Destination Florida COVID-19 Beach Elopement | Indian Rocks Beach

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Kelly and Matt considered canceling their Florida destination elopement in Indian Rocks Beach due to the threat of COVID-19, but ultimately decided to move forward with their intimate guestless wedding.

“We made the choice to continue our plans since there was little to no cases in Florida at the time. We had a small gathering that was perfect for us and felt safe,” the bride shared.

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When it came time to decide between having a “typical” wedding or a private elopement, Kelly relied on Marry Me Tampa Bay’s influential advice regarding the pros and cons of both options.

“I used many sites and Marry Me Tampa Bay helped me on my decision to elope,” Kelly remarked.

The New York couple’s main priorities including a stunning sunset backdrop, beautiful flowers, and an amazing photographer to artfully capture their special day. After researching Amber McWhorter Photography Kelly and Matt immediately connected with the beach wedding photographer’s style and storytelling.

“I looked for someone that I trusted. Amber is not only extremely talented, but she’s kind, professional and so fun!” the bride raved. “When my husband and I were just engaged, we went to Tampa, Florida for a vacation. I had an idea to do our engagement photos while we were there and I came across Amber’s Instagram. Her photos were stunning, but her captions told a story that made her photos even more beautiful. We finally met in person to have our engagement photos taken and, at that moment, we knew we wanted her as our wedding photographer too. She made us feel comfortable and captured our relationship perfectly.”

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Kelly recalled two very special moments that have become treasured memories from their beachside celebration.

“My husband’s smile during our vows was my most memorable moment,” the reminisced, “However, having my stepson see me as a first look was the highlight of the day.”

The pair plan to renew their vows for their five-year anniversary and host a larger event with friends and family at that time. Nevertheless, the bride encourages other couples to embrace the opportunity to have an intimate wedding elopement, even during these challenging times.

“Keep it small, safe, and outdoors. You will enjoy it as much as you would if you had a large wedding,” Kelly advised.

Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Announcement Stationery with Greenery Motif | Wedding Rings Shot | Indian Shores Wedding Invitation
Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Wedding Rings Shot with Vintage Wedding Band and Round Solitaire Diamond Halo Engagement Ring in Carved Wood Box
Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Wedding Bridal Bouquet with White Roses Lisianthus Stock and Greenery
Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Dress Hanger Shot Outdoor Mangrove Tree
Bride Getting Ready for Elopement | Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Wedding | Amber McWhorter Photography
Bride and Step Son First Look | Spaghetti Strap Casablanca Ivory Simple Slip Wedding Dress Bridal Gown | Navy Blue Boys Wedding Suit
Bride and Step Son First Look | Spaghetti Strap Casablanca Ivory Simple Slip Wedding Dress Bridal Gown | Navy Blue Boys Wedding Suit
Light Blue Grey Groom Suit | Groom Waiting to See Bride During Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony
Bride and Step Son Walking Down Aisle | Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony
Blush Pink and Fuchsia Roses and Greenery Wedding Ceremony Backdrop Arrangements | Bride and Groom and Son at Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony

The Proposal:
Matt proposed during a getaway in the Finger Lakes. We were right by the water when he proposed, and then we headed to the wineries to celebrate!

Simple Natural Loose Curls Bridal Hairstyle | Spaghetti Strap Casablanca Ivory Simple Slip Wedding Dress Bridal Gown | Amber McWhorter Photography
Blush Pink and Fuchsia Roses and Greenery Wedding Ceremony Backdrop Arrangements | Bride and Groom and Son at Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony | Amber McWhorter Photography
Spaghetti Strap Casablanca Ivory Simple Slip Wedding Dress Bridal Gown | Blush Pink and Fuchsia Roses and Greenery Wedding Ceremony Backdrop Arrangements | Bride and Groom and Son at Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony | Amber McWhorter Photography
Blush Pink and Fuchsia Roses and Greenery Wedding Ceremony Backdrop Arrangements | Neutral Ivory Roses and Greenery Bridal Bouquet | Amber McWhorter Photography
Spaghetti Strap Casablanca Ivory Simple Slip Wedding Dress Bridal Gown | Light Blue Grey Groom Suit | Outdoor Bride and Groom Beach Portrait at Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony | Amber McWhorter Photography
Spaghetti Strap Casablanca Ivory Simple Slip Wedding Dress Bridal Gown | Light Blue Grey Groom Suit | Outdoor Bride and Groom Beach Portrait at Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony | Neutral White Ivory and Greenery Bridal Bouquet | Amber McWhorter Photography
Spaghetti Strap Casablanca Ivory Simple Slip Wedding Dress Bridal Gown | Light Blue Grey Groom Suit | Outdoor Bride and Groom Beach Portrait at Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony | Neutral White Ivory and Greenery Bridal Bouquet | Amber McWhorter Photography
Light Blue Grey Groom Suit | Outdoor Bride and Groom Beach Portrait at Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony | Neutral White Ivory and Greenery Bridal Bouquet | Amber McWhorter Photography

What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
I looked for someone that I trusted. Amber, the owner of Amber McWhorter Photography, is not only extremely talented, but she’s kind, professional and so fun! When my husband and I were just engaged, we went to Tampa, Florida for a vacation. I had an idea to do our engagement photos while we were there and I came across Amber’s Instagram. Her photos were stunning, but her captions told a story that made her photos even more beautiful. We finally met in person to have our engagement photos taken and, at that moment, we knew we wanted her as our wedding photographer too. She made us feel comfortable and captured our relationship perfectly.

Spaghetti Strap Casablanca Ivory Simple Slip Wedding Dress Bridal Gown | Outdoor Bride and Groom Beach Portrait at Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony | Neutral White Ivory and Greenery Bridal Bouquet | Amber McWhorter Photography
Light Blue Grey Groom Suit | Outdoor Bride and Groom Beach Portrait at Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony | Amber McWhorter Photography
Outdoor St. Pete Tampa Florida Elopement Reception Table Centerpiece with Bud Vases of Pink Roses, Blue Delphinium, Buttercup, Blue Thistle and Greenery
Outdoor St. Pete Tampa Florida Boho Elopement Reception Table Centerpiece with Mint and Black Bud Vases of Blush Pink Roses, Scabiosa, Buttercup, Blue Thistle and Greenery
Outdoor St. Pete Tampa Florida Boho Elopement Two Tier Publix Wedding Cake with Buttercream Icing and Fresh Roses topped with Die Cut Gold Last Name Heart Topper
Outdoor Bride and Groom Beach Sunset Portrait at Tampa St Pete Florida COVID Destination Elopement Beach Wedding Ceremony | Amber McWhorter Photography

What advice would you give to other couples who have been affected by COVID or choosing to have an elopement?
Keep it small, safe, and outdoors. You will enjoy it as much as you would if you had a large wedding.

Photographer: Amber McWhorter Photography *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Florist: 2Birds Events
Cake: Publix
DJ: iTunes
Dress Shop: Donna Marie’s Bridal Boutique
Dress Designer: Casablanca Bridal
Hair and Makeup: Glam to Be

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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