Lauren and Howard's Love Story:
Howard and I met at the University of Kansas in an intro to biology class in fall of 2010 in a 400-person lecture hall. We dated for two years.
He proposed in November of 2012, on a beach in Destin, Florida. We were living in Alabama at the time, while he was in flight school for the United States Army as a Blackhawk Pilot and expecting our daughter Aria.
With the couple living away from their families, they knew that their wedding guests were going to have to travel, so they decided to hold a destination wedding in St. Petersburg, Fl.
“My dad lives in St. Petersburg, and we have spent a lot of amazing time down there during our relationship,” Lauren explained. “Ultimately, we wanted to go somewhere that was special to us, but also where people could have a nice vacation, and St. Petersburg checked all of our boxes perfectly.”
The pair had three requirements when it came to choosing a St. Pete wedding venue: to be outside overlooking the water, but not on the beach, to have amazing food and drinks and to be beautiful.
“The Esplanade at the Renaissance Vinoy was absolutely perfect by overlooking Tampa Bay marina, all while have a pergola to hang amazing café lighting from and to set a great mood,” the bride gushed. “As soon as you see the majestic building you are consumed with its vintage charm, but when you walk inside you a greeted by an ultra modern lobby full of beautiful artwork. It is truly a spectacular place.”
Family played an important role in Lauren and Howard's champagne and blush Florida destination wedding.
“We had a lot of personal touches, such as Howard’s grandfather officiating the ceremony and having our own children be the ring bearer and flower girl,” the bride shared. “We wanted our love and our family to be the main theme of the day.”
To tell the story of their wedding day by capturing candid photos, the couple searched a St. Pete wedding photographer.
“I loved Lisa's portfolio [of Lisa Otto Photography]! She instantly grabbed my attention when she sent me a video message in reply to an inquiry. I loved how personal she was from the beginning,” the bride gushed. “She also offered an amazing military discount for my husband’s service in the Army, which shows a lot of character about a business. She truly cares about her clients which is exactly what you want in a photographer.”
Looking back, Lauren said that one of the most memorable parts of her wedding day came during her reception.
“An absolute favorite moment was sitting at the head table holding my new husband's hand, looking out over the guests and the Tampa Bay marina with the sun setting in the distance and being awestruck with how incredibly beautiful, perfect,and meaningful everything was.”
“Jess Waldrop Makeup Artists were amazing from start to finish, and made all eighy of my bridesmaids and myself feel like the most beautiful versions of ourselves. They listened to our wants and needs and absolutely delivered. I could not recommend them enough!” – The Bride
“We had a lot of personal touches: we wrote our own vows, Howard’s grandfather officiated the ceremony and our own children were the ring bearer and flower girl. We wanted our love and our family to be the main theme of the day.” – The Bride
“Our colors were blush and champagne with pearl, crystal, and gold accents. We thought those colors were really soft, beautiful, romantic and looked great with all the accents and the beautiful, vintage hotel as the back drop. We also loved it for an outdoor spring wedding overlooking Tampa bay marina.” – The Bride
“I loved Lisa's portfolio [of Lisa Otto Photography]! She instantly grabbed my attention when she sent me a video message in reply to an inquiry. I loved how personal she was from the beginning. She truly cares about her clients which is exactly what you want in a photographer.” – The Bride
St. Petersburg Wedding Reception Venue: Renaissance Vinoy *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Venue
St. Petersburg Wedding Photographer: Lisa Otto Photography
St. Petersburg Wedding Florist: Showorks – Trace Kingham
St. Petersburg Wedding Caterer: Renaissance Vinoy
St. Petersburg Wedding Cake: Renaissance Vinoy
St. Petersburg Wedding Rentals: Showorks
St. Petersburg Wedding DJ: DJ Jason Martinez
St. Petersburg Wedding Officiant: James Hanson – Groom's Grandfather
St. Petersburg Wedding Invitations: minted.
St. Petersburg Wedding Hair & Makeup: Jess Waldrop Makeup Artists
St. Petersburg Bridesmaid Dresses: Monique Lhullier
St. Petersburg Wedding Shoes: David Tutera
St. Petersburg Wedding Jewelry: SomethingJeweled – Etsy
St. Petersburg Groomsmen Suits: Jos. A Bank
St. Petersburg Wedding Flower Girl Dress: Manaia Baby Designs Shop – Etsy