Jenn, an eighth grader at Benito Middle School at the time, had a premonition that she would date her younger classmate Matt, but little did she know just how on target she would be.
“We became really good friends and flirted a lot but never officially dated,” Jenn shared. “I wrote in his yearbook that year, ‘I promise to be your girlfriend one day.'”
While the pair went their separate ways, three years later they reconnected in a high school health class that Jenn was delayed in taking.
“On the first day of school, I walked into that current 10th grade class, and so did Matt. It was fate!” Jenn reminisced. “Matt messaged me on MySpace and from then on it was history. We talked everyday, hung out, texted, flirted and became friends again. We were both dating other people and never crossed a line, but the idea was present in our minds.”
Four years after that middle school yearbook quote, Jenn and Matt became a couple and have been emotionally inseparable since.
Even with Jenn attending college at Penn State while Matt was still in Florida, and then being separated again while she studied abroad, the pair's relationship continued to grow and they eventually moved in together while both attending college in Pennsylvania.
After graduation, Jenn and Matt moved back to Florida, but it was a trip back to their alma mater that sealed the deal for the high school sweethearts.
“During Memorial Day weekend in 2012, Matt and I flew to Penn State for an alumni visit. I thought this was just a fun weekend, but it turns out Matt had bigger plans. He, my mom and his twin brother Scott, had planned a surprise engagement on campus in front of our school's mascot, the Nittany Lion. With cameras, video, and a large crowd, I accepted Matt's proposal with an, “Of course I will!” Jenn shared.
To create the perfect mix of elegant with touch a of edginess, Jenn and Matt knew they needed a unique St. Petersburg wedding venue.
“We had been hunting everywhere and did a lot of research online. Nowhere was really catching our eyes and we didn't seem to agree on the perfect spot,” the bride said. “Then, we walked in to NOVA 535. As soon as we entered, we looked at each other and we both just knew that this was it. We fell in love the second we walked in. It was hip, young, fun, new, modern and gorgeous, everything we wanted in a wedding venue.”
The Tampa couple wanted their downtown St. Pete wedding to be a reflection of their personalities. “We made every decision as a couple and this helped us both shine through our choices,” Jenn said. “Matt is a very simple and traditional man; he loves simplicity, and the black and white really showed this side of him. For me, I think the venue incorporated my personality: loud, bright, colorful and artsy.”
To capture their big day, the couple hired St. Petersburg wedding photographer Laurie Wilson Photography. “Laurie was amazing. She captured our engagement photos and wedding pictures perfectly and truly gave us one-of-a-kind memories. Her product is above and beyond anything we could have ever imagined,” Jenn gushed.
Looking back, many of the bride's most memorable moments included her friends and family's roles in the wedding: the toasts her two maids of honor gave and her parents and nephew walking the rings down the aisle.
“Laurie Wilson Photography was amazing. She captured our engagement photos and wedding pictures perfectly and truly gave us one-of-a-kind memories. Her product is above and beyond anything we could have ever imagined.” -The Bride
“We made every decision as a couple and this helped us both shine through our choices. Matt loves simplicity, and the black and white really showed this side of him. For me, I think the venue incorporated my personality: loud, bright, colorful and artsy.” – The Bride
“We fell in love with NOVA 535 the second we walked in. It was hip, young, fun, new, modern and gorgeous, everything we wanted in a wedding venue.” – The Bride
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Plan, plan, plan. The more organized you are, the better, but remember, something will still go wrong!
Don't stress though, because no matter what, you will be there, your husband will be there and your love will be there. At the end of the day, that is all you need for a magical wedding.
St. Petersburg Wedding Venue: NOVA 535 Unique Event Space
St. Petersburg Wedding Photographer: Laurie Wilson Photography
St. Petersburg Wedding Videographer: Indie Atlantic Films
St. Petersburg Wedding Florist: The Bridal Florist – Christine Hackett
St. Petersburg Wedding Caterer: Ciccio's St. Pete
St. Petersburg Wedding Cake: Jacquie MacDonald (Gluten-Free Baker)
St. Petersburg Wedding Officiants: Pastors Dave and Rita Gardner-Tweed
St. Petersburg Wedding Invitations: The American Wedding
St. Petersburg Wedding DJ: NOVA 535's DJ Jaey
St. Petersburg Wedding Dress: Solutions Bridal – Watters (Gainesville)
St. Petersburg Wedding Hair: Salon Patrick Nee – Gwen Stewart
We are proud to have NOVA 535 as a Marry Me Tampa Bay sponsor!