Maiken and Kevin’s South Tampa wedding combined a romantic palette of pinks and reds, unique flora, and a historic event venue. The Tampa couple originally planned a local celebration for 200 guests but decided to host an intimate affair for 48 of their closest friends and family due to COVID-19.
“We incorporated burgundy, blush, and black with greenery. We wanted a darker, romantic winter-like wedding feel,” the bride explained. “It was romantic and soft. We wanted something easy going and not too much fuss.”
The pair created personal vows to exchange simultaneously during their ceremony, which the bride attributes as the most unique element of their celebration.
“When we sat down to write our vows, it was important to us that they be unique to us. Kevin and I are a team, and we really blend well together. I brought the idea that to say our vows together, not one person then the next, but literally say them at the same time as a united front,” Maiken explained.
Other personal touches included Kevin’s penchant for books and the couple’s passion for wine.
“My husband loves books, so we created these stamped books as part of our centerpieces. We also love to learn about wine so we utilized wine bottles that our friends and family had been collecting for months in order to create lighted centerpieces and escort cards,” the bride divulged.
A reader of the Marry Me Tampa Bay blog during her planning process, Maiken viewed past real weddings for inspiration and to help narrow down her vendors.
She envisioned wood bouquets, an unusual request for some florists, along with unique arrangements and additional creative ideas.
“I wanted to use both sola wood flowers and incorporate a live floral wall. When I spoke with Dorelle of Brides N’ Blooms Wholesale Design we instantly clicked, and I knew she would be able to make both of my ideas come true!” Maiken raved. “Dorelle made the process very simple and stress-free. She was great at helping us understand items we needed to consider, things we could drop if we didn’t really love them, and most importantly she was able to create sola wood flower bouquets and my live hand-strung flower backdrop. They were the highlights of the décor for me, and I loved them!”
To elevate the style of the celebration and provide visual interest for the tables and place settings, the bride turned to Kate Ryan Event Rentals for various decor pieces including farm tables, specialty chairs, flatware, china, water goblets, and napkins.
Upon reminiscing the most memorable moment of the wedding day, Maiken recalled her Dad’s reception toast, which made an impression on many of the guests long after the celebration ended.
“My dad’s welcome toast [was the most memorable part],” the bride revealed. “He’s a larger-than-life character, and it meant a lot to both of us. We even had my husband’s co-workers commenting on the speech weeks after the wedding had taken place!”
We planned to go to North Carolina with my family for Easter weekend. Kevin and I were driving separately and decided to make a mini-trip out of it and stop over in Charleston on the drive up. We love a good experience, so we booked this “Chef’s Table” at Edmunds Oast, a restaurant my sister had recommended. We came into town late because of traffic, so we rushed to change and get ready to head to the restaurant. I couldn’t find my sandals so I threw on my sneakers with my dress and some mascara in the Uber.
We sat down at the Chef’s Table, which was like a bar attached to the open kitchen, so you could literally talk to the chefs as they prepped food, and they served you by passing the plates over the countertop; we loved the concept! A few minutes into ordering cocktails, Kevin went to stretch his legs, and when he came back he was just standing behind my chair for a minute. Because we had been in the car all day I literally thought, “Oh his back must hurt from sitting for so long.” Then he began to speak about our love for one another and our future, ultimately saying, “The love we share is common…I mean uncommon! Uncommon!” and we both started laughing. He asked, and I said yes!
What did you look for in a wedding florist?
I wanted to use both sola wood flowers and incorporate a live floral wall.
When I spoke with Dorelle of Brides N’ Blooms Wholesale Design we instantly clicked, and I know she would be able to make both of my ideas come true! Dorelle made the process very simple and stress-free. She was great at helping us understand items we needed to consider, things we could drop if we didn’t really love them, and most importantly she was able to create sola wood flower bouquets and my live hand-strung flower backdrop. They were the highlights of the décor for me, and I loved them!
Where did you host your bachelorette party?
I wanted something simple and low-key, so we went to one of my bridesmaid’s homes in Boca Grande. It was so nice to relax and spend time with my closest girlfriends. We had a chef come cook dinner while we ate in pajamas, and I’ll take that over bar hopping in heels any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Where did you spend your honeymoon?
Originally we planned on going to Italy and Spain, but the pandemic kept us stateside, and we went to Napa, CA, and highly recommend it! It was great weather and plenty of good food and beverage activities to explore!
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
Romantic and soft. We wanted something easy going and not too much fuss.
What were your colors?
We incorporated burgundy, blush, and black with greenery. We wanted a darker, romantic winter-like wedding feel.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Find dual-purpose items and take time for yourselves. When you create place cards, make them something fun like cookies with people’s names on them for a special treat or takeaway.
Take time for yourselves. Before the reception starts, spend a few minutes eating some of your appetizers and hydrating alone, perhaps in the bridal suite, so that you get 10 minutes to yourselves because the whole night is filled with people pulling you in different directions. It’s really about the two of you, so as silly as it sounds, make sure you take time for yourself. Say hello to people as a couple, and don’t split up, because when you recall those moments down the road it will be a shared experience, not one of you explaining a funny story that aunt so and so said to the other because you were across the room.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Orlo
Photographer: Marissa Moss Photography
Videographer: Resurgent Fire Films
Concept/Design: EventFest Inc.
Planner: Chantilly Chic Celebrations
Florist: Brides N’ Blooms Wholesale Design *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Caterer: Catering by the Family
Rentals: Kate Ryan Event Rentals *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Cake: Milk Bar
Entertainment: Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos
Officiant: Dr. Sam Hestorff
Dress Shop: Allure
Shoe Designer: Kate Spade Keds
Bridesmaid Dress Shop: Azazie
Hair: Lauren Giarratano
Makeup: Charles Green
Place Card Cookies: Angie Q’s Sweets
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.