Wedding

Luxurious Champagne and Gold South Tampa Wedding | Palma Ceia Country Club

Jamie and Jude’s luxurious South Tampa wedding featured festive holiday décor set in a traditional cathedral ceremony followed by dinner and dancing at an iconic Tampa Bay golf and country club.

“I had in mind my favorite Shakespearean play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; how can I beat the idea of fairies, love, and a touch of magic on a wedding day during the holiday season!” the bride shared. “A number of things played a role in inspiring our wedding day. First, the ceremony being held at Sacred Heart Church, which is very grand and cathedral-like, meant a magnificent bridal party entrance with black tie attire and a long wedding dress train. Second, it was the holiday season. Our wedding was a week before Christmas, so we thought that champagne, ivory, and hints of rustic gold colors with lots of roses and candles would complement any Christmas décor and add enough glitz and glimmer to both venues.”

The Tampa-raised groom and his bride-to-be exchanged vows at the same church where his parents were wed over 30 years prior. Keeping in mind their large families, 270-guest count, and classic wedding style, the couple sought a photography team who would guide them through the wedding day in a way that felt comfortable and natural. They instantly felt a connection upon meeting the Dewitt For Love Photography team and seeing their portfolio of work.

“I really wanted a photographer who appreciates elegance and finds all the best angles to capture the romance. I wanted the pictures to be natural but rich; I didn’t want them to be overly cool or warm. I also wanted a team who was able to guide us through shots and make us feel confident and comfortable. We needed to capture so many parts of the wedding, and I needed a team who was familiar with the venues and working with large weddings within a reasonable budget,” Jude articulated. “Looking through Dewitt For Love‘s portfolio and the style of pictures they have taken, I knew right away that they were a match for us! It was very easy to tell them about all the dream shots and ideas we had in mind, and we also let them get creative with us! We did our engagement pictures first, and we absolutely loved them and loved the experience. They are very accommodating and easygoing.”

A self-proclaimed flower lover, the bride prioritized her florist selection, searching for someone who offered a unique and flexible approach with the most bang for her buck.

“Flowers are expensive, and I wanted a vendor who would make every dollar count. I wanted all the flowers within budget! We had a lot of décor to work with, and I needed a vendor who was on board with the vision and indulged in it. I love flowers, lots of them, and we needed many centerpieces and to fill the tables with flowers, candles, and greenery. Other vendors had minimums, and they only offered a standard look. I wanted the flexibility and to be able to stand out from what has been done over and over again in most weddings,” the bride detailed. “It was clear from the first meeting that Jean from Monarch Events & Design was on board and ready to make my dream vision come true! I didn’t need to look for other options; she had it all. Jean is so friendly, kind, and very creative. She had many resources and ideas. It was easy to modify looks or quantities when needed, and we were able to stretch our budget a lot further than expected, which is such a good feeling. “

The bride attributes the magical feeling of the holiday décor as the most unique element of their celebration. The reception venue’s Christmas decorations were further accented by baroque gold flatware and a mahogany rolling cake cart from A Chair Affair and gold Chiavari chairs, gold-rimmed chargers, and draping from Kate Ryan Event Rentals. The result was an enchanting reception experience filled with glimmering gold accents and plenty of sparkle.

“The chairs were gold and had gold cushions. Charger plates were clear with gold trim, and the silverware was the Michelangelo gold-plated design. The floral stands were rustic gold and crystal beading draped down from the high stands, with lots of greenery on the tables and candles filling up the space! Candles are extremely romantic, and they created this magical setup, my Midsummer’s Night Dream fairytale vision, during dinner and dancing,” Jude beamed.

Jude stayed tight-lipped about her wedding gown during the months leading up to the big day, which made for a very memorable first look with Jamie.

“I was extra excited about the first look. It was very hard to hide the details of the dress from Jamie, and I kept describing it as a ‘big dress’ without more details for months. He was a little worried about having our first dance with a ‘big dress,’ but I would giggle every time he would overthink it,” the bride reminisced. “When it was time to show him, I was nervous but very excited! His reaction was what I had hoped for. He was stunned and said, ‘Now that’s a wedding dress! I love it!’ He kept mentioning how pretty the dress was all night!”

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Regal White and Gold Custom Logo Invitation Suite Inspiration | Unique Brick Design Wedding Band
Classic White and Gold Wedding Invitation Idea | Square Cut Vintage Engagement Ring and Round Diamond Wedding Band
White Lace Flower Applique Cap Sleeve Open Back Ballgown Demetrios Bridal Wedding Dress with Cathedral Length Train
White Lace Flower Applique Cap Sleeve Open Back Ball Gown Demetrios Bridal Wedding Dress with Cathedral Length Train

 The Proposal:
Jamie and I met at the University of Florida. We actually met on Bumble! He was finishing his last semester of Law School while I was finishing up my Ph.D. at the College of Medicine. We had the best first date ever! We went to dinner, and before we knew it, the restaurant was closing. We had been there talking and laughing for hours. Jamie and I realized how much we have in common and that family is everything to us!

About two and a half years later, Jamie proposed at Bern’s Steakhouse, which is an iconic and very romantic spot in Tampa. He was very nervous the entire night and waited till we got to the dessert room upstairs, but I didn’t catch on to what was going on ’till he went down on one knee! It was a total surprise. Luckily, we had his parents there to take plenty of pictures. Then we spent the rest of the weekend on the beach to celebrate together.

Bride and Groom First Look Wedding Portrait | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Dewitt for Love Photography
Bride Walking into Sacred Heart Catholic Church Wedding Portrait | Cathedral Length Ball Gown and Veil | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Dewitt for Love Photography
Sky Blue, Dusty Blue Mismatching Bridesmaids Dress Inspiration | Bride and Groom First Look Wedding Portrait | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Dewitt for Love Photography | Hair and Makeup Femme Akoi Beauty Studio

What were your hair and makeup inspiration for your bridal party?

I wanted to go with neutral soft romantic colors and hairstyles to keep a romantic feminine vibe going. The dresses had embellishments and a lot going on, so I thought that keeping the rest simple but elegant was the way to go.

The team at Femme Akoi Beauty Studio are wonderful experts! They have a large team and can accommodate large parties and work fast and do a great job. I love their hair and make-up style. It’s also very diverse and works with skin and hair types. Many of the bridesmaids have had them before. so it was a popular and easy choice for my bridal party.

Sky Blue, Dusty Blue Mismatching Bridesmaids Dress Inspiration | Bride and Groom First Look Wedding Portrait | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Dewitt for Love Photography | Hair and Makeup Femme Akoi Beauty Studio
Historic Tampa Bay Sacred Heart Catholic Church Wedding Venue
Pastel Light Blue Flower Girl Lace Dress Ideas
Bride and Father Walking Down Aisle Wedding Portrait
Historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church Wedding Ceremony
Historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church Wedding Ceremony
Bride and Groom First Kiss Wedding Portrait | Historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church Wedding Ceremony | Tampa Bay Photographer Dewitt For Love | Historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church Wedding Ceremony
Bride and Groom First Kiss Wedding Portrait | Historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church Wedding Ceremony | Tampa Bay Photographer Dewitt For Love | Historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church Wedding Ceremony

What did you look for in a wedding photographer?

I really wanted a photographer who appreciates elegance and finds all the best angles to capture the romance. I wanted the pictures to be natural but rich; I didn’t want them to be overly cool or warm. I also wanted a team who was able to guide us through shots and make us feel confident and comfortable. We needed to capture so many parts of the wedding, and I needed a team who was familiar with the venues and working with large weddings within a reasonable budget.

Looking through Dewitt For Love‘s portfolio and the style of pictures they have taken, I knew right away that they were a match for us! It was very easy to tell them about all the dream shots and ideas we had in mind, and we also let them get creative with us! We did our engagement pictures first, and we absolutely loved them and loved the experience. It was clear to us that they could handle our wedding and that we were in safe hands. They listened carefully to our needs and concerns and realized our personalities and were able to work with those elements so easily. They also were able to add a third photographer during certain parts to fully cover the wedding. They are very accommodating and easygoing.

Rose Petal Wedding Ceremony Exit Flower Petal Toss | Historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church Wedding Ceremony | Tampa Bay Photographer Dewitt For Love | Historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church Wedding Ceremony
White Lace Flower Applique Cap Sleeve Open Back Ball Gown Demetrios Bridal Wedding Dress with Cathedral Length Train and Veil Inspiration | Tampa Bay Photographer Dewitt For Love | Historic Sacred Heart Catholic Church Wedding Venue

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
Since the wedding was around Christmas, we stayed in town to celebrate the holiday with family. We will plan a honeymoon in the near future, and we are in between either a road trip down the coast of California or a trip to Hawaii.

Where did you host your bachelorette party?
My bachelorette was so fun, and it was in Nashville on Labor Day weekend. We stayed at a cute Airbnb near Broadway and enjoyed all the music and food the city has to offer. We also did a fun drinking bus tour! Nashville is one of my favorite cities in the U.S., and it was extra special to have my best girlfriends celebrate with me there. My sister-in-law, Jackie, planned it all, and she did a fantastic job!

Bride and Groom Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club Wedding Portrait | South Tampa Photographer Dewitt For Love
Square Cut Vintage Engagement Ring and Round Diamond Wedding Band
South Tampa Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club Wedding Venue

What was the inspiration behind your day?
First, the ceremony being held at Sacred Heart Church, which is very grand and cathedral-like, meant a magnificent bridal party entrance with black tie attire and a long wedding dress train. Second, it was the holiday season. Our wedding was a week before Christmas, so we thought that champagne, ivory, and hints of rustic gold colors with lots of roses and candles would complement any Christmas décor and add enough glitz and glimmer to both venues. I had in mind my favorite Shakespearean play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. How can I beat the idea of fairies, love, and a touch of magic on a wedding day during the holiday season?! I also asked one of my uncles, who is a graphic designer, to help create a custom logo with the two “J”s, and we fell in love with what he came up with as our personal Jude and Jamie logo. It fit the theme very well.

Being Jordanian myself and Jamie American with Cuban and Irish roots, we knew that we would have a large wedding that would incorporate all of our American and Jordanian friends and families. This also meant that we needed to make sure it was a hyped-up dance party! Even though the band sang in English, during the breaks, we surprised the guests with fun, upbeat Jordanian wedding music, and everyone was cheering and jumping around us on the dance floor! I was so excited to introduce some of my culture to Jamie’s extended family here in the U.S. At the end of the ceremony, the band surprised me by getting everyone to sing along to Hey Jude as they surrounded us on the dance floor. It was a very emotional and happy moment.

Timeless Gold Elegant Long Head Feasting Table Wedding Reception Ideas | South Tampa Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Venue Palma Ceia Country Club | Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Over The Top Rental Linens
Timeless Gold Wedding Reception Ideas | Gold Chiavari Chairs | Tall Crystal Centerpieces | Tampa Bay Florist Monarch Events and Design | Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Venue Palma Ceia Country Club | Over The Top Rental Linens

How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?
The reception took place at Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club, which was decked with holiday décor! There was a huge Christmas tree in the ballroom by the stage where the band played, and large beautiful green and red wreaths with ribbons all around the ballroom and in the entryway. It was all so cozy and festive! Keeping with the theme of the holiday season and incorporating wedding romance, I wanted to have plenty of gold and champagne colors incorporated throughout. Besides, I love flowers, lots of flowers, so we needed to add floral elements in all the right places, especially around the dance floor, and create a focal point for the guests. The linen was soft pearl colored with a textured ivory ribbon overlay. Even the cake stand had its own special linen that was all flowers! 

The chairs were gold and had gold cushions. Charger plates were clear with gold trim, and the silverware was the Michelangelo gold-plated design. The floral stands were rustic gold and crystal beading draped down from the high stands, with lots of greenery on the tables with candles filling up the space. Candles are extremely romantic, and they created this magical setup, my Midsummer’s Night Dream fairytale vision, during dinner and dancing. 

Elegant Eucalyptus Greenery Centerpieces with Gold Rimmed Chargers | Christmas Tree Wedding Decor Inspiration | Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Over The Top Rental Linens
Lace Table Linen with Gold Mercury Candlelit Wedding Reception Table Decor | White Hydrangea and Ruscus Greenery Centerpiece Ideas | Gold Flatware and Chargers | Tampa Bay Rentals A Chair Affair | Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Over The Top Rental Linens
Timeless Gold Wedding Reception Ideas | Gold Chiavari Chairs | Tall Crystal Centerpieces | Tampa Bay Florist Monarch Events and Design | Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Venue Palma Ceia Country Club

What did you look for in a wedding florist?

Flowers are expensive, and I wanted a vendor who would make every dollar count. I wanted all the flowers within budget! We had a lot of décor to work with, and I needed a vendor who was on board with the vision and indulged in it. I love flowers, lots of them, and we needed many centerpieces and to fill the tables with flowers, candles, and greenery. Other vendors had minimums, and they only offered a standard look. I wanted the flexibility and to be able to stand out from what has been done over and over again in most weddings

It was clear from the first meeting that Jean from Monarch Events & Design was on board and ready to make my dream vision come true! I didn’t need to look for other options; she had it all. Jean is so friendly, kind, and very creative. She had many resources and ideas. It was easy to modify looks or quantities when needed, and we were able to stretch our budget a lot further than expected, which is such a good feeling. “

Long Feasting Table with Gold Chargers and Flatware | Timeless Gold Christmas Wedding Inspiration | Ruscus Greenery Table Runner | Tampa Bay Rentals A Chair Affair | Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Gold Flatware with Gold Rimmed Chargers | Wedding Menu Cards | Tampa Bay Rentals A Chair Affair | Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Rose, Carnation, and Eucalyptus Centerpiece Ideas | Gold Champagne Table Linen | Tampa Bay Florist Monarch Events and Design | A Chair Affair | Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Over the Top Linen Rentals
Elegant Gold Wedding Inspiration | Tall Crystal Flower Stand Centerpieces | Gold Chiavari Chairs | Tampa Bay Florist Monarch Events and Design | Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Timeless Elegant Gold Champagne Linens with Gold Flatware | Tampa Bay Over The Top Rental Linens | A Chair Affair | Kate Ryan Event Rentals
White Two-Tiered Custom Logo Wedding Cake with Real Roses | Tampa Bay Bakery The Artistic Whisk
Cheers White Flowers and Eucalyptus Christmas Wedding Greenery Backdrop | Tampa Bay Florist Monarch Events and Design
Bride and Groom First Dance Wedding Portrait
Bride and Groom Wedding Reception Ribbon Grand Exit

Which vendors really exceeded your expectations? 
No question it was the photography, the videography, the band, and the event design/ florals! We did a great job finding the best-fitting vendors for our event, and it all came together beautifully! I keep looking at my wedding pictures and video repeatedly without getting tired of them. Every bit of décor and flowers just made it so elegant, cozy, and romantic and worked so beautifully with the holiday season! That cake was a dream showpiece and tasty!

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Have a wedding planner (or whoever is helping) be on board with your vision. Ours was the best cheerleader I could ask for, and we even became close friends through this process. Having a planner that is as excited for you as you are certainly helps to keep the momentum during the ups and downs of wedding planning. Also, it is good to have a wedding planner who has ideas and options for when plan A fails. A good wedding planner is a must for large weddings.

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Vendor Credits

 

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