Heather and Jason’s Love Story:
Jason and I met in January of 2011. I had been living outside of Boston and decided after many years living away, that I would move back home for good. I quit my job, had no potential job here, but decided it was time to come home.
Two days after I moved home, I met Jason. He is from New Jersey and was considering moving back there at the same time. Is that fate or what?
We were engaged in November 2012; he proposed to me at Anna Maria Island on the beach. I cried whether it was from the proposal or the fact that my engagement ring would not fit on my finger I’m not sure!
With Heather and Jason both members of the Krewe of Brigadoon, a volunteer organization and float participant in the Gasparilla parade, the pair wanted to bring that level of excitement to their wedding reception.
“Gasparilla is a large part of our lives!” the bride beamed. “We incorporated Mardi Gras masks because we wanted our friends to have a good time wearing them at the reception, and it provided a Gasparilla like fun to our day.”
Based on the recommendation of the bride’s best friend, Heather and Jason chose downtown Tampa wedding venue the Florida Aquarium.
“The Florida Aquarium provided everything we wanted: open bar for four hours, outside location for the reception and a funky feel,” the bride gushed. “We also liked it’s proximity to hotels for our out-of-town guests. The staff there went above and beyond taking care of Jason and me and all our guests.”
The Tampa couple played off their wedding venue selection with an interesting ceremony song selection.
“Since we were married in front of the large tank at the Aquarium, my husband begged me to let the boys walk out at the ceremony to the theme from Jaws,” the bride explained. “I had been so nervous prior to that moment, but when I heard the music, I cracked up and turned to my dad and said “Let’s DO this!”
To capture their wedding day, Heather and Jason looked for a Tampa wedding photographer with technique and charisma.
“We chose Carrie Wildes Photography because we knew there would be challenges with lighting in the Aquarium. Her name kept coming up over and over whenever we would discuss photography,” the bride shared. “After my first conversation with Carrie, I was hooked! She is so personable and such a lovely person, I couldn’t have imagined anyone else taking our photos that day!”
With the help of her Tampa rental company, Savvy Events & Entertainment, Heather was able to make not only her wedding day, but also another bride’s day extra special.
“Irene with Savvy Events & Entertainment made my day more beautiful than I ever could have imagined with the draping and lighting she did for our ceremony. It was beyond stunning!” Heather gushed. “She also has a heart of gold. There was a wedding after mine and the bride could not afford draping for her ceremony, but because we chose to get the full package, Savvy Events left everything from our ceremony for her to use. That bride cried when they told her the news. It made my day that much more special knowing something like that mattered to Irene and that we could be a small part of making another bride’s day beautiful!”
Looking back, one of Heather’s most memorable moments was when her father handed her to Jason during the wedding ceremony.
“They call my dad ‘Blue’ from the movie Old School. He acquired this nickname at my husband’s bachelor party in Nashville,” the bride explained. “Our friend Gonzalo was officiating our wedding and asked my father, ‘Blue, do you give your daughter’s hand in marriage?’ Everyone that could hear it cracked up. My dad was so flustered he hugged and kissed Jason and forgot all about me!” “
“The favorite part about having our wedding at the Florida Aquarium was the beauty of our ceremony. It was breathtaking!” – The Bride
“After my first conversation with Carrie [of Carrie Wildes Photography], I was hooked! She is so personable and such a lovely person, I couldn’t have imagined anyone else taking our photos that day!” – The Bride
“Gasparilla is a large part of our lives! We incorporated Mardi Gras masks because we wanted our friends to have a good time wearing them at the reception, and it provided a Gasparilla like fun to our day.” – The Bride
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
My only advice to other brides is to be yourself, wear the dress you love, overdo it even if your mom doesn’t like it. Wear the blue shoes, wear the dangly earrings if you want, play the music you like, invite the people who truly mean something to you.
You can’t make everyone happy so don’t even try! It is YOUR day, make it all your own!
Tampa Wedding Venue: Florida Aquarium *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Vendor
Tampa Wedding Photographer: Carrie Wildes Photography *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Vendor
Tampa Wedding Florist: Apple Blossoms Floral Design *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Vendor
Tampa Wedding Caterer: Florida Aquarium
Tampa Wedding Draping & Decor: Savvy Events & Entertainment
Tampa Wedding Officiant: Gonzalo Martinez (Friend of the Bride)
Tampa Wedding Transportation: Tampa Trolley
Tampa Wedding Hair & Makeup: Makeup by Kristy Lynn
We are proud to have Carrie Wildes Photography and the Florida Aquarium as a Marry Me Tampa Bay sponsors!