Gemma and Brendan's enchanted rustic Plant City wedding took place beneath a canopy of towering trees surrounded by verdant flora, followed by dinner and dancing amidst an open-air, wood-clad barn. The Pittsburg bride and groom selected a simple and classic style for their celebration, with a neutral palette and an abundance of greenery that complimented the surrounding nature-filled landscape.
“Our theme was simplistic, classy, and timeless. We didn't necessarily want a particular ‘theme' but knew how we wanted our wedding to look,” the bride explained. “The wedding party wore sandy mauve. The hues used throughout the wedding details were white, beige, with shades of green. We chose these colors as they were neutral and worked well with the scenery of the venue.”
Since the bride was born and raised in Florida, the couple decided to host their destination wedding in the Sunshine State. They wanted a venue with beautiful grounds that could house a ceremony and reception for their 50 guests at one location, and they immediately knew that Florida Rustic Barn Weddings was the perfect fit.
“We wanted something outdoors and unique, so when we saw the ceremony site we knew immediately we had found the right place; it was exactly what we envisioned! It's like something out of a movie.” Gemma gushed. “The staff was friendly, and their venue is definitely a hidden gem!”
To complement the lush outdoor setting, the bride and groom incorporated a plethora of greenery into their floral design A boxwood wall featuring personalized décor doubled as a backdrop for the couple as well as a unique photo prop for later in the reception.
“We had a neon sign that said ‘The Kings' on a hedge wall that made for a great sweetheart table backdrop and as a photo-op for pictures for us and our guests.”
To materialize the style vision for her bridal party, Gemma turned to Femme Akoi Beauty Studio because they were renowned for their special event hairstyles and talented braiding stylists.
“I wanted each of my bridesmaids to have a different hairstyle that incorporated some sort of braid and curls,” the bride explained.
Locking eyes during the ceremony created a long-lasting memory for the bride and groom, but another notable experience courtesy of special guests during the reception was equally touching.
“When the ceremony doors opened and we saw each other for the first time is something neither of us will ever forget,” the bride reminisced. “Also, when my two friends sang Conversations in the Dark by John Legend during the reception was memorable.”
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We wanted something outdoors and unique, so when we saw the ceremony site at Florida Rustic Barn Weddings we knew immediately we had found the right place!
Their ceremony site was exactly what we envisioned; it's like something out of a movie. The staff was friendly and their venue is definitely a hidden gem!
We had been in a long-distance relationship for over two year years and would fly up or down the east coast to see each other for a weekend every six weeks or so. I flew up one weekend in the fall, and we planned to go to a winery for dinner. It was pouring rain (which ended up working in Brendan's favor), and we were seated at a gazebo outside while we waited for our table to be ready inside. I always ask Brendan to give a toast when we get a bottle of wine out at dinner, and Brendan used the toast as an opportunity to ask me to marry him.
What did you look for in a wedding hairstylist?
I picked Femme Akoi Beauty Studio because I wanted each of my bridesmaids to have a different hairstyle that incorporated some sort of braid and curls.
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
Simplistic, classy, and timeless. We didn't necessarily want a particular “theme” but knew how we wanted our wedding to look.
What were your colors?
The wedding party wore sandy mauve. The hues used throughout the wedding details were white, beige, and shades of green. We chose these colors as they were neutral and worked well with the scenery of the venue.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Check the weather statistics for the time of year you are planning your wedding! Be cautious of hurricane season.
Where did you spend your honeymoon and why did you choose that location?
We are taking a mini-moon in the United States due to the travel restrictions for COVID-19. We hope to take a honeymoon next year.
Where did you host your bachelorette party and why did you choose that venue/location?
Gemma and the girls went to Key West, FL for a weekend of some fun in the sun.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Florida Rustic Barn Weddings *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Venue
Photographer: Kate Garcia Weddings
Second Shooter: Geoff Studios
Florist: Milly's Flowers and Events
Caterer: Catering by the Family
Neon Sign: Brite Lite Tribe
Hedge Wall: Southern Event Rentals
Cake: Petite Madelyn's Bakery
DJ: Celebrations of Tampa Bay
Officiant: Pastor Al
Dress Shop and Designer: Nordstrom Bridal– Pronovias Bridal Collection Shoe Designer: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid Dress Shop and Designer: Birdy Grey
Hair: Femme Akoi Beauty Studio *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Makeup: Destiny Viviana Makeup
Rehearsal Dinner: Topgolf
Jeweler: Henne Jewelers
Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
*Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pros are highly respected by our local wedding community and have been personally vetted by our editor.