New York couple Shayla and Shaun searched for the perfect destination Florida beach wedding location that was both stunning and accessible to the couple's friends and family.
“We wanted to have a destination wedding on a beach and looked at a few locations, but finding reasonable flights for my family was difficult anywhere outside of the U.S., so we started looking in Florida,” the bride explained. “Clearwater Beach looked like a nice location and after visiting the city and venue with our parents, we were instantly sold.”
The pair's yellow and grey beach wedding incorporated sun, sand, music and celebration.
“We wanted our wedding to be outside by the beach and for all of our guests to be comfortable and have a good time, while still getting the feel of an elegant wedding,” Shayla said. “Most importantly, we wanted all of our guests to have a great time. The main way to do this is good food and music.
With their wedding guests' experience playing an important role in their wedding planning, Shayla and Shaun searched for a Clearwater Beach wedding photographer who would include everyone in the couple's memories.
“We looked for someone who not only was going to capture images of us and the bridal party, but of all of our guests. We wanted to make sure they were also featured, and not just a blur in the background,” the bride explained. “We liked Marc's portfolio [of Marc Edwards Photographs] and after speaking on the phone, we really liked him! He was also nice enough to come all the way to New York to shoot our engagement session in the same spot Shaun proposed.”
Looking back, one of the bride's most enjoyable moments was celebrating with her friends and family.
“Taking a step back and seeing all of our guests having a great time and the dance floor packed was pretty memorable!” Shayla reminisced.
What did you look for in a hair and makeup vendor?
I looked at a lot of hair and makeup vendors online, and it was harder than I would have expected. I made an appointment with one vendor who came highly recommended. After meeting with them, it became more apparent that I needed to find the right person who would listen to what I wanted and any concerns I may have, rather than looking for the right portfolio.
I hired Michele Renee The Studio because before my trial even started they asked me a ton of questions, not only about the hairstyle and makeup I wanted, but also about my own personal style, the wedding, the setting, etc. This made me feel more at ease from the beginning. I think it came out great, and I still felt like myself. I would definitely recommend Michele Renee The Studio to other brides!
Shaun and I live in Manhattan and were taking our dog for a walk by the East River, which is only a couple blocks from our apartment. When we stopped to sit by the water, he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him. I was definitely surprised!
He also had flowers and champagne set up in our apartment for when we got home.
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
We looked for someone who not only was going to capture images of us and the bridal party, but of all of our guests. We wanted a photographer who would listen to what we wanted instead of having their own agenda, and someone who could be artistic without going to extremes.
We liked Marc's portfolio [of Marc Edwards Photographs] and after speaking on the phone, we really liked him! A lot of other vendors we looked at had nice pictures, but it was obvious the focus was on the bride and groom only. All of our guests are very important to us, and we wanted to make sure they were also featured, and not just a blur in the background.
Marc was also nice enough to come all the way to New York to shoot our engagement session in the same spot Shaun proposed.
How would you describe your theme?
It was a beach theme, but more classic than casual. We wanted it to be outside by the beach and for all of our guests to be comfortable and have a good time, while still getting the feel of an elegant wedding.
Shaun is a little more outgoing, and I'm more reserved. We both love the same things: friends, family, sun, sand, music and parties. We were able to incorporate all of this into our wedding.
What were your colors?
Our colors were canary yellow and grey. I've always liked the color yellow and thought it was a nice shade for the setting, and the grey complimented it well. We wanted our wedding to look a little more formal, while still having a light, summery feel.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Really do your research when picking vendors. While some may be referred to you, it is important to speak with them directly and talk through your requests and expectations. Reading past reviews of the vendors is also important to get a feel of how the bride and groom felt. Some vendors may be top referrals, but aren't exactly what you may be looking for.
Venue: The Sandpearl Resort
Photographer: Marc Edwards Photographs *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Vendor
Videographer: Randall Productions
Planner and Florist: Artistry Designs Group
Caterer: The Sandpearl Resort
Cake: Let Them Eat Cake
Band: CTO High Voltage
Officiant: A Perfect Day Wedding Ceremonies – Jennifer Gay
Wedding Dress: Anna Maier Couture
Bridesmaid Dress: David's Bridal
Groomsmen Attire: Men's Warehouse
Hair & Makeup: Michele Renee The Studio – Christina *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Vendor
String Quartet: The Alafia String Quartet
Cigar Roller: Fusion Cigar Lounge
Steel Band: Caladesi Steel Band
Invitations: Bella Figura and Wedding Paper Divas
Wedding Programs, Menus and Seating Cards: Barbara Nelson-Fuqua Designs