Shelby and Keoni's timeless downtown St. Petersburg wedding was an elegant affair with delicate white flowers and greenery to make their simplistic black and white theme pop and bring the bride's dream to life.
“I wanted a very classy and simple theme. I decided to go with black and white because of how much we could do with it with so little. My entire house is black and white. I love the simplicity but also the boldness of it,” the bride revealed. “I am not super ‘girly' so I couldn’t see doing anything loud during this day.”
Reading Marry Me Tampa Bay's real wedding features and reviewing the preferred wedding vendor lists helped the bride select her venue, florist, hair and makeup artist, and officiant.
“I used Marry Me Tampa Bay multiple times, from wedding designs to vendors. It helped me find these things last-minute and without the stress of knowing if the vendor is trusted or not,” Shelby shared.
The Tampa bride and groom chose St. Pete to host their 40 closest family and friends and immediately connected with historic NOVA 535. The downtown venue was a perfect fit for the couple as they wanted an event space with indoor and outdoor options and a unique character.
“[In a wedding venue, I looked for something] simple! I did not want to deal with decorations, and I wanted a venue that had the atmosphere already built in it,” the bride beamed. “NOVA 535 was actually the first venue I looked at, and I was completely hooked! The service was absolutely amazing. April was by far the best customer service I have ever had in my life.”
The pair selected Amber McWhorter Photography for their photo-journalistic style and to create everlasting memories by documenting the day as it unfolded.
“Amber was amazing! I just had family photos done. That’s how much I love her! She was very well organized, she got every photo I requested from her, with so much more!” the bride gushed. “I loved her natural photos! She captures such creative and meaningful photos. I knew she was the person I wanted from the beginning!”
The bride wore a plunging v-neck wedding dress with a chiffon skirt and added a bit of sparkle with a delicate belt. Her loose waves from Femme Akoi Beauty Studio were a change from her naturally curly hair. The groom wore a classic black suit and white tie to match his bride.
The couple and their guests danced the night away until they sent the couple off onto their honeymoon with a sparkler sendoff. Looking back, Shelby and Keoni were ecstatic to have a huge party with their closest loved ones.
“The dancing was one of the most memorable parts of the wedding. The DJ was perfect, and I loved how he played everything we requested. He worked with me to get the father/daughter dance down perfect,” Shelby reminisced. “I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and not feel out of place. We told people to come as you are, and we did not expect gifts. We simply wanted people to spend our special day together with us!”
What were your wedding hair and makeup inspiration?
I changed my wedding hair the day of the wedding, but I wanted a natural look, and I wanted something different from my naturally curly hair.
I wanted something that would make my husband say WOW, which he did! Monica from Femme Akoi Beauty Studio worked her magic.
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
Simple! I did not want to deal with decorations, and I wanted a venue that had the atmosphere already built in it.
NOVA 535 was actually the first venue I looked at, and I was completely hooked! The service was absolutely amazing. April was by far the best customer service I have ever had in my life.
Keoni proposed a couple of weeks after I came back from deployment, on New Year's Eve on the Yacht StarShip cruise.
Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We spent the weekend at the Sandpearl in Clearwater; it's a favorite. We have not gone on our official honeymoon due to us both being military at the time.
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
Amber McWhorter Photography was amazing! I just had family photos done. That’s how much I love her! She was very well organized, she got every photo I requested from her, with so much more! I loved her natural photos! She captures such creative and meaningful photos. I knew she was the person I wanted from the beginning!
What elements of your wedding were the most important?
I wanted simple because I wanted everyone to feel comfortable and not feel out of place. We told people to come as you are, and we also did not expect gifts. We simply just wanted people to spend our special day together with us!
What was your wedding cake inspiration?
I honestly didn’t have one. I let The Artistic Whisk do it! The cake was the least of my worries for that day, but they made it very seamless for me, and the red velvet was very tasty!
Why did you incorporate a photo booth into your wedding day?
I wanted my guest to have something to take home with them, and we wanted our guest book to be of photos!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Get a venue that has most of the vendors there, it makes like SO much easier!