Blue and Yellow Clearwater Beach Destination Wedding | Duval Ballroom Center

Tampa Bay Wedding Planning Advice Group

Ifie and Obie’s destination Clearwater Beach wedding featured a travel-themed, beachy ambiance for the jet-setting bride and groom. Choosing the Sunshine State for their destination wedding, the Washington D.C. couple invited 110 guests for an unforgettable weekend.

“Travel has always been a central theme in our relationship as a long-distance couple from the very beginning, so it was clear we wanted to use it as a theme throughout our wedding. From passport-themed invitations to escort cards to luggage tag favors, we had it all,” the bride explained. “Aside from our travel theme, we wanted to get married near the beach, which is why we chose our waterfront location. Our overall goal was to make our destination wedding trip like a vacation for our loved ones and give them the opportunity to relax and have a good time celebrating. Even though the weather did not permit for a beach ceremony or reception, our day was still so very special!”

MORE: CLEARWATER BEACH WEDDINGS

While planning her destination wedding from afar, Ifie used Marry Me Tampa Bay as a resource to search for vendors and view local weddings.

“Marry Me Tampa Bay was a gamechanger when it came to researching different vendors and getting insight as to how other couples planned their big day,” the bride gushed. “I was so inspired by some of the featured weddings and even found my planner, Special Moments Event Planning, through the site!”

Coming highly recommended by Marry Me Tampa Bay, Special Moments Event Planning was the perfect match for Ifie and Obie since the planning team had experienced with ethnic celebrations, that of which included a Nigerian wedding!

“Tammy was a Godsend! She was almost like a fairy godmother throughout the process. With her knowledge of the area and many years of experience in wedding planning, she provided a lot of helpful insight, especially in regards to the logistics of a beach wedding. I loved how she was budget-conscious in her vendor recommendations, and I was so appreciative of everything she did for us from day one,” the bride beamed. “What really made Tammy special was how she was by my side after facing a lot of problems with our initial ceremony venue. In hindsight, I wish I had listened to her and explored alternative venues, but somehow, she still worked her magic even after she informed me the tent on the beach had collapsed and the park was flooded due to a tropical storm. She assured me that the alternate hotel venue would still be beautiful and worked tirelessly with the vendors to make it happen. I am eternally grateful to her because otherwise, my wedding day could have been a disaster!”

LEARN MORE ABOUT SPECIAL MOMENTS EVENT PLANNING | EMAIL

With a special four-legged ring bearer in mind, the bride and groom knew they’d needed pet experts to include their furbaby into their wedding.

“We hired FairyTail Pet Care to handle our dog, Lily Furball, on the wedding day. I knew the day would be very hectic and wanted someone to be there to care for her, ensure she was in the pictures, and help coordinate her down the aisle,” Ifie shared. “I really appreciate and loved the service provided by FairyTail. They took great care of Lily and made sure she was later returned to our hotel room. We would certainly use them again and highly recommend them to anyone who wishes to incorporate their furry friends into their special day.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT FAIRYTAIL PET CARE | EMAIL

With so many unique elements to their wedding, it’s hard for Ifie and Obie to pick just one favorite moment.

“There were so many sweet memories that we will both forever cherish,” the bride reminisced. “From seeing each other for the first time to the reaction on everyone’s face when Lily Furball came down the aisle in her little wagon, we were overwhelmed with happiness. Even though the weather did not permit for a beach ceremony or reception, our day was still so very special! Dancing the night away, surrounded by our family and friends, meant the most to us.”

Travel Themed Wedding Decor, Passports and White Floral Bouquets | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning

Round Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring, Bride and Groom Wedding Bands

White Dog with White Flower and Greenery Collar | Tampa Bay Pet Planner FairyTail Pet Care

Lace Sleeveless and Sweetheart Wedding Dress, Yellow Matching Bridesmaids Dresses

Tampa Bay Bride Getting Wedding Ready in Off The Shoulder Lace Wedding Dress

Tampa Bride in Off the Shoulder Sweetheart Neckline Lace Wedding Dress with Bridesmaids in Yellow Matching Dresses Portrait

Classic Tampa Bay Bride at Window in Off the Shoulder Lace Wedding Dress

Bride in Romantic Lace Off the Shoulder Wedding Dress Holding Ivory Floral Bouquet First Look Wedding Portrait with Groom

Bride in Romantic Lace Off the Shoulder Wedding Dress Holding Ivory Floral Bouquet First Look Wedding Portrait with Groom

The Proposal:
Obi planned a date night after work to Rasika, the first restaurant we visited together. He coordinated with the manager and servers on the engagement plan and after dessert, he started talking about us, professing his love, and then to my surprise he got on one knee and popped the big question!

Bride in Romantic Lace Off the Shoulder Wedding Dress Holding Ivory Floral Bouquet First Look Wedding Portrait with Groom

Bride in Romantic Lace Off the Shoulder Wedding Dress Holding Ivory Floral Bouquet First Look Wedding Portrait with Groom on Staircase | Clearwater Beach Wedding Venue Duvall Ballroom Center

Beach Themed Wedding Program Fans on Bed of Flowers

Romantic Classic Wedding Ceremony Decor, Ghost Acrylic Chairs, White Draping Backdrop with Round Ivory Floral Wreath | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Wedding Rentals Gabro Event Services | Clearwater Beach Wedding Venue Duvall Ballroom

Romantic Classic White Hydrangeas, Roses, Yellow Florals in Circular Wreath | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning

What did you look for in a wedding planner?
I was looking for an experienced wedding planner who was affordable and could really bring my vision to life. Initially, I didn’t think I needed a wedding planner. As I toured other venues, I thought the on-site coordinator would be enough, but I soon realized the absolute need for a full-time planner. I didn’t realize how stressful wedding planning would be in general and since we were planning a destination wedding from out-of-state, I knew I need an extra set of hands!

I hired Special Moments Event Planning after the initial connection I had with Tammy Waterman. She was very warm, knowledgeable, and understood what I wanted and how to execute it. Her prices were quite reasonable for the services provided and she very thorough and detail-oriented. She also came highly recommended by various venues!

Tammy was a Godsend! She was almost like a fairy godmother throughout the process. With her knowledge of the area and many years of experience in wedding planning, she provided a lot of helpful insight, especially in regards to the logistics of a beach wedding. I loved how she was budget-conscious in her vendor recommendations, and I was so appreciative of everything she did for us from day one. She helped immensely with a lot of the decision making including picking out decor, flowers, design elements, and even helped find a wagon cart for my dog, Lily, to come down the aisle in. We worked very well together and she listened to my ideas and made helpful suggestions and modifications. What really made Tammy special was how she was by my side after facing a lot of problems with our initial ceremony venue. In hindsight, I wish I had listened to her and explored alternative venues, but somehow, she still worked her magic even after she informed me the tent on the beach had collapsed and the park was flooded due to a tropical storm. She assured me that the alternate hotel venue would still be beautiful and worked tirelessly with the vendors to make it happen. I am eternally grateful to her because otherwise, my wedding day could have been a disaster!

Classic Romantic White Hydrangeas, Yellow Roses, Floral Arrangement on Pedestal Wedding Ceremony Decor | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning

Romantic Classic White Hydrangeas, Rose Petals, Roses, Yellow Florals in Circular Wreath | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning

White Dog Being Pulled in White and Gold Wagon with Wooden Personalized Sign Wedding Ceremony Portrait | Tampa Bay Wedding Pet Planner FairyTail Pet Care

Why did you choose to incorporate your pet into your wedding day?
I love my dog, Lily, very much. She has been my best friend for seven years bringing so much joy and laughter into our lives. I knew I had to find a way for her to be a part of my wedding day, so she ended up being the ring bearer. It was so fun to see the smiles on our guests’ faces as she came down the aisle in her little wagon!

We hired FairyTail Pet Care to handle our Lily on the wedding day. I knew the day would be very hectic and wanted someone to be there to care for her, ensure she was in the pictures, and help coordinate her down the aisle. I really appreciate and loved the service provided by FairyTail. They took great care of Lily and made sure she was later returned to our hotel room. We would certainly use them again and highly recommend them to anyone who wishes to incorporate their furry friends into their special day.

 

Classic Bride and Father Walking Down the Wedding Ceremony Aisle Portrait

Classic Bride and Groom Exchanging Wedding Vows, Circular Wreath Ivory Floral Arch | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Events Planning

Classic Bride and Groom Excited Wedding Ceremony Exit Portrait

Romantic Sunset Bride and Groom Wedding Portrait on Terrace | Clearwater Beach Wedding Venue Duvall Ballroom Center

Classic Wedding Reception Decor, Long Feasting Table with White Linens, Tall White Hydrangeas, Yellow Roses Floral Centerpieces | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Clearwater Beach Wedding Venue Duvall Ballroom Center | Wedding Rentals Gabro Events Services

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
Travel has always been a central theme in our relationship as a long-distance couple from the very beginning, so it was clear we wanted to use it as a theme throughout our wedding. From passport-themed invitations to escort cards to luggage tag favors, we had it all. Aside from our travel theme, we wanted to get married near the beach which is why we chose our waterfront location. Our overall goal was to make our destination wedding trip like a vacation for our loved ones and give them the opportunity to relax and have a good time celebrating. Even though the weather did not permit for a beach ceremony or reception, our day was still so very special!

What were your colors?
Yellow and blue. We chose yellow because it reflects the warm sunny happy color and blue because of the ocean.

Classic Romantic Wedding Reception Decor, Sweetheart Table with White Linens and Backdrop, Pink Uplighting, Circular White and Ivory Floral Wreath Arch, Greenery Garland, Mr and Mrs Signs | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Clearwater Beach Wedding Venue Duvall Ballroom Center | Wedding Rentals Gabro Event Services

Elegant Royal Clear Acrylic Bride and Groom Chairs | Wedding Rentals Gabro Event Services

How did your rentals enhance your event?
The rentals from Gabro Event Services really helped make our ceremony and reception look beautiful! Everything came together quite nicely and the colors complemented each other to a T. The team was more than helpful and went out of their way to find the white couches and ottomans I wanted for the beach cocktail hour setup. I’m really grateful for their service and would definitely recommend Gabro Event Services for any occasion.

Travel Themed Wedding Reception Decor, Custom Airplane Ticket Seating Cards, Gold Beaded Chargers, White Linens, Custom Dinner Menu | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Wedding Rentals Gabro Event Services

Four Tier Beach Themed Blue and White Ombre Cake Decorate with Seashells

Romantic Classic Bride and Groom First Dance Wedding Reception Portrait

Traditional Bride and Groom in Colorful African Dress Attire Wedding Reception Exit Portrait

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
We would highly recommend that couples plan accordingly if they decide to do an outdoor wedding. We had a backup plan if there was bad weather the day-of, but we didn’t consider anything that was strong enough to destroy the tent. It’s important to note that Florida weather is unpredictable. If we could do it all over, we would have still planned for a beach wedding ceremony and opted for an indoor ballroom venue which could also double as a backup space for the ceremony. Our wedding day would have been much less hectic and started on time had we not just found a hotel venue that day! Also, pay close attention to reviews and choose vendors wisely, otherwise, go with the flow and cherish the time with your family and friends.

Venue: Duval Ballroom Center
Photographer: Limelight Photography
Videographer: Voila Cinematic
Planner: Special Moments Event Planning *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Florist: Apple Blossoms Floral Designs
Catering: Weddings at Sand Key
Cake: Chantilly Cakes
Invitations: Shutterfly
DJ: DJ Zimo
Saxophonist: Connell Thompson
MC: MC Slash Wisdom
Wedding Gown: Couture Bridal of Maryland
Bridesmaid Dresses: Jasmine Bridal
Hair Stylist: Schatzi C Bridal
Makeup Artist: Nicki Mac Brides
Pet Care: FairyTail Pet Care *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pros
Rentals: Gabro Event Services *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pros
Tent: US Tent Rental
Transportation: His & Hers Limousines
Additional Vendors: FTK, Konnect Events




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