Maureen and Renato's St. Pete Beach wedding incorporated the pair's love relaxing on Tampa Bay's sandy shores.
“We chose St. Pete Beach because we wanted a beach theme. We love going to the beach and wanted our family and friends to have the opportunity to come for the night, weekend or make a mini vacation out of it,” the bride shared. “We incorporated the beach into an alternative guest book. We asked each of our guests to sign or write words of advice on a seashell that we had handpicked on our own since moving to Florida four years ago. The shells are in a large glass display bowl that we now have as a decoration in our house.”
The Brandon couple tied the knot just a month shy of their 10-year anniversary and knew to leave the wedding planning to the professionals.
“You could read a ton of different books and magazines to figure out what you need to do, but that is very time consuming. We wanted someone to be able to guide us through the process, provide us with deadlines, recommendations and expertise,” Maureen explained. “Exquisite Events was recommended by our venue and had a lot of experience coordinating events there. Planning a wedding can be stressful, but when guided by someone else who knows what's best makes it much easier!”
While the couple stuck to a rustic, beach theme when it came to wedding decor, the groom incorporated his own personal touch to the attire and music.
“Renato loves Star Wars, so our ring bearer wore a Star Wars bowtie and suspenders,” the bride shared. “We also incorporated The Imperial March theme song before I made my appearance down the aisle.”
Looking back, the bride said she was blown away by her entire St. Pete Beach wedding reception.
“Everything about our reception was memorable, from the way the ideas came together for the table centerpieces with the linens and lighting to the amazing food,” Maureen gushed. It was better than what I could ever pick out in a magazine.
We were on vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, when Renato proposed while we were out on a morning walk. At this time, we had been together for 8 1/2 years. I was dumbfounded and speechless! We were out on the water with no one around; it was a perfect moment for both of us to go through all the emotions and excitement together.
Why did you hire a wedding planner?
We decided to hire a planner because we knew that we should leave it to the professionals to do what they do best. You could read a ton of different books and magazines to figure out what you need to do, but that is very time consuming, as is planning a wedding when working full-time jobs. We wanted someone to be able to guide us through the process, provide us with deadlines, recommendations and expertise.
Exquisite Events was recommended by our venue and had a lot of experience coordinating events at our venue. Ashley [of Exquisite Events] guided us through the entire wedding process for the year we had to plan. She was very accommodating and accessible by phone, email and in-person whenever we needed her. Planning a wedding can be stressful, but when guided by someone else who knows what's best makes it much easier! Also, the cost of hiring a planner is more reasonable than many people may think!
How would you describe your theme?
Rustic, beach. We came in with ideas about colors and that’s about it. After multiple meetings with our florist and event planner, who provided several suggestions and choices, the theme just came together. It was better than what I could ever pick out in a magazine. We kept an open mind through the whole process which made it easier with the decision making process.
What were your colors?
I wanted bright colors that reminded me of the beach or tropical locations, so we went with bright pinks, corals and turquoise.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Take your time. Set your priorities and don’t settle.
As we began to book our vendors, we turned to them for their advice/opinion of other vendors who they have worked with in the past. All of these vendors work with each other or cross each paths and a professional recommendation from one vendor to another goes along way, and I think more valuable than online reviews and rankings.
Always remember, the day is about you and your husband and all choices should be made around that. Of course, you are going to consider family and friends when you pick venues and other details, but truly it has to be what YOU want. Remembering this made it easier for us to make choices and focus on “us.”
Ceremony and Reception Venue: TradeWinds Island Resorts
Photographer: Blue Lane Studios
Planner: Exquisite Events
Florist: 2Birds Events
Caterer: TradeWinds Island Resorts
Rentals: Exquisite Events
DJ: JAC of All Trades
Officiant: Pastor Dean Ryder
Invitations: Magnet Street
Dress: The Dressing Room – Justin Alexander
Bridesmaid Dress: Alfred Angelo
Groomsmen Suits: Men's Wearhouse
Hair & Makeup: Jess Waldrop Makeup Artists
Engagement and Wedding Rings: International Diamond Center