Megan and Ben's South Tampa wedding featured neutral colors in an elegant atmosphere.
“Our theme was romantic, botanical and classic, with modern elements,” the bride shared. “We wanted to keep it simple, but soft and beautiful and chose a theme that represented us. Our colors were neutrals, tans, beige and blush, with a lot of greenery. We wanted a simple botanical look.”
The high school sweethearts married at their alma mater, South Tampa's Academy of the Holy Names Chapel.
“Our wedding was unique because of our location ceremony. Ben and I both graduated from there, and they only allow alumni to get married there. We both love Tampa so much, so when we decided to get married, it was a no brainer on where to get married,” Megan explained. “It's a very special place to us, and it's actually exactly what we wanted look-wise. My great uncle married us, which was super special.”
Tampa wedding photography was one of the most important elements to the couple's day, and they searched for someone who made them feel comfortable.
“When I met Ailyn of [Ailyn La Torre Photography], I knew she was the one! Ailyn is the sweetest person, who makes you feel like family!” the bride gushed. “She was incredibly professional, yet fun and personable. She truly cares so much, and her work showed that. She helped with my schedule the ‘day of' and kept us together and on time all day. Her compliments throughout our photo sessions always made me smile.”
Looking back, one of Megan's most memorable moments happened at the end of the night, as she reflected on her wedding day.
“Our exit was so much fun with all the balloons and waving to everyone as we drove away. After we sat down, I was in awe of the evening. I'll never forget, I said to my husband, ‘Did that really just happen? It was perfect.' We were so happy and blissful the entire night,” the bride reminisced.
After a stressful week of moving out of my family home, and after about an hour of playing “our” old songs, Ben took me by our high school hangout park on “the way to a birthday dinner for his Papa.” It had just started raining as he opened my car door, and all at once, it hit me. He was about to propose!
After walking up to the fountain and saying many cute and sweet things that I was too elated to even hear, Ben got down on one knee, with the biggest smile on his face, and asked me to marry him. He shakily put the ring on my finger, as I said “Yes, of course!” in the most blissful state.
One of our best friends jumped out from hiding to take pictures, and the happy tears began to flow. He surprised me with a dinner with our entire family afterwards (my sister even flew in from DC!), and we left the next morning for a weekend getaway.
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
We wanted to hire someone with a beautiful portfolio who used a lot of natural light and who we could feel comfortable with. When I met Ailyn of [Ailyn La Torre Photography], I knew she was the one! Ailyn is the sweetest person, who makes you feel like family! She was incredibly professional, yet fun and personable. She truly cares so much, and her work showed that. She helped with my schedule the “day of” and kept us together and on time all day. Her compliments throughout our photo sessions always made me smile.
Our photographer exceed our expectations because not only were her pictures beautiful, but her personality, demeanor and big heart made all the difference. Her and her husband worked so well together and were more than a joy!
How would you describe your theme?
Romantic, botanical and classic, with modern elements. We wanted to keep it simple, but soft and beautiful and chose a theme that represented us. I love greenery and that botanical look, and I absolutely love the way eucalyptus smells. It makes you feel good, so there was no question that I wanted it to be apart of my florals.
What were your colors?
Neutrals, tans, beige and blush, with a lot of greenery. We wanted a simple, botanical look.
What did you look for in a wedding DJ?
We wanted a DJ who wasn't too laid back and too “over the top,” someone right in the middle, who was fun! We wanted our favorite songs and artists to be played, and we wanted a great MC for the evening. Grant Hemond and Associates checked all of this off our DJ list.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Do your research, pin your pins and have fun with the planning, but just go with YOUR personal loves when making decisions. There are SO many options, but what do you want? It's really that simple.
Keep track of your budget, look at areas where you can spend less in (like florals, shoes, or the cake), if you want to spend more in certain areas (like the photographer, an open bar or your dress).
Enjoy the process and ask for help when you need it!
Ceremony Venue: Academy of the Holy Names Chapel
Reception Venue: Oxford Exchange
Photographer: Ailyn LaTorre Photography
Planner: One Fine Day – Sarah Fairbairn
Florist: RE-imagine Events
Caterer: Oxford Exchange
Cake: Deb and Julianne Collins
DJ: Grant Hemond & Associates *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Vendor
Officiant: Rev. Msgr. Joseph Plunkett
Invitations & Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas and Drafts and Crafts
Transportation: Jolley Trolly
Dress Shop and Designer: Malindy Elene Couture – Nicole Miller
Bridesmaid Dresses: Paper Crown by Lauren Conrad
Hair & Makeup: Gina Escarpanter and Vicki Yado
Men's Tuxes: The Black Tux
Guitarist: Chops Music Studio – Matt Jeffries