Stefanie and Kevin's downtown Tampa wedding was a timeless vision of old Hollywood glamour with pops of forest green and gold to bring the black-tie optional affair to life.
“We live in Tampa, right near downtown. I knew I wanted to get married near to where I live, for convenience and because Downtown Tampa has such a neat vibe,” the bride explained. “I think the fact that we chose a lot of old fashion elements made our wedding stand out. We went for black dresses for the bridesmaids and simple white flowers for the decor. I think our guests enjoyed getting to dress formally if they wanted to.”
During the planning process for their 125 guests wedding, Stefanie used Marry Me Tampa Bay to research her vendor team and as a source for local wedding inspiration.
“I used Marry Me Tampa Bay to research wedding planners and to look through pictures of real weddings to give me ideas of what I wanted. I like that the pictures were of vendors and places close to me,” the bride shared. }Marry Me Tampa Bay is a great way to get ideas during the planning process, as well as to see how others used your venue or vendors. Some of my vendors encouraged me to look at their reviews and pictures on the site to get inspiration and to see what kind of work they did. I love the stories of real brides and continue to look at the site even now that my wedding is over.”
MORE: BLACK TIE FORMAL WEDDING INSPIRATION
Right away, the Tampa bride knew she needed a wedding planner with creativity and expertise to help design the day of her dreams.
“One of the best decisions we made was hiring a wedding planner right from the start. I wanted a wedding planner who would help me make decisions since I didn't have too many concrete choices made at the start. I was looking for my planner to help with the orchestration of the events leading up to the wedding and during the wedding,” the bride explained. “Hiring Coastal was the best decision I made for my wedding, and hiring Katy at Coastal was the second-best decision. Any time I had a question I could email, text, or call her and get a response right away. She would keep me up to speed on things I needed to complete and made sure that I had all the information I needed before making any decisions. I cannot say enough good things about this company, and neither could anyone who interacted with Katy and her assistant at the wedding. Everyone told me they absolutely loved my planner.”
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For an elegant wedding cake that would complement the old Hollywood decor, Alessi's Bakery created a classic white, two-tier buttercream cake with a textured frosting design. The lush greenery and floral accents that adorned the cake created an eye-catching contrast, and a customized cake topper of the couple with their two cats added a special sentiment to their wedding day.
“Our cake topper was another great way to showcase our personalities. My father carved replicas of myself and my husband, along with our two cats out of wood,” Stefanie gushed. “Since the wedding, we have adopted two additional cats and we continue to add them to our topper which sits displayed in my living room.”
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Looking back on their wedding day, the bride reminisced over an unexpected moment that she shared with her husband during their reception.
“During dinner, our photographer grabbed us from making our table rounds to bring us up to the hotel roof where the iconic ‘Hotel Floridan' sign is. We didn't know we would be taking this picture on the rooftop beforehand,” the bride beamed. “This might have ended up being one of my favorite parts of the night because Kevin and I got a moment to step away from the hectic day to spend a moment together with just our photographer as husband and wife. Because we decided to do a first look, we took our couple photographs before we were officially married. I was very glad to have shared this moment in such a spectacular spot in Tampa with my new husband.”
Kevin proposed in August 2017, the day before we were leaving for our vacation to Santorini. We had started dating before Kevin got into law school, all through his time at FSU, and while I was on an extended work assignment in NYC. We were finally living in the same city again, and this was our trip to celebrate. Of course, I thought he would propose while we were in Greece. While I was in our bedroom packing the perfect proposal outfit the night before, he came in and asked, “Aren't you going to pack this too?” When I turned around, he was holding the ring and getting down on one knee.
What did you look for in a wedding planner?
One of the best decisions we made was hiring a wedding planner right from the start. I wanted a wedding planner who would help me make decisions since I didn't have too many concrete choices made at the start. I had chosen a few of my vendors before hiring a wedding planner. I was looking for my planner to help with the orchestration of the events leading up to the wedding and during the wedding.
I want to learn more about wedding planning from Coastal Coordinating.
Coastal Coordinating had the best price for the amount of services they offered. They had a great social media presence, which I didn't think much of at the time but am very happy they had now that the wedding is over. I love that they are still sending my wedding around to different sites and posting pictures on social media. It's a fun way to relive the day even after it's over. Hiring Coastal was the best decision I made for my wedding, and hiring Katy at Coastal was the second-best decision. Any time I had a question I could email, text, or call her and get a response right away. She would keep me up to speed on things I needed to complete and made sure that I had all the information I needed before making any decisions. I cannot say enough good things about this company, and neither could anyone who interacted with Katy and her assistant at the wedding. Everyone told me they absolutely loved my planner.
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
Our wedding was old-Hollywood inspired; a black-tie optional event. I love having the chance to dress up in formal attire and don't get the opportunity to do it that often. I wanted to give my guests the option to wear a long dress or a tuxedo to the wedding if they wanted. Our venue was also a perfect location do have a formal affair, with the grandeur backdrop that it provided.
What were your colors?
Black, white, and forest green. We really didn't have a preference on colors at the start. We chose black and white, due to the black-tie optional nature of the event and added forest green to add in a pop of color. When I was thinking about flowers, I realized I wanted more greenery rather than a specific color flower. A lot of our green elements in the wedding came from the floral arrangements.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
You don't have to get married outside just because it's Florida. I chose to have my wedding completely inside. I didn't want to deal with the stress of a rain plan, wind, or bugs on my wedding day. I also chose a month that wouldn't cause me to melt just by going outside. We got lucky and had beautiful weather on our wedding day, so our photographer was able to take most of our photos outside. I liked that this was a nice option to have, and I knew that even if it had rained, my wedding would have still been just as nice.
My other piece of advice would be to trust your photographer. Amy asked where we wanted photos taken and then gave me her recommendations. I am very glad that I trusted her to follow my vision and choose what she thought would look best. Her ideas turned out way better than the ones I had.
Venue: Floridan Palace Hotel
Photographer: K&K Photography
Videographer: Christina Eiginger (Friend of Bride)
Planner: Coastal Coordinating *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Florist: Northside Florist
Cake: Alessi Bakery *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Music: Felix and Fingers
Officiant: Chris Sullivan (Brother of the Groom)
Dress Designer: Wtoo by Watters, Mimi
Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Revelry
Hair & Makeup: Destiny & Light Hair and Makeup Group
Jewelry: Mavilo Wholesalers
Groom's Attire: Suit Supply