Wedding

Black and Gold New Year’s Eve St. Pete Wedding | NOVA 535

Carly and Zach’s elegant downtown St. Pete wedding echoed the Gatsby era, creating an unforgettable New Year’s Eve celebration. Against the backdrop of a historic industrial venue, they danced the night away, sipping onfestive drinks, waiting for the clock to strike midnight.

“We always talked about having a New Year’s Eve wedding. It’s one of our favorite days because you get to celebrate with all of your favorite people, and there’s also something so symbolic about closing out a year and entering a new one with the person you love,” the bride shared. “Our wedding colors were black and gold. We chose them because we felt the best went with our New Year’s Eve theme. We wanted our venue to give off a classic, Gatsby-like vibe.”

The Safety Harbor bride relied on Marry Me Tampa Bay’s prior wedding features to gain inspiration for their 110 guest celebration.

“We often referred to Marry Me Tampa Bay during the wedding planning process to see pictures of venues and get ideas for our wedding based on what others had done,” Carly explained. “We loved seeing real-life wedding examples and what vendors others had chosen.”

As the couple embarked on the journey to find their perfect wedding venue, they held a few non-negotiable criteria close to heart: an elegant setting for a New Year’s Eve reception, flexible indoor and outdoor options, dog-friendly, and a late-night availablity. NOVA 535’s seamless transition from an outdoor to an indoor ceremony was crucial, as a rainstorm surprised the couple’s big day.

“We looked for a place that had New Year’s Eve availability and that would allow us to have a late-night wedding. Our wedding began at 7:30 p.m. and went on until 1 a.m. We also knew our wedding would be a formal event, so we needed a venue that fit the elegant New Year’s Eve theme. Finding a wedding venue that had an outdoor and indoor space was important to us, which ended up saving our wedding day as it poured all day, and we had to move our planned outdoor ceremony inside,” the bride detailed. “From the day we went on a venue tour at NOVA 535, we were sold. NOVA was our dream wedding venue as it has so many locations for different parts of the day all in one. All of the staff were amazing and very responsive. They were quick to answer any questions and helped us brainstorm ways to make our wedding unique to us. We chose NOVA because it allowed us to have our ceremony outdoors, under the lights, and then move inside for the reception for a more glamorous feel. Unfortunately, it did rain on our wedding day, but NOVA was quick to be able to move our ceremony inside, which was equally as beautiful!”

In their search for a wedding photographer, Carly and Zach valued nighttime shooting expertise, local familiarity, and an easy-going personality. Amber McWhorter Photography, fulfilled their wishlist by skillfully capturing a visual narrative of their day.

“We wanted somebody who made us feel comfortable and was local to our community. We also looked for somebody who had comfort in photographing weddings in the evening, as our wedding did not begin until 7:30 p.m., and it was scheduled to be outdoors,” the bride revealed. “We chose Amber McWhorter Photography after talking about what we were looking for. Amber was extremely professional and knowledgeable and just easy to talk to! She offered suggestions on locations and provided us with examples of her previous work when we would ask specific questions about photo locations. Amber also came to us highly referred by numerous people in our community, and we truly believe hiring her as our photographer was one of the best decisions.”

In designing their wedding menu, the couple envisioned multiple dining moments, not just a singular meal. Olympia Catering, came highly-recommended and flawlessly fulfilled their vision serving hors d’oeuvres to rave reviews throughout the night, demonstrating their culinary prowess and attentive service.

“When choosing our wedding menu, it was important that we had opportunities to feed our guests multiple times throughout the evening. Instead of focusing on one main dinner, we looked for a caterer who would allow us to serve hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour and then also later on in the evening, when the drinks were flowing and everybody was dancing. All of the food was amazing, and our guests kept commenting about how delicious it was,” Carly beamed. “Olympia Catering came highly recommended. The food was delicious at the tasting but was even better at our actual wedding. The staff was friendly and efficient and a pleasure to be around. We would recommend Olympia Catering to anyone getting married in the Tampa Bay area.”

While festive, choosing a holiday wedding date requires an extra commitment from guests, so Carly and Zach prioritized showing their appreciation to those who attended.

“The feeling of connection was one of the most important elements of our wedding. Zach and I wanted to ensure we felt connected to each other, but also to all of our guests who made the effort to travel and celebrate with us on our special day, especially when we know how difficult it is to travel around the holidays,” the bride shared. “Many elements of our wedding day included ways to connect with our family and friends. From our surprise table that had a framed photo of all of the married couples in attendance that they got to keep, to our photo booth that was used as a guest book, as well as Zach and I ensured that we took a photo with every table in attendance at our reception. We wanted to make sure we had memories with all of our guests.”

As the bride and groom exchanged vows on the eve of a new year, their wedding blended love, celebration, and the thrill of fresh beginnings. Carly’s elegant hairstyle, styled into classic Hollywood waves by Femme Akoi Studio, added to the formal and festive atmosphere by enhancing the overall glamour of the event.

“Our wedding was a formal event, so everyone dressed extremely fancy and glitzy, and it was a great time. We loved that NOVA 535 allowed us to have our wedding into the new year, so we were able to countdown together,” the bride breamed. “Besides getting to marry the person we love, we got to ring in the new year, dancing and celebrating with all of our favorite people in one place. Our wedding was truly the most amazing day.”

With the groom’s sister officiating and a shared New Year’s Eve countdown, the wedding was marked by intimate moments of connection, including a private last dance that allowed the newlyweds to absorb the day’s emotions.

“Zach and I chose to do a private last dance, and it was the most memorable moment of the wedding. It allowed us to reconnect with each other and close out a day that we had been looking forward to for so long. It also allowed us to have a few minutes to take it all in together without the eyes of everyone else,” the bride reminisced.


Behind the Vows Wedding Day Content Creation Banner

Wedding Day Newspaper Wedding Ceremony Program Ideas
Bride and Bridesmaids Getting Ready Wedding Portrait

The Proposal:
I was born in Minnesota, and a large part of our family still lives there, so we visit often. Zach understood how much I love Minnesota and all of the positive memories that I have of being there. We went to go visit some of our family, and I was showing Zach around an overlook that I have gone to frequently. He had already coordinated with my sister to secretly film our proposal as we were at the overlook looking over Lake Superior. 

Bride and Groom with their Dogs Wedding Portrait | St Pete Venue NOVA 535
Elegant Black Mismatching Bridesmaids Wedding Dress Ideas | St Pete Hair and Makeup Artist Femme Akoi Beauty Studio | Venue NOVA 535

What were your wedding hair and makeup inspiration?

I always loved the old Hollywood waves classic look, and Femme Akoi Beauty Studio was always the recommendation that kept coming up!

I did a hair trial, and I was sold! I actually switched them as my main salon now, not just for events where I need a hairstyle! 

Black Mismatching Bridesmaids Wedding Dress Ideas | St Pete Hair and Makeup Artist Femme Akoi Beauty Studio
Black Mismatching Bridesmaids Wedding Dress Ideas
Four-String Quartet Wedding Celebration
Bride and Groom Wedding Ceremony Vow Exchange | Downtown St Pete Venue NOVA 535

What did you look for in a wedding venue?

We looked for a place that had New Year’s Eve availability and that would allow us to have a late-night wedding. Our wedding began at 7:30 p.m. and went on until 1 a.m. We also knew our wedding would be a formal event, so we needed a venue that fit the elegant New Year’s Eve theme. Finding a wedding venue that had an outdoor and indoor space was important to us, which ended up saving our wedding day as it poured all day, and we had to move our planned outdoor ceremony inside. We looked for an open space that would make the venue feel big as we planned a guest list of over 100 people. We also looked for a venue that was dog friendly as we incorporated our dogs into our wedding day. 

From the day we went on a venue tour at NOVA 535, we were sold. NOVA was our dream wedding venue as it has so many locations for different parts of the day all in one. All of the staff were amazing and very responsive. They were quick to answer any questions and helped us brainstorm ways to make our wedding unique to us. We chose NOVA because it allowed us to have our ceremony outdoors, under the lights, and then move inside for the reception for a more glamorous feel. Unfortunately, it did rain on our wedding day, but NOVA was quick to be able to move our ceremony inside, which was equally as beautiful! We loved that NOVA allowed us to have our wedding into the new year, so we were able to countdown together.

Bride and Groom Wedding Ceremony Vow Exchange | Downtown St Pete Venue NOVA 535 | Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography
Bride and Groom Wedding Ceremony Vow Exchange
Bride and Groom Just Married Wedding Portrait | Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Downtown St Pete Venue NOVA 535

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration? 
We always talked about having a New Year’s Eve wedding. It’s one of our favorite days because you get to celebrate with all of your favorite people, and there’s also something so symbolic about closing out a year and entering a new one with the person you love.

What were your colors?
Black and gold, and we chose them because we felt the best went with our New Year’s Eve theme. We wanted our venue to give off a classic, Gatsby-like vibe.

Justin Alexander Wedding Dress Ballgown | Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Downtown St Pete Venue NOVA 535
Bride and Groom Just Married Wedding Portrait | Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Downtown St Pete Venue NOVA 535

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We spent our honeymoon in Costa Rica for a week. We wanted to find a location that wasn’t too far to travel that would allow us to mix our relaxing sides with our adventurous sides. We spent half of our trip in a beach town and the other half of the trip hiking and exploring the volcanoes and hot springs.

Where did you host your bachelorette party?
My bachelorette party was held in Cancun at an all-inclusive resort. We chose Mexico as we wanted to take a girls trip out of the country and not feel the pressure of planning every day of the trip. I wanted a place where there was no stress to deal with transportation or reservations, and where we could relax in the sun and spend time together. 

Bride and Groom Bamboo Courtyard Wedding Portrait with Umbrella | Justin Alexander Ballgown Dress | Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Downtown St Pete Venue NOVA 535
Bride and Groom Bamboo Courtyard Wedding Portrait | Justin Alexander Ballgown Dress | Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Downtown St Pete Venue NOVA 535
Bride and Groom Just Married Wedding Portrait | Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Downtown St Pete Venue NOVA 535

What did you look for in a wedding photographer?

We wanted somebody who made us feel comfortable and was local to our community. We also looked for somebody who had comfort in photographing weddings in the evening, as our wedding did not begin until 7:30 p.m., and it was scheduled to be outdoors.

We chose Amber McWhorter Photography after talking about what we were looking for. Amber was extremely professional and knowledgeable and just easy to talk to! She offered suggestions on locations and provided us with examples of her previous work when we would ask specific questions about photo locations. Amber also came to us highly referred by numerous people in our community, and we truly believe hiring her as our photographer was one of the best decisions.

Mrs. and Mr. Sweetheart Table Sign with Black Linen, Greenery and White Roses and String Light Backdrop

What was your wedding menu inspiration?

When choosing our wedding menu, it was important that we had opportunities to feed our guests multiple times throughout the evening. Instead of focusing on one main dinner, we looked for a caterer who would allow us to serve hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour and then also later on in the evening, when the drinks were flowing and everybody was dancing. All of the food was amazing, and our guests kept commenting about how delicious it was.

Olympia Catering came highly recommended. The food was delicious at the tasting but was even better at our actual wedding. The staff was friendly and efficient and a pleasure to be around. We would recommend Olympia Catering to anyone getting married in the Tampa Bay area.

Christmas Themed Winter Wedding Reception Decor Inspiration
Bride and Groom First Dance Wedding Portrait | Downtown St Pete Venue NOVA 535
New Years Eve Wedding Reception Party Inspiration
New Years Eve Wedding Reception Party Inspiration

“We looked for a place that had New Year’s Eve availability and that would allow us to have a late-night wedding. Our wedding began at 7:30 p.m. and went on until 1 a.m. We loved that NOVA allowed us to have our wedding into the new year, so we were able to countdown together.”

-The Bride

Bride and Groom Last Dance Wedding Portrait | Downtown St Pete Venue NOVA 535
Bride and Groom Sparkler Grand Exit Wedding Portrait | Tampa Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography

Which vendors really exceeded your expectations?
The majority of our vendors were truly amazing but we are most grateful for our photographer and videographer. They both were able to capture such beautiful moments of our day that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. We rewatch are our wedding video quite frequently, and are still moved by how well he was able to capture the emotion of our day. 

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Set your budget ahead of time and choose your vendors early! We chose our most important vendors 14 months ahead of time, and that really alleviated a lot of stress in the wedding planning process, as we knew we had secured the people most important to our day. 

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Vendor Credits

 

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