Lauren and Chris' South Tampa wedding featured an autumn-inspired color palette, lush florals, custom details, and a showstopping, sparkler-filled first dance for their elegant October celebration.
“The overfall feel was romantic, with warm neutrals, blush, and berry tones throughout. We went with a fall date, so I built from there. I wanted the colors to be appropriate for our date but not be over the top fall colors, so that led me to the darker tones. It was very much built around color for me,” the bride explained. “I fell in love with the darker purples and raspberry colors, but I also wanted to have a colorful twist and balance the darker colors with light neutral tones: blushes, champagne, and golds. I thought this color palette would also look good with the blues hues of our venue.”
The Tampa bride viewed Marry Me Tampa Bay's real wedding features from her venue to help select her color profile.
“Marry Me Tampa Bay has these amazing archives of past weddings at your venue where you can look at other real weddings and find some great inspiration. I looked at other weddings at the Orlo House to see what had been done there in the past before I chose my colors,” Lauren shared.
Even though she has years of planning experience, the bride, who is also a seasoned wedding planner with Coastal Coordinating, knew the importance of hiring another experienced planner to manage her wedding day and chose her co-worker to handle all of the logistics.
“Hiring a wedding planner was a big challenge for me since I am a planner myself, and I know the importance of having a great wedding coordinator. I wanted to work with someone that I knew and trusted, and I know and love my team so much,” the bride beamed. “I chose a planner that I had worked with and gotten to know for years. Jess from Coastal Coordinating is so talented and such an incredible planner. It always had to be her.”
Having a meaningful ceremony was important to the couple who customized their nuptials with a family member as the officiant and shared personal vows.
“We felt strongly about our ceremony; we wanted it to be short, sweet, and fun. We wanted it to be a celebration of our love, but for those that know us, we love to laugh. We chose our aunt to marry us because she knew us and could share a little bit about our love story, and she would incorporate a few jokes in there. We chose to write our own vows so we could make our own promises to each other for our life together,” Lauren detailed.
To pay tribute to a special member of the bridal party, the couple honored the memory of a cherished friend during the ceremony.
“We experienced the loss of one of my best friends and bridesmaids right before the wedding. It was very important to me that we incorporated her into our special day as much as possible,” Lauren revealed. “I had really wanted her to stand up there with me, so we made her a memorial chair during our ceremony where she would have been. We included her photo and her bouquet as a memorial and tribute to her.”
To add a wow factor to the day, Lauren incorporated decor enhancements from Kate Ryan Event Rentals and cold sparklers from Spark Wedding Events created a wow-worthy moment during the first dance, while Grant Hemond & Associates kept guests on the dance floor until the epic Harry Potter-inspired sendoff at the end of the night.
“Their pipe and drape from Kate Ryan Event Rentals completely transformed the room, and their gold Chiavari chairs were a really nice splash of gold. All of their rentals were in pristine condition, and their team was so fast and nice to work with. Everything they have in their catalog is absolutely gorgeous,” the bride gushed.
After planning many weddings professionally, the bride shared that the best weddings are those that include meaningful details from the couple.
“Our personal touches included our pet signature drinks, personalized seating chart, welcome sign with custom calligraphy, gelato cart, sparklers during our first dance, and our Harry Potter wand exit,” Lauren detailed. “We wanted our wedding to be focused on the love between us, but also on the love we share for our families and friends. We wanted it to feel like a big family celebration. We included our family's wedding photos to celebrate their love and relationships as well. One of my favorite keepsakes is our polaroid photo guest book with everyone's photos and sweet messages.”
As the bride looked back on all of the magic of her wedding day, it was the quintessential moment right before she met her groom at the end of the aisle that created the most memorable moment.
“After getting married, I try to tell all of my couples that the day will rush by because it really does. I will never forget the moment right before walking down the aisle; it was such a mixture of excitement, happiness, and nervousness. Seeing your partner waiting for you at the end of the aisle, overcome with emotions and ready to spend their life with you, that's a moment that will stick with you forever,” the bride reminisced. “I also loved our first dance. It may sound cheesy, but it really felt like everyone else faded away and that it was just us at that moment. We had cold sparklers and seeing those in the background during that moment really felt like a movie. One of my favorite moments was our private dance alone at the end of the night. It really sunk in that we had gotten married and that we had the best day ever. The whole day felt like a dream.”
Chris took me back to where we had our first date, in the town where we met. He had said that we'd be meeting his brother for dinner, who still lived there at the time, so I thought nothing of it. We walked through the downtown area, stopped in front of a building where we had shared a special moment during our first date, and Chris dropped to one knee. I couldn't believe it but said yes immediately, and then all of our friends and family popped out of their hiding places. It was so special!
Where did you host your bachelorette party?
I ended up doing my bachelorette in Orlando because it was a great meeting spot for all of my friends, and there were a lot of fun things to do there. It was also after COVID hit, so we wanted to keep things more low key. We had a blast!
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
The overfall feel was romantic, with warm neutrals, blush, and berry tones throughout. We went with a fall date, so I built from there. I wanted the colors to be appropriate for our date but not be over the top fall colors, so that led me to the darker tones. It was very much built around color for me.
I fell in love with the darker purples and raspberry colors, but I also wanted to have a colorful twist and balance the darker colors with light neutral tones: blushes, champagne, and golds. I thought this color palette would also look good with the blues hues of our venue.
What did you look for in a wedding planner?
Hiring a wedding planner was a big challenge for me since I am a planner myself, and I know the importance of having a great wedding coordinator. I wanted to work with someone that I knew and trusted, and I know and love my team so much.
I chose a planner that I had worked with and gotten to know for years. Jess from Coastal Coordinating is so talented and such an incredible planner. It always had to be her.”
Which vendors really exceeded your expectations and how?
I really felt like our vendors went above and beyond to make our day special. Shelby with the Orlo was incredible and answered our every question. Heidi and her team at 4 Rivers went above and beyond to make sure their food service and table setup were impeccable, and their food was absolutely delicious. Eric Harding with Grant Hemond & Associates played the best music and really got everyone out on the dance floor. Diana with Petals, Presents, and Parties was my absolute flower hero. She took my visions and turned them into something even better than I imagined. They were the wedding flowers of my dreams. She went the extra mile with the flowers and completely transformed our arch into a dream garden. Sarina Durden literally transformed me and my friends with her hair and makeup. She is so talented. I can't say enough about our incredible vendor team.
How did your decor rentals enhance the ambiance of your wedding?
We rented our pipe and drape, tables, and chairs from Kate Ryan Event Rentals. Everything they have in their catalog is absolutely gorgeous.
Their pipe and drape completely transformed the room, and their gold Chiavari chairs were a really nice splash of gold. All of their rentals were in pristine condition, and their team was so fast and nice to work with.
What did you look for in a wedding DJ?
When looking for a wedding DJ, it is so important that you book a qualified and well-rated DJ. Grant Hemond & Associates has the best ratings in Tampa. I work with their team almost every weekend and can't say enough amazing things about them.
I have gotten to know their DJs very well, especially one in particular. I had worked with Eric Harding with Grant Hemond at several weddings in the past. I always loved his music and his vibe. I thought he was so talented, kind, and polite. Eric definitely felt like the best fit for us, and as predicted, he did amazing!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
I would say as a planner, a common theme with my couples, is that when planning a wedding, there are a lot of people that want to weigh in with their opinions. I do think it's wise to plan a wedding that all of your guests will enjoy and to be budget-conscious, but the most important aspect of this day is that they are in love and getting married. It's one very special day where their relationship and love are being celebrated. I would advise those couples to make wedding decisions that make them happy and make sure that they enjoy that day. Make sure that at the end of the day, you will cherish and remember that day for the rest of your life. That is what is most important.