Julie and Chris met while working their first jobs, at a small restaurant in Parrish called Papa Nick's.
“He was a cook, and I was a server. From the very beginning, we were both drawn to each other and it was then that our friendship started,” Julie reminisced.
Over the next five years, the couple's friendship grew and they began dating.
“I knew in my heart he was the kind of man you marry, and I wanted to make sure we were ready to take it to the next step,” the bride shared.
After knowing each other 10 years and dating for half of that time, Chris proposed to Julie while their pair were in Julie's family's home country of Canada.
“Chris proposed to me at our family cottage at the end of my cousin's wedding. He knew this was a rare opportunity to have all of my family together,” Julie explained. “He took my hand and walked me to the end of the dock. I then realized everyone was looking at us, and when I glanced back at Chris, he was on one knee. It was beautiful. I was at my favorite place on earth, in front of everyone I love looking down at the man I have loved for so long, about to be proposed to. The sun was setting, I was on a lake in the mountains of Canada, and I was in heaven.”
With two years to plan her dream wedding, Julie chose an “Old Hollywood” wedding theme.
“I would like to think I am not a very traditional bride, and I have always been drawn to black and white photos, Marilyn Monroe, glitz and glamour and the sexy juxtaposition of lace and pearls and dark gothic glamour,” Julie said.
“We chose NOVA because we knew pretty early on that were not the traditional country club couple,” the bride said. “Walking into NOVA, we knew right away that we had found our venue: the lighting, the high-end details, the exposed brick, but most of all, the space was so sexy and elegant!”
Family played an important role in Julie and Chris' wedding.
“My mom was the only reason we were able to have the wedding of our dreams. She was absolutely selfless in giving us what we wanted,” Julie shared. “I danced with my mom for Mother/Daughter dance because my father passed away five years ago. It was a surprise, she had no clue. We danced to Bette Midler's ‘Wind Beneath My Wings;‘ it was very emotional and beautiful.”
Looking back, one of Julie's most memorable moments occurred right before she walked down the wedding aisle.
“Right before the girls and I lined up to walk down the aisle, my maid of honor brought me a gift. Now Chris and I had promised we weren't going to get anything for each other because we were spending so much on the wedding as it was, so when I saw the gift I was very surprised,” Julie explained. When I opened the bag, I saw a squash. Yes, a real squash. The top had been cut out like a pumpkin and inside was a note; ‘Did you really think I wasn't going to get you anything? Now get your ass down here and marry me.' There was a beautiful black sapphire heart necklace. It was perfect.”
We chose NOVA because we knew pretty early on that were not the traditional country club couple. Walking into NOVA, we knew right away that we had found our venue: the lighting, the high-end details, the exposed brick, but most of all, the space was so sexy and elegant!” – The Bride
We had a memory table with black and white photos of the ones we have lost. It was beautiful, lit with candles and crosses, probably my favorite part of our décor. – The Bride
We wanted an intimate ceremony with personal vows which we wrote ourselves. Chris is usually the shy, quiet one, but I was blown away by his vows. They were so beautiful and hilarious! – The Bride
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Hire a professional photographer! Pay the money and make sure they are contracted to be there the whole time so you are not rushed!!!!
Don't sleep in a hotel room full of bridesmaids/family the night before…trust me, you will have a hard enough time trying to sleep, and you will need your rest!
Don't let negativity from family members ruin anything!
Have the wedding of your dreams and do exactly what you want! Don't compromise! Its YOUR wedding day!
Have the list of music you want played a head of time for you DJ.
Eat your food! And if you get too busy or are just overwhelmed like I was, have the caterer make you a to-go plate for the hotel room!
Dance with your Groom! I feel like I barely saw him!
Don't do a sweetheart table. I thought this would be great to get some alone time. Umm NO! everyone is just staring at you while you eat! I wish we would have done a wedding party table!
Don't drink the night before! (Really you shouldn't drink like a week before!)
Take it all in! It's over soooo fast!!!
St. Petersburg Wedding Venue: NOVA 535 Unique Event Space
St. Petersburg Wedding Photographer: Heather Rice Photography
St. Petersburg Wedding Florist: Carter's Florist
St. Petersburg Wedding Hair & Makeup: Lili’s Weddings
We are proud to have NOVA 535 as a Marry Me Tampa Bay sponsor!