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

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#1 buttertart

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    Posted 08 January 2010 - 05:24 PM

    Happy New Year, everyone! Here’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.

    I’m posting this info because I wasn’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. It’s picturesque and it was featured in a James Bond film. Kathy is the wedding coordinator and she’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 don’t need a ceremony site and they weren’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 Hyatt’s updated d©cor – really modern and clean – and I can’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 that’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 – don’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.

    I’m getting excited – FINALLY! My wedding’s in 5 weeks and I just have to work on getting a dj – ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE APPRECIATED! I’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

    #2 emeraldbride18

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    • 1 posts

      Posted 05 September 2010 - 06:54 PM

      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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