Laura and Justin’s St. Pete Beach wedding featured traditional elements and a champagne, purple and cream color palette.
“Our theme was classic elegance. We wanted our wedding to be timeless and classic with a fun vibe,” the bride shared.
The bride and groom searched for a St. Pete Beach wedding venue close to the award-winning Gulf beaches that could also serve as a vacation for their guests.
“We chose the Tampa Bay area because I grew up here, and a lot of our family would be traveling from out-of-state to come to our wedding,” the bride explained. “The Don CeSar is a Tampa Bay icon, as well as being beautiful and timeless both inside and out. The service at the Don CeSar was exceptional. Everyone was so helpful, efficient and professional. Lauren Jones (our venue coordinator) was also another huge reason we felt at ease. She was always available via email or phone and was so helpful with different ideas, ” Laura gushed.
Finding a St. Petersburg wedding photographer with a great reputation and strong portfolio was a top priority for the Tampa couple.
“I looked at Marc Edwards Photographs‘ work on his website and especially loved his candid shots,” the bride shared. “When I first talked to Marc, I immediately felt like we were friends. When Justin and I met him in person, it just seemed easy, and I knew we made the right decision.”
Looking back, one of the couple’s most cherished memories occurred during their reception.
“One of the most memorable moments of our wedding was when Justin and I were sitting at our sweetheart table, and we looked out at all the family and friends that surrounded us on our special day. It was amazing to realize how happy and fortunate we were to have such an amazing day surrounded by people who love and support us,” Laura reminisced.
What was your inspiration for your bridesmaid dresses?
I wanted something classic and elegant that would be comfortable for all of the ladies. I wanted something that would flatter everyone, but I wanted my sister (my maid of honor) to stand out more.
Luckily, Bella Bridesmaids stocked several of the same designer, material and color, so I was able to find something perfect for my sister and the others while still staying coordinated. I loved working with Bella Bridesmaids because they were very helpful and organized. I also liked it because my sister and sister-in-law lived in different states, but they were still able to go to their nearest store and get fitted. The process of ordering was easy and the dresses arrived in only 3-4 weeks!
Justin and I were visiting Furman University in Greenville, SC (our alma mater) for my induction into the Furman Athletic Hall of Fame. The next day he surprised me with a day trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. We spent the day touring the grounds and taking in the beautiful scenery. When we walked up the hill on the vast lawn in front of the estate, Justin got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. Of course, I said “Yes!”
What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
We wanted someone with a great reputation and strong portfolio but more importantly, someone we were going to feel comfortable around.
I looked at Marc Edwards Photographs’ work on his website and especially loved his candid shots. When I first talked to Marc on the phone, I immediately felt like we were friends. When Justin and I met him in person, it just seemed easy, and I knew we made the right decision. He seemed to know exactly what we wanted and how to capture our big day.
What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We wanted a wedding venue near the water where people could stay at the same location or very close by.
The Don CeSar is a Tampa Bay icon, as well as being beautiful and timeless both inside and out. We loved the Grand Ballroom. Their Beach House Suites made it easy for families to stay together, but also close by. The service at the Don CeSar was exceptional. Everyone was so helpful, efficient and professional. Lauren Jones (our venue coordinator) was also another huge reason we felt at ease. She was always available via email or phone and was so helpful with different ideas.
How would you describe your theme?
Our theme was classic elegance. We wanted our wedding to be timeless and classic with a fun vibe.
What were your colors?
Champagne, gray, lilac/purple and cream. They are all some of my favorite colors, and I thought they would look good together.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides?
Find a venue that meshes well with you and your soon-to-be spouse’s personality and vendors that you get along with and trust.
Ceremony Venue: St. Mary Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church
Reception Venue: The Don CeSar Hotel – Grand Ballroom *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Venue
Photographer: Marc Edwards Photographs *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Videographer: Randall Productions
Planner: Events by Vanessa
Florist & Rentals: Artistry Designs Group
Caterer: Loews Don CeSar Hotel
Cake: Cakes by Nomeda
Band: Foreman’s 5
Officiant: Deacon Mike Menchen
Invitations: Tampa Calligraphy
Transportation: Embassy Limousine
Dress: Sottero & Midgley
Bridesmaid Dress Shop and Designer: Bella Bridesmaids *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro – Donna Morgan
Hair & Makeup: Femme Akoi