Christine and Luis' classically chic South Tampa wedding perfectly blended their colorful family backgrounds with modern yet simplistic details to embody a Southern bohemian celebration. With amazing food, a photo booth to capture every quirky moment, and an open bar, the bride and groom ensured their guests had a night they'll never forget.
“We are both very laid-back, but love to be silly and have a good time. We had a lot of ideas in the beginning and weren’t sure how we were going to tie it all together in a way that made sense. We wanted to represent the south but, also incorporate our Dominican-American and New England family backgrounds,” the bride explained. “Ultimately, I would describe the style of our wedding as Southern bohemian with a cultural twist.”
Specifically looking for a venue that had a stunning feel that was close to their ceremony location, Christine and Luis' chose the Epicurean Hotel for its elegant charm and amazing cuisine.
“We loved the Epicurean Hotel for their amazing food and central location. It was in the perfect area so that all of our guests could enjoy all of the restaurants and shopping Tampa has to offer. It was very convenient to have the ceremony in the same location most of our guests were staying, especially with an open bar,” the bride shared. “Audrey and her staff were amazing and made our day run beautifully so we could focus on our guests and each other of course!”
Reminiscing of their special day, the bride and groom cherished being together and hearing all of the unforgettable speeches from that night.
“The speeches were unforgettable,” the bride shared. “Humor is a large part of what we love about each other and anyone who is close to us could really see that come across in the stories that were told. “I also have to say, trying to smoke a cigar with my husband, father, father-in-law, and groomsmen for a picture was definitely entertaining and something I'm sure I won't ever forget.”
The year before our engagement, Luis and I planned a family trip for March to my hometown in Massachusetts, so my stepchildren could enjoy the snow during their break from school. Luis had flown up a few weeks prior to ask my father for his approval and come up with a plan to propose during our trip in the following weeks.
A few days into our vacation, one of my closest friends suggested she take the kids for a few hours, so Luis and I could go get lunch and enjoy some alone time. The town I grew up in is an old seaport town and after lunch, Luis suggested we walk down on the docks by the water. It was so cold outside that I had to change my jacket in the car, but thought it would be nice to see the ice on the water and enjoy the winter air with him. As we got closer to the boats and a bend in the docks, he started to share how he had taken the trip up here alone to talk to my dad. We turned the corner, and the kids were lined up holding signs with pictures of all our favorite memories together and the words, “Will you marry me?” were spelled out. Some of my closest friends and family were standing there behind the kids with smiles on their faces. Of course, I started to cry as he got down on his knee. After working through the emotion, I was finally able to say, “Yes!” We had dinner on the water that evening with everyone to celebrate, and I'll never forget the amount of love in that room!
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
We are both very laid-back, but love to be silly and have a good time. We had a lot of ideas in the beginning and weren’t sure how we were going to tie it all together in a way that made sense. We wanted to represent the south but, also incorporate our Dominican-American and New England family backgrounds. Ultimately, I would describe the style of our wedding as Southern bohemian with a cultural twist.
What were your colors?
We chose blues, greens, and champagne because they are beautiful and simple spring colors. I wore a champagne belt, my husband and stepson wore champagne ties, and my stepdaughters wore champagne dresses to tie us together as family uniting.
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
A place we could make our own, but still have the basic elegance of the south and its amazing cuisine we were looking to represent. It was also important to hold the reception somewhere accessible to those who were traveling from far away and those who live nearby. It was very convenient to have the ceremony in the same location most of our guests were staying, especially with an open bar.
I want to learn more about weddings at The Epicurean.
We loved the Epicurean Hotel for their amazing food and central location. It was in the perfect area so that all of our guests could enjoy all of the restaurants and shopping Tampa has to offer. Audrey and her staff were amazing and made our day run beautifully so we could focus on our guests and each other of course!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Take time to let it all sink in. It's a big day and goes by very fast, so try your best to slow things down so you can enjoy the moments and don’t forget what it is all about!
Ceremony Venue: Hyde Park Presbyterian Church
Reception Venue and Caterer: Epicurean Hotel *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Venue
Photographer: Ailyn La Torre Photography
Florist: Artistic Florist of Tampa
Cake: Joey Biscotti
Band: Bay Kings Band
Officiant: Reverend James Friesen
Transportation: L3 Limo
Dress: The White Magnolia
Bridesmaid Dresses: JJ’s House & Weddington Way
Hair & Makeup: Eyes on You Salon
Violinist: Jim Chambers Music Box
Hora Loca: Roddy Flores
Photobooth: DFiesta Photo Booth