Molly and Gareth's destination Ybor City wedding combined a neutral palette and clusters of cloud-like baby's breath, hydrangea, and roses. The creamy sand tones perfectly complemented the exposed brick walls of their historic venue, while textural linens and soft seating added romance and whimsy.
“Our theme was very soft and romantic, with a lot of earthy notes. It was textural, ethereal, earthy, and soft. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and picked inspirational photos of things I liked in general (clothes, buildings, flowers, art, etc.) and tried to translate that into an overall vibe,” the bride shared. “I chose very muted tones in grey, beige, blush, and cream! It felt timeless and modern simultaneously.”
The Brooklyn-based couple utilized Marry Me Tampa Bay during the planning process and credits the online resource for finding their venue, ideal for their 90 guests. With roots formerly in Tampa, the bride sought a boutique hotel that offered the convenience of on-site lodging and delicious cuisine while paying homage to the city's vibrant history and culture.
“We used Marry Me Tampa Bay when we began our venue search,” the bride detailed. “I really wanted our venue to be at a hotel so that our traveling guests could have the whole wedding weekend experience there. I also wanted to have good food! Our taste-testing date at Hotel Haya was amazing. The history of the building was really cool, and having grown up in Tampa, it felt neat to have the wedding in an old historic Tampa building.”
The bride and groom thoughtfully planned personalized details to reflect their relationship, personalities, and heritage. From the décor to the music to the stationery pieces, each element was intentional in ways that truly represented them. Classic ivory invitations featuring a raw deckle edge and delicate blush ribbon from A&P Designs set the tone for the modern-meets-minimal celebration.
“Gareth and I wanted everything about our wedding to feel authentic to us, and so when making any choices, whether that was the structure of the ceremony or the tablescapes, we thought about whether it was ‘us,'” Molly revealed. “We both love music and art, so we had an eclectic playlist list, projected old black and white movies on the wall by the dance floor, and commissioned an artist to paint our dogs for the cocktail napkins and save the dates! Gareth is also from Wales, so we had a lot of little touches to honor his home.”
The bride curated a list of favorite songs to set the mood from the ceremony through dinner and then into the reception. The talented professionals at Grant Hemond & Associates understood her vision, creating a custom playlist from start to finish. The wedding DJ also seamlessly guided the couple through the entertainment planning process and served as master of ceremonies during the celebration, effortlessly announcing wedding party introductions, speeches, special dances, and other formalities with style and grace.
“I loved working with Grant Hemond & Associates because I literally gave them a playlist of all of our favorite songs. I marked them ‘must play,' ‘play for dancing,' ‘play when eating,' etc.). The DJ totally got it! He even walked through a list of ‘do not play at any cost' with us!” the bride beamed.
Two special moments stood out to Molly; the anticipation of walking down the aisle for the ceremony, along with the room reveal, when she was able to see the reception space for the first time. Each was filled with intense emotions and opportunities to soak in the present moment and practice gratitude for what was to come.
“We didn’t have a first look, and right before I walked down the aisle when I heard the music come on, I got so nervous and excited, it felt surreal,” the bride reminisced. “We also had a great moment when the event planners took my mom, dad, Gareth, and me into the room to see the reception/dinner all set up. It was a chance for us to see and appreciate all the little details before the guests came. I’m so glad we did that.”
What was your wedding invitation design inspiration?
I absolutely loved the service from A&P Designs and was so happy with how the design turned out!
What were your wedding hair and makeup inspiration?
I don’t wear a ton of makeup, and I wanted to look like myself but fancier on the day of the wedding. For hair, I looked for loose, down styles.
Femme Akoi Beauty Studio did an excellent job! We went with them because they have so many great reviews, and they were truly so great to work with.
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
I really wanted our venue to be at a hotel so that our traveling guests could have the whole wedding weekend experience there. I also wanted to have good food! Our taste-testing date at Hotel Haya was amazing. The history of the building was really cool, and having grown up in Tampa, it felt neat to have the wedding in an old historic Tampa building.
Gareth booked a very nice Spanish restaurant in New York City for Valentine’s Day with the intention of asking me there. However, I read the menu (not knowing his big plans) and told him there was too much meat on the menu and that I wanted to go to a little hole-in-the-wall Korean place in the east village instead. I foiled his plans from the beginning.
He was really sweet, though, and invited my mom and dad to come up. So, he asked me at the little Korean restaurant, and then we walked in the freezing cold to look at dogs at the dog park, and there sat my mom and dad! We all went and celebrated at a pretty rooftop. It was one of the happiest days of my life!
Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We went to Vegas! Gareth had never been, and we planned it as a big fun party honeymoon. However, I found out I was pregnant right before our wedding, so it was a lot of room service, spas, and relaxing, which was just as perfect. Still, I gambled away too much money on the slots!
Where did you host your bachelorette party?
My sisters and three best friends went to Charleston. One of my bridesmaids hosted it at her house, and we basically swam in her pool, drank frosé, went to the beach, and ate a lot of snacks!
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
Our theme was very soft and romantic, with a lot of earthy notes. It was textural, ethereal, earthy, and soft. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest and picked inspirational photos of things I liked in general (clothes, buildings, flowers, art, etc.) and tried to translate that into an overall vibe,
What were your colors?
I chose very muted tones in grey, beige, blush, and cream. It felt timeless and modern simultaneously.
What did you look for in a wedding DJ?
I loved working with Grant Hemond & Associates because I literally gave them a playlist of all of our favorite songs. I marked them ‘must play,' ‘play for dancing,' ‘play when eating,' etc.). The DJ totally got it! He even walked through a list of ‘do not play at any cost' with us!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Make sure that your decisions make sense to you! When I started planning, I just sort of assumed we’d do things this way or that way because that’s what I had seen other people do. But it became so much more fun when I started making more intentional choices based on what felt most authentic to Gareth and me.
For instance, I didn’t want a first look, but it was kind of pre-factored into the photography schedule, so we cut that out, and yes we were nervous, but seeing each other for the first time right before our vows was one of the most monumental moments of my life and I’m so glad we did it that way. I had both my parents walk me down the aisle because I knew I needed both of them up there with me! I chose to opt out of a videographer because photography was really important to me. Make intentional choices because it might save you some regret down the road when certain trends fall out of style.