you get lost. Only 1500 miles back to Sweet Home Chicago!
But we were in no rush to go back to Chicago.
We were, however, more than ready to see our flighty friends at the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory.
They’ve got more than butterflies there… these well-fed koi spend their days exploring the waters.
And check out this greenhouse! Someday, I want one just like it in my house. I posed Joy and Augusto for one more shot…
…and then we headed back to the resort, where their immediate families were waiting for us.
Joy’s father gave his daughter a big hug the moment he laid eyes on her.
Augusto’s mom had her camera out, warmed up and ready to go.
The ceremony was set to begin in a few moments. Joy and Augusto had one last item of business… collecting sand to be used during their Chicago ceremony.
Luckily, the sand was easy to find and gather…
…so Joy and Augusto had a few minutes to kick back and relax.
They invited their guests to relax as well!
The guests made good use of the flip flops as they walked to the ceremony site.
Everyone was ready for what was sure to be a very photogenic wedding.
Joy’s aunts joked around for a minute after finding their seats.
One guest was using the wedding program to protect himself from the sun. We midwesterners aren’t accustomed to Key West’s intense sun!
The guests rose to their feet as Joy and Augusto made their entrance.
Everyone was feeling the love.
Especially Augusto’s mother and stepfather, who were watching from the front row.
It doesn’t get much more perfect than this:
Joy’s dad beamed with happiness as the officiant began the ceremony.
Joy was breathtaking. Such a lovely bride.
Augusto’s sister and Joy’s Maid of Honor served as attendants, standing by the bride’s side.
Joy’s brother participated in the ceremony as well, delivering a reading in honor of the couple.
Here, Augusto delivers his wedding vow to Joy.
Joy and Augusto performed a unity ritual involving tropical flowers.
Joy held back happy tears as she made her vow and placed a ring on Augusto’s finger.
A big kiss to begin their marriage! Congratulations!
Augusto’s brother, who served as an attendant, took his turn signing the marriage license.
The guests made their way inside to begin cocktail hour while I joined the newlyweds for a sunset photoshoot.
As you’re probably aware, sunsets in Key West are some of the most beautiful you could ever hope to see.
And this sunset was no exception.
The sun was tucked away and the party was in full swing. The guests were mingling and enjoying a fantastically delicious meal, prepared by Casa Marina’s kitchen.
As the meals were being finished, Joy’s father took the microphone to thank the guests for their love and support.
Joy’s Maid of Honor gave a toast in honor of the newlyweds and was followed shortly thereafter by Augusto’s brother.
Joy and Augusto raise their glasses to the toast; the first of many for the evening.
What a beautiful day. Thank-you for sharing it with me, Joy and Augusto, and congratulations on your marriage!
Check back in a few weeks for the pictures from Joy and Augusto’s Chicago celebration!