Getting married the day before the most romantic holiday of the year made Kim and Alan's St. Petersburg wedding even more special.
“Valentine's Day was our first actual date together eight years ago. Alan said he wouldn't ever forget our anniversary, so I agreed,” the bride shared.
The Tampa couple's outdoor, nighttime wedding ceremony was filled with candles, pink uplighting and a rose petal lined aisle.
“The ceremony gave everyone an idea of who we are as a couple, and we have been complimented over and over on how romantic and special it was from friends and family who attended,” Kim gushed.
To provide a modern atmosphere for their downtown St. Pete wedding, the bride and groom chose NOVA 535.
“We wanted something different from some of the weddings we have been to and somewhere we could do the ceremony and reception at,” Kim explained. “We loved the whole space at NOVA 535 and how well it lent itself to our wedding day timeline.”
Kim and Alan searched for a St. Petersburg wedding photographer who made them feel comfortable in front of the camera.
“Caroline & Evan Photography made such a great first impression; they took me to an ice cream/coffee shop! They really took the time to get to know us, not as clients, but as a couple (and made us laugh a lot),” the bride shared. “My husband and I were beyond thrilled with our engagement shoot to our wedding day. They deliver perfect photos extremely quick and captured so many moments that we will treasure forever.”
Looking back, one of the bride's most cherished memories came at the end of the night.
“Besides saying I do after eight years together, the most memorable part for us was our rickshaw ride from the reception back to the hotel. We had a chance to enjoy the beautiful weather and reminisce on what just happened. People honked and shouted their congrats which was also super sweet,” Kim shared.
I am a huge Harry Potter fan, so Alan arranged a trip for us to the new theme park at Universal Studios in Orlando. It was our 7-year anniversary, and he proposed right outside of the train station by a huge fountain. It couldn't have been more perfect for us.
What did you look for in a hair and makeup artist?
I knew I needed someone who understood who I was. I'm not a girl who wakes up every morning and spends hours in front of a mirror perfecting contour or applying five layers of stuff to my face. It was important to me that I still looked like myself. I wanted to look like the best version of myself that I could, while still looking like the girl my husband met in the gym at 6 a.m. eight years ago.
Multiple friends recommended Michele Renee The Studio, and they had the best value. All of my bridesmaids and I looked beautiful on the wedding day. They did a great job creating all the hairstyles my bridesmaids requested and everything stayed all night! I changed my look a little after my trial and my stylist did a great job tweaking it to be perfect!
What was your inspiration for the bridesmaid dresses?
I wanted my bridesmaids to get something they were comfortable in and felt beautiful in. I also liked them being different because you got a sense of who they were individually. My friends are amazing and are all different people with different body types and not everyone would look good in a single style of dress. I'm happy with the dresses they chose and couldn't be happier with how everyone looked together.
I can't say enough good things about the girls at Bella Bridesmaids. They were the sweetest people and a dream to work with. I chose them because they have over 20 different designers and the biggest selection of dresses in one place. They also offered a group discount since I had eight bridesmaids! I loved them so much, I actually ordered my rehearsal dinner dress from them as well.
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
We loved the idea of a husband and wife team. Caroline & Evan Photography made such a great first impression; they took me to an ice cream/coffee shop!
I hired Caroline and Evan because they made me feel comfortable, that was the most important thing for us. We started with an engagement shoot, and they made us feel so comfortable from the start. They really took the time to get to know us, not as clients, but as a couple (and made us laugh a lot). The wedding day photos came out perfect, and they captured so many moments that we will treasure forever.
My husband and I were beyond thrilled with our engagement shoot to our wedding day. They deliver perfect photos extremely quick (we got all of our wedding photos in less than two weeks) and are two of the sweetest people ever. They kept Alan and I laughing and got some photos that I couldn't have dreamed for.
What did you look for in a wedding caterer?
Our food was really a great representation of us as a couple. We had four food stations with our favorite things; a sushi station, pasta station, a slider bar and the best part a bacon bar! We also had our catering team copy cat the Cheesecake Factory's fried mac and cheese hors d'oeuvre because it's our favorite.
Our catering team at Delectables Fine Catering hit a home run. At most of the weddings we have been to, the food left something to be desired. We wanted guests to have great food and Delectables did a phenomenal job. Guests and vendors at the wedding still talk about the bacon bar!
What did you look for in a wedding DJ?
It was important that our DJ understood that we wanted more modern day, current music than your typical wedding. Our friends are dancers, and we wanted the dance floor packed all night!
Grant Hemond & Associates had the best value and the DJ understood what we were looking for. He also very graciously accepted my *longer than normal* “do not play” list!
How would you describe your theme?
Since our wedding was the night before Valentine's Day, we went with a romantic/modern theme.
What were your colors?
Rose gold, light pinks and accents of navy. Our wedding bands are both rose gold, and I liked it because it was different from your typical red and black Valentine's Day theme.
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We wanted something that was modern looking and different from some of the weddings we have been to and somewhere we could do the ceremony and reception at. NOVA 535 really fit the bill.
We loved the whole space at NOVA and how well it lent itself to our wedding day timeline. Ruby, the coordinator did a great job of understanding my vision and understanding my needs.
What did you look for in a wedding cake baker?
I wanted someone who could do modern designs and had a good sense of what I wanted. We also wanted cake that actually tasted good! So many times the cake at weddings is sub par to how they look on the inside. We also had to have a dessert bar, so we needed someone who could do two cakes and desserts.
We tried three other places and honestly, nothing compared to The Artistic Whisk's cake. It was so good, and we couldn't wait to eat more on our wedding day! Jovana, the owner and executive chef, sketched exactly what I wanted on the spot and executed it with flawlessly. The desserts were amazing and the table came together perfectly.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Make sure your wedding is a reflection of you two as a couple. The compliment I treasure most from my wedding has been “that it gave us a true sense of who you both were together as a couple and how much fun you are.”
Also, understand from the beginning that you will not make everyone happy (I'm talking families here). The quicker you get that concept and worry about you and your finace's happiness, the better you will get.
Ceremony and Reception Venue: NOVA 535 *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Venue
Photographer: Caroline & Evan Photography *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Videographer: Randall Productions
Planner: Elan Event Studios
Florist: 2Birds Events
Caterer: Delectables Fine Catering *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Rentals: Connie Duglin Nuage Designs, Snapshoot Photobooth, Elegant Touch Chairs
Cake: The Artistic Whisk *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
DJ: Grant Hemond and Associates *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Officiant: Tim Gray
Invitations: Invitation Consultants
Transportation: St. Pete Pedicab
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Hair & Makeup: Michele Renee The Studio *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro