Wedding

Romantic Tarpon Springs Elopement | Whitehurst Gallery

Ashley and John’s intimate Tarpon Springs wedding brought together an intimate number of friends and family for a minimalist celebration amidst the backdrop of a neutral neoclassical setting. The bride and groom exchanged vows atop a grand staircase in front of a gossamer-swagged pergola accented with neutral flora.

“Even though we wanted the elopement to be intimate and minimal, we still wanted it to feel personal and special to us, our family, and our future marriage. It was important that the day reflected who we are as a couple,” the bride articulated. “From the venue to the florals to the photographer, we were able to customize many different options and have it still feel really traditional without all of the fluff and costs we didn’t care about.”

The Wesley Chapel couple eloped to focus on their union rather than the traditional formalities. They had always loved the charm of the Tarpon Springs area, and when they discovered Whitehurst Gallery, they knew it would be the perfect setting to celebrate with a dozen of their closest friends and family.

“We wanted a wow factor for our guests, but we also wanted it to feel inviting, warm, and unique. We wanted the option to be indoor or outdoor in case of bad weather, and we didn’t want it to be too far from our home. We have always loved Tarpon Springs and downtown Dunedin, so when Whitehurst Gallery was an option for our venue, we knew we were more than likely going to fall in love,” the bride beamed. “The moment we saw it, both John and I were stunned by how gorgeous it was. What sealed our decision was when we did a walk-through with Griffeth Whitehurst, and we saw how much love and intent was put into creating this gorgeous space. Every piece of art, every book in the library, and every chandelier had a story. There was so much love, creativity, and hard work that was put into creating the Whitehurst, and we knew it was the perfect place for us to gather our families to celebrate our marriage. After we left the walk-through, I cried because I knew we’d finally found what we never knew we were looking for.”

The pair personalized their special day with simple details and décor that reflected their styles and personalities. From the classic white flowers to the mini-wedding cake and champagne toast, the final result felt authentic to the couple.

“Being that we chose not to have a wedding party, we asked our guests to wear soft muted tones to complete our vision.  I fell in love with my dress, and it happened to be ivory, but we always knew John was going to be in an olive green suit,” the bride shared. “We love neutrals and earth tones; they’re more complementary to our skin tones and also in our home where we plan to hang our wedding photos.”

Ashley relied on the talented team at Elope Tampa Bay to organize their all-inclusive wedding ceremony so that they could enjoy a stress-free afternoon.

“John and I are from New Jersey, but I have lived in Tampa for over ten years, and John has been here almost two years. Many of our extended family members live back home, and John’s family is huge, so when we tried to plan a traditional wedding it became overwhelming and costly. It felt like it wasn’t about us anymore, and with our personalities being more low-key, homebodies, we wanted to do something that was more intimate, that reflected us. We thought about a courthouse wedding, but it didn’t feel personal, and we really wanted to share the day with the people who mean the most to us in our lives,” the brie articulated. “Once we stumbled upon the Elope Tampa Bay girls, we knew it was the perfect happy medium for us. After speaking to Melanie, we both felt a calmness and an excitement we hadn’t felt during the entire search for our perfect planner, so we went with our gut, and we are so happy we did!”

Following up on a recommendation, the couple sought McNeile Photography to capture their celebration and forever preserve their special memories on film. They were thrilled with Arron’s ability to put them at ease in front of the camera, which translated stunning images that they will forever treasure.

“John and I had never gotten professional photos done before, so we really weren’t sure what to look for. We scrolled through McNeile Photography’s Instagram and messaged Arron to inquire, and the rest is magic,” Ashley gushed. |Every photo Arron takes is with his soul; his vision is incredible, and his talent is so effortless. During our engagement photo shoot, he made us both feel so natural and comfortable. We also had our new puppy at the time, and Arron was patient and sweet and shot the most amazing photos. We know Arron is going to be a part of every event in our lives for as long as he is behind the camera!”

Given all of the special moments that unfolded during the day, the ceremony truly stood out to the bride, creating a lasting memory.

“Listening to Pastor Thomas officiate our wedding day and bless our marriage was memorable and meant the world to us. He really spoke so eloquently and with love,” Ashley reminisced.

The Modern Groom Banner Ad 728x90 1
White Carnation, Babies Breath, Rose, and Eucalyptus Boutonniere with Feather Inspiration | Groom Olive Green Suit Ideas
White Satin Spaghetti Strap Jenny Yoo Wedding Dress | White Roses, Babies Breath, and Eucalyptus Bridal Bouquet Inspiration
White Satin Spaghetti Strap Jenny Yoo Wedding Dress | White Roses, Babies Breath, and Eucalyptus Bridal Bouquet Inspiration | Tampa Bay Venue Whitehurst Gallery | Photographer McNeile Photographer

The Proposal:
John and I have known each other since 5th grade and grew up about a mile from each other; however, we were always just friends up until John came to visit me in Tampa for a weekend, and the rest is history! We did long distance for almost four years, and the weekend we were going to close on our house, John surprised me with a proposal at his family’s home in New Jersey with all of his family members around and my family on Facetime. I had no idea because I was so encompassed in the closing of our house I couldn’t focus on anything else. He said he was a nervous wreck all weekend, and I didn’t have a clue!

Draped Wedding Ceremony Altar Decor Ideas
Classic Neutral White Flower and Greenery Wedding Bouquet Inspiration
Bride and Parents Walking Down Aisle Wedding Portrait
Bride and Groom Vow Exchange Wedding Portrait | Acrylic Ghost Chairs | Planner Elope Tampa Bay | Venue Whitehurst Gallery
Bride and Groom Vow Exchange Wedding Portrait | Planner Elope Tampa Bay | Photographer McNeile Photography

“The moment we saw the Whitehurst Gallery, both John and I were stunned by how gorgeous it was. What sealed our decision was when we did a walk-through with Griffeth Whitehurst, and we saw how much love and intent was put into creating this gorgeous space. Every piece of art, every book in the library, and every chandelier had a story. There was so much love, creativity, and hard work that was put into creating the Whitehurst, and we knew it was the perfect place for us to gather our families to celebrate our marriage. After we left the walk-through, I cried because I knew we’d finally found what we never knew we were looking for.”

-The Bride

Bride and Groom Just Married Wedding Portrait | Tarpon Springs Venue Whitehurst Gallery | Elope Tampa Bay | Photographer McNeil Photography
Bride and Groom Just Married Wedding Portrait | Tarpon Springs Venue Whitehurst Gallery | Planner Elope Tampa Bay | Photographer McNeil Photography
Tarpon Springs Venue Whitehurst Gallery | Ghost Chairs for Wedding Ceremony

What did you look for in an elopement wedding planner?

John and I are from New Jersey, but I have lived in Tampa for over ten years, and John has been here almost two years. Many of our extended family members live back home, and John’s family is huge, so when we tried to plan a traditional wedding it became overwhelming and costly. It felt like it wasn’t about us anymore, and with our personalities being more low-key, homebodies, we wanted to do something that was more intimate, that reflected us. We thought about a courthouse wedding, but it didn’t feel personal, and we really wanted to share the day with the people who mean the most to us in our lives.

Once we stumbled upon the Elope Tampa Bay girls, we knew it was the perfect happy medium for us. After speaking to Melanie, we both felt a calmness and an excitement we hadn’t felt during the entire search for our perfect planner, so we went with our gut, and we are so happy we did!

Bride and Groom Just Married Wedding Portrait | Planner Elope Tampa Bay
Bride and Groom Just Married Wedding Portrait | Tampa Bay Photographer McNeile Photography | Tarpon Springs Venue Whitehurst Gallery
Intimate Bride And Groom Wedding Portrait | Tampa Bay Photographer McNeile Photography
Intimate Bride And Groom Wedding Portrait | Tampa Bay Photographer McNeile Photography

What did you look for in a wedding photographer?

John and I had never gotten professional photos done before, so we really weren’t sure what to look for. We scrolled through McNeile Photography’s Instagram and messaged Arron to inquire, and the rest is magic.

Every photo Arron takes is with his soul; his vision is incredible, and his talent is so effortless. During our engagement photo shoot, he made us both feel so natural and comfortable. We also had our new puppy at the time, and Arron was patient and sweet and shot the most amazing photos. We know Arron is going to be a part of every event in our lives for as long as he is behind the camera!

Satin Mermaid Wedding Dress with Knee Length Pearl Embellished Veil Ideas
Emerald Cut Gold Engagement Ring | Diamond Wedding Band Ideas
Intimate Bride And Groom Wedding Portrait | Tampa Bay Photographer McNeile Photography
Black and White Wedding Portrait | Tampa Bay Photographer McNeile Photography

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We are doing a mini-moon at one of our incredible beaches in Florida for a long weekend, and we are going on a Mediterranean cruise in Spring.

Bride and Groom Outside Stairs Wedding Portrait | Tarpon Springs Venue Whitehurst Gallery
Intimate Bride and Groom Veil Wedding Portrait | Tampa Bay Photographer McNeile Photography

“Every photo Arron of McNeile Photography takes is with his soul; his vision is incredible, and his talent is so effortless. During our engagement photo shoot, he made us both feel so natural and comfortable. We also had our new puppy at the time, and Arron was patient and sweet and shot the most amazing photos. We know Arron was going to be a part of every event in our lives for as long as he is behind the camera!”

-The Bride

Cake Table For Wedding Reception Ideas | Just Married Sign Inspiration | Planner Elope Tampa Bay
Round Single-Tiered Wedding cake with White Rose Accents
Gold Flatware and Gold Cake Server Set | Mr. and Mrs. Wedding Reception Cake Plate Ideas

What did you look for in a wedding venue?

We wanted a wow factor for our guests, but we also wanted it to feel inviting, warm, and unique. We wanted the option to be indoor or outdoor in case of bad weather, and we didn’t want it to be too far from our home. 

We have always loved Tarpon Springs and downtown Dunedin, so when Whitehurst Gallery was an option for our venue, we knew we were more than likely going to fall in love. The moment we saw it, both John and I were stunned by how gorgeous it was. What sealed our decision was when we did a walk-through with Griffeth Whitehurst, and we saw how much love and intent was put into creating this gorgeous space. Every piece of art, every book in the library, and every chandelier had a story.

There was so much love, creativity, and hard work that was put into creating the Whitehurst, and we knew it was the perfect place for us to gather our families to celebrate our marriage.

After we left the walk-through, I cried because I knew we’d finally found what we never knew we were looking for.

Tampa Bay Wedding Venue Whitehurst Gallery | Tarpon Springs Photographer McNeile Photography
Tampa Bay Wedding Venue Whitehurst Gallery | Tarpon Springs Photographer McNeile Photography

Which vendors really exceeded your expectations?
Arron with McNeile Photography always exceeds our expectations. Griffeth of Whitehurst Gallery was an amazing host. Our pastor was the most amazing officiant and of course the girls from Elope Tampa Bay. Our floral arrangements were gorgeous as well.

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Do what makes you and your future spouse happy. The day is about the two of you and your love. Don’t get lost in trying to make everyone else happy. They’re going to be happy to see you happy!

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Vendor Credits

 

  • Dress and Bridesmaid Attire
  • BHLDN

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