Southernmost Bride is a husband and wife Key West elopement company. We offer affordable wedding packages for couples eloping to Key West. Solaris is the lead photographer for those packages and is also on various resort preferred vendor lists. The quality of our photographs is what sets us apart from most elopement services. Our clients love to save money by eloping, but it's important to them to pay a little extra to get high-quality photographs. After all, showing off fabulous photos is how our couples share in the excitement of their wedding with their loved ones. If that's what you have in mind, then we are a perfect fit for you. We are also both from here. When I marry you, you can say you were married by a 4th Generation Key West Native Conch. We will also share with you our preferred vendor list to help complete your wedding day checklist: hair & make-up, florist, musician, & videographer, as well as suggesting restaurants for your celebratory dinner. A little background on us, after graduating high school, we both left to attend the University of Florida and develop our skills in other cities (Los Angeles, West Palm Beach, Miami Beach, & Wilmington, NC). We returned home ten years later and then met each other for the first time in 2008. We started Southernmost Bride together in 2009. We are excited that you have chosen our hometown to start your new life together.
AN INTERVIEW WITH MARCELA
Marcela is the Lead Officiant and Lead Coordinator for Southernmost Bride weddings.
When did you start Southernmost Bride?
April 2009. Since then, I’ve officiated all kinds of weddings, from large to small and intimate. I love officiating. When there are wedding guests in attendance, some brides request a more personal ceremony. I email a few questions and incorporate their story and what they love about each other into the ceremony script. The couple and their guests love that. My mother came up with the company name. I grew up on the same block where the Southernmost Point is. We used to sell homemade limeade (key limes) to the tourists taking their photos at the Southernmost buoy. Now I'm expanding the business to offer wedding planning services. Over the years, quite a few of our photography brides who were impressed by my organizational skills, reliability, and quick response time asked if I would be their planner. It was a natural next step for me.
Where did you grow up?
Born and grew up in Key West. My dad’s father’s family is from Georgia and his mom’s family is from Cuba. They came to Key West in the late 1800s. My mom is from Nicaragua. I do speak and understand Spanish, not fluently, but enough to get by. My father was the Federal Magistrate of the Florida Keys for 25 years. He is still practicing law.
What did you study?
Broadcast Journalism at the University of Florida. Then I transferred to the University of North Carolina – Wilmington and studied video production. I wanted to get into the film business. Wilmington was a great place to start. They were just wrapping up “Dawson’s Creek” when I graduated.
What was your first job after obtaining your degree from UNC-W?
I worked on the first season of “One Tree Hill.” I worked on several other film sets, large & small. And then I moved to Los Angeles and worked as an agent assistant for a very large & prominent talent agency. I joke that it was like “Entourage” meets “The Devil Wears Prada.” After one year there, they offered me to work for the President of the company as one of his assistants. The President of the company was not like Ari Gold or Miranda Priestly. He was a very hard-working, jovial Midwestern gentleman.
What brought you back to Key West?
I missed my parents, and I missed Key West. I’m glad I left for ten years though so I could really appreciate my hometown more. The first thing I did was finish my documentary which I had started when I had graduated college – “WHEN PARADISE WAS OURS”. My family owned an ice cream parlor on Duval Street which was very popular in the 1930s-1960s. Many of the favorite flavors were made from the tropical fruit of the island. It was next door to the Cuban Club, which was the epicenter for the Cuban community and locals would dance upstairs on the weekends to various Cuban and local bands. Then I became a wedding videographer and also started Southernmost Bride with Solaris.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I’m lucky to live in a place with lots of family and friends. My favorite activities are swimming in the ocean, going to the beach, dancing, and watching movies. I do none of that now with a toddler. Just kidding. I love taking her outside to enjoy the sunshine & wonderful weather we are fortunate to have here in Key West. MESON DE PEPE’S is a great place to take kids to enjoy music and dance outside on Friday and Saturday evenings. Otherwise for an adult night, I highly recommend Virgilio’s on a Thursday night to experience Latin dancing at its most fun in Key West, which is located behind LA TRATTORIA on Duval Street. There are two La Trattoria locations on the island so make sure you go to the Duval St location for the dancing.
FAVORITE WEDDING MOMENT: I have several. The walk down the aisle as husband and wife and the father/daughter dance are my two favorite parts of the wedding. My third favorite part of a wedding is the toasts. Every couple deserves someone who can give a good toast, but it's not in the cards for everyone. It doesn't make or break the wedding, but it is the icing on the cake if you have a good toast-giver. I love it when the groom gives a toast. That's always very special but again, very rare!
FAVORITE WEDDING TIPS: 1. Order a colorful bouquet. White bouquets blend with your dress. I chose hot pink and I loved how it looks in my photos. 2. Keep your shoulders back for the photo session. It makes a difference in the photos. Ask the photographer to see the photo so you can adjust something, your smile, chin angle, etc. 3. Get video!
FAVORITE MOVIES: Sound of Music, I Heart Huckabees, Grease, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Mulholland Drive, Adaptation, Lovely & Amazing, Royal Tenenbaums, The Beach, The Blue Lagoon, Youth in Revolt, Wanderlust, Step Brothers, 8 1/2, & Boogie Nights.
FAVORITE BOOKS: Lord of the Flies is my favorite novel, however, I mostly read memoirs and autobiographies: Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Barbara Walters (I was a huge 20/20 Fan when I was little). I'm also a big fan of Eckhart Tolle books, such as "The New Earth."
FAVORITE TV SHOWS: "Sex and the City", "Girls", "Love", "Master of None", "Friends from College", and "Entourage"
FAVORITE COUNTRY: Italy (and Spain!)