I often work hard to dispel the myth that a wedding planner is a luxury meant for only a few brides, so allow me to finally put to rest this long-standing debate... You're about to get married, and you're spending a considerable amount of money doing so, as well as investing a considerable amount of energy, time, thought, creativity, and personal touches into all of your decisions and details. Your wedding day is a BIG DEAL! So why are you setting sail without your survival pack and compass?
Gabriella and Aric wanted their wedding to reflect their traditional Catholic backgrounds, the bride's Venezuelan heritage, and have an overall old Florida feel. The groom's love of craft beer inspired the space for their rehearsal dinner, which was held at The Tampa Bay Brew Bus, as well as all the craft beer that was served at the reception. Elegant classic design paired with personalized touches created a luxurious and sophisticated affair in the heart of Tampa.
Robyn and Andrew had been engaged for so long that their friends and family started asking them "so when are you guys getting married??" and after fielding the question long enough, they decided to throw an engagement party to announce their wedding date to their closest friends and family. Little did their guests know that the engagement party, scheduled for April 1st (April Fool's Day), would be revealed as their actual wedding day! The result was an incredibly unique and stylish SURPRISE wedding that the couple pulled off without a hitch!
When Jonathan proposed to Christina, he had just finished a 28 hour day of his residency, and secretly drove to the Kennedy Center to drop off a special bottle of wine for their date that evening. During dinner on the rooftop terrace, Jonathan ordered a bottle of wine and the server presented the special bottle. Jonathan turned the bottle to face Christina, revealing special dates and milestones etched on the label, and then got down on one knee and popped the question. Swoon! The couple knew they wanted their wedding to be set in Tampa (the city where they met) and wanted to provide a unique experience that also incorporated wine elements as a nod to their engagement.
Brittany and Tyler were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend and it was a perfect match! Brittany has always loved the Lake Mirror area of Lakeland, so Tyler planned the ultimate proposal on New Years Eve 2015, walking the nearby gardens together after dinner and proposing in front of the lake. Tyler even booked the adjacent Magnolia Building for New Year's Eve 2016, unbeknownst to Brittany, and when he popped the quested he asked if she would marry him on New Years Eve the following year in that very spot! After the proposal, he surprised Brittany with a New Year's Eve engagement party that night. Needless to say, New Years Eve and their Lakeland venue were very sentimental to them; They even shared the sweetest first look in the garden where they were engaged. The pair decided to exchange vows at the church where Tyler is a youth pastor, and then host a cocktail-style reception afterwards where guests could ring in the New Year with lots of heavy hors d'oeuvres and sweets. To end the night, party poppers were released by the wedding party as they welcomed the year 2017!
Lindsay and Jason are from Ohio but have a sentimental attachment to Florida and Siesta Key. They met through an adult kickball league, and Lindsay once said "Our relationship can be described as a friendship that blossomed into love." Her family vacationed to Siesta Key for over 20 years and had a family tradition to all go out and watch the sunset together every night. One year on vacation Jason proposed in front of her family on the beach at sunset; so their signature drink, the Siesta Key Sunset, was created in honor of that beautiful proposal story. The couple love being outside and around nature, so an outdoor wedding full of natural details was an obvious choice for them.
Stacy and Josh are each a part of long time Florida families, so a Florida inspired Ybor wedding only made sense for them. Florida elements, like fiddler crab claws and oyster shells, were interspersed with personal touches found everywhere from the bride wearing her mothers veil, to old family wedding photos set amongst displays of sweets. For a final show of appreciation to old Tampa, a dominos table was set up in The Italian Club, as a nod to the venue's history and the spirit of Tampa.
Kelly and Peter's beautiful, Palma Ceia wedding was filled with tradition and elegance, from their nuptials at their family church, to their reception at their Golf & Country Club. Classic details were balanced with pops of color, with shades of dusty blue, peach, and cranberry, which somehow seemed to also appear in the amazing sunset photos on the greens!
Yi-Hwa and Felix took time to establish themselves professionally before getting married on 11/11/11. They decided they wanted a truly unique affair and included elements like a Polynesian style buffet with Polynesian dancers and fire breathers; during cocktail hour were animal encounters which featured a python, baby alligator, and barn owl! An Asian influence found throughout the wedding, as a nod to the bride's culture, was combined with offbeat elements to create this fun and unique event.
Pon and Joe partook in both a Laotian Buddhist and a Christian ceremony, representing the culture of both the bride and groom, respectfully. The mix of elements, like a paper dragon hung over the bar and hors d’oeuvres of bratwurst and sauerkraut bites, created a beautiful and unique celebration representative of the couples union. Not only was there a joining of cultures, but also a pairing of tradition with fun; especially during introductions! The wedding party was split into guys vs. girls teams and introduced “Family Feud” style, they answered questions about the bride and groom to win first dibs at the Asian-themed buffet!
Holly and Dan's wedding took place at the picturesque Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club on Valentine's Day - a perfect occasion to celebrate love and the union of two people and two families. The couple combined classic and elegant details with a traditional Jewish ceremony and a color scheme inspired by the groom's college, UNC.
Dawn and Ilana were together for ten years before finally getting married in their backyard with only a handful of people; they made the quick decision when same-sex marriage became legalized nationwide, wanting to make sure they could get married if the ruling was later repealed. After waiting over two years since that little backyard ceremony when the law was passed, it was finally time to have a celebration that reflected the depth of their love. Ilana's love of Tampa's history meant a vintage Cigar City themed affair was a natural choice for the couple; paired with a culmination of 10+ years of love, a small and simple ceremony, and the fact that Dawn puts her life on the line everyday as a law enforcement officer, meant a true celebration of their relationship and all the people that had been a part of their love story for the last ten years was finally in order.
Alyssa and MJ were set up through the bride's cousin on a surprise blind date at Ceviché, and later got engaged at the same restaurant. When MJ proposed to Alyssa he not only did so at the restaurant where they had their first date, but he proposed in the spot where they first kissed (literally swoon!) The couple both attended Florida State University so garnet and gold were a natural choice for their color palette; subtle pops of blush were also incorporated which created a soft romantic feel. Wanting a wedding that mixed traditional elements with fun experiences for their guests, and lots of personal touches, every detail of this wedding was elegant, timeless, fun, and had Alyssa and MJ written all over it!
Jennifer and Jeff met in college, despite going to different schools, and both went on to become urban planners. Their professions and the greater Tampa Bay area dictated the vision for their wedding. The biggest source of inspiration however was their love of brunch, the couple's favorite meal of the day! Ivory flowers with touches of wispy greenery decorated the space along with pops of yellow, the brides favorite color. Their honeymoon, in New York City, was a testament to their love of cities and urban planning, which prompted such details as their seating chart and table numbers.
Eric and Nicole had no idea fate was pulling them together, living at the same apartment complex in Tallahassee and attending countless FSU games, but never meeting until mutual friends introduced them at Beef 'O Brady's (watching an FSU game of course!) In true Seminoles fashion, Eric proposed at the Unconquered statue at Florida State University. The garnet and gold color scheme was an obvious choice for the couple, but pops of eggplant were also incorporated throughout to bring an element of Springtime to their March nuptials.
Amanda and Brian originally met through mutual friends and continued to cross paths at various local bars, sporting events and social occasions, before unknowingly becoming neighbors! Fate was definitely pushing these two together, and it's easy to see why. After relocating to San Francisco for Brian's job, he planned a romantic candlelit proposal in their new west coast home, before beginning to plan their hometown nuptials in Tampa.
Sarah and Mark first met at an engineering fraternity luncheon as students at the University of Florida (GO GATORS!), and soon after Mark's job relocated them to Arizona, he popped the question! Sara envisioned a garden wedding with shades of ballet pink, dusty blue and white. The Davis Islands Garden Club was a perfect backdrop, a ceremony that was naturally so beautiful it needed little extra help. They wanted their day to be truly about their marriage and celebrating with their closest friends and family, so they kept the details timeless and minimal. The result was gorgeous (as is evident by their stunning photos!)
Haley and Max, two young entrepreneurs in Tampa, first met through mutual friends at a business fraternity. What started out as friendship began to ignite sparks, and soon after purchasing an engagement ring Max popped the question - he just couldn't hold on to the ring any longer without asking! The couple envisioned an intimate backyard wedding with their closest friends and family with all the beautiful details of a wedding (such as her stunning earthy flora) without all of the stuffy traditions (instead they wanted a big PARTY!). Both love experiencing nightlife and local cuisine with friends, so it was no surprise that their music and menu were top priorities for the celebration.
When Marcus, an IT Director, proposed to Jillian, an Elementary School Teacher, he did so at a baroque historic Steakhouse in Tampa known for their formal decor and attentive experience. They brought that same elegance and sophistication to their wedding celebration, choosing the beautiful setting of the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg as their venue.
You can probably imagine that after all of the time and energy spent planning other people's celebrations, it's sometimes hard to find the time to plan a personal event... But recently I decided to plan a dinner party for my husband's birthday, and I wanted it to be a memorable experience for all of our friends and family, but also incorporate some of his favorite things. As an accountant for an International company he usually travels to a different country several times a year (a bonus for someone who already loves to travel). And anyone who knows him knows he is quite a wine snob (no offense, sweetie!) So I decided to combine these passions into a wine tasting party that would take our guests 'AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY SIPS' - what could be more fun than that?
Dan and Cindy met on a blind date that turned into love at first sight! They exchanged timeless vows in a ceremony mass at St. Mary Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, followed by an elegant reception at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the bride's favorite places in St. Pete and held a special place in their hearts. Guests enjoyed a cocktail hour in the Membership Garden and a reception in the expansive conservatory with floor to ceiling views of the water. The couple's navy, pink and ivory color palette was reflected in their beautiful and classic floral arrangements and stationery. Everywhere you looked, the wedding was filled with elegant details from the crystal candlesticks to the pocket invitations, and can we just talk about that bouquet?!
When Jennifer and Casey met while out on the town with friends, it truly was love at first sight. At the end of the evening, like a scene from a movie, their first kiss through the taxi door was as electric as their first kiss as husband and wife at their waterfront nuptials! The couple exchanged vows in front of 150 of their closest friends and family at the Davis Islands Garden Club near downtown Tampa.
Jessica's eye for classic beauty and timeless detail, and Mike's goal of excellent music and food were perfectly merged on their wedding day. Before exchanging sacred vows in a traditional Catholic ceremony in historic Ybor City, the bride shared an intimate first look with her Father after stepping into her stunning lace sleeved gown. The chic black and white color scheme and formal styling first appeared in custom invitation suites, and was accented with tiny touches of pale pink and pewter, appearing in flora that popped against the formal onyx gowns and tuxedos.
Lisa and Tushar wanted to honor their family and culture during their wedding at the beautiful Renaissance Vinoy St. Petersburg. Lisa's fairy tale wedding vision was combined with Tushar's Indian customs which inspired such details as the colorful and lush flowers, gold accents, and recurring elephant motif.
This week I took my Mom to go see her favorite fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, and could not wait any longer to share some images from our recent Beauty and the Beast inspired styled shoot. Although this shoot is currently pending publication by a well-known style blog and magazine, I just had to share a few swoon-worthy images for all those fellow Disney fans out there! Enjoy!