Intimate At-Home Tuscan-Inspired South Tampa Wedding

Theresa and Edward’s South Tampa waterfront wedding turned the couple’s home into an elegant oasis for their intimate wedding of 68 guests. A jewel-toned color palette added vibrancy to the decor and transformed the bride and groom’s newly purchased dream home.

“We went for classic, elegant, Tuscan, and the Mediterranean. We wanted a relaxed and intimate feel, but upscale. Less is definitely more, especially when you use good quality decor and flowers,” the bride explained.”We chose a jewel tone palette for vibrant, rich pinks, purple, eggplant, and sapphire. This brought a pop of color to the backdrop of lush greenery and soft neutrals, pure romance! Gold place settings added a bit of understated luxury.”

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While the couple decided on the location for their wedding, they realized the perfect venue was right in their own backyard.

“We browsed Marry Me Tampa Bay for inspiration. It actually helped us realize how perfect a place Tampa is for weddings. We live here, so perhaps we take it a bit for granted, but Tampa has beautiful weather, stunning water views, and is very easily accessible for out-of-town travelers,” the bride gushed. “Tampa also offers a rich history and culture with fun opportunities for party themes; cigars, pirates, or just the classic romance of a sandy white beach.”

After sitting next to each other on a plane, the couple turned their whirlwind romance into a summer wedding based on their first meeting.

“The date that we got married was a very special day for us. It was the anniversary of the day we first met. We sat next to each other on a flight from Tampa to Charlotte, the stars aligned, and the rest is history,” the bride beamed. “Edward said to me, ‘I’m marrying you on July 9th. Whoever can make it, can make it, but I am marrying you on that day.’ We realized that any time could bring uncertainty or unfavorable conditions, and delaying our celebration was no guarantee that later would be better.”

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To create a wedding experience that was safe for their loved ones, Theresa relied on Breezin’ Weddings to coordinate all the moving parts of an outdoor wedding at their home.

“We needed a planner who would deliver a stress-free experience and could plan and execute in a short timeframe. We planned our wedding in just over two months. While we were planning our wedding, we were also selling two homes and buying our dream home, in which we’d be hosting a wedding one month later! We needed someone who could provide end-to-end concierge-level service so we could focus on moving and getting settled,” the bride revealed. “We selected Breezin’ Weddings because of their excellent and longstanding reputation in the Tampa Bay area. Jessie demonstrated a vision for event design, had excellent relationships with top local vendors and was exceptionally organized, responsive, and attentive to detail. She showed care in creating what we wanted, and she executed it masterfully. It was a completely seamless experience.”

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As ambiance was key to transforming their backyard into a wedding reception for just under 70 guests, rentals enhanced the existing space, which included a champagne wall for arriving guests.

“We wanted a one-stop-shop for the wedding rentals. Outside the Box Event Rentals had everything we wanted to create the vision and offered various upgrade options that added an extra touch of elegance. We were particularly impressed with how smoothly the staff transitioned from the ceremony set up to the table seating while the cocktail hour was going on. Like clockwork,” Theresa beamed. “Outside of the Box Event Rentals had some unique decor items that helped transform our home into a magical garden. We loved the tall boxwood panels that created a beautiful entry experience, complete with a wall of bubbly right as guests entered. They did a really nice job with hanging cafe lighting, dressing the tables, and adding little touches like floating flowers in the pool.”

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While the stage was set for a beautiful wedding day, Breezin’ Entertainment added a level of excitement that kept guests lively.

“We wanted a DJ who was energetic and spirited but not overbearing. We wanted a good dance and party music that was age-appropriate for us and our guests, but not cliche,” the bride explained. “Eric with Breezin’ Entertainment absolutely nailed it. He did a beautiful job creating ambiance throughout the evening and elevating the energy level as the night went on.”

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Looking back, the bride reminisced on all the momentous exchanges shared with family and friends in their new home.

“We chose not to do a first look, so when we saw each other at the start of the ceremony, we were both speechless,” Theresa beamed. “Throughout the reception, it was such a joy seeing our friends and family smiling and laughing and enjoying the party. Seeing our beautiful new home transformed into such a magical and celebratory space is something we will remember and enjoy every day as we look out into the yard.”

What did you look for in a wedding planner?
Above all, we needed a planner who would deliver a stress-free experience and could plan and execute in a short timeframe. We planned our wedding in just over two months. While we were planning our wedding, we were also selling two homes and buying our dream home, in which we’d be hosting a wedding one month later! We needed someone who could provide end-to-end concierge-level service so we could focus on moving and getting settled. Because we were transforming our home, we needed a planner with good vision and access to all of the vendors and resources that could bring it all to life.

We selected Breezin’ Weddings because of their excellent and longstanding reputation in the Tampa Bay area. Jessie demonstrated a vision for event design, had excellent relationships with top local vendors and was exceptionally organized, responsive, and attentive to detail. She showed care in creating what we wanted, and she executed it masterfully. Jessie is not only deeply experienced in event planning, but also clearly passionate about it. We were thrilled with all of the vendors Jessie contracted. It was a completely seamless experience.

The Proposal:
We had an offer pending on our new dream home and were counting the days until we could move in. On Sunday, April 26th, we decide to escape quarantine, go out on our boat for some fresh air, and cruise by the new house. We boated to the canal behind our soon-to-be home and just floated around for about 20 minutes talking and dreaming of our future there. Then, just as we were getting ready to leave, Edward said, “I have one more question for you.” He escorted me to the bow of the boat, dropped down on one knee, and said, “Theresa Marie Morelli, will you marry me?” It was a classic and timeless romantic proposal, and so fitting that he chose the site of our future home to propose! Our future neighbor witnessed the entire event and ran out to congratulate us. I spent most of the cruise home shouting across to other boaters, “I said Yes!”

How did COVID-19 affect your wedding?
The biggest impact, aside from the venue change, was on the ability of many of our family and friends to safely and comfortably travel to Tampa. We still enjoyed a generous turnout, though it was about half of the guests that would have attended under normal circumstances. COVID-19 safety precautions also influenced the format of our wedding meal. We were unable to have traditional charcuterie displays or carving stations and instead arranged to have everything individually plated. It actually turned out quite nice that way, and our guests all raved about how luxurious the food and multiple courses were!

Why did you choose to move forward with your wedding date?
The date that we got married was a very special day for us. It was the anniversary of the day we first met. We sat next to each other on a flight from Tampa to Charlotte, the stars aligned, and the rest is history. Edward said to me, “I’m marrying you on July 9th. Whoever can make it, can make it, but I am marrying you on that day.” We realized that any time could bring uncertainty or unfavorable conditions, and delaying our celebration was no guarantee that later would be better.

What did you look for in a wedding rental company?
We wanted a one-stop-shop for the wedding rentals. Outside the Box Event Rentals had everything we wanted to create the vision and offered various upgrade options that added an extra touch of elegance. We were particularly impressed with how smoothly the staff transitioned from the ceremony set up to the table seating while the cocktail hour was going on. Like clockwork!

Outside of the Box Rentals had some unique decor items that helped transform our home into a magical garden. We loved the tall boxwood panels that created a beautiful entry experience, complete with a wall of bubbly right as guests entered. They did a really nice job with hanging cafe lighting, dressing the tables, and adding little touches like floating flowers in the pool.

What was your wedding style/inspiration?  
We went for classic, elegant, Tuscan, and Mediterranean. We wanted a relaxed and intimate feel, but upscale. Less is definitely more, especially when you use good quality decor and flowers. 

What were your colors?  
We chose a jewel tone palette for vibrant, rich pinks, purple, eggplant, and sapphire. This brought a pop of color to the backdrop of lush greenery and soft neutrals, pure romance! Gold place settings added a bit of understated luxury. 

What did you look for in a wedding DJ?
We wanted a DJ who was energetic and spirited but not overbearing. We wanted a good dance and party music that was age-appropriate for us and our guests, but not cliche. Eric with Breezin’ Entertainment absolutely nailed it. He did a beautiful job creating ambiance throughout the evening and elevating the energy level as the night went on.

What advice would you give to other couples who have been affected by COVID-19?
Just do the best you can and be flexible. You can still have your dream wedding; it just may look a little different than what you originally envisioned. Remember why you are having a wedding, to get married, and there are so many beautiful ways you can do that! Looking back, our “backup plan” of getting married at our new home was far more meaningful than a destination wedding would have been.

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
One risk when planning an outdoor wedding during the summer in Florida is the likelihood of seasonal afternoon thunderstorms. Our wedding planner created not one but two possible weather contingency plans. Fortunately, we enjoyed a perfect clear day. In fact, it was the only day in two weeks that it didn’t rain! We also had to factor in the July heat and keeping our guests comfortable. Our planner advised on the timing of the ceremony and on wine selections for warmer weather, and also added some fun summer extras like boozy popsicles to keep everyone cool. The popsicles were a huge hit!

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Private Home
Photographer: Marissa Moss Photography
Planner: Breezin’ Weddings *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Florist: Northside Florist
Caterer: Puff N Stuff Catering
Rentals: Outside the Box Event Rentals *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Cake: Publix
Desserts: Mazzaro’s Italian Market
DJ: Breezin’ Entertainment *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Officiant: The Honorable Christine Marlewski
Invitations: Minted
Transportation: Ambassador Limousine
Dress Designer: Enzoani
Hair & Makeup: Studio Cabello Aveda salon

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

*Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pros are highly respected by our local wedding community and have been personally vetted by our editor.

MEET THE EDITOR

Marry Me Tampa Bay editor, Anna Coats, created Marry Me Tampa Bay in 2012 to showcase the area's best local weddings and vendors. She has been featured as a wedding expert on the national talkshow Daytime, Fox13, ABC Action News, Great Day Tampa Bay, and Bay News 9 (now Spectrum).

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