Elegant Pink and Gold Rooftop Wedding | The Don CeSar
Wedding

Elegant Pink and Gold Rooftop Wedding | The Don CeSar

Carina and Andrej's St. Pete Beach wedding featured a weekend filled with love and laughter that was set at the iconic “Pink Palace” hotel. The bride and groom chose an enduring color palette with shades of ivory and blush pink florals with pops of metallic gold throughout.

My primary goal was to achieve a timeless aesthetic that our hopeful descendants could look fondly upon and aspire to incorporate elements from our wedding into their special days. When stylizing our wedding, I wanted to capture the lightness of love by incorporating classic elements. This was best achieved with creamy, dreamy, delicious shades of white accentuated by elements of light-string lights, gold-rimmed glasses, sequin dresses, sunlight, and sunset,” the bride articulated. “I was particularly inspired by Australian weddings that featured white and off-white voluminous but undone flower arrangements that were slightly asymmetrical. It reminded me of the whimsy and airiness of a fluffy cloud dispersing through the sky.”

When beginning their wedding planning journey, the St. Pete couple explored Marry Me Tampa Bay's website for the best upcoming wedding shows.

We started the preliminary wedding vendor search at a Marry Me Tampa Bay advertised event at Armature Works,” Carina revealed. “We used Marry Me Tampa Bay's website to initially contact The Don CeSar, and the Don CeSar hosted an event where we met our wedding planner.”

Once the couple selected Elegant Affairs by Design, they were guided through planning a 111-guest wedding during spring break in St. Pete Beach. Wedding planner and owner, Riley Gersch, utilized her expertise to create a stress-free and memorable wedding weekend.

“The importance and value of a wedding planner cannot be overstated. Hiring a wedding planner who is organized, capable, and tenacious, and shares your vision is one of the most important decisions you will make,” Carina detailed. “The months leading up to the wedding are rife with decision-making and scheduling. If you want to take a step back and truly enjoy the moments leading up to your day, choose the full-service wedding planner! In hindsight, we would have gladly budgeted more money. Riley has a great aesthetic, and we saw eye to eye on a lot of the design elements. Plus, we had fun while doing it!”

Desiring stunning sunset views and breathtaking beaches, the couple fell in love with the setting of the outdoor terrace overlooking the Gulf of Mexico at the iconic Don CeSar. A chic feasting table set for 19 was accented with elegant rentals provided by Kate Ryan Event Rentals, and romantic lighting from Gabro Event Services.

“It was important to have a venue with indoor and outdoor space with timeless elegance. The idyllic 1920’s pink Don CeSar is synonymous with St. Pete Beach and spoke to the relaxed elegance we strive to encompass in our daily life. Its presence speaks volumes, and we knew that the architecture, decor, lush greens, and views of the water would be the perfect setting for our photos and our desired indoor and outdoor experience,” the bride gushed. “The North Terrace at The Don CeSar checked all of our boxes and then some. Plus, it had a spectacular view of a March sunset! Their service was impeccable from start to finish. It was important to us that our families could share an intimate dining experience; we come from traditional families that value conversation over the dining table, but haven't had the ability for our families to be in the same room, all at once! The wedding provided the perfect opportunity to finally join as one family. It was a really special moment for all of us. We still talk about the food and desserts, and our guests particularly loved the donuts made in-house!”

Instead of choosing their own date, Carina and Andrej allowed the universe to select a day that aligned with the pair's birth dates, which was then announced with a multi-sensory invitation experience with a Bohemian Reves' Desert Fleur perfumed scented stationery created by A&P Design Co.

“One of my lifelong passions is astrology, so I consulted an astrologer to forecast an auspicious wedding date for us based on our birthdays. We rescheduled the wedding date from November, not fortuitous for us, to March 12 for this reason, and it was magical,” Carina explained. “We created a custom invitation suite and wedding program with Alicia Rohan, owner of A&P, and were absolutely delighted with the final products. She helped with custom coloring, sourcing the perfect tassel texture, length for the programs, and even assisted with scenting the invites! Scenting the invites is apparently rare to do, but I liked the idea of creating a fuller sensory experience because scent memory is very strong! We chose the perfume I wore on the wedding day.”

As the bride and groom looked back on their wedding day, it was all of the moments spent uniting their families and cultures that touched their hearts.

“Seeing each other as I walked down the aisle was a collectively moving experience for both of us. Andrej was moved to tears seeing me, and I rarely see him cry. It was a moment,” the bride reminisced. “The al-fresco dining experience with our family is very cherished to us because our families live in different states. We had a lot of fun dancing with our family and friends because we all love to dance. The Kolo dance, a traditional Balkan folk dance, was very enjoyable because it allowed our friends to join in a small part of our culture.”

St. Pete Beach Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Pink Palace Florida Beach Wedding
White Pointed Toe and Clear Acrylic Strap with Crystal Rhinestone Beading Bride Badgley Mischka Wedding Shoes
Timeless Classic White and Gray Wedding Invitation Suite | Tampa Bay Wedding Stationery A&P Design Co
Round Diamond Engagement Ring and Bride Wedding Band, Groom Yellow Gold Wedding Ring on Classic White and Gray Letterpress Wedding Invitation | Tampa Bay Wedding Stationery A&P Design Co

What was your wedding invitation inspiration?
I had a fantastic experience with A&P Design Co. The high-quality paper products they provided were some of my favorite elements of the wedding. They were incredibly detailed and expeditious in both email responses and sending samples. 

We created a custom invitation suite and wedding program with Alicia Rohan, owner of A&P, and were absolutely delighted with the final products. She helped with custom coloring, sourcing the perfect tassel texture, length for the programs, and even assisted with scenting the invites! Scenting the invites is apparently rare to do, but I liked the idea of creating a fuller sensory experience because scent memory is very strong! We chose the perfume I wore on the wedding day.

Classic Black and White Photo of Bride with Hanging A Line Wedding Dress and Full Length Veil Holding Floral Bouquet
Florida Bride Reading Letter from Soon to be Husband Before Wedding
Florida Bride Wearing White Silk Romper with Robe and Bridesmaids in Matching Silk Gray Robes, Bridesman, Getting Wedding Ready
Florida Bride in Silk White Robe with Feathers Holding Hands with Mom
Elegant Classic Bridal Portrait, Veil Over Brides Face Holding Floral Bouquet
Florida Bride Wearing A-Line Classic Wedding Dress with Full Length Veil Blowing Outside of St. Petersburg Pink Palace The Don CeSar Hotel
Florida with Bridal Party, Bridesmaids in Elegant Matching Gold Sequin Dresses and Groomsman in Black Tuxedo | St. Petersburg Wedding Venue Pink Palace The Don CeSar Hotel
Classic Tampa Groom Wearing Black Tuxedo with Bowtie and Sunglasses

Andrej lives for a good suit moment, so he had two tuxedo jackets: a black tux jacket for the church and the portraits, and a white-and-black tux jacket for the dinner and reception.

Classic Tampa Groom Wearing Black Tuxedo with Bowtie and Sunglasses with Groomsmen in Black Tuxedos and Sunglasses
Florida Classic Timeless Bride and Groom Outside Historic St. Pete Wedding Venue Pink Palace The Don CeSar Hotel
Florida Classic Timeless Bride and Groom Outside Historic St. Pete Wedding Venue Pink Palace The Don CeSar Hotel

The Proposal:
Andrej lured me by doing something we regularly do together, eating ice cream at Kilwins and taking a sunset beach walk. Doing something ‘ordinary’ allowed Andrej to fly completely under my readily-aware radar. He hired a longtime family friend and photographer to hide and take photos to capture the moment. I was taken completely off-guard and shed some tears to Andrej’s delight! After the surprise, we watched the sunset and grabbed drinks at Treasure Island Beach Resort.

Florida Classic Timeless Bride and Groom Outside Historic St. Pete Wedding Venue Pink Palace The Don CeSar Hotel
Florida Classic Timeless Bride and Groom with Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Wedding Party Photo Outside Historic St. Pete Wedding Venue Pink Palace The Don CeSar Hotel
Classic Wedding Ceremony Decor, Tall Glass Cylinder Vase with White Flowers and Hanging Amaranthus | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Elegant Affairs by Design
Classic Timeless Florida Bride and Groom Exiting Traditional Church Wedding Ceremony
Classic Timeless Wedding Reception Decor, Taupe Welcome Sign with White Floral Arrangement | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Elegant Affairs by Design
Elegant Classic Waterfront Rooftop Wedding Reception Decor, Long Feasting Table with Gold and White Dining Chairs, Low Floral Centerpieces and White Linens | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Elegant Affairs by Design | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Historic Pink Palace St. Pete Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Hotel
Elegant Classic Waterfront Rooftop Wedding Reception Decor, Long Feasting Table with Gold and White Dining Chairs, Low Floral Centerpieces and White Linens | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Elegant Affairs by Design | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Historic Pink Palace St. Pete Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Hotel

What did you look for in a wedding venue?
It was important to have a venue with indoor and outdoor space with timeless elegance. The idyllic 1920’s pink Don CeSar is synonymous with St. Pete Beach and spoke to the relaxed elegance we strive to encompass in our daily life. Its presence speaks volumes, and we knew that the architecture, decor, lush greens, and views of the water would be the perfect setting for our photos and our desired indoor and outdoor experience.

The North Terrace at The Don CeSar checked all of our boxes and then some. Plus, it had a spectacular view of a March sunset! Their service was impeccable from start to finish. It was important to us that our families could share an intimate dining experience; we come from traditional families that value conversation over the dining table, but haven't had the ability for our families to be in the same room, all at once! The wedding provided the perfect opportunity to finally join as one family. It was a really special moment for all of us. We still talk about the food and desserts, and our guests particularly loved the donuts made in-house!

Elegant Classic Waterfront Rooftop Wedding Reception Decor, Long Feasting Table with Gold and White Dining Chairs, Low Floral Ivory, Blush Pink Roses Centerpieces, Clear Glass and Gold Rimmed Chargers and White Linens | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Elegant Affairs by Design | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Historic Pink Palace St. Pete Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Hotel
Classic Timeless Wedding Reception Decor, Clear Glass and Gold Rimmed Charger with White and Black Tassel Seating Card | Tampa Bay Wedding Stationery A&P Design Co | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Wedding Planner Elegant Affairs by Design Co

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
My primary goal was to achieve a timeless aesthetic that our hopeful descendants could look fondly upon and aspire to incorporate elements from our wedding into their special days. When stylizing our wedding, I wanted to capture the lightness of love.

What were your colors?
I was inspired by the lightness of love and the warmth and purity that feeling brings when reminiscing. This was best achieved with creamy, dreamy, delicious shades of white accentuated by elements of light-string lights, gold-rimmed glasses, sequin dresses, sunlight, and sunset.  

How did the rentals enhance the ambiance of your wedding? 
The rentals from Kate Ryan Event Rentals were high quality and luxurious. They seamlessly flowed with both the church and the Don CeSar. Business-wise, they are a well-oiled machine and lend a lot of confidence to couples currently planning their wedding.

Elegant Classic Waterfront Rooftop Wedding Reception Decor, Long Feasting Table with Gold and White Dining Chairs, Low Floral Ivory, Blush Pink Roses Centerpieces, Clear Glass and Gold Rimmed Chargers and White Linens | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Elegant Affairs by Design | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Historic Pink Palace St. Pete Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Hotel
Elegant Classic Waterfront Rooftop Wedding Reception Decor, Long Feasting Table with Gold and White Dining Chairs, Low Floral Centerpieces and White Linens | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Elegant Affairs by Design | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Historic Pink Palace St. Pete Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Hotel

What did you look for in a wedding planner?
The importance and value of a wedding planner cannot be overstated. Hiring a wedding planner who is organized, capable, and tenacious, and shares your vision is one of the most important decisions you will make. The months leading up to the wedding are rife with decision-making and scheduling. If you want to take a step back and truly enjoy the moments leading up to your day, choose the full-service wedding planner! In hindsight, we would have gladly budgeted more money.

Riley with Elegant Affairs by Design has a great aesthetic, and we saw eye to eye on a lot of the design elements. Plus, we had fun while doing it!

Elegant Classic Waterfront Rooftop Wedding Reception Decor, Long Feasting Table with Gold and White Dining Chairs, Low Floral Ivory, Blush Pink Roses Centerpieces, Clear Glass and Gold Rimmed Chargers and White Linens | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Elegant Affairs by Design | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Historic Pink Palace St. Pete Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Hotel
Classic Elegant Bride and Groom in White Tuxedo with Black Bowtie Standing at Wedding Reception Table with Elegant Ivory and Gold Dining Chairs, Low Floral Centerpieces, Rooftop Waterfront St.Pete Historic Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Hotel | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Elegant Affairs by Design | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Classic Elegant Bride and Groom in White Tuxedo with Black Bowtie Standing at Wedding Reception Table with Elegant Ivory and Gold Dining Chairs, Low Floral Centerpieces, Rooftop Waterfront St.Pete Historic Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Hotel | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Elegant Affairs by Design | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals

Which vendors really exceeded your expectations?
Overall, I had a fantastic experience with all of my vendors. A few specifically stick out.

Our photographer was incredible, and the quality of her photos speak volumes. She was working nonstop on the day of the wedding, and every single moment and detail was captured! 

Devin, our coordinator at the Don CeSar was on top of every email and made sure everything at the hotel was flawless. The food at the Don was impeccable and worth every penny ten times over. We still talk about our meals and desserts! 

Alicia at A&P Design Co’s attention to detail and the high quality of the paper products still make me smile. I truly enjoyed the process with her and am looking for an excuse to use her again!

Classic Timeless Bride and Groom Sitting at Elegant Gold and White Dining Chairs Cheering with Guests during Small Intimate Wedding Reception at Long Table | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Elegant Affairs by Design | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Historic St. Pete Rooftop Waterfront Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Hotel
Romantic Timeless Sunset Bride Overlooking Balcony of Waterfront Rooftop Historic St. Pete Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Hotel Wearing Classic Wedding Dress with Bow in the Back and Full Length Lace Veil
Romantic Classic Bride and Groom in White Tuxedo with Black Bowtie Sunset Rooftop Waterfront Wedding Portrait | Historic St. Pete Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Hotel

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We wanted to do something out of our norm for our honeymoon to share a new experience. I wasn’t keen on a tropical island vacation, considering a relaxing beach day is just another Saturday for us in St. Pete! We originally intended on venturing around the ancient civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean, but given travel restrictions, these plans were placed on hold.

We decided to venture west to Jackson, Wyoming and stayed at Amangani resort and spa for several days to breathe in the mountain air, admire the Grand Tetons, and immerse ourselves in the American West. Jackson is known for its winter sports, but its summer season is just as enchanting. The summer season begins in mid-June. The hotel was magnificent, and overall, Jackson was a fantastic experience that we highly recommend!

Classic Bride and Groom Dancing at Wedding Reception in Ballroom of Historic St. Pete Wedding Venue The Don CeSar Hotel | Tampa Bay Lighting Gabro Event Services

How did you incorporate your personalities into the wedding?
We wanted to have a choreographed first dance that showed off both sides of our personalities: a traditional ballroom waltz to highlight our classic and romantic sides, and a swing dance portion for our playful and fun sides! We danced to Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You by Frankie Valli.

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
After the proposal, talk together about a realistic guest list and begin searching for a venue that can accommodate and fit your collective vision, elegant, rustic, beachy, etc.  Most venues have a bridal show at least once a year, and we found that very helpful in sourcing some vendors and structuring our budget.

Do your research and interview multiple vendors. Ask as many questions as needed, and be upfront about your budget. Not everyone will be the perfect fit for you and your wedding vision. And that is okay! 

Form a budget and stick to it: negotiate with vendors and be honest with them about your budget. This is a mutual respect that can benefit you in unexpected ways. There will be many add-ons along the way which add up quickly and compromising your budget for an expensive vendor will eventually lead to a trickle-over in budget.

Brides, keep in mind that a dress budget should also include alterations, shoes, jewelry, shapewear, and your getting-ready outfit and robe. Don’t max out on the dress! Alterations can be pricey depending on your dress material and your desired bridal look. Specifically, make sure you shop around for veils, which can be costly depending on your preferred style.

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Vendor Credits

 

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