Rachel and Geran's waterfront Tampa wedding combined the groom's country roots, with the bride's elegant vision.
“Our theme was simple, rustic with lace. I love the look and feel of lace; it has very elegant feeling to it,” the bride shared. “Geran loves to fish, so instead of flower boutonnières, I found cute finishing lure ones on Etsy that matched our wedding colors for the groomsmen. I also wanted to incorporate some of Geran's Texas background. This is where the rustic came into play.”
Although the Tampa couple live just miles from their waterfront wedding venue, they still wanted their wedding weekend to be a getaway for their guests.
“Tampa was a ‘common ground' for all our guests who were coming from both sides of the coast,” Rachel explained. “I wanted to make the wedding very enjoyable, so I spent a lot of time of time ensuring that each person would be comfortable and have a great time. We encouraged our friends and family to take a vacation from everyday life and enjoy celebrating our new lives together in sunny Florida.”
It was important to Rachel and Geran to capture every moment of their wedding, and the pair searched for a Tampa wedding photographer whose pictures resonated with them.
“We wanted to find someone with whom we could connect with not only in person, but through his art or photography as well. We wanted to see emotions and moments in the photos, not just ‘cookie cutter pictures' and someone who was experienced and had a passion for what they did,” the bride said. “We were so pleased with our decision to hire Jeff Mason Photography. I honestly wouldn't look any further, nor waste your money on anyone less than Jeff and his partner Stephanie. Our wedding day was amazing. All my guests raved about how great our photographers were in capturing moments, but knew exactly when to ‘step back' to allow us to enjoy our big day with our guests.”
Looking back, one of the bride's most memorable moments was celebrating with everyone at her wedding reception.
“It was great to see everyone on the dance floor. Our DJ played country sounds for all of our Texas guests. We even had a line dance going at one point to Cotton Eye Joe.”
What did you look for in a wedding invitation company?
We wanted to find invitations that were high quality and would fit our theme of rustic lace and also match our wedding colors. We loved working with Invitation Galleria because they had so many invitations to choose from, and we even customized our design with the owners. They were able change the wording to make our wedding seem fun and playful when RSVP-ing. I can't stress enough how much I loved the pre-addressing of all our guests' addresses on the envelope. It made mailing out invitations the least stressful part of the whole wedding planning. Plus working with a small, local company was also a nice touch. My questions were answered right away, and we felt like a priority to them!
Geran and I met through mutual friends one Friday night in early September of 2013 at local event: Brews and Bites at the Sail Pavilion. After about a year of dating and ring shopping together, we took a three day cruise to the Bahamas for our upcoming birthdays. My parents were babysitting our dog, Sam, for the weekend, and Geran didn't want to be “cliche” and propose during our cruise. So, he waited until we returned to my parents' house in Sanford only for me to discovery the ring tied around Sam's neck (with a little help from my parents of course). He said he wanted to propose at my parents' house, as it would be a place I'd always remember and could visit often.
How would you describe your theme?
Simple rustic with lace. I chose this as I love the look and feel of lace; it has very elegant feeling to it and screams wedding! I also wanted to incorporate some of Geran's Texas background. This is where the rustic came into play.
What were your colors?
Navy and coral. I love how they complimented each other and vibe well with the rustic burlap and flowers we chose for our big day.
What did you look for in a cake baker?
We wanted someone with experience and someone who could delivery on time. After the reviews on Marry Me Tampa Bay, we set up an appointment for Alessi Bakeries. We loved the individual attention we got with our appointment and our cake tasting was great! The primary cake decorator knew exactly how big the cake should be for the amount of guest we had and allowed us to change up the flavors of each layer. We broke tradition and even ate the top of our wedding cake after one month of being married since it was so good!
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
We wanted to find someone with whom we could connect with not only in person, but through his art or photography as well. We wanted to see emotions and moments in the photos, not just “cookie cutter pictures” and someone who was experienced and had a passion for what they did.
We were so pleased with our decision to hire Jeff Mason Photography. I honestly wouldn't look any further, nor waste your money on anyone less than Jeff and his partner Stephanie. Our initial meeting with Jeff was great! He answered all our questions and brought us samples of his art portfolios that demonstrated to us how wonderful his work is and how important it was to have a high quality art portfolio created just for you. Jeff's style is focused on capturing moments and emotions not just “posey” pictures.
Jeff is very organized and creates your own individual webpage that keeps all your information at your fingertips. He also calls you personally before any of his shoots and ensures all details are in place.
Our wedding day was amazing. All my guests raved about how great our photographers were in capturing moments, but knew exactly when to “step back” to allow us to enjoy our big day with our guests. Stephanie even got my father in-law to smile, something that rarely occurs and worked hard to captured all of our guest emotions as well. Jeff focused most of his attention on me to ensure I was comfortable and continued to ask if I needed anything throughout the whole day. I love, love, love my personalized app that Jeff created to share your photos on your smartphone with friends and family.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
If you work it into your budget: HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER! I wish we did this to help with “handling” of different vendors. It was stressful towards the end of planning and I wish I had someone that could help with guiding me and speak with the vendors as often I felt as though “I'm just another wedding.” Also, HAVE FUN, it will go by so so quick, enjoy every movement of it that you can. Hire a great photographer to capture all those moments.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Rusty Pelican
Photographer: Jeff Mason Photography
Florist: Arlene Floral Design
Caterer: Rusty Pelican
Rentals: Arlene Floral Design
Cake: Alessi Bakeries *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Vendor
DJ: DJ Frank Lebano and Co.
Officiant: Kirk Church – Pastor Jerry
Invitations: Invitation Galleria
Dress Shop and Designer: The White Closet Bridal – Justin Alexander
Hair & Makeup: Femme Akoi