Samantha and Terry's traditional downtown Tampa wedding featured a classic theme with a blush, ivory, gold and champagne color palette and personalized touches to celebrate the groom's career as a firefighter and paramedic.
“We were able to incorporate the City of Tampa's oldest antique fire engine, Little Mac, into our wedding portraits,” the bride gushed. “It made for an incredible first look!”
The Tampa Bay bride and groom celebrated their nuptials at the location of their first date, historic downtown Tampa wedding venue The Floridan Palace Hotel.
“We went to the Sapphire Lounge (the bar located downstairs in The Floridan Palace) on our first date,” the bride gushed. “Terry decided to take me back there for our second date the following week. We dined in the restaurant and the food was outstanding! We also peaked in the ballroom that same night. The hotel itself holds sentimental value to us.”
To handle the dynamics of a large family and the all details of the day, the couple hired Tampa wedding planner Blush by Brandee Gaar.
“We immediately hit it off with Maria, our planner from Blush by Brandee Gaar. She truly went above and beyond her responsibilities as a day of planner,” Samantha explained. “She was constantly checking in with me as I was planning and selecting vendors. She did an outstanding job!”
“The venue stressed the importance of hiring vendors who are familiar with the ballroom, and it was some of the best advice!” the bride shared. “Delite Entertainment did an outstanding job! We hired them for entertainment, pipe/drape, uplighting, and pin lighting for the cake. Our DJ Joshua did an awesome job keeping the party going!”
Looking back, one of the bride's most cherished memories occurred during the father/daughter dance.
“There was a sweet moment during our reception when my sister was called to the dance floor to finish the daddy/daughter with me and our dad,” Samantha reminisced.
Terry proposed in our kitchen in front of my parents, aunt and uncle. It was really sweet; he got down on one knee with a custom designed engagement ring. It was a complete surprise! I'm half Italian, and I literally made one phone call right after the proposal and my entire family came over! We basically had a mini engagement party that night!
What was your wedding stationery inspiration?
I absolutely loved the concept of designing the wedding invitation from scratch. My inspiration was our color palette, and I knew I wanted something elegant. I truly feel the wedding stationery sets the tone for the wedding.
Owners Jose and Michelle of Invitation Galleria are so amazing and very thorough. Their customer service and products are outstanding. The showroom display of wedding stationary was fantastic for a visual person like myself.
What did you look for in a wedding planner?
I wanted someone with whom I could connect with and who could handle the dynamics of my family on my wedding day. I'm a pretty organized person, so I wanted someone who would think like me! Maria of Blush by Brandee Gaar and I had our first meeting and immediately hit it off. She truly went above and beyond her responsibilities as a day of planner. Maria was constantly checking in with me as I was planning and selecting vendors. You will hit roadblocks during the planning process. It is inevitable. However, having a wedding planner you can trust and rely on, is such a relief! Roughly three weeks before the wedding, I handed everything over to her to create timelines etc. She did an outstanding job!
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We knew we needed space (due to our guest list), and we both wanted a formal setting. We also wanted a venue that was unique and special.
Our venue, The Floridan Palace, is a classic historical gem in Tampa! It's like a taking a step back in time from the moment you walk in. Terry and I went to the Sapphire Lounge (the bar located downstairs in the venue) on our first date. He decided to take me back there for our second date the following week. The hotel itself holds sentimental value to us. We are still receiving compliments on the food and service. Angelo, Tula and Katrina from The Floridan Palace really came through for us. Our wedding day was magical from start to finish!
How would you describe your theme?
Classic and traditional.
What were your colors?
I chose soft/neutral tones such as blush, ivory, gold and champagne. I felt those would complement the church and ballroom really well.
What did you look for in choosing a wedding entertainment vendor?
The Floridan raved about Delite Entertainment. They also stressed the importance of hiring vendors who are familiar with the ballroom. It was some of the best advice!
Delite Entertainment did an outstanding job! We hired them for entertainment, pipe/drape, uplighting, and pin lighting (for the cake). We had a string trio during our cocktail hour and Joshua was our DJ for the reception. He did an awesome job keeping the party going!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Take time for yourself. Planning a wedding on our own can be one of the most stressful things. I hired a personal trainer a week after I got engaged. I wanted to look my absolute best on my wedding day. I felt confident and like a princess on my wedding day!
Ceremony Venue: First Baptist Church Temple Terrace
Reception Venue: The Floridan Palace Hotel *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Venue
Photographer: Justin DeMutiis Photography
Planner: Blush by Brandee Gaar – Maria Balestriere
Florist and Rentals: FH Wedding & Events
Caterer: The Floridan Palace
String Trio, DJ, Lighting and Pipe and Drape: Delite Entertainment – Joshua Pockrus
Groom's Cake: Sweeties Delights
Officiant: Pastor Jeff Williams
Invitations: Invitation Galleria
Transportation: L3 Limo and Piper Autos
Dress: Mikaella Bridal
Veil: Sara Gabriel
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid, Bari Jay
Hair: Karina Keane
Makeup: Anamary Valdes
Photo Booth: Prints Charming Photo Booth