Kelly and Jake's downtown Tampa wedding was a romantic affair that combined classic hues of navy and taupe accented by soft pastel shades, warm wood elements, and natural greenery. Views of the iconic Tampa Riverwalk graced the backdrop of the outdoor ceremony as well as the panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows of the waterfront reception space.
“We channeled an ethereal modern garden vibe,” the bride shared. “The guys wore navy blue, and the girls wore taupe. We added some more lively pastel colors to the flowers but kept the outfits relatively neutral.”
The bride and groom exchanged vows overlooking the iconic Tampa Riverwalk and adjoining park greenspace. Silver Chiavari chairs flanked the aisle along the venue's veranda, and a rustic wood arch bedecked with clusters of organic flora created a charming backdrop. Wispy arrangements of peach roses and greenery adorned the aisle entry as guests arrived, later gracing the ends of the wedding party's feasting table.
The pair personalized their celebration by forgoing traditional elements and incorporating meaningful touches that created lasting memories from the day.
“We skipped some of the traditional elements of a wedding such as cake cutting and bouquet toss, and we added in things like quickly taking a photo with every table at the reception,” the bride detailed. “We wanted to have a private first dance at the very beginning with just the two of us before our first dance in front of everyone else. We really enjoyed those few minutes to ourselves.”
The bride, a well-known local influencer, prioritized the guest experience, offering a gourmet meal that was not only uniquely delicious but also accommodated various dietary restrictions. Elite Events Catering‘s reputation for providing elevated menu selections made it the ideal choice for creating a palatable meal for the 120 guests.
“We wanted a caterer that didn’t offer just the typical wedding food and where we could customize our meal choices. We had some guests with dietary restrictions, and we wanted to be able to have meal options that were vegan and gluten-free, for example. We did a tasting with Elite Events Catering, and we fell in love with the food and the owner, Melissa,” Kelly raved. “She was super helpful and was able to customize everything exactly how we wanted. Our guests loved the food on the wedding day.”
Wood farm tables and cross-back chairs added warmth to the neutral reception space, while peachy roses, hypericum berries, and stems of Queen Ann's lace brought soft color to the tables. Free-flowing floral arrangements from the ceremony aisle were repurposed at each end of the garden-inspired feasting table, while floating candles and votives created a romantic ambiance.
Being surrounded by their closest friends and family made for an unforgettable evening, but it was the couple's dog who stole the show and created a favorite moment for the bride.
“Everyone knows we obsess over our Golden Retriever (Louie), so we found a way to include him in the ceremony. It was very memorable to have our dog be part of our special day with us,” Kelly reminisced. “The whole wedding was very memorable because our family and friends being all in the same room at the same time was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
We channeled an ethereal modern garden vibe.
I got invited through @WhenInTampa to a Christmas event called Enchant at Tropicana Field, and I chose a time and date for us to go. Because the date and time were already planned in advance, Jake figured this would be a good way to throw me off so that I wouldn’t be expecting it.
While we were walking around the maze of Christmas lights, Jake got on one knee and popped the question. He hired a photographer and videographer to follow us around and capture the moment.
What did you look for in a wedding caterer?
We wanted a caterer that didn’t offer just the typical wedding food and where we could customize our meal choices. We had some guests with dietary restrictions, and we wanted to be able to have meal options that were vegan and gluten-free, for example.
We did a tasting with Elite Events Catering, and we fell in love with the food and the owner, Melissa. She was super helpful and was able to customize everything exactly how we wanted. Our guests loved the food on the wedding day.
Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We still have yet to go on our “real” honeymoon but we did a mini honeymoon road trip to Savannah, Charleston, and St. Augustine.
Which vendors really exceeded your expectations and how?
Elite Events Catering really exceeded our expectations. We were taking photos during cocktail hour and didn’t get to enjoy the appetizers we picked out, and when we got to our table for the reception, we both had a plate of appetizers waiting for us, which was a nice touch.
Everybody also loved the 360-video booth. People were dancing on it all night and were able to get the videos texted to them right away.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Everyone says the wedding goes by fast, but it really does go by fast. Make sure to take some time for yourselves and truly take in every moment!