Vanessa and Michael's elegant downtown Tampa wedding featured a bold, yet simple color palette of black, gold and green. The couple incorporated their love of animals, by having adoptable dogs from the Humane Society as bridal bouquet alternatives.
“A wedding is typically a celebration for the parents, as it should be. So for my own satisfaction and for the love of dogs, we took the extra step to work with the Humane Society and coordinated this fun surprise,” Vanessa gushed. “All four puppies were adopted by the time cocktail hour began.”
The Tampa natives knew that their hometown was the perfect choice to celebrate their wedding day at the gorgeous downtown Tampa wedding venue The Vault.
“We wanted to make sure that we picked the venue, and the venue didn’t pick us,” Vanessa explained. “We had known about The Vault because a year before we got married, we had gone to the Vault of Souls they do every year around Halloween. When we attended the event we thought, This may be a cool place to get married. When we walked in, I immediately said, ‘This is it.'”
“After we talked the first time to Marc of Marc Edwards Photographs, I felt that he understood my vision we just clicked. The relationship felt very authentic from the beginning. I booked him immediately, as I knew his availability was limited,” the bride explained. “Marc did an amazing job! He captured the candid moments as I requested, and we didn’t spend the traditional hours on end taking posed pictures after the wedding. We wanted to attend our own wedding.”
Looking back, one of the bride's most memorable moments occurred during the Father/Daughter dances.
“I have my biological father whom I call ‘Papi' and my stepdad whom I call ‘dad' and each had their own dance. My dad was balling. I remember it vividly and it meant a lot. I danced with my father to Over the Rainbow because we are both dreamers. except his dream has been through his music. I am living the dream no doubt, just in a different way!” Vanessa reminisced.
The proposal was so special! It was at a difficult time in our lives as my aunt was passing from breast cancer. Mike was under a lot of pressure. We do a monthly date night where one of us takes the other out to do something. It doesn’t have to be glamorous, just quality time together. He decided to make his a ‘day date,' and we started at Del Friscos (where we had our first date), walked down Bayshore, then ended up at Ciro's where he proposed. (Ciro's was also where we went our first night out together). After Ciro's, Mike had planned to send a video to my aunt so we could formally tell her the announcement. She had already known. This brings tears to my eyes just writing about it.
Mike blindfolded me and had planned for over 50 friends, family members and co-workers to gather at my mom and dad’s house to celebrate. My mother-in-law cooked her homemade amazing Italian food, and my parents were the best hosts per usual. My father gave a great heartfelt toast, and the love and energy around us was so genuine. It was unforgettable.
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
After we talked the first time to Marc of Marc Edwards Photographs, I felt that he understood my vision we just clicked. I think he laughed at a few of my “sailor words,” so the relationship felt very authentic from the beginning. I booked him immediately, as I knew his availability was limited. He did an amazing job! Marc captured the candid moments as I requested, and we didn’t spend the traditional hours on end taking posed pictures after the wedding. We wanted to attend our own wedding. He allowed us to do just that.
How would you describe your theme and colors?
Our colors were black, gold and green. The black and gold were bold, yet simple, which is a reflection of how I try to live my life.
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We have a ton of family and friends and being in our 30’s and getting married, we also have many long-term relationships with our co-workers. We wanted to make sure that we picked the venue, and the venue didn’t pick us.
We had known about The Vault because a year before we got married, we had gone to the Vault of Souls they do every year around Halloween. When we attended the event we thought, “This may be a cool place to get married.” When we walked in, I immediately said, “This is it.” James, The Vault coordinator, checked in on Mike and I the entire night to make sure we were taken care of. He was amazing!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Getting married is an amazing experience. The wedding is a lot of work, but the entire journey should be fun. There may be a few stressful moments, but try and embrace the process. Do what makes you and your spouse happy and what brings out the best in both of you.
At the end of the day, this is a moment for your parents and family members to take pride in by supporting the love you have found and your public commitment to one another. Don’t get so lost in the wedding that you lose sight of your purpose. That day is about you and him and establishing yourselves with your new found love and everlasting endeavor.
Ceremony/Reception Venue: Caterer: The Vault *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Venue
Photographer: Marc Edwards Photographs *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Videographer: Randall Productions
Planner: Voth Events
Pet Planner/Concierge: FairyTail Pet Care *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Florist: Apple Blossoms Floral Designs *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Caterer: Catering by the Family
DJ: Wild Out Entertainment
Band: Gaby Gabriel and Band
Officiant: Family Friend
Dress Shop: David's Bridal
Hair & Makeup: Anamary Valdes
Cigar Roller: Long Ash Cigars