Sarah and Mike met in a University of South Florida classroom. After a month of sweet smiles between one another, the pair finally connected over a class project.
“When I first saw him I had a crush on him, not knowingly, he had a crush on me too,” Sarah explained. “I told all my friends about this guy in my class. I loved going to this class and took extra time getting ready.”
The couple stayed together for the next four years, but geography led to their breakup.
“We went our separate ways after I graduated because I wanted to move to Los Angeles. It was hard and we broke up for almost two years,” Sarah shared. “But like the saying goes ‘If you love someone let them go; if he comes back it was meant to be.' It was definitely meant to be, and I came back to Tampa to be with my love, Mike.”
Eight years after their classroom crush began, Mike proposed while the pair were on a Bahamas cruise.
“He got down on one knee on our formal night and asked me to marry him. After tears, I said YES! We were both filled with so much excitement we didn’t even know what hand to put it on!” Sarah reminisced. “It was amazing to be surrounded by our friends.”
Sarah and Mike wanted a non-traditional wedding and hosted a rustic Cross Creek Ranch wedding just east of Tampa.
“Cross Creek Ranch was the first venue we visited. From the moment we were greeted until the end of our tour, we both fell in love with the place,” Sarah shared.
The laid-back couple added lots of personal touches to make the wedding their own.
“Our favorite candy was at the candy bar and our favorite food was served for our dinner (BBQ), including our favorite recipe for macaroni and cheese,” the bride said. “We played cornhole on our personalized boards my dad made for the wedding, laughed in the photo booth together and cried when we saw each other.”
To keep the focus on enjoying their big day and not worrying about the little things, Sarah and Mike hired Tampa wedding planner Burkle Events.
“I heard amazing things about Burkle Events. They went over the top with my wedding, doing things they didn’t even have to do. My mom wanted them to decorate our getaway car and they got that done and had even decorated my hotel room for when I arrived back,” Sarah gushed. “Not only are they extremely wonderful at what they do, they are the sweetest sisters you will ever meet. They exceeded my expectations.”
One of the couple's most memorable moments came from a surprise wedding guest.
“My husband’s biological dad surprised us at the wedding. I had never met or talked to him and my husband had not seen him for over 20 years. It was a moment we all will never forget,” Sarah reminisced.
“I heard amazing things about Burkle Events. Not only are they extremely wonderful at what they do, they are the sweetest sisters you will ever meet. They exceeded my expectations.” – The Bride
“Our relationship with God is such an important part of our lives and when we got married and did our unity cross with our pastor, it was unforgettable. It gave both of us goose bumps. Our unity cross signifies our wedding covenant. It is a lasting reminder of us coming together with our faith in Christ and beginning our lifelong journey as one.” – The Bride
“Cross Creek Ranch was the first venue we visited. From the moment we were greeted till the end of our tour, we both fell in love with the place.” – The Bride
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Hire a wedding planner. They make the entire wedding experience stress-free.
Take some of the food in a to-go box. You won't be able to enjoy it at the wedding. Everyone was talking about how amazing our food was. At the wedding we hardly ate, but when we got back to our hotel room we pigged out on our little doggy bag the wedding planner had prepared us.
Get a videographer. We weren't going to get one at first, but we watched our video as least a dozen times.
Dover Wedding Venue: Cross Creek Ranch
Dover Wedding Photographer: Stacy Paul Photography
Dover Wedding Planner: Burkle Events
Dover Wedding Videographer: London Wilson
Dover Wedding Florist: Alta Fleura
Dover Wedding Caterer: Hungry Harry's Family Bar-B-Q
Dover Wedding Cake: Frostings Etc.
Dover Wedding DJ: Harmonic Events
Dover Wedding Officiant: Pastor Dee Corbin
Dover Wedding Dress: Blue by Enzoani
Dover Wedding Hair & Makeup: Collective Creations
Dover Bridal Jewelry: Brent & Jess
Dover Bridal Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Dover Groomsmen Suits: Urban Outfitters
Dover Grooms Shoes: Converse
We are proud to have Burke Events as a Marry Me Tampa Bay sponsor!