Kim and Chip's Love Story:
Chip and I were introduced by a mutual friend back in 2010. I had just moved home from college and was trying to meet new people. We started out just being friends and hanging out at parties. Then one day something just clicked and we both realized it was something more.
Three years later, he took my parents to the restaurant where we had our first date and asked for their blessing. After getting their approval, he planned a romantic weekend getaway to Ft Myers.
He surprised me with a sunset cruise on a private sailboat. He had asked me to go to the bow of the boat so we could take a picture and that was when he got down on one knee.
There weren’t many words, but the gesture was made and I said “Yes.” He had the captain record the whole thing and then we celebrated with a champagne toast.
Kim and Chip hosted a champagne, gold and coral, black tie optional wedding in downtown Tampa.
“Growing up and living in Florida, we wanted to do something different than the typical beach wedding. We wanted a very formal, elegant wedding, ” the bride explained. “We wanted everything to be over the top and grand.”
The Palm Harbor couple's 1920's themed wedding was inspired by their historical downtown Tampa wedding venue, the Floridan Palace.
“We picked the Floridan because it set the mood for what we were going for. We loved that the hotel had history. We enjoyed reading the stories about movie stars and former presidents who had stayed there, ” Kim shared. “The 90-foot ceiling in the ballroom was definitely a big deciding factor for us. I looked at every ballroom in the Tampa Bay area, and they all looked exactly the same. The Floridan was the only one that felt like a grand ballroom.”
To honor the groom's occupation as a firefighter, the bride added custom touches such as a groom's cake of Chip's bunker gear and engraved fire axe to cut their wedding cake.
“It was important to us to have the fire accents and touches of us throughout the event. I tried to incorporate them into our wedding without overpowering our elegant theme. They were the perfect touch and Chip loved them,” the bride gushed. “We also were able to arrange for Tampa Fire Rescue to bring their truck to the church so we could have sirens going as we ran out of the church. They were so great and even stuck around so we could take some pictures with the truck.”
When Kim originally started planning her downtown Tampa wedding, she decided to forgo hiring a Tampa wedding planner, but soon changed her mind.
“Being creative and crafty I wanted to do everything myself and didn’t want to waste money paying someone else to do what I could. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Hiring Burkle Events was the best money we spent,” the bride explained. “I was a very indecisive bride; they helped me narrow down my ideas and figure out what I really wanted. Our day turned out to be better than we could have ever dreamed, and I don’t think that would have been possible without having wedding planners.”
Looking back, one of the bride's most memorable moments was seeing the final product of her wedding planning.
“It was awesome seeing a years’ worth of planning and ideas come to life as we walked into the ballroom for the first time,” Kim reminisced. “We just took a moment, sat there and took it all in.”
“We arranged for Tampa Fire Rescue to bring their truck to the church so we could have sirens going as we ran out of the church. They were so great and even stuck around so we could take some pictures with the truck.” – The Bride
“It was awesome seeing a years’ worth of planning and ideas come to life as we walked into the ballroom for the first time. We just took a moment, sat there and took it all in.” – The Bride
“We loved that the Floridan Palace had history. We enjoyed reading the stories about movie stars and former presidents who had stayed there. It was the only venue that felt like a grand ballroom.” – The Bride
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Absolutely get a planner. It will be the best money you spend.
Forgo not seeing each other before the ceremony and get the pictures taken before so you have more time to enjoy the reception. We were very traditional and wanted to wait to see each other, but we missed out on a lot of pictures and were dragged out of the reception to take some.
If you want specific songs played, make a list for the band.
Enjoy every minute of the day because it goes by so fast.
Tampa Wedding Ceremony Venue: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
Tampa Wedding Reception Venue: Floridan Palace
Tampa Wedding Photographer: Joe Capasso Photography
Tampa Wedding Photographer: Final Shot Studios
Tampa Wedding Planner: Burkle Events
Tampa Wedding Florist & Draping: Tampa Wedding Studio
Tampa Wedding Caterer: Floridan Palace
Tampa Wedding Cake: Alessi Bakery
Tampa Wedding Groom's Cake: Alessi Bakery
Tampa Wedding Band: DeLeon Entertainment
Tampa Wedding Officiant: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church – John Reese
Tampa Wedding Invitations: A+P Designs
Tampa Wedding Transportation: Crown Royal Limousine
Tampa Wedding Dress: The Dressing Room
Tampa Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal
Tampa Groomsmen Tuxedos: Men's Wearhouse
Tampa Wedding Makeup: Make Me Up by Valentina
Tampa Wedding Photo Booth: Snapshoot Photobooth
Tampa Wedding Jewelry: Philipson’s Jewelry
We are proud to have the Floridan Palace as a Marry Me Tampa Bay sponsors!