Maya and Paul's downtown St. Pete wedding featured a traidtional church ceremony, romantic color palette, and impromptu rooftop firework display in the heart of the waterfront city.
“We chose black, dusty rose, burgundy, and gold because they felt warm and romantic, which helped us create the feeling we were going for,” the bride shared. “We wanted to create an atmosphere that made the feeling of romance and love the center of our celebration.”
The Trinity couple showed off their love at the elegant boutique hotel, The Birchwood. The historic wedding venue brought the couple's classic wedding dream to life with its 1920's vintage glam decor and award-winning rooftop lounge where fireworks lit up the sky.
“We wanted a space that had more than just ‘four padded walls,' the bride We also wanted our venue to have an inside and outside space for our guests and some character, ideally a vintage/classic feel,” Maya explained. “The Birchwood checked all of our boxes! The venue is absolutely gorgeous, but what won us over was the staff and how helpful, kind, responsive, and understanding they were from start to finish. They pulled off this phenomenal night without any hiccups during, arguably, one of the busiest weekends in St. Petersburg (during the Grand Prix). We can’t say enough fabulous things about their service and quality.”
The bride and groom read Marry Me Tampa Bay to research vendors and view pictures for their February celebration and selected multiple wedding pros from our preferred list.
“We used Marry Me Tampa Bay a lot at the beginning of our wedding planning process to look up vendors and look at pictures for inspiration. It was a valuable resource for finding reliable information and quality suggestions. We found our planner through the preferred vendor list at The Birchwood and Marry Me Tampa Bay,” the bride revealed.
To keep the stress off of Maya, her wedding planner took charge of bringing the couple's dream wedding to fruition.
“We hired Breezin' Weddings after being blown away by Jessie,” the bride gushed. “We wanted to find somebody who was trustworthy, personable, and who paid attention to detail. I was, as my now husband liked to call me, a ‘frantic fiancé,' and Jessie immediately made me calmer and more collected. She was the maestro of the night. Jessie instilled a sense of security and reassurance in me, and I just felt like we had somebody we could trust to help us navigate the wedding planning process.”
Showcasing their lives together was a priority for the couple. The bride, a baker's daughter, included a three-tiered simple yet elegant wedding cake with cascading roses as the perfect dessert to sit on top of a gold cake stand. Their 140 guests were treated to more confectionary delights with a traditional Italian cookie table.
“We tried to incorporate our personalities into the wedding by adding little details that were important to us and reflected our lives,” the bride shared. “We had signature drinks named after our dogs, as well as cocktail napkins with their faces on them!”
Maya selected Femme Akoi Beauty Studio to put her natural beauty on display and show off her light green eyes. Her long sleeve lace gown with an open back and soft curls framing her face made her future husband shed tears of joy as he watched his future wife walk down the aisle.
“I wanted a natural makeup look with a messy updo. I started following Femme Akoi on Instagram and saw how consistently beautiful their work was,” the bride beamed. “I knew I wanted to go with them after I started using their photo for “inspo” pics instead of Pinterest.”
Looking back, the bride and groom remember a day filled with love and happiness, from the first dance to the transportation to the impromptu fireworks from a party across the street.
“Our first dance was something we had practiced and worked at for a while. So, dancing in front of our family was a wonderful feeling,” Maya and Paul reminisced. “We rented an older Rolls Royce to take us from the church to the venue for the reception, and it was nice to have about 30-45 minutes alone. We wanted our guests to feel nothing but happiness and joy because we know that is how we feel with each other every day.”
What were your wedding hair and makeup inspiration?
I wanted a natural makeup look with a messy updo. Femme Akoi Beauty Studio was initially recommended by a friend when I first got engaged, so I started following them on Instagram and saw how consistently beautiful their work was.
I knew I wanted to go with them after I started using their photo for “inspo” pics instead of Pinterest.
I was able to surprise Maya for the weekend with a classic Florida-style trip. We were going to go from coast to coast in one day to catch the sunrise and sunset. It has been something that we wanted to do for a while, so adding the proposal is something that I hoped would just take it to another level. It did!
I proposed to her in the morning at sunrise on the East Coast. Then we drove across the state to watch the sunset at our favorite beach, St. Pete Beach.
Fun fact: We made a stop on the way at The Hard Rock, and Maya won a nice amount to start our honeymoon fund!
What did you look for in a wedding planner?
We wanted to find somebody who was trustworthy, personable, and who paid attention to detail. We hired Breezin’ Weddings after being blown away by Jessie after first talking to her on the phone.
I was, as my now husband like to call me, a “frantic fiancé,” and Jessie immediately made me calmer and more collected after we talked. She was the maestro of the night. Jessie instilled a sense of security and reassurance and I just felt like we had somebody we could trust to help us navigate the wedding planning process.
Where did you host your bachelorette party?
We stayed at Margaritaville in Orlando. I wanted to have a low key bachelorette party where we could easily get to restaurants/bars and Disney Springs and Disney.
Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We were able to go to St. Lucia for a nine-day stay at Sandals Grand St. Lucian. We chose St. Lucia because it offered everything from beautiful Caribbean beaches to gorgeous and challenging hikes.
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We wanted a space that had more than just “four padded walls,” as well as served good food and alcohol in-house. We wanted our venue to have an inside and outside space for our guest as well as some character, ideally a vintage/classic feeling to it.
We chose The Birchwood because it checked all of our boxes! The venue is absolutely gorgeous and we heard nothing but fabulous things about their food. What really won us over though was the staff and how helpful, kind, responsive, and understanding they were from start to finish. They pulled off this phenomenal night without any hiccups during, arguably, one of the busiest weekends in St. Petersburg (during the Grand Prix). We can’t say enough fabulous things about their service and their quality.
How did your rentals enhance the ambiance of your wedding?
Outside the Box Event Rentals provided our napkins, plates, silverware, candle votives, water glasses, champagne glasses, and champagne wall. They helped make the aesthetic of our wedding exactly what we were going for!
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
Romantic, classic, and moody. We wanted to create an atmosphere that made the feeling of romance and love the center of our celebration.
Which vendors really exceeded your expectations?
It’s difficult to really isolate them. We were blown away with the collaborative effort from every vendor to make the night run seamlessly. The staff at the Birchwood pulled off this phenomenal night without any hiccups during, arguably, one of the busiest weekends in St. Petersburg (during the Grand Prix). Our wedding planner Jessie from Breezin’ Entertainment was the maestro of the night. Our photographer and videographer blended in perfectly and had great communication both before, during, and after the wedding to ensure everything ran smoothly and all of the moments we wanted captured were captured.
What advice would you give other Tampa Bay couples?
Enjoy it. Enjoy the planning process. It will be stressful, but make it fun. Most of all, make sure that you work together with your partner. Solidify the foundation that is already there to help build you two up. Also, get a wedding planner and don’t skimp on a good photographer.