A Unique Elopement for Nikki & John at Key West

Real Elopements,
4 min read Aug 17, 2021

Nikki & John were not in the market for love, but it found them anyway! They had planned to elope in Barbados until Covid interrupted. Nikki had her heart set on a beach wedding, though, so they started searching for the perfect spot in the United States. A Key West elopement checked all the boxes with sandy beaches, plenty of palm trees, and blue skies. Ok, so usually blue skies. Nikki & John wed in an intimate seaside ceremony just before a huge Florida storm. But they say they wouldn’t change a thing, and we can see why. The photos tell the story of the two of them laughing and loving their way through the raindrops on Smathers Beach (we love the umbrella shots). Find out more about their unique wedding and how Simply Eloped was there for them every step of the way. (They gave us a 10/10, and we are blushing…)

How did you meet? What was your first impression of one another?

John: We met through Tinder. Neither one of us was really looking for anything serious, but here we are. I don’t feel like I really gave off the best first impression, but it must not have been too bad. I was definitely excited to see what the future holds.

Nikki: We met on Tinder. I definitely wasn’t looking for my husband. My first impression was how nice he was. I’ve never been treated so well. I fell fast because I just felt that it was too good to be true. It wasn’t. 🙂 

How did you propose or accept the proposal? 

John: It wasn’t much of a proposal. I had purchased the ring and was bringing it home, and apparently was a little too obvious with it. And so I had to come up with something on a whim. I proposed right then and there. Out of nowhere, our dog started barking(unusual for her). It was almost like she was telling her to say yes. 

Nikki: I was not expecting it AT ALL. It was a normal day, and I was caught so off guard. I kept saying, “what’s happening, what is that, what???” It was sweet. He’s not a nervous person, but he seemed a little nervous.

Where did you choose to elope, and why did you choose that destination? 

John: Initially, we chose to elope in Barbados. However, due to Covid, we had to push it back a year and find a location within the States. We decided on Key West and wouldn’t change anything about how we did it! 

Nikki: We needed to stay in the country because of Covid, so we picked Key West. It was beautiful. I wanted a beachy/tropical wedding, and it checked that box.

What attracted you to the venue you chose for your elopement? What were your favorite parts about eloping there? 

John: She wanted a beach/tropical ceremony. 

Nikki: I wanted a beach ceremony 100%. Smathers Beach was beautiful! The sand, the stairways, and the palm trees. Perfect. It really felt like we were on an island, not Florida. 

How would you describe your elopement venue to someone who has never been there?

John & Nikki: Key West is a small island with water everywhere you look. It’s beautiful no matter where you’re looking. Smathers Beach is a very pretty beach with rocks, tall grass, palm trees all over. If you want a tropical vibe, it was perfect, especially for a small elopement.

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What did you do before the wedding? How did you get ready? How did you feel in the moments leading up to your elopement? 

Nikki: My hair and makeup were done with vendors through Simply Eloped. They were amazing. The weather was iffy all day, so I stressed about that, but once the moment came, I wasn’t nervous at all. We’ve been together for so long that I felt so ready. 

How was your experience with Simply Eloped? 

Nikki & John: It was great. We’re so glad Simply Eloped took care of everything for us. All we had to do was take out a marriage license, which was also very easy and took no time. All the vendors were great. 10/10

How did you choose to celebrate your elopement? 

John: Good ole Taco Bell since most of the island lost power due to storms. 

Nikki: So, funny story, we got through our ceremony and very shortly after there was a huge storm and we got soaked while taking photos. Half the island lost power, so we didn’t have a ton of options. We went to Taco Bell and went back to the hotel. But it fitted for us. Haha. 

What words of encouragement do you have for those considering eloping? 

Nikki & John: Do it! It comes down to you and what will make you happy. You won’t be any more or less married if you choose to have a traditional wedding or if you elope. We wouldn’t have done a thing differently. It was perfect. Plus, you have a wedding and honeymoon all in one!


Officiation by: Aaron Wechter
Photography by: Filip Konecny
Hair & Makeup by: Roberta Andre
Flowers by: Petals & Vines
Planning by: Simply Eloped
Venue: Smathers Beach, Key West

Real Elopements
Written by Janessa White

Janessa White is the co-founder of Simply Eloped and has helped thousands of couples plan elopements. As an expert in the field, she has been featured on Martha Stewart, Brides.com, Vox, and HuffPost. Janessa thinks elopements are the ultimate way to tie the knot.