Intimate, Tropical Davis Islands Backyard Wedding

Kayla and Zachary’s waterfront South Tampa wedding paired scenic views and a modern minimalist design to elevate the bride and groom’s intimate backyard wedding. To highlight the natural beauty of Florida, tropical accents with a green and white color palette were incorporated throughout the evening to create a casual yet elegant experience.

“The bride and groom wanted a very minimalist design so their guests could focus their attention on the stunning views of the Bay and Tampa skyline. Tropical foliage, bamboo accents, and lots of candlelight came together to create the perfect bayside fête. Casual seating arrangements allowed guests to freely move around the space throughout the night,” John Campbell, owner and lead designer of John Campbell Weddings explained. “A simple palette of emerald green and white was chosen to enhance the natural beauty of the space and blend in with the existing tropical plants and landscaping.”

The Davis Islands residence was transformed into a tropical oasis where an intimate ceremony and reception were thoughtfully laid out to maximize the space while prioritizing the guest experience.

“I loved the casual elegance of this wedding. It had all the charm of a backyard celebration but was styled in a way that brought touches of luxury to the space,” John explained. “Kayla and Zach planned a wedding that was centered around spending time with their guests, rather than a wedding that focused on tradition. I loved their willingness to think outside of the box while keeping guest experience and comfort at the forefront of their minds.”

To give the event a causal atmosphere, Olympia Catering incorporated separate stations to offer variety into the wedding menu. Mobile bar and beverage Spunky Spirits crafted cocktails while guests enjoyed the scenic bayfront views.

“The main thought behind the menu was to keep guests mingling throughout the reception. Different food stations were set up to give guests an array of items to choose from. Since the couple decided to forgo certain traditional aspects like introductions and a bouquet toss, the guests were free to mingle and visit different stations at their leisure,” John explained. “Olympia Catering created an exciting, trendy menu inspired by comfort foods that the bride and groom and their guests raved about. Each station provided guests with a small plate portion, giving them the option to hang around one of the lounge-style areas or take a seat at a traditional dining space. The intention was to give guests the freedom to move about the space as they wished, and an array of small plate stations was a perfect choice!”

For a memorable evening that reflected the bride and groom, Kayla and Zachary customized their reception and timeline to fit their personalities. After the sunset ceremony, guests enjoyed an outdoor cocktail hour while Bay Kings Band played into the night.

What were your favorite elements from this wedding?
I loved the casual elegance of this wedding. It had all the charm of a backyard celebration but was styled in a way that brought touches of luxury to the space. Kayla and Zach planned a wedding that was centered around spending time with their guests, rather than a wedding that focused on tradition. I loved their willingness to think outside of the box while keeping guest experience and comfort at the forefront of their minds.

What was the menu inspiration?
The main thought behind the menu was to keep guests mingling throughout the reception. Different food stations were set up to give guests an array of items to choose from. Since the couple decided to forgo certain traditional aspects like introductions and a bouquet toss, the guests were free to mingle and visit different stations at their leisure.

Olympia Catering created an exciting, trendy menu inspired by comfort foods that the bride and groom and their guests raved about. Each station provided guests with a small plate portion, giving them the option to hang around one of the lounge-style areas or take a seat at a traditional dining space. The intention was to give guests the freedom to move about the space as they wished, and an array of small plate stations was a perfect choice!

What was the design inspiration for this wedding?
Kayla and Zach wanted a very minimalist design so their guests could focus their attention on the stunning views of the Bay and Tampa skyline. Tropical foliage, bamboo accents, and lots of candlelight came together to create the perfect bayside fête. Casual seating arrangements allowed guests to freely move around the space throughout the night.

What were the colors? 
A simple palette of emerald green and white was chosen to enhance the natural beauty of the space and blend in with the existing tropical plants and landscaping.

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Private Residence
Photographer: J Photography by Jessi Caparella
Videographer: Rod Baker Video
Planner, Designer, and Florals: John Campbell Weddings *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Caterer: Olympia Catering and Events **Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Bar Service: Spunky Spirits *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Rentals: Elite Events and Rentals
Cake: Publix
Band: Bay Kings Band *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Hair & Makeup: Style Hair and Makeup

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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