Angie and Brian's downtown St. Pete wedding was the perfect combination of their fun-loving personalities and dedication to each other in one joyful evening. To stay true to their light-hearted love story, the University of South Florida alums surprised each other with a nerf gun battle during the first look portraits.
“My husband and I truly believe that laughter is key to a happy relationship; we’re both kind of kids at heart,” the bride gushed. “After we got engaged I told Brian just because we are getting married doesn’t mean we have to be adults. So, on the morning of our wedding, I surprised Brian with nerf guns which we got to have some fun with during our first look together.”
Wanting to get married in the city where their love story blossomed, and in a central location for in-state guests, the couple chose downtown St. Pete.
“We love St. Petersburg. The heart and soul of the city are so unique and much of our relationship was cultivated spending time downtown on Central Ave, from our game nights at Park & Rec to our favorite restaurants Red Mesa and Acropolis,” the bride beamed.
Searching for venue recommendations and inspiration, Angie and Brian turned to Marry Me Tampa Bay for wedding planning advice.
“I found both my venue and caterer on Marry Me Tampa Bay. Since I didn’t have a wedding planner, Marry Me Tampa Bay was a great resource to find vendors, reviews, and photographs,” Angie shared.
Searching for a downtown St. Pete wedding venue versatile enough to match both of their contrasting styles, the St. Pete chose NOVA 535 for its elegant and unique touches.
“The reason we fell in love with NOVA 535 was that the vibe of the venue was both a little rustic and also industrial, which fit both of our styles. With the gorgeous brick walls, iron staircases, and the string light garden, there was not a lot that needed to be done to the venue decor-wise,” Angie exclaimed. “We also really liked that the venue did the liquor, DJ, security, set up/clean up, and had a day of coordinator. Incorporating all those things into one vendor made the wedding planning process much easier.”
Desiring a wedding photographer who made her feel comfortable in front of the camera, the bride hired Kéra Photography for her bright and airy style and sweet demeanor.
“Hiring Kéra was the best choice I made as far as my wedding vendors go. I spoke with several photographers while trying to make my decision. After my phone conversation with Kéra, I immediately knew I wanted to choose her,” Angie gushed. “She has such a bubbly personality and instantly made me feel comfortable; she is the kind of person you just want to be friends with! Not to mention her photography is amazing. Her photos are bright and she manages to capture such joy and love. There isn’t a single wedding photo I don’t like.”
To ensure their guests had a delicious meal that left them satisfied, Brian worked with Olympia Catering to customize their dream dinner menu.
“My husband was very adamant that he wanted the reception to have good food. We have been to many weddings with cold food, not enough food, and/or bland food. He loved how Olympia Catering was so accommodating with allowing us to have multiple tastings until we had a menu we were very happy with. From the moment we reached out to Olympia, Sherry was exceptionally helpful and went above and beyond for us. The food turned out amazing (and hot!). We had so many compliments on the caterer.”
Reminiscing on their wedding day, Angie and Brian shared that the personal touches during their ceremony that brought them the most joy.
“The most memorable moment was the ceremony itself. Our officiant was a family member who wrote a customized ceremony, and my husband and I had written personal vows,” the bride shared. “The ceremony was filled with so much love and a couple of humorous moments, like when I almost put my husband’s ring on the wrong finger, that it perfectly represented us as a couple.”
Brian and I met at the University of South Florida in 2011, however, we did not begin dating until a few years after graduation. USF has played a big role in our lives and our relationship as we are actively engaged in the alumni association and religiously attend football games. We attended the Bowl game in Birmingham, Alabama in December of 2017. Brian lured me to campus under the guise that he wanted to go to the bookstore to buy new fan gear for the football game. While walking on campus, he starting reminiscing on our college days and where life has taken us since then. After walking under a gazebo of flowers, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was so special to have that moment take place at a spot so special to both of us and to our relationship.
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
It was important for the venue to incorporate both mine and my husband’s styles. I tend to lean toward the more rustic side, and he is more modern than I am. We also wanted a space that would be hassle-free as possible and that had a layout that was functional and comfortable for our guests since we were going to have our ceremony and reception in the same location.
I want to learn more about weddings and events at NOVA 535.
The reason we fell in love with NOVA 535 was because we thought the vibe of the venue was both a little rustic and also industrial, which fit both of our styles. With the gorgeous brick walls, iron staircases, and the string light garden, there was not a lot that needed to be done to the venue decor-wise. We also really liked that the venue did the liquor, DJ, security, set up/clean up, and had a day of coordinator. Incorporating all those things into one vendor made the wedding planning process much easier.
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
My biggest priority was finding someone whose photography style was bright. I like photographs with a lot of natural light and minimal shadows. It was also extremely important for me to find someone who we felt comfortable around. The photographer would be with us the entire day of the wedding and would capture some very intimate moments, so it was important that we could be ourselves and enjoy spending time with this person.
I want to learn more about Kéra Photography
Hiring Kéra of Kéra Photography was the best choice I made as far as my wedding vendors go. I spoke with several photographers while trying to make my decision. My phone after my phone conversation with Kéra I immediately knew I wanted to choose her. She has such a bubbly personality and instantly made me feel comfortable. She is the kind of person you just want to be friends with! Not to mention her photography is amazing. Her photos are bright and she manages to capture such joy and love. There isn’t a single wedding photo I don’t like.
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
I wanted our wedding to have a simple and timeless feel. I chose to have minimal decor and really focus on enhancing the beauty of the venue with flowers.
What were your colors?
I knew I didn’t want a lot of color in the wedding decor, so I decided to choose only one color to weave throughout the wedding. I wanted the color to be special to us as a couple, so I chose green. Green is one of our University’s colors, and I thought it would look elegant and timeless when incorporated with white and a little touch of gold.
What was your wedding menu inspiration?
We didn’t have a specific type of menu in mind, we just knew we wanted good food that would appeal to a large variety of people.
I want to learn more about weddings and events at NOVA 535.
Olympia Catering has so many options and their buffet-style menu allowed us to create a customized dinner that we felt would make all our guests happy. We chose Olympia because their food tasted amazing and after speaking with the staff we knew they would be professional and provide excellent service. From the moment we reached out to Olympia, Sherry was exceptionally helpful and went above and beyond for us. They allowed us to have multiple tasting sessions until we were able to narrow down a menu selection we loved, and they were even able (for no additional charge) to handle a couple of food restrictions from our guests. We loved them so much, we even ordered our wedding cake through them. I highly recommend Olympia!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
My biggest advice is to choose one or two items that are important to you and invest in those. There is so much you can do for a wedding, and to be honest, most people probably won’t even remember most of it. Also, hire a wedding planner! I did all the planning myself in order to save money and it is probably the one thing I regret about wedding planning. I could have saved so much stress and anxiety if I had assistance.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: NOVA 535 *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Venue
Photographer: Kéra Photography *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Florist: Flower Child Florist
Caterer and Cake: Olympia Catering *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
DJ: DJ Jaey
Transportation: Jolly Trolley
Dress Shop and Designer: The White Magnolia – Tara Keely
Bridesmaid Dresses: Kennedy Blue
Hair & Makeup: Destiny and Light Hair & Makeup Group *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro