Carrie and Brian's downtown St. Pete wedding combined their laid back personalities with a menu featuring their favorite foods and personalized playing cards as fun party favors. Choosing a color palette of navy blue and orange, the Tampa Bay bride and groom flawlessly captured the old Florida vibe they envisioned.
“I used inspiration from the old Florida theme for our save the dates, invitations, and our colors. It perfectly tied together downtown St. Pete and the historic, classic decor of our wedding venue,” the bride beamed.
During the early stages of planning, the bride frequented Marry Me Tampa Bay for ideas and research.
“I loved using Marry Me Tampa Bay for looking at photos of local weddings. It gave me a lot of inspiration for what I wanted,” Carrie shared.
Setting their sights on an intimate venue with a classic and elegant vibe, the pair fell in love instantly with the historic charm of downtown St. Pete wedding venue The Birchwood.
“The second we toured The Birchwood, it was decided. It had everything we could have imagined. The beautifully restored historic 18-room hotel was intimate enough for our family to all be on-site together for the weekend,” the bride gushed. “Something that was important to us was having an indoor ceremony at the same location as our reception. The Birchwood staff easily flipped the same space during cocktail hour to accommodate our request. It was perfect. There wasn't one thing about the Birchwood that I would change! From the moment we secured our date, the service we absolutely impeccable.”
With the pieces coming together, Carrie and Brian knew they needed a DJ who could reflect their style and keep the party going throughout the night.
“We were paired with Jason from Grant Hemond & Associates, and he was absolutely wonderful! Over a few phone calls, Jason was able to pick up on our personalities. I put my trust in him completely to be able to deliver what we were looking for,” the bride shared. “He kept the party going all night and was able to cater to guests of all ages. We are so thankful that we chose them and were paired with Jason!”
Looking back, the bride's most cherished moments included a special gift from her mom and a surprise dance with the groom and his grandmother.
“While we were getting ready my mom gave me a garter she made from her wedding dress. It was such a special gift to receive, and I loved that I was able to incorporate her dress on my special day,” the bride reminisced. “Another special moment was the surprise dance between Brian and his grandmother to her favorite song. She had no idea we had planned it, and she cried the entire time. It was so sweet!”
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We wanted our venue to encompass the intimate, classic and elegant vibe we knew our wedding day would embody. I was really stuck on having our wedding in Tampa, but Brian really pushed the idea of St. Pete and the Birchwood on me. With so many out of town guests, we knew downtown St. Pete would really deliver when it came to entertaining everyone.
I want to learn more about weddings at The Birchwood
The second we toured The Birchwood, it was decided. It had everything we could have imagined. The beautifully restored historic 18-room hotel was intimate enough for our family to all be on-site together for the weekend. Tampa Bay was just steps away and really allowed a gorgeous view from the Grand Ballroom. There wasn't one thing about the Birchwood that I would change! From the moment we secured our date, the service we absolutely impeccable. Something that was important to us was having an indoor ceremony at the same location as our reception. The Birchwood staff easily flipped the same space during cocktail hour to accommodate our request. It was perfect. One of our favorite things about the Birchwood was the food! We are somewhat foodies at heart and really wanted the food to be out of this world. The banquet chef completely delivered on all of our wishes and we were beyond satisfied.
In November, Brian and I went up to the mountains of north Georgia for a weekend getaway to hike and see the fall colors. While I imagined this would be the perfect time to get engaged, Brian told me to, “not get my hopes up,” and that this was “just a quick weekend away.” On Saturday, November 12th, we went to my favorite winery, Crane Creek Vineyards. It's such a beautiful location owned by the sweetest people with some amazing wine. The scenery and the wine bring me to my inner peace. After sharing a bottle of wine, we walked the property and Brian proposed behind the vines. It was just the two of us and such an intimate moment. I couldn't believe I was standing at my favorite place with the man I love, asking me to marry him!
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
We waited until we secured a venue to decide on the design inspiration for our wedding. Once we secured a summer date at the Birchwood, I was immediately drawn to the inspiration of old Florida. While we didn't want a themed wedding, I used pieces of inspiration from the old Florida theme for our save the dates and invitations and our colors. It tied in perfectly the downtown St. Pete and the beautiful historic and classic decor of the Birchwood.
What were your colors?
Our two major colors were each of our favorite colors: navy blue and orange. We were surprised at how well they complemented each other and truly captured the old Florida vibe we envisioned. Our flowers also played a large part in displaying our color palette and they were stunning!
What did you look for in a wedding DJ?
We wanted a DJ we could trust to pick up on our style and keep the party going.
I want to learn more about DJ/Lighting services from Grant Hemond & Associates.
We were paired with Jason from Grant Hemond & Associates, and he was absolutely wonderful! Over a few phone calls, he was able to pick up on our personalities. I put my trust in him completely to be able to deliver what we were looking for. He kept the party going all night and was able to cater to guests of all ages. We are so thankful that we chose them and were paired with Jason!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Do your research, but trust your gut. Make your wedding special to who you and your spouse are instead of trying to replicate a wedding you saw online. Also, remember to sit back and take it all in. Eat your fabulous dinner, watch your husband dance with his friends, and hug every loved one there!
Ceremony and Reception Venue/Caterer: The Birchwood *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Venue
Photographer: Lindsey Cassidy Photography
Videographer: Devoted Films
Florist: Wonderland Floral Art and Gift Loft
DJ: Grant Hemond & Associates – Jason *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Officiant: Ed Williamson
Invitations: A la Carte Paperie
Dress: Essense of Australia
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff
Hair & Makeup: Kyle Lynn Weddings