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Florida is one of the many states where same-sex marriages are now legal in the United States, and the popular holiday destination is also popular with LGBT couples year-round. Key West, of course, is the state’s queer capital – and so it stands to reason that people from within and without Florida come here for their same-sex marriages.
The island of Key West is known for its sublime beaches, its gorgeous banqueting venues, its savoury cuisine and its trendy, boho ambience. Chief of all the gay and gay-friendly guesthouses on the island, though, is the award-winning Island House – which has become synonymous with the free spirited vibe of Key West.
Island House is an all-male resort with a health club, cafe-bar, poolside pavilion and always popular sauna. The venue, therefore, makes for the perfect destination for gay marriages, as everything from the stag night to the ceremony to the honeymoon can be had in one intimate location.
The venue’s welcoming (and hunky) male-only staff can organise your pool party. They can arrange your wedding cake, your decorations and your flowers. They can also cater and provide all the bubbly you can drink (there are free drinks during happy hour, too, which is daily from 5.30-7.30pm)! Importantly, Island House’s own on-site notary is able to perform marriage ceremonies, so you won’t need to find a sympathetic priest or head down to a registry office for your wedding – it can all be conducting at Island House.
Wedding guests who hold their big day at Island House will also get their honeymoon night thrown into the mix for free – which is, frankly, a bargain. I was lucky enough to visit Island House a few years ago, and it was a very special guesthouse indeed. Key West is just the right blend of island paradise and sun-drenched party rock, which makes its appeal to the LGBT community an enduring one.
As an extra special sweetener for travellers of any kind (even if you’re not getting married), Key West also has a special winter offer – where you can stay for four days in the winter and get three consecutive days for free next summer. Rates during the off-peak season start at $99 per night.
If you’re interested in getting a marriage license in Key West, you should check out the local rules.
For more about Island House, visit islandhousekeywest.com.