Sandy and Keith's beautiful waterfront Tampa wedding was planned in just six short weeks after COVID thwarted their original Gainesville nuptials. The St. Pete couple swapped their initial historic building venue for a sunset cruise with soft flora and classic details and were thrilled with how their celebration unfolded.
Although the pair had to cancel their initial wedding plans at their Alma Mater where they had first met, the bride and groom decided to host a wedding for sentimental reasons, given the bride's relationship with her grandmother.
“We had a lot of reasons for moving forward with the wedding, but our main reason was because we wanted my grandma to officiate the ceremony,” Sandy shared. “She has been fighting cancer on and off for years now and her health hasn’t been the best lately. Having her officiate the wedding was something I had my heart set on since she also married my parents so we were willing to do whatever we needed to do to make sure our wedding happened.”
When it came time to pivot their wedding planning in a time crunch, Sandy turned to Marry Me Tampa Bay for resources and guidance.
“Marry Me Tampa Bay was a huge help during the planning process! Since the wedding in Gainesville was canceled so last-minute we had to re-plan basically the whole event, and we needed to do it quickly! I found Marry Me Tampa Bay, and I was quickly able to look through the venues, contact the ones I was interested in, and ultimately decide to host our event with Yacht StarShip because they offered everything we wanted,” the bride revealed.
When searching for a new venue, Sandy envisioned a one-stop-shop with beautiful views, and the Yacht StarShip not only checked all the boxes but they exceeded the couple's expectations on the big day.
“We looked for something that was all-inclusive since we were re-planning the wedding so quickly. The Yacht StarShip offered a venue, amazing picture spots, catering, a coordinator, and a DJ which was everything we were looking for!” the bride gushed. “They were absolutely amazing and so accommodating throughout the whole process. Chris was our coordinator, and she was so patient with my last-minute changes. She worked with our timeline and made sure we had a beautiful event!”
Sandy and Keith shared their most memorable moments during their ceremony on the top deck of the ship, when Keith first locked eyes with Sandy during the processional, and when the pair were overcome with emotion while exchanging vows.
“Keith said his most memorable moment was when I walked down the aisle,” Sandy recalled. “My most memorable was saying I do while we were both shaking like crazy, our first dance, and my first dance with my dad.”
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We looked for something that was all-inclusive since we were re-planning the wedding so quickly. The Yacht StarShip offered a venue, amazing picture spots, catering, a coordinator, and a DJ which was everything we were looking for!
We hired Yacht StarShip because they were all-inclusive and checked all of our boxes when planning. They were absolutely amazing and so accommodating throughout the whole process. Chris was our coordinator, and she was so patient with my last-minute changes. She worked with our timeline and made sure we had a beautiful event!
Keith and I were going to be graduating from the University of Florida, and we were taking graduation pictures on campus. We went to our “special spot,” where we spent a lot of time during our four years together, and Keith completely surprised me when he got down on one knee in the back of one of the photos. I had no idea until I turned around when he started talking to me!
What did you look for in a wedding linen rental company?
The Yacht StarShip was able to do the rental through their preferred vendor, Kate Ryan Event Rentals, which was one less step for me. Chris, our venue coordinator, showed me pictures of the colors before ordering them, and it was so easy! The Yacht StarShip has a great relationship with Kate Ryan so we chose to work with them as well. They did an amazing job and we didn’t have any issues. Everything was beautiful!
What advice would you give to other couples who have been affected by COVID?
Take a deep breath and roll with the punches. At the end of the day, it is about the person you love and the fact that you get to spend the rest of your life with them.
Things just simply won’t go as planned which was really hard for me to accept, but as soon as I did everything worked itself out. Remember what the day is all about.
Venue and Caterer: Yacht StarShip *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Venue
Photographer: Kenzie Rae Photo
Florist & Cake: Publix
Rentals: Kate Ryan Event Rentals *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Dress Shop and Designer: The Fancy Frock, Madi Lane
Bridesmaid Dress Shop and Designer: Lulu’s
Hair & Makeup: Art by Izzy
Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
*Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pros are highly respected by our local wedding community and have been personally vetted by our editor.