Rachel met Wade while he was desk shopping at a furniture store in Boston, where the bride-to-be worked.
While assisting Wade with his purchase, Rachel was impressed with his shopping style.
“I had a thought that felt very out of the ordinary. I thought, ‘Hmmm, I really like how this guy makes decisions,' Rachel explained. “All week I had been thinking of Wade.”
After three failed attempts of delivering Wade's desk, Rachel finally had an excuse to call him.
The pair decided to set up a casual date, though if Rachel had her way it would have ended sooner than scheduled.
“I was a little confused because I could not remember exactly what she looked like. I just stood there looking at every single girl until a real pretty one walked right up to me. We re-introduced ourselves and she suggested we see a movie. That sounded like a terrible way to meet someone to me. I suggested we go to dinner instead. It turns out Rachel had been on a date right before me that went bad, and she was trying to get rid of me already,” Wade joked.
The couple instantly connected on their date and while camping one week in Maine, Wade proposed.
While climbing Beehive Mountain, their pair stopped for a snack, giving Wade the opportunity to ask Rachel to marry him.
“Rachel snapped a photo of me getting a snack, but I was not getting a snack. I was pulling out a ring and Rachel caught me as I was bending down on my knee a fraction of a second before the words were said,” Wade reminisced. “I was sure of one thing, that I had to do it on a flat surface because I was pretty sure Rachel would be in shock. And she was!”
With the bride from Fargo, ND and the groom from St. Petersburg, FL, the couple decided to hold a celebration in each location to include all of the family.
Since Rachel had a specific design for her wedding, she chose a St. Petersburg wedding venue that would allow a lot of personalization.
“The St. Pete Woman’s Club has a classy vintage aesthetic. We used that as a foundation for turning vintage into modern vintage chic,” Rachel explained. “New England is full of barn weddings, DIY details, and creative styling through independent artists. We wanted to bring that with us to Florida as a way to incorporate where we, as a new family, would call home.
“I chose the laid back attitude of ‘simpler times' by including casual dress and yard games. We tried to gear the event towards community, with fun activities and abbreviated ceremonies to allow people to mingle and dance,” Rachel shared.
Although the bride had planned almost every detail of her wedding, she didn’t want to worry about the execution of her big day and hired St. Petersburg wedding planner Kimberly Hensley Events.
“Kim [with Kimberly Hensley Events] listened and was ready with ideas outside of the Florida box. She was familiar with other regional trends,” Rachel explained. “She was enthusiastic about me and what I was trying to envision. She has a personality of being open and ready, which will keep her on top of trends, young and hip, longer than any planner could hope. I felt I could trust she had listened and would protect the aesthetics of the event I had planned and not make decisions that would represent her sensibilities but rather my sensibilities.”
Looking back, one of Rachel's most memorable moments came during her St. Petersburg wedding ceremony.
“I wrote our ceremony and included quotes that were untraditional. We loved hearing a more personalized idea of partnership and marriage,” Rachel reminisced. “I didn’t write any vows and only ad-libbed right before the ceremony. Apparently Wade thought mine were so good that he threw his out and ad-libbed too!”
“I liked that each bridesmaid could choose a green that worked for them and that it played off the various green insulators on the tables and then mixed and matched green ties to coordinate with the bridesmaids.” – The Bride
“Wade has a slight obsession with having a good pair of cheap sunglasses. It’s kind of like Mr. Rogers and changing shoes…sometimes you wear the serious shoes and sometimes you pull out the play pair. So we wanted everyone to have a play pair of sunglasses!” – The Bride
“Kimberly Hensley Events listened and was ready with ideas outside of the Florida box. Kim was familiar with other regional trends. She was enthusiastic about me and what I was trying to envision. She has a personality of being open and ready, which will keep her on top of trends, young and hip, longer than any planner could hope. I felt I could trust she had listened and would protect the aesthetics of the event I had planned and not make decisions that would represent her sensibilities but rather my sensibilities.” – The Bride
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Don’t get wrapped up in what vendors offer you; think outside of the box! Do something you haven’t seen yet! Personalizing is about more than your monogram, it’s about your aesthetic choices and using elements to create your own level of formality and style.
St. Petersburg Wedding Venue: The St. Petersburg Woman's Club
St. Petersburg Wedding Photographer: Mike Ossola Photography
St. Petersburg Wedding Day-of-Coordinator: Kimberly Hensley Events
St. Petersburg Wedding Florist: Florist Fire
St. Petersburg Wedding Caterer: Olympia Catering *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Vendor
St. Petersburg Wedding Photobooth: Expert Productions
St. Petersburg Wedding Officiant: Brent Reynolds
St. Petersburg Wedding DJ: RJ Vida
St. Petersburg Wedding Dress: J.Crew “Lucinda”
St. Petersburg Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew
St. Petersburg Wedding Hair & Makeup: Mission Aveda
St. Petersburg Wedding Nails: In’Dulgence
St. Petersburg Groom's Suit: Brooks Brothers
St. Petersburg Groomsmen Suits: Tommy Hilfiger