Intimate Tampa Bay COVID-19 Wedding

TheXpos Tampa Bay Bridal Show | August 30, 2020 | Centro Asturiano de Tampa

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!”

LEARN MORE ABOUT BONNIE NEWMAN CREATIVE | EMAIL

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.

Wedding Accessories Flat Lay Photo | Emerald Green Satin Wedding Bridal Shoes with Embroidered I Do Handkerchief and Pearls

Emerald Green Satin Wedding Bride Shoes with Paper Flower Bouquet with Wood Roses

Stella York Wedding Dress Hanger Shot | Satin V Neck Simple Classic Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown

Bride and Bridesmaids Getting Ready in Sage Mint Green and Emerald Green Monogram Robes

Mom Helping Bride Get Dressed and Ready | Stella York Satin V Neck Simple Classic Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown

Bridal Portrait | Stella York Satin V Neck Simple Classic Low Back Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown

Bride and Dad First Look | Stella York Satin V Neck Simple Classic Low Back Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown

Bride and Dad First Look | Stella York Satin V Neck Simple Classic Low Back Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown

Florida Church Chapel Catholic Wedding Ceremony Altar

Florida Church Wedding Ceremony | Dad Walking Bride Down the Aisle | Groom Seeing Bride for the First Time | Stella York Satin V Neck Simple Classic Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown

Florida Church Chapel Catholic Wedding Ceremony | Bride and Groom Exchanging Vows with Priest

Florida Church Chapel Catholic Wedding Ceremony | Bride and Groom Exchanging Vows

The Proposal:
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!

Bride and Groom Walking Down the Aisle after Catholic Ceremony | COVID Quarantine Social Distance Wedding Intimate Ceremony

Bride Indoor Church Chapel Portrait | Florida Catholic Wedding Ceremony | Stella York Satin V Neck Simple Classic Low Back Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown

Bride and Groom Indoor Church Chapel Portrait | Florida Catholic Wedding Ceremony | Stella York Satin V Neck Simple Classic Low Back Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown | Navy Blue Suit Groom Suit with Grey Vest and Blush Pink Bow Tie

Bride and Groom Family Indoor Church Chapel Portrait | Florida Catholic Wedding Ceremony

Bride and Groom Rainy Wedding Day Portrait with Clear Umbrellas | St. Petersburg Florida Wedding

Bride and Groom Rainy Wedding Day Portrait with Clear Umbrellas | Stella York Satin V Neck Simple Classic Low Back Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown | Navy Blue Suit Groom Suit with Grey Vest and Blush Pink Bow Tie

Bride and Groom Rainy Wedding Day Portrait with Clear Umbrellas | Stella York Satin V Neck Simple Classic Low Back Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown | Navy Blue Suit Groom Suit with Grey Vest and Blush Pink Bow Tie

Bride and Groom Outdoor Staircase Portrait | Stella York Satin V Neck Simple Classic Low Back Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown | Navy Blue Suit Groom Suit with Grey Vest and Blush Pink Bow Tie

Bride and Groom Outdoor Portrait Popping a Bottle of Champagne | Stella York Satin V Neck Simple Classic Low Back Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown | Navy Blue Suit Groom Suit with Grey Vest and Blush Pink Bow Tie

Bride and Groom Outdoor Portrait Toasting with Glasses of Champagne | Stella York Satin V Neck Simple Classic Low Back Bridal Gown A Line Ballgown | Navy Blue Suit Groom Suit with Grey Vest and Blush Pink Bow Tie

Wedding Ring Shot | Carved Initials Wood Ring Box with Wedding Bands

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
Invitations: Minted
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.




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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