Winter Wedding Inspiration | University of Tampa Wedding
Cynthia and Lee's modern winter inspired wedding featured ice sculptures, a four-tiered wedding cake suspended from the ceiling and a wedding venue close to the bride's heart.
The Trinity couple chose an iconic downtown Tampa wedding venue, which was also where bride's parents first met.
“I chose The University of Tampa because it means so much to my family. Both of my parents are passed, but they actually met at UT when my mother was a student and father was a professor. My father went on to become the Vice President, and after his death, several sections of the University were named after him,” the bride shared.
To honor her late parents, Cynthia kept their memory nearby the entire day.
“I had custom lockets made of both parents pictures, and they were sewn to my bridal shoes by my maid of honor,” the bride explained. “My parents were still with me as I walked down the aisle.”
To make their wedding day perfect, the bride and groom hired Tampa wedding planner UNIQUE Weddings and Events.
“At first I thought I could do it all on my own, but working full-time, I never could have pulled a wedding of my dreams without the knowledge of a wedding planner,” Cynthia said. “I always go with my heart on things and instantly after my fiancé and I met with Staci of UNIQUE Weddings and Events, there was no need to go home and think about it. Their services were very affordable and worth every penny spent, if not more. Every moment of my wedding day went flawlessly, thanks to Staci and her team. Now that the wedding is over I miss talking to her almost daily.”
The modern icy wonderland reception, which won a national wedding industry award, featured uplighting, specialty linens from Over the Top Rental Linens, chiavari chairs and chargers from Signature Event Rentals and some eye catching details.
“This couple had an appreciation for both classic traditional design as well as sleek modern elegance, so we decided to combine both styles into their dream wedding,” wedding planner and designer Staci Mandikas of UNIQUE Weddings and Events shared. “A chandelier made of ice greeted wedding guests and set the tone for an evening of surprises. Down a long corridor was an icy wonderland consisting of silver chairs, mirror-top tables and blue lighting, but the most eye-catching element of all was the centerpieces made of ice!”
“Making my wedding unique was important; I wanted a wedding people still talk about,” the bride added. “It was beyond anything I had envisioned.”
Looking back, one of Cynthia's most memorable moments was feeling her father's presence during her wedding day.
“The day we got married was beautiful with no wind at all. While we were taking couple pictures with our Rolls Royce on the University of Tampa campus, we were steps from a building named after my late father, Walker Hall. When I told my husband ‘Look there is my daddy’s building. I wish he was here with us,' it was at that very moment that my seven foot veil just raised in the air and covered my husband’s face, so we both laughed. That was the only breeze we had the entire day,” the bride reminisced.
Lee proposed during the Christmas holidays during a quiet night at home. He called me into the living room wanting to sit and talk, which was unusual for him. When I sat down, he dropped to one knee in front of our Christmas tree and pulled this beautiful box from beneath the tree. He was so nervous during his proposal he actually broke the custom wooden box in half while taking my ring out to place on my finger.
What was your wedding day beauty inspiration?
I just wanted to be the bride that would make my tough guy husband cry when he saw me, and the bride that turned everyone’s heads on my special day. At the advice of my wedding planner, I hired Lasting Luxe. I did my trial run with hair and makeup the day of my engagement photo shoot. Michele had lots of ideas and took the time to make sure my wishes and visions were taken care of. I saw Michele’s work and was amazed.
What did you look for in a wedding planner?
At first I thought I could do it all on my own, but working full-time, I never could have pulled a wedding of my dreams without the knowledge of a wedding planner.
I always go with my heart on things and instantly after my fiancé and I met with Staci of UNIQUE Weddings and Events, there was no need to go home and think about it. Everyone that I met through UNIQUE exceeded my expectations. Their services were very affordable and worth every penny spent, if not more. Staci was so helpful; she seemed more like a best friend then a wedding planner. Every moment of my wedding day went flawlessly, thanks to Staci and her team. Now that the wedding is over I miss talking to her almost daily.
What were your colors?
My ceremony and reception were totally different colors and themes, because I loved so many things. Burgundy and gold were dominant during the ceremony and cocktail hour to represent the University of Tampa Spartan colors.
The reception was entirely different, I loved the cold colors and adore lots of bling, but I did not want the typical winter wonderland, so at the suggestion of my wedding planner, we did hues of turquoise, loads of bling and many aspects like chandeliers and centerpieces carved in ice. The ceiling portrayed a Northern Lights theme. It was beyond anything I had envisioned.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Don’t stress. Stop worrying about what everyone else will think. Incorporate anything that is important to you and your husband in your special day. Most importantly, spend the extra money for a wedding planner; it was best investment I made.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: University of Tampa Plant Hall & Vaughn Center
Photographer: Eva Photo Studio
Videographer: Trinity Wedding Cinema
Planner: UNIQUE Weddings and Events *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Florist: FH Weddings
Linen Rentals: Over the Top Rental Linens *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Chiavari Chair & Charger Rentals: Signature Event Rentals
Linen Rentals: Linens by the Sea
Cake: The Cake Zone
DJ: DJ Richie Rich
Officiant: Sensational Ceremonies
Invitations: Invitation Consultants
Transportation: Alpha Limo
Hair & Makeup: Lasting Luxe