Burgundy Disney-Inspired Clearwater Wedding | Kapok Events

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Gabby and Michael’s glamorous Clearwater wedding was straight out of a fairy tale or rather several fairy tales because the bride and groom incorporated fabled Disney details throughout their celebration.

To say the Tampa pair are fans of Disney is an understatement (just read their epic proposal story involving Epcot Food and Wine Festival and a surprise fireworks cruise). Originally they dreamed of a wedding at the “happiest place on Earth,” but their biggest priority was celebrating with all of the people they loved, so they decided to bring that trademark magic to Tampa Bay.

The couple created an enchanting experience for their 250 closest friends and family with a fall-inspired color palette and nods to their favorite movies and characters at every turn.

“Our wedding was Disney themed because originally we wanted to get married at Disney since that’s where Michael proposed. However, it was just hard to do that because a lot of our older family members did not want to make that trip and our whole family being at our wedding was the most important thing for us. So we thought why not bring Disney to us and do it in an elegant way with a mix of all things Disney,” Gabby beamed. “Our colors were burgundy, blush, and gold. We chose these colors because our wedding took place at the end of October. We really wanted a romantic feel, and we felt it went well with our Disney theme.”

To bring her dream wedding to life within their hometown, Gabby turned to Marry Me Tampa Bay to find local wedding vendors who offered exactly what she envisioned.

“I found my table linen company, Kate Ryan Event Rentals, and our cake vendor, The Artistic Whisk, through Marry Me Tampa Bay,” the bride revealed. “Kate Ryan Event Rentals brought my vision to life with the gorgeous burgundy and blush colored table linens and the beautiful sweetheart couch that fit our theme of Disney perfectly.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT KATE RYAN EVENT RENTALS | EMAIL

Gabby sought a confectioner who could create a sophisticated and stunning wedding cake and themed groom’s cake that was also uniquely delicious.

“For our wedding cake, we looked for someone who made elegant cakes but did not just do cookie-cutter flavors. We chose bananas foster (my personal favorite) and chocolate and strawberry for my husband who loves chocolate!” the bride shared. “We chose The Artistic Whisk because we wanted someone who made cakes with original flavors and did them well. It was also important to us that the cake was elegant and affordable.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARTISTIC WHISK | EMAIL

From the ornate event setting featuring crystal chandeliers and a grand staircase to the centerpieces that reflected a variety of beloved films, every element channeled that famous Disney dazzle, including the bride’s gold glittery heels with signature mouse ears! Gabby says it was those details that made their wedding so special.

“I think my wedding was unique because everywhere you looked there was something Disney which is what we wanted. We wanted everyone to experience a little piece of Disney, and I think we achieved that,” the bride gushed.

A storybook romance wouldn’t be complete without a dress fit for a queen. When it came time to select the perfect gown, the bride fantasized of a dress that embodied elegance and sultriness while also flattering her petite frame. Having previously modeled gowns from Isabel O’Neil Bridal Collection for photoshoots, it was an easy decision for whom to trust with finding her dream dress.

“I looked for a wedding dress that was super sleek and formfitting because I knew that ballgowns would swallow me since I’m only 5’4. I wanted something a little sexy for my husband but also classy and sophisticated for my family. I specifically selected Isabel O’ Neil Bridal Collection because I had done some styled wedding shoots with them before, and every time I did I fell in love with their dresses,” Gabby raved. “They also have a wide variety of dresses that continually change so I didn’t have to worry about someone else in Tampa having my dress. Plus they have all the best designers.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT ISABEL O’NEIL BRIDAL COLLECTION | EMAIL

Gabby sought to ensure her bridesmaids looked and felt beautiful in their gowns for the big day, and Nikki’s Glitz and Glam Boutique was a fantastic resource.

“I wanted something elegant and timeless hence the high neck, but I also wanted something floaty and comfortable for the girls to wear and feel beautiful in,” Gabby revealed. “I chose Nikki’s Glitz and Glam because I felt they had a large selection of bridesmaids gowns that would be affordable for my bridesmaids. The service was also very good and efficient.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT NIKKI’S GLITZ AND GLAM | EMAIL

The anticipation of the big day created a truly unforgettable moment when the bride and groom finally locked eyes during their wedding ceremony, and the bride shared that their choreographed first dance was equally special.

“The most memorable moment for us was that moment when we first saw each other; we both could not stop smiling,” the bride reminisced. “And the second most memorable moment was when we nailed our first dance! I’m a dancer and after the first rehearsal, I knew we had it. But my husband, unfortunately, has two left feet and he was so nervous. Seeing his face after we nailed it is something I’ll ever forget.”

How would you describe your wedding theme?
Our wedding was Disney themed because originally we wanted to get married at Disney since that’s where he proposed. However, it was just hard to do that because a lot of our older family members did not want to make that trip and our whole family being at our wedding was the most important thing for us. So we thought why not bring Disney to us and do it in an elegant way with a mix of all things Disney.

What were your colors?
Burgundy, blush, and gold. We chose these colors because our wedding took place at the end of October, and we really wanted a romantic feel. We felt it went well with our Disney theme.

What did you look for in a wedding dress?
I looked for a wedding dress that was super sleek and form-fitting, because I knew that ballgowns would swallow me since I’m only 5’4. I wanted something a little sexy for my husband but also classy and sophisticated for my family.

I specifically selected Isabel O’ Neil Bridal Collection because I had done some styled wedding shoots with them before, and every time I did I fell in love with their dresses. They also have a wide variety of dresses that continually change, so I didn’t have to worry about someone else in Tampa having my dress. Plus they have all the best designers.

What was your bridesmaid dress inspiration?
I wanted something elegant and timeless hence the high neck, but I also wanted something floaty and comfortable for the girls to wear and feel beautiful in.

I chose Nikki’s Glitz and Glam Boutique because I felt they had a large selection of bridesmaids gowns that would be affordable for my bridesmaids. The service was also very good and efficient.

The Proposal:
We went to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival for the day. Michael told me our friends, who are photographers, wanted to do a photoshoot with us at the Grand Floridian, so we changed out of our park clothes and went to the docks in front of the castle. He got down on one knee, and our friends captured the moment for us. He had also invited our family and friends who hid on the dock and surprised me. Then when I thought it was over he took me on a two-hour fireworks cruise at Disney. It was such an incredible and unforgettable experience.

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We spent our honeymoon on a 6-day cruise to the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, and Turks and Caicos. All the destinations were beautiful but I highly recommend Turks and Caicos; the water is absolutely beautiful. We choose to do a cruise because my husband and I both had never left the country or done a cruise so it was a great first experience for us, and we got to experience it together.

How did the rentals add to your ambiance?
Kate Ryan Event Rentals brought my vision to life with the gorgeous burgundy and blush colored table linens and the beautiful sweetheart couch fit that our theme of Disney perfectly.

What did you look for in a wedding bakery?
For our wedding cake, we looked for someone who did not just do cookie cutter flavors and also made elegant cakes. We chose bananas foster (my personal favorite) and chocolate and strawberry for my husband who loves chocolate! We chose The Artistic Whisk because we wanted someone who made cakes with original flavors and did them well. It was also important to us that the cake was elegant and affordable.

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
There is nothing wrong with having a long engagement to make sure you get what you want on your special day. Also, do not sweat the small stuff, because in the end it really is about you and your spouse coming together and starting this new adventure together.

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Kapok Special Events
Photographer: Ailyn La Torre Photography
Videographer: Elmwood Forest Productions
Planner: Chantilly Chic Celebrations
Florist: For Better For Less
Caterer: Chef Vincent Fiore
Rentals: Kate Ryan Event Rentals *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Cake: The Artistic Whisk *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
DJ: DJ Cory Barron & Co.
Officiant: Karl Messenger
Invitations: Haley Eifler
Transportation: Ambassador Limousine
Dress Shop: Isabel O’Neil Bridal Collection *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Shoe Designer: Fab deals
Bridesmaid Dresses: Nikki’s Glitz and Glam Bridal Boutique *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Bridesmaid Dress Designer: JJ’s House
Makeup: CrossBreed Makeup Artistry
Hair: Alexa Ruiz

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.

MEET THE EDITOR

Marry Me Tampa Bay editor, Anna Coats, created Marry Me Tampa Bay in 2012 to showcase the area's best local weddings and vendors. She has been featured as a wedding expert on the national talkshow Daytime, Fox13, ABC Action News, Great Day Tampa Bay, and Bay News 9 (now Spectrum).

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