Although they live hundreds of miles away, Melissa and Michael have local ties to the Tampa Bay area and chose to host a destination St. Pete Beach wedding.
“My grandparents have owned a condo in Pass-a-Grille for over 40 years, and my parents own a condo in St. Pete Beach. My husband and I went on our first official date at Snapper’s restaurant in St Pete Beach,” the bride shared. “We decided on a destination wedding because we wanted everyone to celebrate with us for an extended weekend, away from the real world.”
With only six months to planning their destination beach wedding, the North Carolina couple enlisted the help of St. Pete Beach wedding planner Kimberly Hensley Events.
“I truly do not believe I would have made it down the aisle without Kimberly. She was beyond fantastic. She kept me on schedule and calm throughout the planning process and on our big day,” Melissa gushed. “She is extremely detailed oriented and was always listening for what I was subliminally saying or thinking. I had a great time planning my wedding with her, we had tons of fun and she was always available, always!”
To keep the bride looking her best, even in the Florida heat and humidity, Melissa hired St. Petersburg wedding hair and make up artists Lasting Luxe.
“I wanted someone who could give me a natural look. I have very fine hair, and I still can't believe Dena [of Lasting Luxe] was able to get my hair to stay in place through the whole wedding and reception,” the bride beamed. “I absolutely loved the way my hair and makeup turned out. Everyone kept asking if I used a hair piece because Dena made my hair look full without being to big.”
Looking back, the bride shared that the most important aspect of her wedding day was celebrating with her loved ones.
“We incorporated many different family members to make the day about what is truly important to us. My uncle was our officiant and every person who played a role in our ceremony was part of our family,” the bride reminisced. “Sadly, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly, six months after our wedding. I am extremely blessed to have the beautiful pictures and video of him during our ceremony, where he led us in prayer and the reception, while he gave the first toast. Our pictures and video will help keep his spirit and laughter alive for a lifetime.”
Why did you hire a wedding planner?
I hired a wedding planner because we were planning a destination wedding on a short timeline (six months). My mother was actually the one who found Kimberly Hensley Events. Initially, we liked their website when we googled “wedding planners in Tampa.” My mother contacted Kimberly first, and when they originally spoke, Kimberly was already booked for the date I was initially planning on getting married, but she still took the time to speak to my mother on the phone for 45 minutes regarding venues, vendors, etc. She was extremely helpful and kind from the very beginning.
I truly do not believe I would have made it down the aisle without Kimberly. She was beyond fantastic. She kept me on schedule and calm throughout the planning process and on our big day. She is extremely detailed oriented and was always listening for what I was subliminally saying or thinking. Kimberly did a remarkable job recommending vendors that matched my personality and what I was looking for. Our straight forward personalities meshed from the beginning. I had a great time planning my wedding with her, we had tons of fun and she was always available, always!
Simple and sweet. My husband always wakes up earlier than I do on the weekends and gets me coffee. One Saturday morning, I was still sleeping, and he woke me up with my coffee and slipped the ring on my finger. It was perfect.
What did you look for in a hair and makeup artist?
I wanted someone who could give me a natural look. I loved the gallery on Lasting Luxe's website and once we began communicating, I knew Dena was the one. She made special arrangements to come to my parents condo for our trial run a few months before the wedding. She was so kind and had great advice. We experimented with different hair looks, and Dena didn't leave until it was perfect.
On the day of my wedding I decided to go with a different style, and she never flinched. Dena just calmly explained the differences and supported my decision to make changes to the original plan. I absolutely loved the way my hair and makeup turned out. I have very fine hair, and I still can't believe she was able to get my hair to stay in place through the whole (outdoor hot and humid) wedding and reception. Everyone kept asking if I used a hair piece because she made my hair look full without being to big. My Florida family has continued to book her for weddings. We all love and adore her!
How would you describe your theme?
We didn’t really have a theme; I guess it was celebrating our love, family and friends. We didn’t have a wedding party, so it was intimate and less stressful. We wanted to have fun, dance, celebrate and enjoy the love of each other and all the family and friends who traveled to be with us. I wanted a packed dance floor all night long and that goal was achieved.
What were your colors?
Blush, silver, cream and the natural green in our flowers. I didn’t want anything bold and bright, more simple and classic. I loved our flowers, they turned out better than I expected.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Have fun and don’t get caught up in the chaos. Try to keep the moments special, and stick to what it is important to you.
Love your photographer, this is very important.
Make sure you have plenty of time to get ready. Looking back I didn’t realize the time it took to get ready on that day, just be prepared.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Don CeSar *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Venue
Photographer: Ashlee Hamon Photography
Videographer: Movie Magic Productions
Planner: Kimberly Hensley Events *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Florist: Flowers by Design
Caterer: The Don CeSar
Cake: The Cake Zone
DJ: The Headliners Band
Officiant: Bride's Uncle
Dress Shop: Ladies of Lineage (North Carolina)
Hair & Makeup: Lasting Luxe