Wedding

Timeless White Downtown St. Pete Ballroom Wedding | The Birchwood

Paige and John's downtown St. Pete wedding combined neutral shades of white, ivory, and taupe with an abundance of roses throughout their traditional chapel ceremony and timeless ballroom reception.

“We wanted our wedding to feel super classic and timeless. I love all things neutral and simple, so I wanted to incorporate that style into our wedding along with some glamour and elegance,” the bride shared. “We stuck to neutrals for our color palette, because it was something I'd never get sick of and would tie into that classic, timeless feel! The bridesmaids wore a taupe color, and we had the guys in all black and white tuxes. I always knew I wanted all white flowers, so we had white rose bouquets and a mix of white arrangements at the reception. From there, we tied in some black and white, taupes, grays, creams, and mixed metals to create the perfect neutral look!”

The Tampa bride turned to Marry Me Tampa Bay during her search for the perfect wedding venue to host their 140 guests, combing through photos and detailed info to help select which spaces to visit in person.

“I definitely utilized Marry Me Tampa Bay for inspiration, vendor reviews, etc., especially when initially looking at venues. Marry Me Tampa Bay offered detailed pages with photos and descriptions for each of the places we were interested in,” Paige detailed. “This helped us sort through and compare each of them before touring and seeing them in person!”

Upon seeing Harborside Chapel, the couple knew it was the perfect space to exchange vows. The combination of beautiful architecture and attentive staff made it an ideal choice.

“We knew we wanted to get married in a church, so the Harborside Chapel was a perfect option. It was actually the only ceremony space we looked at! We wanted something clean, bright, and simple, and the chapel was exactly that. After touring Harborside Chapel, we were automatically sold,” the bride raved. “Since the church built the chapel specifically for weddings, it offered everything we were looking for. The building itself is beautiful, and it offers the perfect bride and groom suites for getting ready and photos. The natural light, simplicity, and somewhat beach vibe are definitely what drew us in! On top of the beautiful space, everyone we worked and coordinated with was awesome, including our marriage counseling mentors.”

When looking for a reception space, the bride and groom searched for charming details, a convenient location, and waterfront views showcasing the Florida setting. After touring several locations, nothing compared to The Birchwood, which checked all their wish list boxes.

“We wanted something classy and upscale while also accommodating a pretty large guest count. We were always drawn to the hotel ballroom feel, so The Birchwood was a perfect option!” the bride beamed. “After looking at a few hotels and event spaces, we kept circling back to The Birchwood as they offered everything we were looking for. The Birchwood offers the most beautiful ballroom space and was the perfect choice for our reception. What we loved so much was that it hardly needs decorations; the beautiful details on the walls, chandeliers, and balcony view are already so stunning! We also loved the location of The Birchwood, being in downtown St. Pete offers a city vibe while also being right on the water. Everyone was amazing to work with, and they always went above and beyond to accommodate and help bring our vision to life.”

The combination of a traditional chapel ceremony and chic downtown hotel ballroom reception is what Paige attributes as one of the most unique aspects of their celebration.

“I think it's somewhat less common now to have two separate venues, but I'm glad we were able to give our guests two different vibes and sceneries for our day,” the bride articulated. “I loved getting to have a classic church wedding while still hosting a nice ballroom dinner, which I think gave our wedding a unique factor.”

The pair prioritized a DJ that would keep their dance floor full throughout the evening and relied on the experts at Grant Hemond & Associates to manage all the entertainment logistics including song selections and introductions.

“We wanted a DJ who would help create a fun party for our guests. I love to dance, so I knew we needed someone to keep us going all night long!” Paige explained. “James King was amazing when it came to organizing our special songs, announcing our bridal party, and playing great music that all our guests enjoyed. Their coordinator was great to work with getting all of our details, and once we got to connect with James he made the process so easy! He made sure to cover every part of the reception and note all the specifics we wanted.”

To incorporate their personalities into the wedding Paige and John focused on the overall aesthetic, with a special end to the night designed specifically for the groom.

“Our similar taste was able to show through all of our decor and details. We always agreed on design and ideas, so it really came together to show our personality! John is really into cars, so having a Porsche getaway car was something he was super excited about. I do graphic design for work, so I got to create from scratch and put my personal touch on all things signs, menus, invitations, etc.!” the bride revealed. “While working hard to make sure the details, decor, and ambiance were perfect, we always knew the most important thing was having both our families together and joining everyone to celebrate. At the end of the day, all that mattered to us was the love and happiness everyone got to experience together and how grateful we felt for everyone being there for us.”

Looking back, it was the emotional crescendo of the ceremony processional that the bride will forever remember.

“Our ceremony was so special and definitely one of the most memorable moments. Since we didn't do a first look, seeing each other right when the chapel doors opened and walking down the aisle to Canon in D was a moment I always dreamed of,” Paige reminisced. “We really got to take in our ceremony moments and appreciate how far we'd come together in front of all our family and friends.”

Open Toe Satin Heels with Classic Black and White Wedding Invitation
Classic White His and Hers Vow Books Wedding Ceremony Touch
Bride Getting Ready Portrait with Glam Makeup and Off the Shoulder Lace Wedding Dress
Mother of the Bride Helping the Bride Get Ready Wedding Portrait
St. Petersburg Church Wedding Venue Harborside Chapel
Bride and Groom Before the Ceremony Wedding Portrait |St. Petersburg Church Wedding Venue Harborside Chapel

The Proposal:
On my birthday in August, we planned a family dinner on Anna Maria Island to celebrate on the beach. Before sitting down for dinner, we all decided to go down to the water to take photos, which was a perfect scenario for a surprise proposal!

When John and I got together to take a picture by ourselves, he made his move and got down on one knee. I always thought I would see it coming (especially if he organized cameras on us) but I was completely shocked! It was such an exciting day, and I was so happy to have all of our family there with us when it happened.

Bride with Bridesmaids in Taupe Floor Length Bridesmaids Dresses | Harborside Chapel in St. Petersburg Florida Wedding Ceremony
Bride with Bridesmaids in Taupe Floor Length Bridesmaids Dresses | Harborside Chapel in St. Petersburg Florida Wedding Ceremony

Where did you host your bachelorette party?
We stayed in Orlando for the weekend for my bachelorette party, and it was tons of fun! I wanted to stay pretty local and not do anything too crazy, so we loved getting to stay at a nice resort, shop, and go out at night and to dinners!

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We went to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and it was such a perfect trip! We wanted to go somewhere tropical, so this was the perfect destination to relax and lay on the beach while enjoying such great food, entertainment, and activities. We already want to go back!

White Roses Wedding Ceremony Decor
Timeless Neutral White and Black St. Petersburg Chapel Wedding Ceremony | Harborside Chapel
Timeless Neutral White and Black St. Petersburg Chapel Wedding Ceremony | Harborside Chapel

What did you look for in a wedding ceremony venue?

We knew we wanted to get married in a church, so the Harborside Chapel was a perfect option. It was actually the only ceremony space we looked at! We wanted something clean, bright, and simple, and the chapel was exactly that.

After touring Harborside Chapel, we were automatically sold. Since the church built the chapel specifically for weddings, it offered everything we were looking for. The building itself is beautiful, and it offers the perfect bride and groom suites for getting ready and photos. The natural light, simplicity, and somewhat beach vibe are definitely what drew us in!

On top of the beautiful space, everyone we worked and coordinated with was awesome, including our marriage counseling mentors.

Bride and Groom Exchange Vows in Timeless Neutral White and Black St. Petersburg Chapel Wedding Ceremony | Harborside Chapel
Bride and Groom First Kiss in Timeless Neutral White and Black St. Petersburg Chapel Wedding Ceremony | Harborside Chapel
Bride and Groom Just Married Exit Portrait | Harborside Chapel in St. Petersburg Florida
Bride and Groom Wedding Portrait |St. Petersburg Church Wedding Venue Harborside Chapel
Bride in Long Sleeve Lace Sheer Wedding Dress with White Peony Bouquet
Bride in Long Sleeve Lace Sheer Wedding Dress with White Peony Bouquet and Long Train Veil Sunset Wedding Portrait
St. Petersburg Wedding Reception at the Birchwood
Wedding Seating Chart in Black with White Writing Wedding Decor
Classic White Wedding Reception with Gold Detailing on the Tablescapes | Wedding Reception The Birchwood in St. Petersburg

What did you look for in a wedding reception venue?

We wanted something classy and upscale while also accommodating a pretty large guest count. We were always drawn to the hotel ballroom feel, so The Birchwood was a perfect option!

After looking at a few hotels and event spaces, we kept circling back to The Birchwood as they offered everything we were looking for. The Birchwood offers the most beautiful ballroom space and was the perfect choice for our reception.

What we loved so much was that it hardly needs decorations; the beautiful details on the walls, chandeliers, and balcony view are already so stunning! We also loved the location of The Birchwood, being in downtown St. Pete offers a city vibe while also being right on the water. Everyone was amazing to work with, and they always went above and beyond to accommodate and help bring our vision to life.

Classic White Wedding Reception with Gold Detailing on the Tablescapes | Wedding Reception The Birchwood in St. Petersburg

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
We wanted our wedding to feel super classic and timeless. I love all things neutral and simple, so I wanted to incorporate that style into our wedding along with some glamour and elegance!

What were your colors?
We definitely stuck to neutrals for our color palette, because it was something I'd never get sick of and would tie into that classic, timeless feel! The bridesmaids wore a taupe color, and we had the guys in all black and white tuxes. I always knew I wanted all white flowers, so we had white rose bouquets and a mix of white arrangements at the reception. From there, we tied in some black and white, taupes, grays, creams, and mixed metals to create the perfect neutral look!

Which vendors really exceeded your expectations?
All of our vendors were amazing, but we can't rave enough about our photographer. She captured every moment perfectly and relieved any stress I had by keeping us on time while still taking in every moment. Plus, our pictures look like they're straight out of a magazine!!

Classic Gold Chargers with White Food Menu Plating
White Rose Detailing with Greenery

“I think it's somewhat less common now to have two separate venues, but I'm glad we were able to give our guests two different vibes and sceneries for our day. I loved getting to have a classic church wedding while still hosting a nice ballroom dinner, which I think gave our wedding a unique factor.”

-The Bride

Four Tier Classic white Wedding Cake with White Floral Detailing
Bride and Groom First Dance Wedding Portrait | St. Petersburg Wedding DJ Grant Hemond and Associates

What did you look for in a wedding DJ?

We wanted a DJ who would help create a fun party for our guests. I love to dance, so I knew we needed someone to keep us going all night long!

A co-worker recommended Grant Hemond and Associates, specifically James King. The coordinator was great to work with getting all of our details, and once we got to connect with James he made the process so easy! He made sure to cover every part of the reception and note all the specifics we wanted. James was amazing when it came to organizing our special songs, announcing our bridal party, and playing great music that all our guests enjoyed.

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Look around at surrounding areas for venues, you might find some hidden gems! The Tampa area has so many great vendors and resources, so definitely have fun looking around, getting inspiration, and seeing what everyone has to offer!

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Vendor Credits

 

  • Limo and Transportation
  • Turo
  • Hair & Makeup Artists
  • D2Co

Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pros

Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pros are highly respected by our local wedding community and have been personally vetted by our editor.

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