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Catholic Ceremony: Hyatt Key West and St Mary Star of the Sea Church

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Happy New Year, everyone! Hereâ€s some info for those of you interested in getting married in Key West. My wedding date is Feb 10, 2010. I am having a traditional Catholic ceremony at Saint Mary Star of the Sea Church and my reception will be at the Hyatt Key West Resort.


Iâ€m posting this info because I wasnâ€t able to find much on Key West weddings, especially Catholic ceremonies, so I hope this may help a few of you.


Ok, I am from MI and extremely unorganized so ORIGINALY I planned to get married in the Dominican Republic and pick package A, B or C and be done with it.


Unfortunately I found out (in Nov 2009) that my Catholic ceremony in the Dominican Republic would NOT be legally recognized in the States (unless you get married in a civil ceremony in the States beforehand…which is not condoned by the Roman Catholic church. A Catch-22 for sure). Since getting married before I got married sort of defeated the purpose, so I decided to get married in the US.


I had my heart set on a destination wedding and decided on the southernmost point in the US, Key West. I contacted the only Catholic church on the island: St Mary Star of the Sea. Itâ€s picturesque and it was featured in a James Bond film. Kathy is the wedding coordinator and sheâ€s SO SO sweet and very helpful. I was told that in order to reserve my date I have to:


1) Get permission from the priest at my local parish (thankfully I was already a member)

2) Ask my priest to send a letter of permission/ request to the archdiocese in Miami, FL

3) Take the required Pre-Cana classes

4) Submit a donation (recommended: $500)



After I squared that away, I hunkered down to find a resort for my reception. My requirements:


1)Modern, updated rooms

2)Near Duvall Street (the tourist-area that has lots of nightlife)

3)Reasonably priced


Most resorts in Key West offer wedding packages that include a ceremony site on the resort grounds and a catered reception to follow. I tried to book the Casa Marina in Key West. They required a $2000 site fee (pretty much every place requires a site fee). I informed them that I donâ€t need a ceremony site and they werenâ€t willing to budge on the $2000 which is a PITY since I had 20 confirmed guests (read: 10 rooms staying 4 nights at $300+/night= $12,000 + in lodging), so I looked at Southermost Resorts and Hyatt Key West Resort. Both contacts were very nice and were willing to work with me on the site fees, but I just LOVE the Hyattâ€s updated décor – really modern and clean – and I canâ€t express how beautiful the reception location is: it has an outdoor patio that wraps around building and the inside is gorgeous. But the real kicker was AVA, the wedding coordinator. Talk about a can-do person! She has held my hand every step of the way and worked within our budget to create a menu and thatâ€s way nice (and it even includes a cake by Key West Wedding and Specialty Cakes - Key West Cakes - Key West Florida


1)she worked with us and central registration to get us a multi-room discount (if we booked a certain number of nights, they provided a discount that is 47% off the regular rate!)


2)she worked out a menu that was within our budget (make sure you ASK her – donâ€t get discouraged by the prices you see online!)


3)offered suggestions for vendors


I hit her with all of this at the last minute and I am SO happy with my experience so far. I HIGHLY suggest that anyone having a wedding in Key West consider the Hyatt Key West.


Iâ€m getting excited – FINALLY! My weddingâ€s in 5 weeks and I just have to work on getting a dj – ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE APPRECIATED! Iâ€ll post more info as it comes and I am more than happy to answer questions and give more detailed information/ pricing and contact phone numbers.



hyatt key west: Key West Weddings- Hyatt Resort & Spa- Key West Florida Wedding, Destinations


saint mary star of the sea: Saint Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Parish

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Hi there!

I am newly engaged and beginning my planning. I read your forum and I am in the same spot you were. My fiance and I were originally looking into DR because it is affordable and easy. After realizing a few things we realized DR is not the way to go for our wedding.  We are planning a trip to Key West the end of this month to look at the Hyatt, Southernmost & the Westin for our reception. I want to get married in the church but thought it was crazy to ask people to fly down from Brooklyn, NY to see us not get married on a beach.

I was thrilled when I read your post! I see that your wedding date has passed! I hope it was everything you've dreamed of and more! Would you have any advice or suggestions for my Key West wedding?


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