Haley and Chris tied the knot during an intimate daytime wedding ceremony near the heart of downtown Tampa.
The bride and groom supported their neighborhood by choosing a local, non-traditional location with a bohemian vibe.
“We live in a small neighborhood in Tampa, called Riverside Heights. Our area shows a ton of support for local businesses to include artists, farmers markets, craft boutiques and shops, and micro-breweries. We wanted to get married in a place that reflected those values and stayed true to the community feel that we love,” the bride shared.
To provide ideas for her natural, earthy inspired wedding, Haley researched online wedding blogs.
“We love greenery, brick, and anything historic. We drew our inspiration from the natural colors in all of the succulents, cacti, and other foliage,” the bride explained. “During the wedding planning process, I frequented Marry Me Tampa Bay and various blogs to draw inspiration for color schemes, venue ideas, attire, and décor.”
With the goal in mind to select local reputable wedding vendors, the couple did not have to look far when it came to choosing their Tampa wedding photographer.
“I worked alongside Carrie Wildes Photography for several years as a photographer myself. I know her style, and it has always been a good fit for what Chris and I were looking for. Carrie is fun and sociable and my family and friends also loved her!” the bride gushed. “I was absolutely honored to have her shoot my wedding. Her service was beyond reproach and the photographs came out perfect.”
Looking back on their wedding day, the couple incorporated a surprise gender reveal to share with their guests.
“We decided to surprise all of our family and friends with a gender reveal cake instead of a traditional wedding cake. At the time of our wedding, I was five months pregnant, so keeping the surprise a secret was hard but made the reveal memorable and so exciting. It’s a boy!” Haley reminisced.
One day Chris took me to Busch Gardens, which wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for us. We would often go there to walk around, ride rides, and see all the animals. This particular day, Chris surprised me by booking with a penguin encounter (penguins are my favorite animals, and we often joke about being penguins ourselves because of their monogamous nature). Turns out, Chris booked out the whole tour to make it a private affair and coordinated with the zoo keeper to provide a penguin and take pictures of the proposal. Chris proceeded to talk to me about how penguins pick a mate in the wild by selecting the perfect pebble and presenting it to a potential mate. He then made the smooth transition to one knee, presented his pebble (my ring), and asked me to be his wife. The whole thing was breathtaking, personalized, and incredibly sweet.
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
I didn’t have to look for much. I worked alongside Carrie Wildes Photography for several years as a photographer myself. I know Carrie's style, and it has always been a good fit for what Chris and I were looking for. She’s fun and sociable and my family and friends also loved her!
I was absolutely honored to have Carrie shoot my wedding. Her service was beyond reproach and the photographs came out perfect.
How would you describe your theme?
Plants! Beautiful plants as far as we could see. We love greenery, brick, and anything historic.
What were your colors?
Blush, wine, blues and greenery. We drew our inspiration from the natural colors in all of the succulents, cacti, and other foliage already present at our venue.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Breathe. Trust in the process and enjoy the ride. The wedding day is a whirlwind of activity with small moments of clarity and euphoria. Enjoy it and soak it in because it’s over as fast as it begins.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Fancy Free Nursery
Photographer: Carrie Wildes Photography *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Florist: Megan Wages
Caterer: Gold Ring
Rentals: Brandon Rentals
Cake: Goldies Goodies
Officiant: Suzanna Johnson (Friend)
Invitations: Vista Print
Hair: Brianna Alessandra Beauty
Makeup: Jess Waldrop
Bow ties and Suspenders: Melody Of Cuteness (Etsy)