This Autumnal wedding inspiration shoot combines modern and minimalist details with a hidden gem of a venue in downtown St. Pete. The planning and design team at Winsor Event Studio worked to complement the one-of-a-kind architecture of The Poynter Institute in a way that would appeal to any contemporary couple seeking an interesting event space in the heart of the trendy Pinellas area.
“We wanted to showcase a style fit for a modern couple in a way that embraced the unique architecture of The Poynter Institute, which features vast windows and wood beams, an intimate atrium with towering palms, and a sleek reflecting pool with views of the neighboring marina,” Christi Winsor, owner and lead event planner at Winsor Event Studio shared. “We opted for a minimalistic approach with clean lines and contemporary details.”
The mixture of seasonal shades was offset with black details to act as a neutral base allowing the other hues to pop. By incorporating several colors throughout the event details, each element is tied together in a subtly cohesive way.
“The approaching Fall season helped to dictate our color palette, which was grounded in a neutral onyx shade. We brought in various autumnal earthy shades like mustard, clay, tawny port, and matcha, which added dimension and richness,” the planner explained. “We layered colors throughout in a way that would coordinate without being too matchy. For instance, the deep maroon hue of the groom's suit jacket spoke to the geometric escort card paperie, along with the ombre-streaked fondant cake by Tampa Bay Cake Company. Color repetition is a subtle and sophisticated way to tie together details without having to incorporate a specific ‘theme'.”
As COVID continues to affect events near and far, the Winsor Event Studio creative team sought to provide inspiration for hosting an intimate event that offers a balance of safety precautions and stunning details.
“During this global pandemic, the wedding industry has seen countless couples forced to cancel or postpone their celebrations. We wanted to provide inspiration for how couples can host a beautiful and safe event amidst COVID and encourage them to embrace intimate micro-weddings and elopements that can still be filled with all the lovely details they've dreamed of for their wedding day. There are practices and protocols that, when implemented stylishly, will not only help couples and guests feel comfortable celebrating together but will be as beautiful and intentional as any other dreamy wedding,” Christi assured.
The modern minimalist styling was further reflected through the table settings, with luxe glassware and flatware, specialty plates, and unexpected napkins.
“To inspire couples with an eye for aesthetics, we created place settings featuring high-end finishes and layers of texture. The matte grey dishware, delicate dipped gold flatware, and rimmed goblets from Kate Ryan Event Rentals combined a clean and modern feel with a sense of refinement. We displayed artfully folded watercolored napkins, with geometric lines that harkened the surrounding beams,” Christi remarked. “For added COVID inspiration, we showcased a golden napkin with silverware rolled inside (keeping them clear and untouched), and the napkins were tucked inside modern acrylic holders that included a tiny bud vase to cradle a single bloom.”
In order to prove that an intimate and socially-distanced wedding that could still be filled with beautiful details, this seasoned team of wedding professionals embraced a fresh style direction that would inspire couples who are seeking something different and distinct.
“We wanted to provide inspiration that was a true departure from the norm. Sometimes the plethora of wedding inspiration can begin to look repetitive and overproduced, so we wanted to create something fresh and different, perfect for a couple who wants to be unique and stand out from the crowd. Instead of the boho vibe that is prevalent these days, we opted for clean lines and innovative details,” the planner explained. “The bride's designer LoAdoro gown from Truly Forever Bridal was sleek and sophisticated, with a tuxedo-style train and eye-catching statement necklace.”
The centerpieces were ikebana inspired, boasting asymmetrical arrangements of unique blooms like craspedia, strawflower, blackberry branches, ornamental kale, and hand-opened copper tulips. The florist created different arrangements for each table to add visual interest and accommodate their scale and size. All of the flora featured movement and a sense of balance.
Husband and wife photography team, Dewitt for Love Photography, captured all of the details and emotional moments, along with stunning couple portraits. Their vibrant, bold style showcased a range of colors and made the couple look effortlessly photogenic.
When asked to describe the favorite aspect of this wedding-styled shoot, the planner shared that it was tempting to gush about the delicious mini grazing boards, but ultimately, they couldn't compare to the cuteness factor of the adoptable puppies that made an appearance!
“Of course, I have to mention my favorite element from any wedding, which is incorporating pets or adoptables into the celebration. For this shoot, we worked with FairyTail Pet Care to partner with Pet Pal Animal Shelter and feature some adoptable puppies for guests to snuggle with before or after the ceremony. This program provides socialization for adoptable pets, collects great photos to help them get adopted, and promotes animal rescue by donating a portion of the fee to a shelter of choice (plus, many of the pets end up getting adopted at the events). This is a great program for couples who want to give back to their community and create an impact beyond their wedding day celebration,” Christi raved.
What was your inspiration for this shoot?
During this global pandemic, the wedding industry has seen countless couples forced to cancel or postpone their celebrations. We wanted to provide inspiration for how brides and grooms can host a beautiful and safe event amidst COVID, and to encourage couples to embrace intimate micro-weddings and elopements that can still be filled with all the lovely details they've dreamed of for their wedding day. There are practices and protocols that, when implemented stylishly, will not only help couples and guests feel comfortable celebrating together but will be as beautiful and intentional as any other dreamy wedding.
How can couples recreate the elements of this shoot into their wedding day?
Couples can implement safety elements into their day in a stylish way that keeps guest comfort in mind but also looks beautiful in photographs. In looking at the layout for our ceremony and reception, no one would know that the chairs and tables placements were a COVID accommodation; everything looks as stunningly sophisticated as any pre-pandemic wedding. But we did include additional details to account for safety and comfort.
We created chic framed signage directing guests to utilize an artful bottle of sanitizer (no need to display the lackluster plastic store bottles), displayed customized face masks for wearing when not seated, and even fashioned an elevated version of the color-coded bracelet trend by directing guests to “Accessorize to Socialize” with boutonnieres and corsages that indicate their social distance comfort levels. We also incorporated key COVID verbiage in our invitation suite by indicating that the ceremony would be outdoors, the reception would be socially distanced and allowing guests to request with whom they would like to be seated. This serves two purposes, in that it clearly communicates to your guests in a way that may help them feel more comfortable attending, while also allowing the couple to plan for appropriate groups of ceremony chairs and proper sizes of reception tables based on the RSVPs. All of these details will help guests to feel safe and special and show that the couple has thoughtfully considered their needs and truly values their happiness and comfort.
How would you describe your theme?
We wanted to showcase a style fit for a modern couple in a way that embraced the unique architecture of The Poynter Institute, which features vast windows and wood beams, an intimate atrium with towering palms, and a sleek reflecting pool with views of the neighboring marina. We opted for a minimalistic approach with clean lines and contemporary details.
How did the wedding venue fit within your theme?
The Poynter Institute is a hidden gem located in the hip downtown district of St. Pete. The flexible event spaces offer something for everyone, with a secluded and shady outdoor space, large and neutral Great Hall, and reflecting pool patio with great views, not to mention the surrounding area is ideal for bride and groom photo ops. We opted to create a ‘ceremony in the round' effect within the outdoor atrium, grouping clusters of Italian bistro chairs from Kate Ryan Event Rentals around the perimeter, peppered amongst the existing benches in a way that offered socially distanced seating for guests in a unique and stylish way. Every seat featured a great view of the bride and groom and allowed couples and families to sit together while also maintaining proper spacing from other groups. With multiple outdoor areas available, we were able to create an alfresco cocktail hour locale on the patio in addition to the atrium ceremony location; both options ideal for COVID-era events that prefer the option of open spaces and the circulation of fresh breezes. The expansive reception space also perfectly fit our vision for reception tables modified to accommodate various groups of guests, from an intimate table for two, to a larger table perfect for a family.
What were your colors?
The approaching Fall season helped to dictate our color palette, which was grounded in a neutral onyx shade. We brought in various autumnal earthy shades like mustard, clay, tawny port, and matcha, which added dimension and richness. We layered colors throughout in a way that would coordinate without being too matchy. For instance, the deep maroon hue of the groom's suit jacket spoke to the geometric escort card paperie, along with the ombre-streaked fondant cake by Tampa Bay Cake Company. Color repetition is a subtle and sophisticated way to tie together details without having to incorporate a specific ‘theme'.
Estimated cost for a micro-wedding with cost breakdown ranging from 50-150 guests.
Venue: $750-$2,500 | Photography: $1,200-$4,000 | Planner: $2,500-$4,000 | Flowers: $2,500-$5,000 | Bar Service: $550-$1,400 | Grazing Boards: $750-$2,250 | Officiant: $375-$600 | Wedding Day Adoptables: $500 | Invitations & Stationary: $500-$750 | Rentals: $1,300-$3,700 | Bride’s Attire & Accessories: $2,000 | Groom’s Attire: $250 | Bridal Hair & Makeup: $250 | Cake: $300 – $1,200 | Mask Favors: $500 – $800
*This estimate does not include all aspects of a wedding such as catering, alcohol, videography, etc.
Venue: The Poynter Institute *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Venue
Photographer: Dewitt for Love Photography *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Planner: Winsor Event Studio *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Florist: Brides N Blooms *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Hair and Makeup: Femme Akoi Beauty Studio *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Chair, Table, Tableware Rentals: Kate Ryan Event Rentals *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Attire and Accessories: Truly Forever Bridal *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Mini Grazing Boards: Gather ‘Round & Graze
Bar and Cocktails: Cocktail Movement
Cake: Tampa Bay Cake Company *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Officiant: A Wedding with Grace *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Mask Favors: Gifts & Spice
Invitations, Signage and Menu Card: 1501 Invitations
Pet Care Planning: FairyTail Pet Care *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Models: Nicole and Frank
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.