Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed

Something Old

We take pride in the age of this island, and all the gifts it has offered us. Including the 60-year-old tree that we built the Grand Lodge around. The interior boasts an appreciation for antiques and 21st-century designs. Each room in the lodge has a vintage mirror, and several other artifacts we have collected over time. Among them is our favorite Remington Typewriter! The mini-bar in the Lodge hosts an assemblage of historical notes we have collected in our lives. We take something old seriously because there is magic in its history. Incorporating “something old” to your wedding can be exciting and intimate. These little additions can be a family heirloom. This piece represents continuity and the passage of time.

Something New

Largo’s contemporary 21st-century interior design works well with its antique collection. Our new bedding is of equal caliber of the Four Seasons Resort. The vintage chandeliers are central lighting for the Lodge. But they receive support from sleek fluorescent tube-lights embedded into the walls. We have new HDTVs in all the bungalow suites and the Grand Lodge. We furnish our suites with brand new, modern furniture. Exposed wood adds a fresh young vibe while maintaining the aura of antiquity. “Something new” represents new beginnings and experiences for the happy couple. We love weddings at Largo because they are the start of a new life. Some ways to incorporate “something new” are by wearing new jewelry, or a new gift from your betrothed!

 

Something Borrowed

This tradition represents borrowing the luck or happiness of another bride. We believe that the marriage of your dreams and the happiness you deserve will come to you and it will stay! There is no need to borrow someone else’s happiness. There is plenty to go around, after all. Our guests are for life, and we only hope to include your fond memories of it as well. That is why we’d like to lend you the serenity of our space. We can close the whole resort for your wedding only.

 

Something Blue

Something Blue is representative of love, fidelity, and purity for the future of the couple. There have been many creative and fun ways to incorporate the somethings into the bridal outfit, and something blue is by far our favorite tradition.

Our sanctuary on the Tarpon Basin of Key Largo, Florida is a waterfront property gratefully set with the scenic ocean view and baby blue skies. We love the serenity these colors bring, and furthermore, love to see a wedding on the water’s edge.

There are several ways to incorporate these blue tradition into your wedding, and our wedding concierge can help with acquiring the services you desire. Consider some of our ideas on incorporating blue into your wedding ceremony.

Blue decor

Our wedding concierge and our wedding planning partners can help you uncover the perfect colors for your wedding. Our guests come to Largo to get married on the water. Naturally, we are surrounded by the blues of the sky and the sea. That doesn’t prevent our guests from accenting the space with their treasured color! Even if blue is not on your wedding palette, this color can easily be blended into your outfit, flowers, or wedding decor. 

  • Blue chiffon to run-off our custom driftwood arbor and creating a gently veiled altar.
  • Or dress the arbor with deep blue orchids.
  • A blue table runner and blue tinted mason jars to hold your centerpieces.

Blue Flowers

The sanctuary is already dressed in an array of perched orchids and bougainvillea! Even though our flowers won’t have a moveable role in your wedding, our references can arrange the beautiful bridal bouquet for your ceremony. You can blend a few blues to soften your bridal bouquet. We love these blue flowers: 

  • Delphinium
  • Blue Iris
  • Hydrangeas
  • Blue Orchids

Blue Accessories

Blue jewelry is wonderful near the sea. We suggest aquamarine whose name stems from the Latin root meaning “seawater.” We also love sapphire, whose deep navy blue resembles the ocean’s depths. There is an option of adding blue velvet shoes, or sparkling baby blue sandals. Consider blue undergarments for a more intimate and secret approach to the innocence, love, and fidelity of your matrimony. Dress your groom in a suit with a blue tie and pocket square. You two can share the same flower, one in your bouquet and one on their lapel. Consider dressing your wedding party is a gradient shade of blues! 

There are so many ways to creatively incorporate this tradition into your wedding, and we would be happy to help. However you decide to incorporate blue into your special day, there is an abundance of this color flourishing and bathing our sanctuary in serenity.  

A Winter Wedding in the Florida Keys

Winter is a time for unity and cultivating internal warmth. We naturally take a break from work and relax with our families and friends. Recently, there has been an interest in winter weddings. If you find yourself in colder weather, or you’re run-down by the heat of busy cities, Key Largo is the perfect destination for yours. This island is one of the first in the chain of the Florida Keys. Here you will be stunned by the diverse wildlife and tropical foliage. We invite you down to share a piece of our serenity and positive vibes. If you’re not entirely convinced, we have a few things to say about winter weddings in Florida…

Winter Weddings are Romantic

Family, gratitude, and an abundance of love come with the winter. This season is the host of Christmas, the New Year, and Valentine’s Day. Sentimentality is cultivated, and memories are made with our loved ones. Your wedding is an event to remember, and the weather doesn’t have to get in the way. 

Don’t Worry about the Weather

Winter weddings outside of the warmer climates are usually accompanied by ice-cold weather. Snowfalls are romantic and leave the landscape covered with a smooth layer of downy white. However, snow also comes with an inevitable dampness and brown ice that can accumulate on the roadsides. South Florida, during the winter, has a mild warmth and low humidity. The threats of rain from hurricane season are long gone, and we are left in a state of sweet hibernation and amenity. We maintain and protect our subtropical and thriving ecosystem. At Key Largo, we honor out tropical biosphere. We even receive special visits from dolphins and sea turtles ocean-wide.

Honeymoon Destination

In the southern hemisphere, winter is the season for honeymooners. Largo Sanctuary is a wonderful venue for both your nuptials and a honeymoon. Your special day doesn’t have to end after the reception. The resort is prepared to offer you a unique, and adventurous experience. We host tours through Miami. Or you can party on the famous Duval Street of Key West. If you are more drawn to the great outdoors, we have complete access to the ocean, where you can sail, swim, or scuba with the local animals. After, Key Largo is the diving capital of the world.

Florida has become a prime destination for winter weddings. It offers couples and their families the freedom to spend a few days in the comfort and warmth of a natural tropical climate. Whether you’re from out-of-state, or a local, hosting your wedding ceremony during a Florida Winter will bring luck, fortune, and a cultivated warmth that will last a lifetime. Your family and friends will be most obliged to join you in this alluring sanctuary.

 

 

Luxury Weddings: A Largo Experience

 

Banquet halls are a common option for the betrothed, but the ordinary might not be what you seek. Sometimes, you want a little bit more creativity, essence, quality, and space. Banquet halls go by-the-hour, so time restraints come along with hosting your wedding in a hall. They have limited space. Often times, wedding parties need to secure another location to host their ceremony. Fees get added on for security, bartending, set-up and strike, and price-per-person. Banquet halls can also stunt your creativity. They are stale rectangular rooms, that you (or your planner) need to decorate. These spaces get filled and emptied over and over. Don’t miss the intimacy and creativity you crave. If a banquet hall isn’t your cup of tea, consider a more liberating venue for your wedding.

Resort weddings have been challenging the banquet hall and destination wedding market altogether. An inclusive wedding destination will both inspire and soften your expectations.

Inclusive packages

The best part about having a resort wedding is the availability of the resort amenities! These are longer affairs than a few hours at the banquet hall. When you are all tuckered out, you can walk down to your private suite and sleep. There is space for both the ceremony and the reception, without the need to hop around town. Largo Resort will offer their trusted officiant to perform your nuptials. We have dedicated concierge services to help plan your wedding. We custom design a unique bouquet and offer an hour with our private photographer. Resort activities and utilities are also available for the newlyweds and their families. At Largo Sanctuary we sail, kayak, dive, and bask in the tropical atmosphere.

Unique Area

Wedding planning can be stressful, especially when trying to find the right location. Whether it is indoors, or outdoors, in a hall, or on the seaside, a resort is the chosen venue for modern weddings. We credit that to our naturally manicured ecosystem. We dedicate our energy to creating a sacred environment for our guests and wildlife. We also love to share the intimacy of the sanctuary with our guests. What better affair than one proclaiming eternal love? Share your vows on a private pier under a driftwood arbor. Or barefoot on the Gulf of Mexico at sunset. Mother Earth has decorated the venue for us, and all we have to do is relax and enjoy.

Intimacy

One of the qualities our guests have sought with joining us is the intimacy we offer. We welcome you and your family and friends to stay with us. We have plenty of space! Many resorts host weddings and also have traditional guests still on site. At Largo, you can have the entire sanctuary. The only other people on site would be your Largo liaisons. Keep your friends and family close by. We accommodate 34 registered overnight guests and 150 total guests for celebrations. The proximity to the earth and your loved ones will arouse the sacred intimacy you seek.

A Honeymoon for the Adventurous Couple

Key Largo caters to every couple. There’s room for activity and adventure, as well as lounging near the lagoon during sunset. Whatever your honeymoon goals are, you will be sure to find a fit at Largo. We take pride in our inclusive opportunities to partake in the miracles of the earth. This honeymoon destination continues to captivate couples seeking adventure and experience.

Diving

Key Largo is the diving capital of the world! We cater to the experienced scuba divers and novice snorkelers. The Gulf of Mexico lends a vast territory that you can explore. Our guests meet a diverse wildlife, from dolphins to sea turtles. We invite you to take to the depths where shipwrecks have settled along the ocean floor. Key Largo is home to a fleet of sunken ships that date as far back as 1733. Among them are the Spanish Galleon wrecks, and the US Coast Guard Cutter The Duane. The various wreck sites invite different levels of experience. The Duane is for the more experienced and licensed scuba divers. Yet, The Benwood and the City of Washington sunk in shallow water. These are accessible to snorkelers! The sunken ships have become home to coral reefs and abundant wildlife that animate the area. There is no better way to become one with the sea than diving head first into it.

Boating

The most simple vehicles we offer are kayaks and paddle boards. Our visitors love to use these boats for sunrise cruises along the coast. We maintain 2 boats of a greater caliber. “The Dream” is a 42-foot sailboat that carries up to 6 passengers. We often take her out for sunset sails. The Dream is also available for an all-day cruise with our Largo Captain. The 21-ft 200 horsepower boat goes on ecosystem tours of the Everglades National Park. You can go fishing in the backcountry, or travel to a popular snorkeling location. This boat can accommodate up to 4 passengers. If you seek deep-sea fishing adventures we can set you up with a local private charter.

Wildlife

Experience South Florida’s wildlife outside of our private sanctuary! Our Everglades tour takes you to the middle of Florida’s most important ecosystem. You can discover the natural disposition of local alligators, tropical birds, and plant-life. Or we can set you up to swim with the dolphins on the Gulf of Mexico. Key Largo is diverse, but Florida specific… a trip south without this exposure wouldn’t be the same.

Newlywed couples get immersed the water culture and wildlife we endow. We encourage all explorers to join us! There is a lot to see and do. The start of your lives together should be an amazing adventure.

 

A Honeymoon for History Buffs

Before the 19th century, the Florida Keys were only accessible by boat. Even then, the voyage near the Gulf Stream would not end well for traveling ships. There were more casualties due to the flourishing coral reefs and shallow water. The reefs left ships in pieces and salvage crews from the Keys made more riches by collecting treasures from the ocean floor.  

Hispaniola and the surrounding islands referred to islands as “Los Cayos” (a low bank of coral reef, rock, or sand). When the islands were mapped, the longest key, 30 miles long, became known as Cayo Largo. Over time, the islands became known as the Florida Keys. And Cayo Largo became Key Largo. 

In 1912, the Florida East Coast Railway connected all the keys to the mainland. This was the first time travel to the keys was possible without a boat. But a hurricane destroyed the railway 23 years later and it also sunk to the ocean floor. In 1938 the first overseas highway became, and remains, the main route into the Keys. Most of the history lives on the ocean floor, next to the shipwrecks and the largest coral reef system in the United States. In Key Largo, are historical locations that draw in history buffs and tourists alike.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

The coral reef system is the most historic attraction to Key Largo. It is the most important aspect of the ecosystem. Not to mention the shipwrecks! On December 18, 1975, the underwater park vowed to protect and conserve the coral reef system. The park is home to the Christ of the Abyss (1965), an 8.6 sculpture 25 feet under the sea. 

African Queen

This historical steamboat has garnered years of exposure, and is still going strong! She entered service in 1912 as a cargo ship for the British East Africa Railway company. Her narrow design made for easy travel up the Victoria Nile River and Lake Alberta. In 1951, she starred in the Hollywood film named after her, also starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn! In 1982, she found her home in Key Largo where she registered as a Historical Site. This small ship is a true timekeeper.

Carysfort Reef Lighthouse

The Carysfort reef is the most treacherous and visited, coral reef six miles off Key Largo. The first lightship named Caesar anchored near the reef to warn sailors in 1825.  Unfortunately, she met the demise of the sea when she blew into the reef. The Carysfort Lighthouse, established in 1840, is a screw-pile fixture. Its red paint and the bright beacon is the oldest standing beacon in the keys. This is one of the most popular snorkeling and diving destinations in Key Largo. 

Historians will find that the Keys were also a home to famous icons like Ernest Hemingway! Key Largo can inspire those couples that love to immerse themselves in a rich history and treasures.

A Honeymoon for Cultural Experiences

 

Key Largo is the longest island of Key West, and it part of what we call the Upper Keys. The tropical climate dictates our beach lifestyle and diving culture. There is something for the luxury travelers and the thrill seekers. The island even caters to those of us who enjoy a stroll under a canopy of foliage. The small beach-town lifestyle is laid back. We enjoy long sunsets, water sports and our proximity to nature. We live a life of leisure, where our work is play. Join us on the sanctuary, we are located between two popular South Florida destinations rich and vibrant in diversity and culture. Our concierge can arrange a tour with private transportation to either location. Whether or not day trips are appealing to you, the way of our private cove will surely offer you a retreat from the norm.

A Cultural Trip to Miami

Miami is rich in Latin American and Caribbean culture. Our excursions place you in the mecca of the city, whether you want to party in the art-deco architecture of South Beach or admire the arts. Miami is home to a diverse culture. You can sip on a cafecito from the local bodega before shopping Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent in the Design District. If luxury shopping is not your taste, you can support local artisans and shop among the eclectic treasures at the Miami Flea. The street art in Wynwood Arts District is a popular attraction, and its blocks away from Little Haiti. A few miles southwest, you can experience Calle Ocho in Little Havana. Our concierge will plan your dinner on Ocean Avenue so you can enjoy the nightlife of South Beach. There is a lot of culture in this wide city, and its only an hour north of Largo. 

A Cultural Trip Down to Duval St.

The Southernmost point of Key West is also a popular destination.  Duval Street is the home to countless parades, celebrations, and parties. You may wander into the Zombie Bike Fest or an Art Festival. There is always something happening down south. Key West is a mix of Islanders and North Americans that escaped a brick and mortar lifestyle. This diversity creates an inclusive society for artists, travelers, and divers alike. The people and the food are also laid back. We like to enjoy the little things in life. The Florida Keys are an inviting destination for new couples. With culture, adventure, and serenity all in one place. The best part of this all is that Largo Resort is the perfect retreat after an exciting and busy day trip to a bigger city.

 

 

 

Outdoor Weddings: The perfect location for the special occasion

Weddings are traditionally held inside churches with tall steeples, before an altar glazed by the colored light that pours through stained glass. These ceremonial traditions are popular for their tradition, and the holiness that is often sought inside the walls of worship. More couples are finding the romance and intrigue in marriage outside of the pious church doors. Mother Nature is our sacred ally, and she spans across the globe. We come in contact with physical manifestations of grace every day. The earth overlooks countless nuptials, the first kiss, and supports those who witness the marriage. Mother Earth can be the sacred minister–or a secular guardian–you seek for your wedding.  

Largo Sanctuary takes pride in its proximity to the intricacies of the Earth. Our sanctuary is located amid the lush wildlife and tropical climate of Key Largo. We have a reputation for hosting romantic weddings that many of our guests would call beautiful and serene. With the interest in outdoor weddings, Largo Resort quickly became a sought-after destination for our hospitality and amenities to the prized environment.  

Location

The most important item to consider when planning an outdoor wedding is the location. First, wedding planners must determine what type of environment would be best for the wedding. Choosing the right location can entail a lot of research, but look no further. The Sanctuary is located on the scenic strip of the Florida Keys. It is nestled just beyond the bursting and vibrant city of Miami and perched in the tropical, and ocean-themed strip of the Florida Keys. The system of small islands has been known for its tropical climate and ocean attractions from boating to sea-turtle gazing. Key Largo is the diving capital of the world but is also home to a refined collection of nature trails and wildlife conservatories. Rest assured, that one of Largo Sanctuary’s missions is to act as a harbinger of safety for South Florida’s treasured wildlife, and hosts both people and animals in the private sanctuary.

Perfect backdrop

Wedding planning can be stressful when it comes to creating the perfect ambiance for the special occasion. The happy couple should not need to stress about placing the right fixtures to match the wedding colors! We always find that mother nature is the best artist when it comes to cultivating a beautiful and romantic space. Do you envision your wedding being decorated by the most prestigious florist? Our natural foliage can make your dreams come true. Largo resort has hosted several weddings and our guests get to choose from a selection of on-site spots to proclaim their vows.We even offer a custom built driftwood arbor for your ceremony.  There is a unique space for every couple, from the waterside lagoon to a canopy of tropical foliage–from sunrise to sunset.

Ocean Vibes

This private sanctuary offers newly-weds, and their happy guests, opportunities to experience mother nature one-on-one. Not only do we offer the perfect setting for your outdoor wedding, you and your visitors can physically engage in the glorious environment; after all, this is the diving capital of the world. Consider your personalized wedding soundtrack, as performed by the meditative comfort of the ocean’s waves and whispering tree boughs. Then take your celebrations to the ocean, you can even celebrate with passing dolphins or sea turtles on the Gulf of Mexico.

For better or for worse, in rain or in sunshine

We know that planning an outdoor wedding can be scary considering the weather. Luckily, Key Largo is blessed with the warm and sunny weather most of the year. If mother Earth does surprise us, we have on-location backup strategies in place. There should be no need to plan a backup wedding! The outdoor celebration of your dreams is possible.

Florida Keys Wedding Inspiration- Tropical Romance Styled Shoot

Today’s inspirational styled shoot by Stacia Morgan Photography has all the feels for a romantic tropical wedding, from the invitations, table settings, to the Bali inspired venue at Largo Resort.

Venue: Largo Resort
Stylist: Key Destination Weddings & Events
Cake: Unique D’ Lites Custom Cakes
Chocolate Seascape: Key Largo Chocolates
Flowers: Studio South Islamorada
Invitations: Kittys Hand Krafted
Dress: Island Tribe
Hair & Makeup: Michelle Bertelli of Ciao Bella Salon & Spa Islamorada
Photography: Stacia Morgan Photography
Model: Dea Morina
Videography: Skyborn Visual LLC

If you are planning a Florida wedding in Key West, Key Largo, Marathon, Islamorada, or anywhere else in The Florida Keys; Florida Keys Weddings Magazine has the very best featured Florida Keys Weddings, Florida Keys wedding vendors and ideas for the perfect Keys Destination wedding!

Edward Shore: ‘Mother Earth’ Caretaker, Adventurer and Hotelier

Edward Shore, owner of the 3-acre, 15-bedroom “Largo, A Private Sanctuary” for small groups in Key Largo, discovered the Florida Keys about 30 years ago on a trip to dive reefs and wrecks. “It’s a gift to be here. There’s a purity down here, a positive energy of being one with Mother Earth. We have the United States’ best weather and the best eco-system,” Shore said. “I believe every day is a gift.”

A former lighting magnate, Shore, 65, began working at age 7 at his father’s business, ICON International Inc. Founded in Rhode Island in 1947, the business specialized in commercial shopping center lighting.

Growing up, Shore worked in the factory’s tool room and sheet metal and engineer departments where, he said, “I learned how to build stuff.”

As a youngster, the Rhode Island native also learned to sail — a sport that has taken him across the world from Newport and Cape Cod to Bermuda, the Caribbean, South America and the Pacific.

Along the way, Shore had a few adventures that helped to influence the redesign of Largo from a 1950s-era Keys motel lodge into a retreat resort.

On a trip to Europe at age 20 with a buddy, he bought a powder blue 1963 Vauxhall Viva for $100. He was enrolled at American University but instead decided to study architecture at the University of Copenhagen. He even ran with the bulls in 1972 in Pamplona, Spain.
Shore also attended New York’s iconic Woodstock music fest.

“I was a preppie, but Woodstock had a major impact. I was able to experience a gathering of humans where we co-existed in a moment in time,” Shore said.

“What I believe, is that the purpose of humans is to take care of Mother Earth, to make Mother Earth cleaner and healthier than when we were put on this earth,” he added.

From Europe, Shore returned to American University to finish earning a business degree. He became ICON’s general manager at 25 and grew the company into a 175,000-square-foot global architectural lighting manufacturer and supplier to companies such as General Electric Corp., IBM Corp., AT&T, Target Corp. and airports in New York City and San Francisco.

In 1986 Shore purchased ICON through a leveraged buyout and developed it into an energy saving innovator. He created a computer light, mounting an indirect light source on computer monitors.

At age 60 in 2011, Shore sold ICON and purchased Largo Lodge after searching throughout the Caribbean and Pacific islands for a retreat. Describing Largo Lodge that same year, hotel reviewer Gayot stated, “This small resort dates from the 1950s and still maintains much of the feel of that era. The staff is friendly, and the pace is slow. The property is lush with flowers and trees, making it a haven for pelicans, herons, egrets, ibises and the like.”

Local lore has it that comedians Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz owned a home adjacent to Largo Lodge.

“Largo is old Florida on the edge of the Everglades,” Shore said. “The property is a blend of 21st-century luxury five-star comforts while having a little of the Jurassic Park and Swiss Family Robinson feeling.”

During renovations, Shore installed new underground infrastructure, a cistern water collection system and LED lighting.

“The key is to be totally off the grid within three years,” Shore explained.

Largo reopened in May 2015 and is a member of Chicago-based Retreats Unlimited. Targeted guests include groups gathering for weddings, anniversaries, family reunions, affinity getaways and corporate, incentive and yoga retreats.

Dramatic 10-foot-tall gates, dubbed the “Kong gates” after Shore’s favorite childhood character King Kong, help seclude the property from the Overseas Highway at its mile marker 101.7 location.

“We’re a private sanctuary with accommodations,” Shore said.

Largo’s 5,000-square-foot Lodge — accented with cypress, Dade County pine and a 60-year-old mahogany tree — can sleep up to eight. Its attractions include 4.5 baths and Moe’s Bar, named after Shore’s father.

The property also has six 800-square-foot bungalows, each with two bedrooms and two baths. Up to 30 guests can stay overnight.

A private 120-foot-long pier can host up to 100 people for weddings.

Bill Hansen Catering, whose clients have included U.S. presidents and celebrities such as Pope John Paul II and Bill Gates, provides on-site meals. Guests also can book cooking demonstrations to learn about healthy meal preparation.

New events include interactive scavenger hunts, comedy murder mystery dinners and full mystery weekends. Wellness options include yoga, fitness boot camp and clean-eating retreats.

Guests also can enjoy a 42-foot sailboat named The Dream, use a 21-foot backcountry fishing boat or kayak in a 15-foot-deep lagoon.

Shore doesn’t believe in retirement. He’s also developing an Asian garden, with stone statues from Bali, and an on-site tree house. “I look at Largo as a lifetime project,” he said. “Largo is dedicated to family, friends and Mother Earth. It’s all about living in peace and harmony with each other.”