Liana and Manny’s Ybor City wedding featured a show stopping couture wedding dress, Boston terrier flower girl, two Grammy award-winning artists and over 1,000 wedding guests.
The bride and groom incorporated their Cuban heritage into their big day through their wedding venue choices.
“We are Cuban-Americans born and raised in Tampa. In Tampa, there are two areas that hold deep meaning for both of our families and the community we are members of: Ybor City and West Tampa. These areas have a historical connection to Cuba, the immigrant experience, the cigar industry and the American Dream,” the bride explained. “The church service took place at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in West Tampa, and the wedding reception took place in Ybor City, across the street of the historic cigar factory that houses the corporate offices for the Arturo Fuente Cigar Company (the bride’s family business).”
Entertainment played an important part of Liana and Manny’s wedding day, as the couple had not one, but two Grammy-winning musicians.
“We are both music lovers and lovers of our heritage,” the bride gushed. “I will always remember (10-time Grammy award-winning trumpet artist) Arturo Sandoval playing Ave Maria during the ceremony and having Willy Chirino perform at our wedding was a dream come true.”
To host their 1,000+ person guest list, the couple created a custom 20,000 sq. ft. outdoor pavilion with multiple tents featuring cigar, oyster and entrance bars for their cigar inspired, Ybor City wedding.
“Our reception was built to our liking and as elegant and fun as can be; photos do not do it justice,” Liana beamed.
With the guidance of their wedding planner and designer, the bride and groom hired Tampa wedding florist Andrea Layne Floral Designs to create a clean, classy and exotic look for their florals and centerpieces.
“Andrea Layne Floral Design went out of their way to get things perfect. They even made a custom floral dog leash for my flower ‘girl!'” the bride shared.
The pair searched for a Tampa wedding photographer who could capture all of the memories of the day.
“We looked for someone with innate talent who would be able to work in a traditional style, but at the same time, be able to think outside of the box and take risks and be creative,” Liana explained. “There is no other photographer I would hire. Ailyn of Ailyn La Torre Photography is amazing; she made us feel like family.”
One of the most captivating photos of the couple’s wedding day included Liana’s Ines di Santo wedding dress.
“I let the dress pick me. I went in open-minded and tried on everything,” the bride shared. “Isabel O’ Neil Bridal had a great and very diverse selection of dresses. They even went out of their way to find me that ‘OMG’ dress.”
Looking back, some of the couple’s most cherished memories took place at the start of their wedding ceremony and continued into the next morning.
“Manny felt walking down the aisle with his parents and having Chachi as the flower girl were some of his most memorable moments. I will always remember walking down the aisle with my dad,” the bride reminisced. “We both loved partying with our friends and family until 6 a.m., especially the crazy hour of music that included some old school hip-hop that was played they year we met in 1994!”
What was your wedding dress inspiration?
I let the dress pick me. I went in open-minded and tried on everything.
Isabel O’Neil Bridal had a great and very diverse selection of dresses. They even went out of their way to find me that *OMG* dress. All the ladies working there were first-class and professional.
Manny laid eyes on me for the first time on Friday, June 3rd, 1994 – over 22 years ago. We were both teenagers who were attending a mutual friend’s birthday party. Fast forward to November 2014, when Manny is contemplating where to propose to his life-long friend and love of his life. As is the usual thought process in these situations, images of fancy restaurants, beautiful beaches and weekend trips somewhere romantic went through Manny’s mind. However, with so much that had happened between us in 20+ years, the one image that was always in the back of his mind was that Friday night at that party when he first laid eyes on that beautiful girl. So life had decided for Manny, he would propose in the exact same location.
He was able to get me there the evening of December 11, 2014. He lied about hearing some strange noise in the car and ended up parking on that street corner. With the hazard lights on, he said he was getting out to check. He placed the ring under the front of the car and asked me to come out and hold the phone light for him. I got out, placed the light under the car and saw that there was something on the ground. Manny picked that “something” up, turned around on one knee and asked the question of questions, “Will you marry me?”
What were your colors?
Gold, black and white.
What was your floral inspiration?
Clean, classy and exotic.
Andrea Layne Floral Design went out of their way to get things perfect. They even made a custom floral dog leash for my flower “girl!”
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
Someone with innate talent who would be able to work in a traditional style, but at the same time, be able to think outside of the box and take risks and be creative.
There is no other photographer I would hire. Ailyn of Ailyn La Torre Photography is amazing; she made us feel like family.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Don’t stress. Everything will come out great at the end! Enjoy your night to the fullest and take it all in.
Ceremony Venue: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Private Residence
Photographer: Ailyn La Torre Photography
Videographer: Voila Cinematic
Lighting, Sound, Production: The Production Crew
Creative Design/Planner: Grand Events of Florida
Main Florist: Andrea Layne Floral Designs
Additional Floral Design: Divine Creations
Caterer: Mise en Place
Main Linen Rental: Connie Duglin Linens
Additional Linen Rental: Nuage Designs
Tent Rental: Tentlogix
Cake: Chocolate Pi
DJ: Sustache Music Events, Inc
Entertainment: Arturo Sandoval, Willy Chirino and D. Bailey Management
Invitations/Papiere: The Write Stuff
Dress Shop and Designer: Isabel O’ Neil Bridal *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro – Ines DiSanto
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Hair: Level Salon
Makeup: Natalie Foroughi