Multi-Cultural Gold and Emerald St. Pete Beach Wedding | Don CeSar Wedding

Tampa Bay Wedding Planning Advice Group

Bruna and Michael’s sophisticated St. Pete Beach wedding honored their colorful heritage and sophisticated taste with a timeless celebration. Incorporating gorgeous gold accents and pops of dark green, the Washington D.C. couple tied the knot in front of 130 friends and family from all over the country.

Planning a destination Florida wedding, the bride looked for a local resource and found Marry Me Tampa Bay.

“Surprisingly enough, Marry Me Tampa Bay was actually the first resource I used when I was researching venues. Once we booked the Don CeSar, I reached out through Instagram to get advice on wedding planners. Being able to look to Marry Me Tampa Bay for information on local venues made planning our destination wedding a lot easier,” the bride beamed.

MORE: TAMPA BAY DESTINATION WEDDINGS

Feeling almost like fate, the bride and groom chose The Don CeSar for it’s open and airy event space and ability to deliver a truly unforgettable menu.

“We didn’t get to visit the Don CeSar in person before we booked our wedding, however, I had visited many years before as a child. It wasn’t until we saw some of their weddings featured on Marry Me Tampa Bay, that we started actually considering the space for our wedding day. Michael’s aunt had previously planned many corporate events there and she absolutely raved about it,” Bruna gushed. “The staff at the Don and the senior catering sales manager, Beth, go above and beyond for their couples. There wasn’t a single email or call that went unanswered, and the team worked efficiently to make sure everything we wanted, we got. Many of the venues we toured told us we wouldn’t be able to include my grandmother’s Brazilian brigadeiros as apart of the dessert table since she’d be making them, but Beth knew how important it was for my family and made it happen.”

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Putting together the pieces of a wedding in under six months was a task best handled by a local wedding planner who came highly recommended. After getting to know Staci of UNIQUE Weddings + Events, Bruna and Michael knew she was the right woman for the job.

“Staci and her staff truly understood how important family and traditions were to us,” the bride gushed. “Something I’ll never forget from our wedding day was the moment my grandmother, from Brazil, without telling me, purchased 100 Brazilian flip flops with our wedding date and names designed on them. She opened a big suitcase while people were on the dance floor and started handing them out to the women at the wedding. Staci asked me what was going on, and I told her I had no clue. At no point though did I stress out because I knew Staci and her team would handle everything and make sure everyone got their flip flops and that the party continued!”

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For Bruna and Michael, putting together a meaningful ceremony that reflected both of their cultures and religions was something they knew they wanted to capture from the very start.

“Our officiants did such a beautiful job incorporating both of our languages and traditions,” the bride shared. “When we were putting together the different aspects of the ceremony, one thing kept coming to mind for us and that was the fact that there is so much hate in our country right now. It was important for us to highlight the beautiful notion that two people from different backgrounds can fall in love and bring their families and cultures together. During the ceremony, we stood under a beautiful Chuppah with Michael’s grandfather Morton’s tallit, right above our heads. It was a reminder of where we come from and all the people who have impacted our lives and helped us get to this place.”

Looking back on their blissful day, the bride and groom cherished the intimate moments they spent together.

“After we finished family pictures, we went with our photographer to the beach to snap a few pictures before sunset. It was extra special because we passed by our cocktail hour where everyone cheered us on, and then we had about 10 minutes alone to just reflect on this big thing that we had done,” the bride reminisced. “We got to kiss and hug and just be with each other before the craziness of the reception started!”

The Pink Palace, Historic Beachfront Florida Wedding Venue The Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach

Round Diamond Engagement Ring and Bride Wedding Band in Velvet Gold Monogram Green Ring Box, Diamond Tennis Bracelet

First Look Wedding Portrait with Bride and Bridesmaids in Dark Green Mix and Match Azazie Dresses

Tampa Bay Bride in Deep V Neckline Double Beaded Bands Across Waist, Paloma Blanca Lace Wedding Dress, Bridesmaids in Dark Green Mix and Match Azazie Dresses Getting Ready Wedding Portrait

Florida Bride Walking Towards Groom First Look Wedding Portrait | The Pink Palace | St. Petersburg Waterfront Wedding Venue The Don CeSar

Florida Bride and Groom Wedding Portrait on Staircase at The Pink Palace | St. Petersburg Waterfront Hotel Wedding Venue The Don CeSar

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
The Don CeSar is so iconic that I wanted to ensure whatever we decided only enhanced the beauty of the hotel. Keeping the design minimal yet elegant really gave us the vision we were going for.

What did you look for in a wedding venue?
Since we lived in Washington D.C., we had to tour 10 venues over the span of a weekend, which was definitely overwhelming. We loved the idea of being near the beach but didn’t want to actually have the wedding on the beach. We also wanted catering to be included because we knew it would be hard for us to make another trip down. We really wanted our guests to be able to enjoy the winter weather in Florida so finding a location that embodied that was important.

We didn’t get to visit The Don CeSar in person before we booked our wedding, however, I had visited many years before as a child. It wasn’t until we saw some of their weddings featured on Marry Me Tampa Bay, that we started actually considering the space. Michael’s aunt had previously planned many corporate events there and she absolutely raved about it. The staff at the Don and the senior catering sales manager, Beth, go above and beyond for their couples. There wasn’t a single email or call that went unanswered, and the team worked efficiently to make sure everything we wanted, we got. Many of the venues we toured told us we wouldn’t be able to include my grandmother’s Brazilian brigadeiros as apart of the dessert table since she’d be making them, but Beth knew how important it was for my family and made it happen.

 

Romantic Florida Bride and Groom Wedding Portrait | The Pink Palace | St. Petersburg Waterfront Hotel Wedding Venue The Don CeSar

The Proposal:
I was sitting on a bench on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. waiting for my first intramural kickball game to start. Michael was on the same team and came over to introduce himself. Most of the people on the team were strangers, but we quickly discovered that we had both attended the same college, The University of Florida, so we bonded over our mutual love of the Gators. Three years later, Michael proposed on the bench where we first met.

Rustic Wooden and White Script Welcome Unplugged Wedding Ceremony Sign | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events

Jewish Wedding Ceremony Ketubah Sign and Yamaka Hats for Guests | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events

Classic Wedding Ceremony Arch Decor, White Draping with Green Leaves and Ivory Roses | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events

Classic Jewish Wedding Ceremony Decor, Chuppah with White Draping, Green Leaves and Ivory Roses Arrangement | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events | St. Petersburg Waterfront Hotel Wedding Venue The Don CeSar | Historic Pink Palace | Over the Top Rental Linens

What were your colors?
White, dark green, and gold. I’ve always loved green because it’s the color of my birthstone and feels both feminine and masculine. I also knew my bridesmaids would look great in the bold dark green against the bright, vibrant Don CeSar pink. When we were deciding on florals, two things inspired me: my grandmother’s garden of hydrangeas in Brazil and the royal family. I’m a huge royal family enthusiast, and I absolutely loved Meghan’s bouquet and flower arches at St. George’s Chapel. The lush green in the floral arrangements and pops of white ended up being our inspiration for our chuppah, my bouquet, and our table decor.

Classic Bride, Mother and Father Processional Walking Down the Wedding Ceremony Aisle Portrait

Jewish Bride and Groom Exchanging Wedding Vows During Ceremony, Chuppah with White Draping, Green Leaves and Ivory Roses Arrangement | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events | St. Petersburg Waterfront Hotel Wedding Venue The Don CeSar | Historic Pink Palace

Classic Florida Bride in Lace Paloma Blanca Wedding Dress, Groom and Groomsmen in Navy Blue Suits with Bowties, Bridesmaids in Dark Green Azazie Mix and Match Dresses Holding Ivory Floral Bouquets Wedding Party Portrait | St. Petersburg Waterfront Wedding Venue The Don CeSar | Historic Pink Palace | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events

Romantic Bride and Groom St. Pete Beach Wedding Portrait

Classic Guest Seating Cards on Greenery Boxwood Wall | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events

Custom Historic Pink Palace Guest Signing Poster, Gold Geometric Card Box | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events | St. Pete Beach Waterfront Hotel Wedding Venue The Don CeSar

Classic Wedding Reception Decor, Long Table with Gold Linen, Lanterns, Greenery Garland Table Runner, Gold Chiavari Chairs | St. Petersburg Waterfront Hotel Wedding Venue The Don CeSar, Historic Pink Palace | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events | Wedding Rentals A Chair Affair, Over the Top Rental Linens

Classic Ballroom Wedding Reception Decor, Long Table with Gold Tablecloth and Chiavari Chairs, Dark Green Linen Napkins, Gold Rimmed Chargers, White Floral Centerpiece | St. Pete Waterfront Hotel Wedding Venue The Don CeSar, Historic Pink Palace | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events | Wedding Rentals A Chair Affair, Over the Top Rental Linens

What did you look for in a wedding planner?
We went with Staci from UNIQUE Weddings + Events because she was the only one who was realistic with us about how much we had to do in such a small amount of time. We talked to her in August and the wedding was in January, so you could say she got us moving fast. We also knew that we had many aspects of the wedding to juggle, first and foremost that I am Brazilian and Catholic and Michael is American and Jewish. Staci had done many interfaith weddings and had a lot of great ideas on how we could honor both our cultures and religions.

Staci and her staff truly understood how important family and traditions were to us. Something I’ll never forget from our wedding day was the moment my grandmother from Brazil, without telling me, purchased 100 Brazilian flip flops with our wedding date and names designed on them. She opened a big suitcase while people were on the dance floor and started handing them out to the women at the wedding. Staci asked me what was going on, and I told her I had no clue. At no point though did I stress out because I knew Staci and her team would handle everything and make sure everyone got their flip flops and that the party continued! I don’t know how we would have been able to plan everything in five months from out-of-state without Staci.

Classic Wedding Reception Decor, White Roses and Hydrangeas Low Floral Centerpiece, High Low Floating Candles | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events

Classic Ballroom Wedding Reception Decor, Round Table with Gold Tablecloth and Chiavari Chairs, Gold Rimmed Beaded Chargers, Dark Green Linens, Low White Floral Centerpiece, Tall Floating Candlesticks | St. Pete Waterfront Hotel Wedding Venue The Don CeSar, Historic Pink Palace | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events | Wedding Rentals A Chair Affair, Over the Top Rental Linens

Classic Ballroom Wedding Reception Decor, Round Table with Gold Tablecloth and Chiavari Chairs, Gold Rimmed Beaded Chargers, Dark Green Linens, Low White Floral Centerpiece, Tall Floating Candles | St. Petersburg Waterfront Hotel Wedding Venue The Don CeSar, Historic Pink Palace | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events | Wedding Rentals A Chair Affair, Over the Top Rental Linens

Classic Three Tier White Wedding Cake Decorated with Ivory Roses and Green Leaves with Custom Gold Cake Topper | Wedding Cake Historic Hotel The Don CeSar

Fun Wedding Guests Lifting Bride and Groom in Chairs During Wedding Reception Dance | St. Petersburg Hotel Wedding Venue The Don CeSar, Historic Pink Palace | Jewish Wedding Reception

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
If you are planning a wedding from out of town, make the trip to do and see things in person as much as you can and definitely hire a wedding planner. I don’t know how we would have been able to plan everything in five months from out-of-state without Staci. I know people say this often, but don’t sweat the small stuff! Even though I tend to be type A about planning, I told myself that even when little things didn’t go accordingly, the day would still be more than special. Overall, everything goes by so fast and you can’t enjoy it if you’re worried about things going wrong. Don’t go on your honeymoon the day after your wedding. We had so many family members from outside the state and even the country, and we prioritized spending time with them on Sunday before leaving for Hawaii on Monday morning. I’m so glad we had that extra time and didn’t rush to travel.

 

Venue, Catering and Cake: The Don CeSar *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Venue
Photographer: Love, Asha Photography
Videographer: A Peachy Life Productions
Planner: UNIQUE Weddings + Events *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Florist: Events in Bloom Tampa
Linen Rentals: Over The Top Rental Linens *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pros
Rentals: A Chair Affair, Inc. *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pros
DJ: DJ Cory Barron & Co.
Officiant: Rabbi Michael Sternfield and DeArruda Weddings
Invitations: Bella Marie Papers
Dress: Paloma Blanca
Bridesmaid Dress Shop: Azazie
Hair & Makeup: Lasting Luxe Hair and Makeup Artistry
Photobooth: ShutterBooth




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