Ashley and George hosted an elegant black, champagne and ivory Tampa destination wedding in the bride’s hometown.
“We chose to get married in Tampa because I was born and raised here and went to high school at Academy of the Holy Names. It has always held a special place in my heart, so it was easy to decide that the chapel at Academy was where we wanted to be married,” the bride shared.
With the pair living in Pennsylvania during their engagement, they searched for a Tampa wedding venue that made their planning stress-free.
“Our wedding planner, Jade, was by far the best part of having our wedding at A La Carte Pavilion. She went above and beyond every single time we met with her,” Ashley gushed. “I could just show her pictures, explain my ideas and she made them happen. We spent so much time with Jade in the year we were planning our wedding that she became a very dear friend of ours. She made our wedding day more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.”
The menu was top priority for the groom, while the bride focused on decor.
“Since George is a “foodie,” we wanted a venue that was more specialized in catering. A La Carte was on our list from the beginning for this reason,” the bride explained. “I enjoy being creative and had an amazing time picking out every detail of the beaded linens, floral arrangements, drapery and lighting. Setting an elegant, romantic mood was very important, and I knew that A La Carte was exactly the place where we could best express our personalities in the details.”
Looking back, Ashley’s most memorable moments revolved around her new husband.
“The two moments that bring a smile to my face whenever I think of them are: reading a letter George wrote to me the morning of our wedding and seeing his face when he saw me walking down the aisle,” the bride reminisced.
George and I were living in Harrisburg, PA at the time we got engaged, because I was in law school there. After dinner [one night], our friends were meeting at my apartment for happy hour/game night before we headed downtown. We made some drinks and started playing Taboo. George started off by giving me clues to words that were actually a part of the game. As he prepared to give me clues for the third word, he started off with hints like “someone who loves you more than anyone in the world” and “someone who you loves the most.” I was just yelling out random things like “mom, dad, family, husband, wife.” He was clearly nervous but kept on giving clues, and I was at a loss for what the word could be!
Finally he said “someone who I want to spend the rest of my life with,” and still confused at how this related to the game, said “Me?” He then came towards me, got on one knee and asked me to spend my life with him. I looked around the room at our friends and saw them taking video and pictures and immediately started crying.
George planned a night on the town for us and our closest friends. He rented a limo, stocked it with our favorite beverages and had a video slideshow of pictures of he and I. We celebrated the entire night. It was magical!
How would you describe your theme?
The theme we envisioned from the beginning was a blend of elegant, formal and romantic, with a bit of a garden feel in the floral arrangements. We chose this theme because it was important to have an intimate setting to celebrate our marriage with our family and friends. I love all things that are timeless, and I wanted my wedding to reflect that.
What were your colors?
Black, champagne and ivory. It was the perfect way to match the formal and romantic, timeless feel we were going for.
What were the deciding factors for choosing your venue?
Picking a venue from Pennsylvania was not an easy task. I had all of my family members touring every possible venue in Tampa. We knew from the beginning that we did not want to have our wedding at a hotel. Since George is a “foodie,” we wanted somewhere that was more specialized in catering. A La Carte Pavilion was on our list from the beginning for this reason.
I knew that I wanted a lot of lighting, space and drapery. Once I saw what the Great Hall and Belvedere looked like, I knew that this was exactly the place where we could best express our personalities in the details. We could basically build our dream reception to our liking in this gorgeous facility.
Our wedding planner, Jade, was by far the best part of having our wedding at A la Carte. She went above and beyond every single time we met with her. I could just show her pictures and explain my ideas and she made them happen. She was fantastic in helping to make our vision come to life. We spent so much time with Jade in the year we were planing our wedding that she became a very dear friend of ours. She made our wedding day more beautiful than we could have ever imagined. I know that our day wouldn’t have been the same without her!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Enjoy every moment of the journey to your special day. It can be overwhelming at times, but I promise in the end you’ll be happier than you could have ever imagined!
Someone told me during my planning, “If something goes wrong on your wedding day, don’t think of it as a bad thing, think of it as something that makes you and your husband’s wedding day unique to you! You’ll probably laugh about it later.” That really stayed with me and is so true, so I wanted to pass that along!
Ceremony Venue: Academy of the Holy Names
Reception Venue: A La Carte Pavilion *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Venue
Photographer: Aaron Lockwood Photography
Videographer: Brad Hall Studios
Florist: A La Carte Pavilion
Caterer: A La Carte Pavilion
Cake A La Carte Pavilion
DJ: Inpulse Entertainment
Officiant: Father Rob Cadrecha
Invitations: MATES + CO
Dress: Brides by Demetrios
Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Angelo Bridal
Hair & Makeup:Vicki Yado
Tuxedo Rental: Men’s Wearhouse