Stephanie and Bill's intimate waterfront Tampa wedding embodied classic Florida beauty with breathtaking views of the Bay, picture perfect weather, and a modern take on nautical elegance.
“We chose a nautical theme since our wedding was on the water and incorporated a timeless color palette of navy, gray, blush, and ivory,” the bride shared. “It was important to us that everything really tied together and complemented the gorgeous scenery and decor of our venue.”
In search of an affordable yet classy venue that could easily accommodate their 110 guests, with several from out-of-town, the bride and groom chose The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa.
“We had some pretty special memories throughout the years at The Godfrey. From officially becoming a couple to making some pretty important decisions about our future, it all happened there! Once we viewed their packages, we were sold. To get married there just added icing to the cake,” the bride gushed. “The best part about The Godfrey is that everything is all in one place. The whole team at The Godfrey was absolutely wonderful! Madison put my mind at ease as a bride and ensured that everything we envisioned was brought to life.”
Wanting to showcase the Florida lifestyle, the Brandon bride and groom made sure their celebration flowed nicely for guests.
“Having direct access to the outdoors from the reception venue was important to us. We didn't want a venue that made it difficult to enjoy the outdoors, so finding a place that ensured direct access from the cocktail hour to the pier was an aspect we really loved,” Stephanie explained. “The Godfrey had a door that led right to the pier which allowed our guests to easily enjoy the view and celebratory cigars, while still being part of the party.”
Music and family was an important theme for the couple, who had a mix of traditional elements and details unique to them.
“One of my sisters was our officiant, I walked down the aisle to one of Bill’s favorite songs, and our friend played the guitar prior to the wedding and for the entrances/exits,” the bride beamed. “We just wanted to party with our favorite people while we celebrated our marriage.”
Looking back, Stephanie will never forget the look on her groom's face as she glided down the pier during the ceremony.
“For me, the most memorable moment was walking down the aisle to Bill as a special song played by one of our closest friends,” the bride reminisced. “He had absolutely no idea what I had planned until that moment. Not only was the song a huge surprise, but it was also very special for us and a few guests in the crowd as well.”
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We're both from Michigan, so we had a lot of guests coming from out-of-town. We knew we wanted an affordable yet classy location that was easy for both us and our guests to get to.
I want to learn more about weddings at The Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas Tampa.
We chose The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa because we had some pretty special memories there. Throughout graduate school, my best friend and I frequented Hogan’s Beach Bar, which is now known as WTR. Of course, the atmosphere was very different back then compared to now. We always recommended the hotel to friends and family who came to town because It was affordable and fun. In 2015, Bill came to visit Florida, and it was the first time we had seen each other in five years! We spent the entire weekend at the Godfrey. From officially becoming a couple to making some pretty important decisions about our future, it all happened at The Godfrey! Once we viewed their packages, we were sold. To get married there just added icing to the cake.
The best part about The Godfrey is that everything is in one place. We stayed Friday, got ready in a bridal room Saturday morning, walked down to the ceremony, headed to cocktail hour, took a couple more steps to the reception, and ended at the bar behind the reception area. How much easier could it be? We didn't want a venue that made it difficult to enjoy the outdoors, so finding a place that ensured direct access from the cocktail hour to the pier was an aspect we really loved. Cynthia coordinated our hotel block and worked with our guests to ensure everyone was taken care of, and Madison worked with us every step of the process. Getting to really know Madison throughout the process showed me exactly how gentle, kind, and always prompt she was. She put my mind at ease as a bride and ensured that everything we envisioned was brought to life.
On June 24, 2017, Bill and I went to dinner at 400 Beach in St. Pete. Afterward, we walked along the water in Vinoy Park to a shaded pathway with park benches and trees away from the main sidewalk. We walked in and Bill got down on one knee, told me some of the sweetest things, and proposed.
One unique part of our proposal was that the PRIDE parade was in full swing. He proposed as YMCA was playing in the distance. I couldn’t think of a more love-filled area to walk through as we celebrated our love.
What was your theme?
We chose a nautical theme since the wedding was on the water. It was important to us that everything really tied together and complemented the gorgeous scenery and decor of our venue.
What were your colors?
Navy, gray, blush, and ivory. With the nautical theme and ocean backdrop, the colors were perfect.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Make sure your wedding is about you and your significant other. So many people will try to push their opinions, wants, and desires on you. Usually, this is only because they care, so they mean well, but it can also become overwhelming and cause unnecessary stress. Your wedding is about you, not them!
Ceremony and Reception Venue and Caterer: The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Venue
Photographer: Jenn Guthrie Photography
Florist: Whidden Florist
Cake: Moreno Bakery
DJ: DJ Lady Shay
Invitations: Basic Invite
Dress: Stella York
Bridesmaid Dress Shop and Designer: David’s Bridal – White by Vera Wang
Bride’s Hair and Makeup: Sue Thornsberry and Kathryn Aria (Family of Couple)
Bridal Party Hair: Bleu Salon
Guitarist: Courtney Chappell; Groom and Groomsmen
Suits: Jos. A. Bank