Erica and Zack’s downtown St. Pete wedding perfectly captured their laid-back personalities with a cool color palette and handwritten thank you cards to each of their guests. The celebration included two gorgeous ceremonies, a Cuban cigar roller, and a DJ that had guests dancing the night away.
“We wanted our wedding to have a clean and simple aesthetic, but also wanted it to feel comfortable and imperfect. For our family and friends from outside of Florida, we wanted them to have a bit of a beach weekend and for our guests from Tampa, we wanted them to feel like they had been in an area of Tampa/St. Pete that they had never been to before. We also wanted people to feel relaxed in the setting while enjoying good food and craft cocktails,” the bride shared. “We made a huge effort to personalize the night with simple personal touches. We added little things like hand handwritten thank you cards to every guest, which we had waiting for them when they sat down for dinner. This took a lot of letter writing/beer drinking sessions for Zack and me to get it all done, but seeing our guests’ faces and how touched they were to have a personal message from us made all the difference.”
Planning a destination wedding from the Big Apple, Erica found inspiration using Marry Me Tampa Bay to find event spaces that complemented her aesthetic.
“I used Marry Me Tampa Bay early on when trying to scout out venues. It especially helped given that we were planning the wedding from New York City,” Erica shared.
As the couple mapped out how they wanted the big day to look, a few things really landed at the top of the list: a DJ who knew how to keep guests on the dance floor.
“We wanted a DJ who could take a selection of songs we love and create a full night of music based on it,” the bride explained. “Our DJ, Eric of Grant Hemond & Associates did a fantastic job at really keeping the party going. He was absolutely on point with everything and absolutely amazing to work with!”
Erica and Zack focused on the details that would stand out, including decorative china and decor.
“We wanted some aspects of the wedding furniture and place settings to be distinctive and the fact that A Chair Affair had some awesome mismatched plates in gold and blue really made the whole table setting pop. They were fantastic!” the bride gushed.
To fit her comfortable and relaxed vibe, the bride opted for a simple beauty look from St. Pete wedding hair and makeup artist Femme Akoi.
“I wanted to keep my hair and makeup simple and classy. I was thoroughly impressed.”
Looking back, the bride and groom shared that the ceremony will forever be remembered.
“One of the most memorable moments definitely was when the doors opened at the church and we saw each other for the first time. We also really loved our wedding vows during our second ceremony. Zack and I worked together to write a list of promises we wanted to make to each other, then made those promises to each other in front of our family and friends,” Erica reminisced.
Zack proposed on a quiet empty part of Pass-a-Grille beach. He had just asked my dad for permission a few hours before, so I guess he felt he was on a roll. We spent the day celebrating together in St. Pete before surprising our family and friends with the news that night.
What was your wedding beauty inspiration?
I wanted to keep it simple and classy.
I want to learn more about hair & makeup from Femme Akoi.
Femme Akoi was absolutely amazing, and I was very impressed with my look for the day.
How did you incorporate you and your spouse’s personalities into the wedding?
I’m Cuban American so we had plenty of Cuban influence in our wedding. We served a full menu of Cuban food, danced the meringue for our first dance, and had a cigar roller, which was a big hit with the guests. We also used silly photos of ourselves holding up numbers as the table numbers for each table, which included personalized nods of inside jokes to the guests at each table.
What did you look for in a wedding rental company?
We wanted some aspects of the wedding furniture and place settings to be distinctive.
I Want to Learn More about Rentals from A Chair Affair
A Chair Affair had some awesome mismatched plates in gold and blue that really made the whole table setting pop. They were fantastic!
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
We wanted our wedding to have a clean and simple aesthetic but also wanted it to feel comfortable and imperfect. For Zack’s family and our friends from outside of Florida we wanted them to have a bit of a beach weekend in Florida, and for our guests from Tampa, we wanted them to feel like they had been in an area of Tampa/St. Pete that they had never been to before. We also wanted people to feel relaxed in the setting while enjoying good food and craft cocktails.
What were your colors?
We didn’t have specific colors. However, we tended towards the cool palette, which is basically how our apartment is decorated (since I love blues). A lot of our design elements included organic greenery, wood, and clean white as well.
What did you look for in a wedding DJ?
We wanted someone who could take a representative selection of songs we love and could create a full night of music based on it.
I want to learn more about DJ/Lighting services from Grant Hemond & Associates.
Eric from Grant Hemond and Associates did a fantastic job at that. He was absolutely on point with everything and absolutely amazing to work with!
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Don’t think it can’t be done just because you haven’t seen it done before. If you do try to create a brand new venue and vibe, you’ll definitely need an amazing wedding planner. It’s easy in the wedding planning process to lose touch of a desire to personalize and make the wedding distinctive since it takes so much extra work, but it’s possible with a little (ok a lot) of work. Also, you don’t need to be engaged for a long time just to pull it off. We were engaged for less than seven months. As for marriage itself, always communicate, drink local beer, and cheer for the Lightning.
Morning Ceremony Venue: Christ the King Chapel
Evening Ceremony Venue: Camden Pier District Apartments
Reception Venue: Intermezzo Coffee and Cocktails
Photographer: Jordan Weiland Photography
Videographer: CJHalden Productions
Planner: Confetti Events
Florist: FH Weddings, Green Bench Flowers (ceremony arch greenery)
Cocktail Hour Catering: Brooklyn South
Caterer: Bodega St. Pete
Drinks: Intermezzo Coffee and Cocktails, The Hub Tap Mobile Event Co., Grape-a-day
Desserts: A Cow Named Moo, Chef Inspired Popcorn Company
Cake: Florida Bakery
DJ: Grant Hemond & Associates – Eric *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Officiant: Fr. Michael Muhr
Invitations: Paperless Post
Transportation: Destiny Transportation
Dress Shop and Designer: BHLDN by Anthropologie (Ceremonies), The White Magnolia Bridal Collection (Reception)
Ring Bearer’s Tuxedo: Amazon
Hair & Makeup: Femme Akoi *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Dish Rentals: A Chair Affair *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Cigar Bar: Covadonga Cigars
Bartenders: Spunky Spirits
Rentals: Tampa Fence Rental LLC, Fiesta Solutions
Additional Wedding Vendors: Live the Dream Travel, Portable Sanitation of Florida
Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
*Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pros are highly respected by our local wedding community and have been personally vetted by our editor.