Christiana and Charley's destination Tampa wedding incorporated a festive, vintage theme as nod to the groom's hometown.
“We decided to have our wedding in Tampa because Charley's entire family has lived in the Tampa area since the 1870's,” the bride shared. “We ended up channeling ‘old Tampa' with orange trees and cigar boxes as centerpieces.”
Although the couple live in Cleveland, Ohio, where the groom is a long snapper for the Cleveland Browns, they hope to return to the Tampa Bay area.
“When Charley is finished playing football, we intend to settle down in Tampa,” Christiana added.
Prior to the groom proposing, the bride already had her eye on a downtown Tampa wedding ceremony location.
“Before Charley and I had been engaged, I had told him as we passed Sacred Heart Catholic Church that was where we were getting married. It was my only must have,” the bride shared.
Although the pair's wedding ceremony took place indoors, the weather still made an impression on their guests.
“There was a huge storm that day, including 25 mph winds, and during the ceremony, while my uncle Kevin was reading the prayers of the faithful, he said ‘Lord hear our prayer,' and thunder and lighting crashed down on the church causing everyone to burst out laughing,” the bride shared.
The couple chose a downtown Tampa wedding reception venue just a few steps away from their iconic church.
“Food and drinks were the most important elements for us. Our family and friends love to eat and drink, and we wanted to make sure that was quality,” the bride explained. “As soon as we walked into the Floridan Palace, we knew that it was the perfect place. It is overwhelmingly stunning and very much fit both of our personalities. The food was excellent, and the portion sizes were almost too big, but no one's complaining about too much steak and lobster!”
To complement her traditional wedding, the bride chose a neutral color palette.
“I chose a color that was fitting for April and that the bridal party would all appreciate wearing,” Christiana explained. “My bridesmaids wore variations of blush tone floor length dresses and the groomsmen wore grey suits with different patterned blush bow ties.
Looking back, the bride's most cherished memory was seeing her groom during the ceremony.
“My most memorable moment was finally connecting with Charley at the alter after what felt like a lifetime of waiting that morning. Everything was perfect from that moment on,” Christiana reminisced.
What was your wedding stationery and invitation inspiration?
I went in with an open mind and went with what felt right. I love simplicity and tradition.
A&P Designs do amazing work! My first meeting with them was where the orange theme came about. Our Save-the-Dates had watercolor oranges on them.
What did you look for in a wedding florist?
I was looking for someone who could walk me through all the tedious details and help me figure out what I actually wanted.
Andrea of Andrea Layne Floral Design was amazing, and the proposal that she sent us was so detailed with pictures of inspiration and actual flowers that would be used, so we could somewhat see what we were committing to. She was so personable and helpful that we had to book her.
What were your colors?
I chose a color that was fitting for April and that the bridal party would all appreciate wearing. My bridesmaids wore variations of blush tone floor length dresses and the groomsmen wore grey suits with different patterned blush bow ties.
My husband Charley was born and raised in Tampa, and I am am from Boca Raton. On one of our many trips from Tampa to Boca, he took me on an unexpected detour to Bok Tower, where he had previously been with his mom to scope out the picture perfect spot to purpose. Despite the rain, which at the time I had no idea why he was so worried about it, he proposed with just the two of us and a photographer he had hired, in front of the beautiful garden background. It was so intimate and perfect.
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
Food and drinks were the most important elements for us. Our family and friends love to eat and drink, and we wanted to make sure that was quality.
As soon as we walked into the Floridan Palace, we knew that it was the perfect place. It is overwhelmingly stunning and very much fit both of our personalities. The attention to detail in the remodel of the building was perfect. The wedding day service was great. The food was excellent, and the portion sizes were almost too big, but no one's complaining about too much steak and lobster! They handed out shots for toasts, and there was never a wait.
How would you describe your theme?
We did not go into planning with a theme, but ended up channeling “old Tampa” with orange trees and cigar boxes as centerpieces.
What did you look for in a wedding DJ?
We wanted someone who was going to get everyone on the dance floor. Mission accomplished!
Our wedding planner had suggested Grant Hemond & Associated and specifically Cory. Cory nailed it! People were non-stop dancing and all the formalities were fluid and effort. Everyone at our wedding has said that it was the most fun wedding they have attended, and I fully believe Cory had a huge part in that.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Don't wait until the last minute and keep organized. It's a lot of work and would absolutely recommend a wedding planner for your sanity!
Ceremony Venue: Sacred Heart Catholic Church
Reception Venue: The Floridan Palace *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Venue
Photographer: Migrant Collective Weddings
Videographer: Randall Productions
Planner: Simply Divine Events
Florist: Andrea Layne Floral Designs
Caterer: The Floridan Palace
DJ: Grant Hemond & Associates – Cory Barron *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Officiant: Deacon Greg Lambert
Invitations: A&P Designs *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Transportation: Tampa Wedding Cars
Dress: Allure Romance
Hair & Makeup: Style Hair and Makeup