Colleen and Luis’ intimate Tampa Bay wedding focused on their love, rather than a worldwide pandemic.
When COVID-19 thwarted their original wedding plans, the bride and groom pivoted and focused on the elements they could control. The Pinellas couple solidified their commitment to each other during a small ceremony with only a dozen guests, and plan to host an anniversary celebration next year with their extended family and friends.
“We were unable to host our reception due to COVID. It was a difficult decision deciding how to move forward when we realized our original plans were definitely not possible, but we knew that it was important to us to still make that commitment to one another, regardless of if it went according to plan or not,” the bride shared. “We were able to hold a very intimate church ceremony with our immediate, local family members, and live-streamed the ceremony for those who were unable to attend.”
Leading up to their big day, Colleen and Luis’ wedding planning seemed complete, but when they were forced to rework their plans they looked to Marry Me Tampa Bay for resources and guidance.
“When we were trying to reconfigure plans to work around COVID, Marry Me Tampa Bay was a big help in sourcing a last-minute photographer/videographer,” the bride shared.
The couple included the guests who could not attend their wedding by live-streaming their nuptials with Bonnie Newman Creative capturing their revised celebration.
“We actually never planned on having a videographer at our wedding. The live-streaming was a definite draw for us, and in talking with Bonnie Newman Creative about the packages they could help us with during these strange times, we decided to add on the wedding ceremony video too!” Colleen beamed. “I heard that they had offered live-streaming services to brides who were choosing to move forward with intimate ceremonies, and I couldn’t have been happier with our decision. They were fantastic to work with leading up to the big day, super communicative, personable, and easy. The photos and videos that they delivered were better than what we could’ve hoped for!”
The bride viewed her modified wedding as a blessing in disguise and said the situation allowed her to be fully present during the wedding ceremony.
“Slowing down and savoring the ceremony was the most important element of this year’s wedding festivities,” Colleen recalled. “I couldn’t be happier with the way that things turned out. I never would’ve thought of separating my ceremony and reception this way, but I can already tell that next year, when the big party rolls around, much of the stress surrounding it will be relieved. We were able to focus all of our energy on our ceremony and will be able to focus all of our energy on getting down and celebrating next year!”
Colleen admits that while everything didn’t go according to plan, she can still look back and smile when reminiscing about many of those little moments.
“The first look with my father and walking down the aisle to see Luis waiting for me were the most memorable moments, without a doubt,” the bride reminisced. “Coming in behind those would be getting my dress wet and dirty and dyed green from my shoes as we wandered around a rainy park and getting showered in champagne by Luis at the end of our photo session!”
What did you look for in a wedding videographer?
We actually never planned on having a videographer at our wedding. The live-streaming was a definite draw for us, and in talking with Bonnie Newman Creative about the packages they could help us with during these strange times, we decided to add on the wedding ceremony video, too! I heard that they had offered live-streaming services to brides who were choosing to move forward with intimate ceremonies, and I couldn’t have been happier with our decision. They were fantastic to work with leading up to the big day, super communicative, personable, and easy. The photos and videos that they delivered were better than what we could’ve hoped for.
Luis proposed when we were on an anniversary trip in Alabama. We were climbing in one of our favorite destinations and had rented a cabin at the campsite. It was a rainy day (seems to be a recurring theme for us), and when we hiked back to the cabin, he popped the question!
What advice would you give to other couples who have been affected by COVID?
Keep your chin up and don’t let this suck any of the excitement out of your big day! It’s still your wedding, and it’s a beautiful thing, regardless of if it proceeds as originally planned. It’s a good life lesson, too, because in reality very few things actually go according to plan!
Ceremony Venue: Espiritu Santo Catholic Church
Reception Venue: Station House St. Pete *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Venue
Photographer and Videographer: Bonnie Newman Creative *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Florist: EvergreenBride on Etsy
Caterer: Ichicoro Ane
Rentals: Coast to Coast Event Rentals
Cake: Valhalla St. Pete
DJ: Hello Darlin’ Records
Officiant: Fr. Anthony Ustick
Dress: Stella York
Hair & Makeup: Savannah Olivia Beauty Boutique
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.