Tropical magic happened in Florida this past weekend.

Julie and I went to high school at Virginia Episcopal School together and played volleyball together. I always admired her because she was tall, beautiful, hilarious, smart and incredibly sweet. We ran into eachother at a NYE party a few years ago and she had just started dating Richard and she whispers to me the sweetest thing: "If I ever get engaged one day, I will be calling you up, mark my words" and sure enough, soon after her engagement to Richard, I got the best email that made my heart swell. So here we are... now I'm writing a blog post about the newlyweds and how they had the most epic wedding in the Florida Keys. My amazing associate Sydney and I were so damn excited about their wedding photos that we stayed up after the wedding to work on their sneak peeks despite a 4am wakeup call for our flights back home.

Julie is from West Virginia and Richard is from North Carolina and they decided to have a destination island wedding because it was Julie's dream to have something more laid back but also tie in some sacred elements, like having God as their witness. They exchanged vows at Saint James Fisherman Episcopal Church on one side of the highway and celebrated at their family friend's house on the other side of the highway. Their family friends, the Wileys had children who were Julie and her sister's age so they grew up together. So it was all the sentiments. Not only did they have an incredible team of vendors to help them pull off this exquisite love affair... they also had behind the scenes people whose efforts their family also bragged about... (Says a lot about how appreciative and sweet they were). For example, after Hurricane Ian gave them a scare, there were property managers who worked 16+ hour days to clean up the reception property. When you see Sydney's drone photos, you'll see all the lush vegetation that probably dropped a limb or two during the storm. Julie and Richard hardly needed any decor because the property itself was just mesmerizing. Vibrant tropical plants every where and the view of the ocean just made for jaw-dropping scenery.

Julie and her family went for the eternal-cocktail-hour vibe and had the most polite servers pass heavy hors d'oeuvres from Chef Drew's Island Catering kitchen all evening long. The suspense of wondering what the chef was going to bring out next gave the guests treats to look forward throughout the evening. Between pork chops, spring rolls and crab cake puffs, it was all a finger food delight.

Music was delivered flawlessly by Reggae Force, giving us some jams that were totally fitting for this island wedding. They played some reggae and then put a twist on some r&b songs as the night got spicy. It was the perfect blend of talent and crowdpleasers.

But we can't go on without mentioning the divine florals provided by Above The Rest Events planners and florists. They kept true to the islandscape and went with tropical bouquets and vases that made every arm, suit and corner look ravishing.

Everything about their barefoot party moved with ease and we can't wait to share their special day with you through this series of sneak peeks.

Dream Team:

Ceremony Venue: Saint James Fishermans Episcopal Church of Islamorada, Florida

Reception Venue: The Wiley Home

Planner: Above The Rest Events, Lulu and Lauren @abovetherestevents

Florals: Above The Rest Events

Catering: Chef Drew Island Catering @chefdrew13

Cake + Desserts: Unique D'Lites @uniquedlitescustomcakes

Hair + Makeup: Beauty in the Keys, Jacqueline Taylor @beautyinthekeysjacquie

Rentals: Keys Audio Party Rentals @keys_audio

Preacher: Reverend Mary Rosendahl of Saint James

Band: Reggae Force @reggaeforce

Bride + Groom Accommodations: Little Basin Villas @littlebasinvillas_islamorada

Guest Accommodations: Postcard Inn Beach Resort and Marina @postcardinnholidayisle

Photographers: Visuals by Helen and a special shout out to Sydney for being my co-pilot for this wedding. Would not have survived all the random travel mishaps without you and your drone shot of all the wedding guests just made everyone smile.

Julie's A team helping her getting bustled up and ready for the reception!

Walking to the bus before heading over to the reception and realizing, "Oh my god, we're married!"

Bird's view of the reception at a private residence in Islamorada. Sky footage captured by associate and drone photographer Sydney Rose

No big deal, just grabbin' their coconut cocktails before walking into the party.

Sunset Magic. We managed to get the wedding guests away from the bar for a quick group shot before the band invited Julie + Richard to their first dance as husband and wife!

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Richard Black!!! We love and adore you and wish nothing but a lifetime of health and happiness. Thank you again for sharing your day with us. Honored to share this sweet milestone in your life.