Paige and Michael’s destination Tampa wedding highlighted the culture and uniqueness that only Ybor City can provide.
“I grew up in South Tampa and lived there until I went away for undergrad at Florida State. We chose Ybor City because of the rich cultural history and my family’s deep connection to the area. So many people would be coming in from out-of-town and Tampa natives might take Ybor City for granted, but visitors always want to see this area and learn the history.”
The Houston couple hosted a coral, peach and gold Cuban, classic glamour wedding,
“I wanted our wedding to be reminiscent of high society events in Cuba before Castro; I had seen pictures of my Abuela and Abuelo from the 1950’s in Cuba, and it was such a unique kind of classic glamour that seemed so fun,” the bride shared. “I also wanted my wedding to pay homage to Ybor City itself, to the ideals that so many immigrant families struggled for in moving here. Once I stopped worrying about nailing down an exact style and just started picking individual elements of the wedding I knew I wanted, the theme kind of emerged on its own.”
With guidance from Olympia Catering, Paige and Michael intertwined their home state of Texas and the bride’s Cuban roots into their menu selections.
“We had a ‘Taste of Texas’ buffet as well as a ‘Comida Cubana’ buffet. This was an amazing way to bring together both of our backgrounds. When you have food ranging from BBQ brisket to Puerco Asado, it’s hard to find someone who isn’t happy with the selection!” the bride gushed. “I love Olympia Catering and grew up going there with my family. They actually helped us come up with the idea of the dual buffets. As soon as I saw the menu options, I knew I wanted to work with them. They were incredible!”
To capture their big day, the bride and groom searched for a Tampa wedding photographer who transparent, reliable, and personable.
“It was important to me that my photographer understood everything I wanted captured and was able to assure me that they could get this done, especially since I did not have a videographer,” Paige explained. “I loved Rana’s work [of Roohi Photography] even before I met her, and once I finally met her I knew that she was who I wanted to capture all the moments of our wedding day! She was amazing at helping me pull everything together by developing timelines and being totally dedicated to my day.”
Looking back, the bride shared that one of the most important elements of her Tampa wedding was incorporating their families in momentous ways.
“I spent a lot of time and energy on making sure certain components of our wedding were as meaningful as possible for those involved, from Michael’s grandfather who has been married over 65 years doing our scripture reading to dancing with my Dad to Jimmy Buffet’s The Captain and The Kid.”
What was the inspiration for your bridesmaid dresses?
I love the color coral, and I knew I wanted shorter dresses, since May in Tampa is hot! I offered my girls multiple necklines and silhouettes within the same color. and we went from there!
Michael and I first met each other in 2010 at an annual holiday event in Houston called “Lights in the Heights.” Two years later we attended a “Lights in the Heights” party. Everyone was wearing Mardi Gras masks so I didn’t recognize anyone at the party.
When we made our way to the back porch, Michael got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Christmas lights are one of my favorite things ever, and not only did the ring box light up when he opened it, there was also a sign written in Christmas lights that asked, “Paige, will you marry me?” I realized looking into the crowd that all the “random” partygoers in masks were actually our closest family and friends, including my parents and siblings who were there from Tampa!
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
I wanted someone who was transparent, reliable, and personable. It was important to me that my photographer understood everything I wanted captured and was able to assure me that they could get this done, especially since I did not have a videographer.
I loved Rana’s work [of Roohi Photography] even before I met her, and once I finally met her I knew that she was who I wanted to capture all the moments of our wedding day! Michael and I planned so much of the wedding ourselves, and every vendor was a separate contract, so Rana was amazing at helping me pull everything together by developing timelines and being totally dedicated to my day. My photographer was amazing and my pictures are incredible!
What did you look for in a makeup artist?
Logistically, there were some specific things I wanted, like airbrush foundation and a guarantee that all of my eight bridesmaids plus our moms could get their makeup done within the time frame.
A family friend and stylist recommended Lasting Luxe, as she had worked with them many times before. I was very happy with my makeup and everyone else’s in my party, and still am happy now when I look back at pictures!
How would you describe your theme?
Cuban, classic glamour. I still have such a hard time putting words to the vision I had for my wedding! I wanted it to be reminiscent of high society events in Cuba before Castro; I had seen pictures of my Abuela and Abuelo from the 1950’s in Cuba, and it was such a unique kind of classic glamour that seemed so fun.
I also wanted my wedding to pay homage to Ybor City itself, to the ideals that so many immigrant families struggled for in moving here, to my new life in Texas and all of the friends and family Michael and I had acquired along the way in life so far. Once I stopped worrying about nailing down an exact style and just started picking individual elements of the wedding I knew I wanted, the theme kind of emerged on its own.
What were your colors?
Since I was a little girl I’d been stuck on the color coral, and in general, gold is my favorite color. When I started looking around Pinterest, I started liking peach tones as well. So coral, peach, and gold ended up being the final palette, but I think so much of my wedding was about textures as well.
I tried to intertwine lace and raffia (which reminds me so much of cigar rolling paper) with as many elements as possible. I felt like they really brought out both the feminine and masculine dimensions of the Cuban, glamour theme.
What was the inspiration for your wedding food, and what did you look for in a catering company?
Olympia Catering actually helped us come up with the idea of the dual buffets. My family is Cuban, and I grew up in Tampa, but Michael has lived most of his life in Texas, which is also where we now call home. We wanted to represent the combination of these two cultures and offer guests the best of both worlds!
I love Olympia Catering, and I grew up going there with my family. As soon as I saw the menu options I knew I wanted to work with them. They were incredible, from concept development with the dual buffets to my Arsenal Futbol Club groom’s cake.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Don’t worry so much about a style, “tag-line” or the larger picture. If you are into details (like me) it will all come together thematically in the end. Also, make sure you take people up on their offers to help you with planning and “week of” tasks!
If you can clearly articulate a detail you want incorporated but you can’t find it anywhere, make it yourself! I did this with my candle holders for the ceremony stage, and they were perfect!
Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Cuban Club
Photographer: Roohi Photography
Planner: Mary Dymtrow
Florist: Jennie’s Flowers
Caterer & Cake: Olympia Catering *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Rentals: IM Events
DJ & Uplighting: Robb Smith Productions
Officiant: Bride’s Uncle
Transportation: Black Pearl Limo
Dress Shop and Designer: Alfred Angelo
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Makeup: Lasting Luxe
Cigar Roller & Cigars: Rodriguez & Menendez Cigar Factory & Store
Photo Booth: Shutter Booth *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Cocktail Hour Singer: Lisa Casalino