Downtown St. Pete Purple and Silver Birchwood Wedding

Downtown St. Pete WeddingBirchwood Wedding – North Straub Park Wedding

Alyssa and Eric’s Love Story:

In January 2005, my friend Ali and I went out to Banana Joe’s at Channelside to meet up with a good friend of ours from high school, Mike. He told us it was fire academy graduation that day, so a bunch of his firefighter friends were going out to celebrate. We were excited to go out and meet some firefighters!

I met Eric for the first time that night of his fire academy graduation, and we were friends first for six months. It wasn’t until July 4th week that year that six of us took a trip to Ali’s parents’ mountain house in North Carolina that our feelings for each other started changing. We went on our first date when we got back in town later that week.

Fast forward eight years later to January 31, 2013. It was the night before Eric and I moved into a new house, and we went to dinner at Bern’s Steakhouse to celebrate our last night in my Hyde Park condo. We had a wonderful dinner and got home later than expected. 

Once we got home, we went to walk our dog in Hyde Park Village. It was 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night, so we had the whole village and fountain to ourselves. As I was reminiscing about how much I loved living in Hyde Park and was sad to leave, Eric dropped to his knee and proposed, explaining that although this chapter in our lives was ending, we were starting a new chapter together the next day in our new home. My reaction was total shock!

Although I knew the proposal was going to be coming sooner than later, I definitely was not expecting it that evening! Needless to say, Eric and his friends did most of the moving the next morning, because I was busy calling and Facetiming all my family and friends to tell them the good news!

Purple and Silver Downtown St. Pete Wedding

Although Alyssa said her “Yes” in Tampa, she decided to say her “I Do’s” in downtown St. Pete.

“We love downtown St. Pete and thought it was a different feel from Tampa,” the bride explained. “We thought the ballroom at The Birchwood was beautiful and loved that it was new! Because of that, we didn’t have to do much extra work to dress up the room because it’s so pretty. We also liked it because the view outside from the balcony was amazing too!”

With Alyssa and Eric’s demanding work schedule and Alyssa’s mom in D.C. with her sister’s new baby, the Tampa couple knew they needed help planning their wedding and hired St. Petersburg wedding planner Special Moments.

“Tammy [of Special Moments] was referred to me by another wedding venue coordinator. She strongly recommended her, and I knew if she was using Tammy for her own wedding she had to be wonderful!” the bride gushed. “I knew there was no way I was going to plan my wedding by myself. Tammy helped me keep my sanity! She was there to help me come up with the fun planning stuff, and she handled all the drama.”

Alyssa and Eric included personal touches in their downtown St. Pete wedding by including their dog in the wedding ceremony and through their food and music choices.

“Our Persian sweets table made our wedding unique. I am part Persian, and in Persian tradition there is a full table display, a Sofreh Aghd, for wedding ceremonies that symbolize the couple’s future,” the bride explained. “Normally this is displayed for the wedding ceremony, but since our ceremony was outside and wouldn’t be visited again afterwards, we modified the idea and made it into a Persian sweets table for the reception filled with Persian cookies.”

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“I knew there was no way I was going to plan my wedding by myself. Tammy [of Special Moments] helped me keep my sanity! She was there to help me come up with the fun planning stuff, and she handled all the drama.” – The Bride

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Downtown St. Pete Wedding - Birchwood Wedding - North Straub Park Wedding - Jenn Hopkins Photography (54)

“Our Persian sweets table made our wedding unique. I am part Persian, and in Persian tradition there is a full table display, a Sofreh Aghd, for wedding ceremonies that symbolize the couple’s future.” The Bride

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Downtown St. Pete Wedding - Birchwood Wedding - North Straub Park Wedding - Jenn Hopkins Photography (59)

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Do research! That being said, go experience places firsthand. I had some places I was recommended to that I wasn’t impressed with, and vice versa.

St. Petersburg Wedding Ceremony Venue: North Straub Park
St. Petersburg Wedding Reception Venue: The Birchwood
St. Petersburg Wedding Photographer: Jenn Hopkins Photography
St. Petersburg Wedding Videographer: Altimate Video Productions
St. Petersburg Wedding Planner: Special Moments *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Vendor
St. Petersburg Wedding Florist: Iza’s Flowers
St. Petersburg Wedding Caterer: The Birchwood
St. Petersburg Wedding Cake: Hands on Sweets
St. Petersburg Wedding DJ: Delite Entertainment
St. Petersburg Wedding Invitations: Invitations Consultants
St. Petersburg Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale
St. Petersburg Wedding Hair: Chateau de M Salon – Michael Pruitt
St. Petersburg Wedding Makeup: Makeup by Genie

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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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