Nicole and Lawrence’s black, gold and glitter wedding as a mashup of “Rihanna meets James Bond.”
To host their chic, New Year’s Eve bash, the Tampa bride and groom searched for a downtown St. Pete wedding venue with a “big city feel.”
“It truly was LOVE at first site. NOVA 535 is such a unique event space,” Nicole gushed. “We really loved the open loft floor plan and exposed brick.”
The pair focused on food and photography to provide “an overall unique and amazing time” for their wedding guests.
“We wanted it not only to be the event of our lifetime, but a night our guests would reflect on forever,” the bride explained. “A high quality, original and delicious menu was one of our top must haves for the big day. Chef Adam & Tara of Roy’s Tampa worked with us to develop a special menu that would incorporate all of our favorites: jalapeno bacon cheddar grits with shrimp, multiple sushi rolls, lobster pot stickers and braised short rib and mashed potatoes in a tapas style. All of our guests are still raving – it is best wedding food and one of the best meals ever had!”
After viewing their work from a friend’s wedding, Nicole and Lawrence hired St. Pete wedding photographer Rad Red Creative to capture their big day.
“[Brittany and Leo] captured amazing pictures from every component of the wedding, but we never felt like they were in our faces taking pictures. They were so professional and fun,” the bride shared. “The memories that were captured will last us a lifetime and most importantly not just the posed family photos. They also took a lot of really unique shots – like ones where we spelled words with sparklers. We received so many compliments on our photos of how amazing we look in them, and I am typically not photogenic!”
We had booked a trip to Hawaii to visit our very good friends Adam and Ada. Lawrence had been in secret talks with the couple for months leading up to our big trip. He had planned a surprise helicopter tour to Kauloa Ranch (where they filmed Jurassic Park & Lost). I was thrilled as it would be a first for the both of us. So we took the tour and landed in a valley for a quick break to stretch our legs. I was hoping to see beautiful flowers, lush greenery and a waterfall. Boy was I wrong! There was nothing but dead trees, mud and old B-rated, half broken down movie props. Lawrence’s mood turned sour very quickly because this was not what he had been planning for almost a year for!
Luckily, he’s quick on his feet and whispered to the pilot, “I’m going to propose on the way back.”
And that’s how it happened. I was SO shocked and didn’t know what to do! I just kept looking at him and looking back at the ring. Finally, I snapped out of it and of course said “YES!” When we landed, our friends were waiting on the beach with champagne and a glorious dinner of fresh seafood. What a great day!
What were the deciding factors for choosing NOVA 535?
It truly was LOVE at first site. NOVA 535 is such a unique event space. We really love the big city feel with the open loft floorplan and exposed brick.
Additionally, it was important to us that our venue not feel like a banquet hall or hotel (so no carpet/gaudy chandeliers). You can have gorgeous weddings at those venues, but it’s just not our style.
Fun fact: NOVA also has 10 bathrooms! We knew this would come in handy with an open bar!
How did you incorporate you and your husband’s personalities into the wedding?
It was extremely important to us to make the day feel personal and not a cookie cutter wedding. We spent a lot of time together planning out even the smallest of details.
Lawrence came up with a great idea to use vintage clocks stopped at a specific time as our table numbers. On the back of the clocks we added explanations of why they were set to those times.
How would you describe your theme?
Rihanna meets James Bond – a very classy, chic party filled with dancing and fun. We chose this because it embodies who we are as individuals and as a couple.
What were your colors and why did you chose them?
Black, white, gold and glitter! It was New Year’s Eve and what’s a good party without some sparkle? We thought these colors really help to re-enforce the theme.
What were the most memorable moments?
Marrying my best friend! I truly have the most amazing husband in the world.
Our amazing families and wedding party; we are so truly blessed to have “a village” of loving and supportive people around us. They bent over backwards to help us execute the perfect day – always with smiles on their faces! We couldn’t have done it without them.
For the countdown to New Year’s Eve, my sister and brother-in-law arranged the most outrageous balloon drop in the ceiling. At midnight, everyone was covered in hundreds of black, white and gold balloons.
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
Stunning “unposed” pictures. While we love a good family photo, nothing captures memories better than those unplanned for shots (like Grandma and Aunt Rita owning the dance floor). Overall, a good reputation for reliability and reasonably priced package options.
Rad Red Creative had recently shot another friend’s wedding, and when I saw the pictures I was utterly speechless.
I also don’t take great pictures, but my husband does, so I was worried our wedding day pictures would all reflect that. Leo and Brittany [of Rad Red Creative] gave me the confidence and wonderful editing that would prove me wrong.
After looking at our pictures, we realized they were ninjas! They captured amazing pictures from every component of the wedding, but we never felt like they were in our faces. The memories that were captured will last us a lifetime and most importantly not just the posed family photos. They also took a lot of really unique shots – like ones where we spelled words with sparklers. We received so many compliments on our photos of how amazing we look in them.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
If you pick great and reliable vendors up front, it will save you tons of stress later on.
Make sure you and your groom make time for each other throughout the planning process. Go on dates where wedding talk is off limits.
When the big day arrives, be confident that all the hard work you’ve done planning will pay off.
Don’t stress about the small stuff, be sure to eat, soak up every minute & enjoy the day!
Ceremony and Reception Venue: NOVA 535 Unique Event Space *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Venue
Photographer: Rad Red Creative *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Vendor
Planner: Rubies and Pearls
Florist: Geoffrey’s Flowers
Caterer: Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion
Cupcakes: Mm Mm Delicious Cupcakes
Cake: Datz Dough
DJ: DJ Jaey
Officiant: Angel Oyola
Invitations: Invitations Consultants
Transportation: Martz First Class
Dress: Casablanca Bridal
Shoes: Gianni Bini
Bridesmaid Dress: Etsy
Hair & Makeup: Lauren (Lo) Edwards