Set deep in the heart of the Florida Keys, Islamorada is a long stretch of white sandy beach shoreline with palm trees and mangroves for miles. Along this stretch sits Pierre’s, a two-story colonial plantation style home, which set the scene for this stunning wedding. The sweet couple just seem to glow in these photos by Parker Hilton, who fills us in below about how he got to know the lovely duo.
If you’re a fan of tropical beaches and you’re looking for a destination wedding spot that your guests won’t need a passport to get to, this spot could be it. Pierre’s offers gorgeous views for a sunset ceremony right along the beach’s edge, and you can easily sit over a hundred guests outside for dinner or head inside if you have a smaller party crew.
Think you recognize the scenery? Made famous from the HBO show Bloodline, The Moorings Hotel sits just across the road from Pierre’s and may be better known as the family-run hotel of the Rayburn family. But don’t worry, there’s no chance of spotting Kevin or John up to their usual antics.
Lia and Jamie were guests of a wedding myself and my wife photographed a few years back. I had known them as friends prior but hadn’t seen them in years. As we were culling and editing the images we kept seeing that the images of those two were adorable. They were both in the bridal party and from the formals to the dance floor they really had a chemistry and a sincerity that really spoke to us as photographers. Once the images were done we had heard that Jamie had proposed to Lia and they were planning their wedding. I had absolutly no idea how far along in the planning process they were but I reached out to Lia and mentioned how we’d love to photograph their day. If nothing else, just to throw our hat in the ring because we both knew that as photographers they would be a blast to work with. A few weeks later I got a call from Lia and she told me she wanted myself and my wife Jenelle to come down to Islamorada to work with them!
That stretch of Florida, during that time of year, and at those resorts specifically could not have been a more perfect combination. The wedding happened in March of this year and took place at Pierre’s on Islamorada. The weather was great and the crew at the venue could not have been more helpful. We often spend a significant portion of our year doing destination weddings so when a destination really stands out, it speaks volumes. The crew at Pierre’s really went above and beyond to make Jamie and Lia’s day spectacular and as a result photographing them in their element couldn’t have been more of a delight.
Lia and Jamie both got ready at The Moorings which was across the street from Pierre’s. The combo of those two locations was great. There was absolutly no shortage of locations to photograph and the light was consistently spectacular. The crews of those two venues worked really well together and everything flowed effortlessly.
I think it’s important to remember that everything is on one road down there. I think while couples are planning an event they should keep in mind that drive times may not seem that bad while you look a few months out on Google Maps, but if there’s traffic on your day or the road is closed for any reason things will screech to a halt, fast. Luckily we didn’t experience any difficulties but while we were planning backup routes to get to the ceremony that morning we immediately realized how lucky we were that traffic was flowing smoothly. If we were handed a bad traffic day our timeline could have been set back really quickly.
I really think being able to spend the time with Jamie and Lia that we did down there was the standout. We got the work we did because of the time we had and the willingness of those two to let us in. I’d have to say that’s my favorite part of destination weddings in general. Being there for extra time allows us the opportunity to meet everyone properly while the guests and bridal party get a chance to get comfortable with a camera around, which gives us an opportunity to get better shots. Hands down my favorite standout/fun moment was the time we had with Jamie and Lia right after the ceremony to photograph just the two of them. It gave them a good opportunity to breath and relax while we got some pretty killer photographs.
Photography: Parker Hilton Photography | Venue: Pierre’s | Flowers: Parrish | Rentals: Keys Audio | Planning: ANJE Soirees | Catering: Pierre’s | Band: Making Faces | Ceremony Music: Billy Davidson | Hair and Make-Up: Looking Like a Star | Cake: Todo Dulces