Lauren and Scottie didn't meet by cupid's arrow, it had more to do with their college advisors' scheduling.
“Scottie and I met on the first day of class of our senior year at the University of South Florida. Throughout the day, we went to each class and realized we had identical schedules that semester,” Lauren said. “By the end of the day, Scottie said the three words that would ultimately change our lives forever: Are you hungry?”
Lauren, a self-proclaimed foodie, of course said yes, and within a few weeks the couple went on their first date.
“The following few years had a lot in store for us – adopting our sweet puppy Elliot, college graduation and afterwards moving across the country from one another, only to decide that the lives we wanted weren't ones with so much space between us!” Lauren shared.
While the couple's relationship began over three words, their journey as husband and wife began with four.
“I came home to a note on the door of our apartment that said, Read Me. I opened the door and the staircase up to our apartment was peppered with candles and flowers and a card every few steps, all of which said wonderful things,” the bride reminisced. “The last card said, And I have just one more question to ask you…, and I knew what was coming. By this time I was nervously laughing like a hyena and crying and stood with my hand on the door handle for about two minutes before I could even open the door. Scottie was on his knee waiting with the room full of balloons and said the four words that would truly change our lives forever, Will you marry me? Of course, the answer was yes!”
Lauren and Scottie, who had since relocated to New Jersey, planned a modern St. Petersburg destination wedding. After an exhaustive search, Laruen walked into downtown St. Pete wedding venue NOVA 535 Unique Event Space.
“I visited numerous wedding venues and there wasn't one that I was even remotely excited about, until NOVA. As soon as I walked in, I knew that this was THE place,” the bride gushed. “I brought Scottie back a few months later and as soon as he saw NOVA, he didn't even want to go to the other places we had set up. NOVA is awesome all around, very modern and just has great character and feel to it. The brick walls sold me!”
To accent her modern St. Petersburg wedding venue, Lauren chose subtle wedding colors, with pop of color.
“Our wedding colors were coral, grey and white. We picked them because I love grey and white, and they went great with everything NOVA already had to offer. We needed a splash of color and decided to incorporate coral when picking the bridesmaids dresses, very appropriate for Florida summertime,” the bride explained.
The couple focused on all the wedding details, from the food, to the music (they handpicked almost every song that was played); no detail went unnoticed.
“I openly admit that I was very particular about everything, and Melissa [of NOVA 535] was a great planner and made everything very easy, so that I didn't have to worry about too much. I can't stress enough of how important that is, especially when planning a destination wedding,” Lauren shared. “Everything turned out perfect. We are still getting compliments about the wedding and how it was different than any other wedding anyone has been to (in a good way)!”
Looking back, Lauren's most memorable moments of her big day came during the wedding ceremony.
“Walking down the stairs to my Dad was something I'll never forget,” Lauren reminisced. “Also, the feeling when we were announced as man and wife, the relief, happiness and excitement was great.”
As soon as I walked in, I knew that this was THE place. NOVA is awesome all around, very modern and just has great character and feel to it. The brick walls sold me! – The Bride
Walking down the stairs to my Dad was something I'll never forget. – The Bride
The feeling when we were announced as man and wife, the relief, happiness and excitement was great. -The Bride
I openly admit that I was very particular about everything, and Melissa [of NOVA 535] was a great planner and made everything very easy, so that I didn't have to worry about too much. Everything turned out perfect. We are still getting compliments about the wedding and how it was different than any other wedding anyone has been to (in a good way)! -The Bride
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Use all the vendors I used, and don't sweat the small stuff! I fell victim to that a little, and in the end, if an envelope gets smudged or you have a hair out of place, no one will notice.
I would strongly recommend extending your wedding at least an extra hour than you originally think. It goes by so fast and would've loved to have kept the party going for longer.
St. Petersburg Wedding Venue: NOVA 535
St. Petersburg Wedding Photographer: Reign 7 Photography
St. Petersburg Wedding Florist: Events in Bloom
St. Petersburg Wedding Caterer: Puff ‘N Stuff
St. Petersburg Wedding Invitations: Minted
St. Petersburg Wedding Dress Designer: Tara Keely
St. Petersburg Wedding Hair & Makeup: My Makeup Pro
St. Petersburg Wedding Transportation: Gulf Coast Destinations
We are proud to have NOVA 535 as a Marry Me Tampa Bay sponsor!