Rilee and Michael's boho Lakeland wedding was set in the idyllic tree-lined streets of the historic downtown district. The summertime soiree incorporated a beautiful blend of bohemian-inspired warm neutrals and soft florals that perfectly paired with the relaxed yet elegant evening.
“The design inspiration for our wedding was simple, clean, and warm neutrals. We chose it because we didn’t want an all-white color scheme and felt the warm neutrals complemented us, our bridal party, and our style best,” the bride shared. “Our colors were a variety of warm neutrals, including terracotta, rust, cream, and pops of mustard. We wanted to choose colors we’d like to see hanging up around our house in the future!”
As the Lakeland bride designed her July celebration, she read Marry Me Tampa Bay's real wedding features to gather style ideas and see past weddings from her venue.
“I used Marry Me Tampa Bay mostly to get inspiration! I loved seeing how other brides in my area put things together, from color schemes to reception seating charts,” the bride explained.
Wanting to celebrate locally, the couple remained in Lakeland to host their 150-guest affair and selected Haus 820's renovated industrial venue space. The private courtyard and bridal suite were especially appealing to Rilee, who wanted to keep the day stress-free and convenient.
“When it came to looking for a wedding venue, our top three priorities were a minimalist, open space, the ability to have food trucks, and being central to our Lakeland friends and family,” the bride revealed. “Haus 820 had everything we needed! The bridal suite was beautiful, and there were plenty of spots for us to take photos with our bridal party and family. The selling point was how easy it was to have our ceremony and reception all in one place!”
As guests walked into the reception, a mirrored statement seating chart guided them to their table. The fresh floral centerpieces featured cream-colored pampas grass and delicate ivory roses accompanied by candlelight.
“One of my favorite things at our wedding was our seating chart. We had it hand-painted onto a large mirror for our guests to look at on the way to finding their seats,” the bride detailed.
Staying true to the minimalist theme of the event, Rilee and Michael skipped the more formal traditions, such as a bouquet and garter toss, and opted for an easygoing evening to celebrate with their family and friends.
“One thing I’m glad we did; we politely asked our guests to refrain from bringing their kids to the wedding. I know this is controversial, but aside from our ring bearer and flower girls (who we knew would only be there for the ceremony anyway), we wanted our wedding to be a time for our adult friends and family to relax, have fun, dance, and celebrate with us,” the bride explained. “This isn’t feasible for everyone, but I’m so glad our guests were all happy to make this work. It was such a fun and carefree evening!”
As Rilee reminisced on all of the special memories from the wedding, the grand finale left the newlyweds feeling magical.
“Our most memorable moment was our last dance and a sparkler exit. Everyone talks about the first dance, but in our opinion, the last dance is where it’s at. Those final moments, in private, knowing all the pressure was finally off and we were about it to start our lives together, were the most fun!” Rilee beamed. “My coordinator emptied the entire venue and facilitated the sparkler exit while we had one last dance with just us, our DJ, and our photographer in the room. It was so much fun, and it was the first time our marriage really sunk in. Immediately following, we ran out through our friends and family surrounded by sparklers, and it was the most magical feeling.”
Michael proposed on a snowy day in the park behind my childhood home. He tricked me by saying we were getting ready for a dinner reservation, but I should have known something was up when my Florida-native boyfriend didn’t grab a coat for our (extremely cold) walk through the park. Best surprise ever!
What was your theme?
The design inspiration for our wedding was simple, clean, and warm neutrals. We chose it because we didn’t want an all-white color scheme and felt the warm neutrals complimented us, our bridal party, and our style best.
What were your colors?
Our colors were a variety of warm neutrals, including terracotta, rust, cream, and pops of mustard. We wanted to choose colors we’d like to see hanging up around our house in the future.
Where did you go on your bachelorette party?
My bridesmaids hosted my bachelorette party in downtown Tampa. It was so much fun being able to walk to different restaurants, bars, and coffee shops for the weekend.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We stayed at Secrets Bahia Mita, near Puerto Vallarta. We chose it because a friend recommended Secrets resorts, and at the time, this was the newest one!
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We live in Lakeland, Florida, and chose to get married here because we wanted friends and family traveling from out of state to experience the city we live in. When it came to looking for a wedding venue, our top three priorities were a minimalist, open space, the ability to have food trucks, and being central to our Lakeland friends and family.
We loved Haus 820, a local venue, and didn’t feel the need to look beyond Lakeland. It had everything we needed! The bridal suite was beautiful, and there were plenty of spots for us to take photos with our bridal party and family. The selling point was how easy it was to have our ceremony and reception all in one place!
Which vendors exceeded your expectations?
We hired three food trucks. Working with them was seriously amazing; they met with us multiple times and helped us narrow down exactly which trucks and which menu items from each truck we wanted. They also handled all of the correspondence with each truck, so instead of us working with three vendors, we only had to work with one (and we still got to eat all of our favorites!). Our photographer really went above and beyond. He did a phenomenal job with our engagement shoot, so we knew the same would be said for our wedding, but he truly listened to what we wanted and even listened to my request for a stop-motion GIF of our bridal party that I really love.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
First and most practically, don’t go into debt for unnecessary things for your wedding. If it’s something you don’t really truly need, ask yourself if you’ll still be happy about paying it off a few months down the road. Second, do whatever you want! Everyone has opinions about weddings, but weddings are meant to be a creative expression of you as a couple, so do whatever is important to you, scrap whatever isn’t, and have the best time. Finally, your wedding is fun, but it doesn’t have to be the best day of your life! The real fun, and the best days, are to come.