Mare't and Zach's downtown St. Pete wedding brought the bride and groom's friends and family from all over the country to picturesque Florida. To pay tribute to the groom's alma mater, the couple incorporated the University of North Carolina's colors of light blue, navy blue, silver, and white.
“I grew up in Tampa and have always loved the Bay Area! It just seemed like the perfect place for our wedding. Our friends and family mean the world to us, and we were so glad that they all were there to support us on our wedding day,” the bride beamed. “Because many of them traveled, we also wanted it to be a fun weekend for them. They were able to spend time at the nearby beaches. We really were grateful that Tampa and St. Pete is such a visitor-friendly city!”
The Jacksonville couple's wedding of 140 guests was a summertime event and finding a versatile indoor space that could serve as both a ceremony and reception spot was a top priority.
“Our wedding took place in the hottest part of the summer, July! We knew we wanted a venue that was beautiful indoors since that is where the majority of the guests would stay. NOVA 535 was such a great, open-canvas that allowed us to play with everything from seating and a spacious dance floor, to great lighting,” Mare't explained. “The moment we walked into the beautiful courtyard, to the open dance floor, we knew we found our venue. Everything about NOVA was easy, and it is in such a wonderful part of downtown St. Pete that there are so many things for everyone to do!”
Reliving their wedding day, the bride and groom remembered all of the special moments that happened on the dance floor.
“We both cherished our ‘Father and Bride/Mother and Groom' dances. It was a great way to honor the ones who have raised us and set a great example as to how to be a wonderful husband and wife,” the couple reminisced. “Another favorite moment was when my brother stood up on the sweetheart table and danced to Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”
We had been living apart for a few months while I was in an internship. We both knew that we would get engaged, but I thought it would be after my studies were concluded. The day I moved back to Jacksonville, Zach took me to dinner, then to our now-home, and played a homemade video featuring pictures of us both from the last three years. He then proposed in the living room. I was totally surprised at the timing, but forever happy he asked! He said he originally planned to wait, but once I was home he couldn’t wait another day.
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
Our wedding took place in the hottest part of the summer, July! We knew we wanted a venue that was beautiful indoors since that is where the majority of the guests would stay. NOVA 535 was such a great, open-canvas that allowed us to play with everything from seating and a spacious dance floor, to great lighting!
I want to learn more about weddings and events at NOVA 535.
Everything about NOVA 535 was easy. The moment we walked into the beautiful courtyard, to the open dance floor, we knew we found our venue. The management took care of us so well and ensured that we were stress-free on the day of our wedding. They even provided the DJ, who our guests still brag about! He was great! The dual staircase with our names on the beautiful brick made for a classy-vibe but also felt so relaxed. We loved it!
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
We both aren’t the type of people to get caught up in themes or color schemes. We just wanted it to be a fun, friend/family-filled event that reflected us both.
What were your colors?
We decided to go with light “Carolina Blue,” for the love of Zach's Alma Mater, University of North Carolina.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
It is so easy to get caught up in all the new Pinterest trends when planning a wedding. Stay true to yourselves and make your wedding day a reflection of who you and your loved one are. Don’t stress the little stuff. There will inevitably be something that goes wrong on your wedding day, but looking back you won't even remember it! Have fun, and enjoy the ride!
Venue: NOVA 535 *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Venue
Photographer: Jake and Katie Photography
Florist: Susan Nations (Family Friend)
Cake: Goldie's Goodies
Officiant: Pastor Scott Neiman
Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero Designs
Bridesmaid Dress Shop: Tulle and Chantilly
Hair & Makeup: Lili's Weddings