Michelle and Marc's waterfront Bradenton wedding featured a navy blue color palette and an outdoor, interfaith wedding ceremony under a large Spanish moss tree.
“We chose to have a little getaway ceremony in a quaint coastal town. With the venue being a historic, waterfront bed and breakfast, it matched all of our visions of what we imagined our wedding day to be like,” the bride gushed.
To make sure his soon-to-be bride enjoyed the wedding planning process, the groom insisted the pair hire a Bradenton wedding planner.
“Marc realized what a huge undertaking planning a wedding is, and he did not want me to get overwhelmed,” Michelle explained. “We could not have had the wedding we did, without the help of Special Moments. We had a vision of what we wanted our wedding to look like and run like, and they far exceeded our greatest expectations. Special Moments did everything: the setup/take down, decorations, signs, draping and of course pre-wedding day and ‘day of' coordination with all of our vendors. Tammy and her staff are experts at what they do, and if left in their hands, your wedding day be smooth sailing.
The St. Petersburg bride and groom focused heavily on the music to create a unique guest experience, with a special performance from an American Idol contestant.
“We wanted our wedding to be a joyous occasion and relaxing and fun for everyone. We succeeded with this by having a live guitarist, Connor Zwetsch, at the ceremony and cocktail hour,” Michelle shared. “During the reception, we had a large dance floor encouraging guests to participate. DJ Jody [of Grant Hemond & Associates] was fantastic! We requested a country line dance song, but couldn't remember all the steps, so DJ Jody got on the dance floor with us and led the crowd! He brought our reception to life, without being over the top.”
With an Italian honeymoon on the books, Michelle and Marc chose an Italian-themed meal, with a twist.
“I think it is nice to have things at your wedding that show who you are as a couple. For us, it was the food, which included alfredo pasta, chicken marsala, a beef cutting station and cannoli bar with six different filling flavors,” the bride shared. “We both love sushi, therefore we had a sushi rolling station with a nice ice sculpture in the middle of the table. Delectable's Catering was excellent, very professional and attentive. The display of food was absolutely beautifully done.”
Looking back, one the couple's most moments included celebrating with their family.
“Other than seeing each other for the first time walking down aisle, and saying ‘I do,' my husband and I agree the moment we will treasure forever was the opportunity to have the grandparents, who are still with us, part of our wedding party to celebrate and share that very special day with us,” the bride reminisced.
What was your flower and decor inspiration and what did you look for in a florist?
I loved the look of all-white flowers when I looked at inspirational photos and felt it was romantic. I decided to have a combination of flowers within the arrangements and bouquets.
We initially hired Iza's Flowers due to her reputation from our wedding planner, and once we sat down for a meeting with her, we realized she was perfect. She was very helpful and accommodating and took our vision and ran with it. Iza had beautiful vases and candlesticks that she added to our table arrangements to make our vision come to life. She knew which flowers were in season and which would go well together. We used garden roses, hydrangea, baby's breath and peonies. In November, peonies are very hard to get, and she educated us that garden roses are very similar in appearance and much less expensive. The day of the wedding, Iza surprised me with shipped peonies from Israel for my bridal bouquet. It brought tears to my eyes when she delivered my flowers the day of the wedding!
Why did you hire a wedding planner and what did you look for in one?
Marc hired our wedding planner. He realized what a huge undertaking planning a wedding is, and he did not want me to get overwhelmed and not enjoy the wedding planning process. We were looking for someone who could help us finalize all of the many details, as well as help us find the rest of our vendors.
We could not have had the wedding we did, without the help of Special Moments. Initially we hired them for the plethora of décor they have in their warehouse, but we quickly realized what other great services they provided. The owner, Tammy, was very helpful with getting the last, and very important vendors. We had a vision of what we wanted our wedding to look like and run like, and they far exceeded our greatest expectations. Special Moments did everything: the setup/take down, decorations, signs, draping and of course pre-wedding day and “day of” coordination with all of our vendors. Tammy and her staff are experts at what they do, and if left in their hands, your wedding day be smooth sailing.
What was your bridesmaid dress inspiration and what did you look for in a dress shop?
I wanted dresses that were formal, dark navy blue and different styles.
I picked Bella Bridesmaids because of the quality material and dress selection, reasonable prices and convenience for my bridesmaids. My bridesmaids were from all across the country, and it made it easy for all of them to pick out their style online, put in their sizes and have the dresses shipped directly to them.
On Valentine's Day, Marc surprised me with a weekend getaway to Nashville, Tennessee. He thoughtfully planned every detail of the weekend. We stayed at the historic Hermitage Hotel in Downtown Nashville. During a wonderful four-course meal at Merchant's, Marc was so nervous that he did not eat any of the dinner, so I ate his too. After dinner, we caught a cab and I told the driver to head to a speakeasy bar that had been suggested to go to by the locals. Marc intervened immediately and told the driver to take us to the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge. I said, “We're not going on a bridge! It's freezing and raining out!”
Marc told me that he heard it was good luck to walk to the top of the bridge and kiss at the lookout point. He explained that this year has a lot of new and exciting opportunities, and we need good luck. I immediately knew this was the moment I had been waiting for my whole life. Marc proposed at the top of the bridge in a beautiful circle of flowers and candles arranged by my sister, while my brother-in-law, who was hiding on the other side of the bridge, captured the treasured moment.
How would you describe your theme?
I wouldn't say our wedding had a theme, but we definitely had a color scheme in mind that ended up complementing the riverside and historic allure of the venue.
What were your colors?
My favorite colors are navy and gold, but I did not want our wedding to turn into a nautical theme. I feel that the colors brought more beauty into the already picturesque bed and breakfast. Everything from the tablecloths to bridesmaid dresses and groomsmen ties was a dark, rich navy blue. The table arrangements and accents were antique gold, and all our flowers were ivory white.
What was your menu inspiration and what did you look for in a caterer?
I think it is nice to have things at your wedding that show who you are as a couple. For us, it was the food; we wanted our food to reflect us. Marc and I went to Italy on our honeymoon, and therefore wanted to have Italian-themed meal during our reception, including alfredo pasta, chicken marsala, a beef cutting station and cannoli bar with six different filling flavors. We both love sushi, so we had a sushi rolling station with a nice ice sculpture in the middle of the table.
We went for a tasting at Delectables Catering and were very impressed with the quality of food. The catering and bartending staff were excellent, very professional and attentive. The display of food was absolutely beautifully done.
What did you look for in a DJ?
We wanted a DJ who was fun, but not cheesy.
Grant Hemond & Associates is very professional and well known in the area. We had a few friends who used their services for their wedding and were pleased. DJ Jody was fantastic! We requested a country line dance song, but couldn't remember all the steps, so DJ Jody got on the dance floor with us and led the crowd! He brought our reception to life, without being over the top. He was also very professional about sticking to our “do's and don'ts.”
What advice would you give to other Bradenton brides?
Most importantly, have fun! Don't be afraid to incorporate you and your groom's personalities into your wedding.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: Palmetto Riverside Bed and Breakfast
Photographer: K&K Photography
Videographer: Lexoria Wedding Films
Planner: Special Moments *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Florist: Iza's Flowers
Caterer: Delectable's Catering *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Linen Rentals: Connie Duglin Linens
Tent Rentals: U.S. Tent Rentals
Furniture Rentals: Signature Event Rentals
Cake: Sugar Cubed Pastry Lab
DJ: Grant Hemond & Associates – Jody Bower *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Officiant: Sensational Ceremonies
Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas
Signage: Tampa Calligraphy
Transportation: Tampa Metro
Dress: CC's Boutique
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Hair & Makeup: Femme Akoi