Downtown St. Pete Wedding | The Birchwood Wedding
Carrie and Jason's downtown waterfront St. Pete wedding featured a glamorous, nautical theme with a sophisticated color palette of navy, ivory and gold.
“We love St. Petersburg and the waterfront, so we wanted everything to be downtown with gorgeous views of the water and city,” the bride explained. “We love nothing more than to go downtown and have dinner outside, relax and take in the water views and nightlife, and we wanted our guests to enjoy that feeling as well.”
The St. Pete bride and groom searched for a unique waterfront wedding venue for their upscale event.
“We wanted to do something different that we could own and feel like it was one-of-a-kind,” Carrie shared. “The Birchwood tops all other downtown St. Pete venues because it’s just cool, elegant yet sexy, fresh and the food is delicious! Their ballroom is gorgeous, and the hotel itself is amazing to stay at and get ready in! The venue offers the best views of downtown ever!”
Although the bride did not hiring a wedding planner from the beginning, she decided to hire St. Pete planner Parties a la Carte three weeks out from her big day.
“Honestly, I could kick myself in the butt for not hiring a wedding planner. So many people told me not to waste my money, that I could just do it by myself. So, I did. Big mistake!,” the bride explained. “I needed someone to take my vision and execute it, and Parties a la Carte nailed it. They were worth every dollar spent. I had a few items remaining, some that I didn’t even know I needed, and the owner, Jessica, was literally able to solve all of it in one day with her contacts! My wedding threw Jessica and team many curve balls, and she caught them all.”
MORE: PARTIES A LA CARTE WEDDINGS
Searching for a St. Pete wedding photographer who could capture their love for downtown St. Pete and the water, the couple chose Limelight Photography.
“We wanted the best, and Limelight Photography is the best. I asked around for quite some time and kept hearing ‘Limelight' so naturally, that’s the only place we really entertained,” Carrie gushed. “Limelight wants to give you a quality product and believe in their team, so they invite you into their world, which is nice where it’s so easy to be taken advantage of. When they saw on Facebook that my videographer had bailed, they quickly came to the rescue, and I’m so thankful for that. It meant so much knowing they actually cared, versus just wanting to make money from an event. Top class all the way Limelight!”
MORE: LIMELIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY WEDDINGS
Looking back, some the bride's most memorable wedding day moments occurred during the ceremony.
“When I came around the corner and met Jason’s eyes as I started to walk down the aisle, I could see he was about to cry, and his lip whimpered, but he held it together. The next moment was our vows; they will always mean so much to me. I’m so glad we wrote our own!” the bride reminisced.
What did you look for in a wedding planner?
Honestly, I could kick myself in the butt for not hiring a wedding planner. So many people told me not to waste my money, that I could just do it by myself. So, I did. Big mistake! While everything I did turned out amazing, it was so stressful! I only hired a day of coordinator, three weeks out from my wedding, and I really wish I would have hired them from day one. It would have made the whole experience much more enjoyable. I work a very stressful job and planning a wedding for 200 people became crazy with all details and decisions you need to make.
Ultimately, when it came time to hire a day-of coordinator, like I had planned to do, I just needed someone who was on top of things and Parties a la Carte was. I talked to two other coordinators, but Jessica [of Parties A La Carte] just seemed to know her stuff. She was real with me and at that point I needed it, as I needed to wrap stuff up and only had a few weeks left. I had a few items remaining, some that I didn’t even know I needed, and she was literally able to solve all of it in one day with her contacts! I’m glad she was honest with me and kept me on track. Parties a la Carte definitely worked hard from the day I hired them to my wedding day and even after my wedding, helping to wrap things up. I needed someone to take my vision and execute it, and they nailed it. They were worth every dollar spent. My wedding threw Jessica and team many curve balls (the most actually), and she caught them all. Job well done!
How would you describe your theme?
We love downtown St. Pete and the waterfront, so we wanted everything to be downtown glamorous, with gorgeous views of the water and city. We also wanted to add a nod to Jason's career in the yachting industry by incorporating the use of a beautiful 72″ Princess Yacht and have the guys arrive and dock to the wedding. Wedding day outfits were inspired by my love of TLC's Say Yes To The Dress tv show. I've always said if it happened to me, that I would go to Kleinfeld's in New York City to get my dress and have a cathedral length veil, and that's exactly what I did with 10 of my loved ones! Jason's navy tuxedo pays homage to the nautical world with navy incorporated in the Princess Yacht used in the wedding, and our love of water! Bridesmaid dresses were chosen because of my love for gold glam, glitz, glitter and sequins!
What were your colors?
Our wedding was filled with lots of navy, ivory and gold glam as a nod to Jason’s love of the nautical world and my love of being dazzling! The colors were sophisticated, sexy, black-tie with lots of glam. My bouquet was gorgeous and full of different shades of pinks and greens; I wanted it to pop against Jason’s navy tux and his fuchsia peony boutonniere!
Jason proposed on a Friday night, sitting by a fire he made in the backyard, after an amazing home-cooked dinner that we made together with amazing wine, underneath a once-in-a-lifetime ring of stars around the moon. The ring around the moon is a rare sighting and was caused by seven star constellations lining up. Jason got very lucky as he had no idea how he was actually going to propose, he just knew it was going to be that night. Six months and one day after our first date, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife!
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
The best; that’s it. We wanted to make sure that our pictures were as unique as we are and that they captured our love for downtown St. Pete and the water.
We wanted the best, and Limelight Photography is the best. I asked around for quite some time and kept hearing “Limelight” so naturally, that’s the only place we really entertained. Their portfolio accomplished what we wanted! Limelight wants to give you a quality product and believe in their team, so they invite you into their world which is nice where it’s so easy to be taken advantage of, especially when planning such an important day. The whole team is super easy to work with, prompt in response and they work to make sure you have the best experience ever. When they saw on Facebook that my videographer had bailed, they quickly came to the rescue, and I’m so thankful for that. It meant so much knowing they actually cared, versus just wanting to make money from an event. Top class all the way Limelight!
I’m so lucky to have had the stars align for one more time when we learned that Sarah would be our photographer. She is amazing and a fellow Wisconsinite, so it was a natural fit and she was a blast to work with! All of our pics are amazing! We have had the most compliments; they are all simply gorgeous! We did engagement pics, boudoir pics and our wedding; we will only use them in the future!
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
Uniqueness! We wanted to do something different that we could own and feel like it was one-of-a-kind. We wanted something nautical and glamorous and to incorporate our love for downtown St. Pete and the water.
I love everything about the Birchwood: the food, the Prosecco glasses, the staff, the managers and the view! The Birchwood tops all other downtown St. Pete venues because it’s just cool, elegant yet sexy, fresh and the food is delicious! Their ballroom is gorgeous, and the hotel itself is amazing to stay at and get ready in! Much of the décor lends itself to amazing pictures too. We had a black-tie cocktail hour and reception at The Canopy rooftop and The Birchwood Grand Ballroom. We wanted it high-class, yet nautical and glamorous, and we feel like we nailed it! The Birchwood offers the best views of downtown ever! What more could we have asked for?! Amazing!
What did you looked for in a photo booth rental?
Since we really were shooting for a glamorous wedding, I didn't want your typical clunky photo booth taking up room at our reception and taking away from all the elegance of our decor, so I went shopping for something else I didn't even know existed. I absolutely loved the idea of having a photo back drop of something unique as well, like all white flowers or all gold lights, instead of just the black photo back drops you typically get from sitting in a booth.
After chatting with florist about my vision, they came up with the idea to have a vintage inspired white book case filled with lots of gold and navy, and pictures of Jason and I to be the backdrop for our photo booth pics. I loved it! They then put me in touch with Monique from ShutterBooth because they felt if anyone could, she could help carry out my vision. Luckily she as able to help with their new “boothless” option! No clunky booth, real pictures and an amazingly gorgeous backdrop! Not only did guests get pictures of the night, but Monique made a wonderful photo book of all the nights pictures for Jason and I to cherish and laugh at forever!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Get a planner if you have a stressful, time-consuming job so you can enjoy the planning versus being so stressed out. And, listen to their advice. Don’t listen to people who say you can get cheap décor and flowers, really, that sets the whole stage! Go big here ladies! It’s what everyone sees, and it sets the tone for the whole event. Get a videographer and record the whole day, even if it’s expensive! It’s the only way you’ll be able to relive it, and trust me you will want to because it flies by, way too fast. Also, write your own vows. They truly will stay with you forever!
Ceremony Venue: St. Pete Museum of History
Cocktail Hour Venue: The Canopy at The Birchwood *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Venue
Reception Venue & Caterer: The Birchwood, Grand Ballroom *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Venue
Photographer: Limelight Photography
Planner: Parties A La Carte *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Florist: Concept Bait
Cake: Chocolate Pi
Band: Foreman's 5 with Violinist, Jared Burnett
Officiant: Bob Weingartner
Invitations: Dragonfly Custom Design
Dress Shop and Designer: Kleinfeld Bridal – Pnina Tornai
Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Badgley Mischka
Hair & Makeup: Rachel Artistry
Photo Booth: ShutterBooth *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Bar: Hops and Props