Alansen and Brandon's Love Story:
Brandon and I met in June 2011 on the dating website Plenty of Fish. Our first date was drinks at Fly Bar after work and was very casual. We didn’t really experience a romantic connection until about our third date, which is when we were much more relaxed and laughed at each other all night.
That same August was our first trip out of town together. We flew to Chicago for the Sade concert, a once in a lifetime experience for us both, and it was the best week of my life. We had so much fun and even though we were only two months in our relationship, I knew then, that I was in love.
Brandon was and still is like a dream come true. He is the sweetest guy a girl can have. He is so attentive of what I need and goes above and beyond to make me happy.
After a year in our relationship, Brandon had to relocate to Orlando for his job. We commuted back and forth to visit each other, until he asked me to move in. I was hesitant because the job I loved was in Tampa. However, I moved and commuted for a year to work from Orlando.
I was not really sure if marriage was on his mind, but it was definitely on mine. I just wanted to be patient, because I knew it would happen soon.
Beyonce released presale tickets to her concert in July, and on Valentine's Day and Brandon surprised me with tickets. A four-month wait until the concert made me so anxious! We drove to Miami to see Beyonce on a Wednesday, and we stopped at the beach in the mid-afternoon. I was really confused as to why he wanted to go to the beach so early, but we went and walked along the shoreline. It was then he started to talk about our relationship and why he loved me so much. Suddenly, he went down on one knee and the ring came out. Still to this day, I wish I could remember what he actually said, but I was so happy and couldn’t ask for anything more. Brandon made me the happiest women in the world.
Since St. Pete is Alansen's hometown and she and Brandon met in Tampa, the couple chose to marry in Tampa Bay.
They tied the knot with a Catholic ceremony, representing the groom's upbringing, then held a more eclectic wedding reception representing the bride's taste.
“Having a traditional Catholic ceremony was important to Brandon and his family, while I had exactly what I wanted in the reception,” Alansen explained. “It turns out that having the Catholic ceremony meant so much to both Brandon and myself, as I feel we have set the foundation to a beautiful and lasting marriage.”
The bride choose a midsummer night's dream theme for her downtown St. Pete wedding.
“I have always dreamt of having an elegant, formal night wedding. I was able to really get creative with the reception and it was more than I could have expected,” Alansen beamed. “I wanted shimmering candles and a variety of ivory flowers dripping with pearls everywhere. I wanted the night to glow creating an ambiance of romance, yet a place to celebrate and have a great time.”
To set the mood for her summer wedding, the bride chose downtown St. Pete wedding venue NOVA 535.
“Having our reception at NOVA 535 was the best decision. It is beautiful!” Alansen gushed. “The brick walls and eclectic art work really added something special to the night. The team at NOVA 535 was so nice and even gave us ideas that really turned out great, like using three different uplighting colors throughout the night, which really created a unique touch and gorgeous photos.”
Alansen and Brandon added personal touches to their navy blue, ivory and champagne wedding with a signature drink,”Mrs. Mondesir” and forgoing the traditional plated dinner.
“It was important to us not to have typical wedding food, so having endless passed and stationary hor d'oeuvres all night for our guests was a hit. They loved being able to try so many different foods, all having Caribbean inspiration,” the bride explained.
Looking back, one of Alansen's most memorable moments was transitioning from the wedding ceremony to the celebration.
“On the party bus on the way to the reception, we were all laughing, drinking champagne and just enjoying the celebration.The entire bridal party was so happy,” the bride reminisced. “That was also the first time I really got to hug and kiss Brandon!”
“Having a traditional Catholic ceremony was important to Brandon and his family. It meant so much to both Brandon and myself, as I feel we have set the foundation to a beautiful and lasting marriage.” – The Bride
“Having our reception at NOVA 535 was the best decision. It is beautiful! The brick walls and eclectic art work really added something special to the night. The team at NOVA 535 was so nice and even gave us ideas that really turned out great, like using three different uplighting colors throughout the night, which really created a unique touch and gorgeous photos.” – The Bride
“We had family and friends travel from all over the country and Canada for our wedding and having our family and friends there with us to celebrate our special day meant the world to Brandon and I.” – The Bride
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Take your time planning to make sure you’re able to have everything you’ve always wanted.
However, don’t lose sight of what’s really important, you and your husband to be.
Enjoy being engaged planning your wedding because the time goes so fast. On your wedding day, don’t stress out, if it didn’t happen, there is nothing you can do. No one will notice so just have fun!
St. Petersburg Wedding Ceremony Venue: St. Mary Our Lady of Grace
St. Petersburg Wedding Reception Venue: NOVA 535 Unique Event Space *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Vendor
St. Petersburg Wedding Photographer: 28Pixels Photography
St. Petersburg Wedding Planner: Burkle Events
St. Petersburg Wedding Florist: Iza’s Flowers
St. Petersburg Wedding Caterer: Puff N’ Stuff
St. Petersburg Wedding Cake: Cakes By Samira
St. Petersburg Wedding Ceremony Music: Bella Musica
St. Petersburg Wedding Limo: Crown Royal Limousine
St. Petersburg Wedding Dress: Minerva’s Bridal (Orlando)
St. Petersburg Bridesmaid Dresses: Brides by Demetrios
St. Petersburg Groomsmen Suits: Jos. A Bank
St. Petersburg Wedding Hair: Retro Salon Studios – Kaci Clark
We are proud to have NOVA 535 as a Marry Me Tampa Bay sponsor!