Islamorada

Wedding

Rebecca and Rentaro were married in the town of Islamorada in October. Wikipedia describes Islamorada as located on the “islands of Tea Table Key, Lower Matecumbe Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Windley Key and Plantation Key,” about halfway between Miami and Key West on US 1.

R and R invited their immediate families, which included me, to their “destination wedding.” Accompanied by my spouse and my Mother-in-law, I drove a rented van to the event. We left on Saturday morning after checking Jasper into his favorite canine boarding facility, and spent the night in Orlando, which is apparently the home of an amusement park of some renown. (Click on photos for a larger view.)

Orlando

Orlando

Sunday morning, we completed the trip to Islamorada, stopping briefly in Fort Lauderdale to pick up Bo, Merle, and the twins.

Bo Marilyn, Nora, Bea and a house

Bo, Marilyn, Nora, Bea and one of the houses

The rest of the wedding party arrived over the next few days, until we were all present and accounted for.

Jace on the sand

Jace on the sand

Jayne and Wyatt by the pool

Jayne and Wyatt by the pool

We had arranged the use of a tropical paradise for the duration, and it lived up to our expectations. Our paradise included two houses with a total of seven bedrooms, two kitchens, six bathrooms, and two swimming pools between them.

... complete with wildlife, including this lizard

… complete with wildlife, including this lizard

Each house had a large porch overlooking the sandy yard that spanned the distance from the house to the ocean, and the houses were connected to each other by an amorphously shaped pool whose water seemed to disappear into the ocean horizon.

Pool

Pool

There were palm trees everywhere, plus two hammocks, and a plethora of beach seating — chairs, lounges, and benches.

Palms

Palms

The to-be-weddeds had arranged for a chef to prepare the rehearsal dinner and a post-wedding brunch, and a local caterer to feed us barbecued pig and deluxe fixings after the ceremony.

Rehearsal dinner

Rehearsal dinner

On the morning of the wedding, the groom had invited an intrepid group of us join him to an ocean fishing trip, The fishing was great fun despite 3 to 6 foot swells. We pulled in a decent number of keepers, which the cooks grilled as a supplement to the post-wedding meal. They were yummy.

Fishing

Fishing — returning to the marina

The event itself took place on Friday afternoon on the sand by the ocean. The officiant was the bride’s brother Ben. The bride’s mother would like me to note that a light sprinkle of rain fell during the actual ceremony. This maintained our informal family tradition — each of the bride’s three siblings was married on a rainy day. It also explains why my spouse’s hair does not, in her opinion, look as nice as she wanted.

Recessing

Recessing

All of this sounds expensive, but we managed to keep our portion within a budget which was based on historical family wedding precedent, augmented by a small family inheritance which we divided between us and our children.

Wedding dinner

Wedding dinner

Back in April when R&R first started talking about a destination wedding, it seemed to me like a distant vision, pleasant, but unreal. As the days drew near, it still seemed unlikely to me, like a dream. In fact, our departure date snuck up on me so quickly I barely had time to post my “out-of-office” message.

Bo relaxing

Bo relaxing

But after a day or so of recovering from travel and cultural dislocation, it all came into delightful focus, and became real to me.

Gals in pool

Gals in pool

It was truly a memorable event.

Ma T reading and enjoying the island surroundings

Ma T reading and enjoying the island surroundings

Photos

The photos above were taken by me during the week, as time and energy allowed. Fortunately, there was also a professional wedding photographer, Jannette De Llano, on hand to capture the wedding festivities. Here are a couple of examples of her photos.

Wedding families

Wedding families

Happy couple

Happy couple

A full set can be viewed at Jannette’s site.

One Response to “Islamorada”

  1. Marilyn says:

    Nice! Thanks for the link to all the pictures Jannette took; I hadn’t seen them all yet!

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