Tropical Elegant Downtown Tampa Wedding | Tampa River Center

Tampa Bay Bridal Show July 2020 | TheXpos

Katie and James’ downtown Tampa riverfront wedding highlighted the city’s distinct character through delicious cuisine and captivating views.

The bride showcased Florida foliage against a classic and clean backdrop and chose a neutral color palette as to not detract from the venue’s floor-to-ceiling skyline views overlooking the water.

“I had a very specific vision of what our special day would look like. My style is very simple. We chose all neutral colors including greenery, grey colors for bridesmaid dresses, ties, linens, etc. For florals, I love the tropical Florida look, so we went with big palms, white orchids, and roses,” the bride explained.

The Tampa couple resides along the Hillsborough River and wanted their wedding guests to experience the nearby Riverwalk area. The pair chose riverfront locales to host all of their wedding festivities to provide their 100 closest friends and family a unique experience and insight into how they live and play every day.

“To show our guests our river lifestyle was something we really wanted. All events were on the river. From the rehearsal brunch at American Social (we arrived on a boat) to our welcome reception at Remedy and having the wedding at the Tampa River Center, it was an ideal example of all the amazing places in downtown Tampa,” Katie beamed.

MORE: DOWNTOWN TAMPA WEDDINGS

Over the course of their engagement, the couple utilized Marry Me Tampa Bay as a resource for finding wedding professionals and creative ideas.

“During the wedding planning process, I referred to Marry Me Tampa Bay to get inspiration from other weddings around town and for recommended vendors,” Katie shared. “I found my photographer and florist through Marry Me Tampa Bay.”

To achieve her vision while being mindful of her budget, Katie searched for a florist who would fully embrace her desired style. After much research, she found Bruce Wayne Florals and immediately appreciated their detailed communication.

“I found that choosing the florist was making me the most anxious. Flowers are expensive, and I was really trying to be budget-conscious. When getting quotes, I was surprised at some of the proposals I got with no descriptions or pictures to help me visualize exactly what I was getting. I looked for someone to really be consultative with me and to help me bring my vision to life,” the bride revealed. “I hired Bruce Wayne Florals because they by far had the best proposal and John was so patient with me and followed up with my requests every step of the way. John was able to accommodate my budget, and he was able to make day-of decisions with my best interest because he understood exactly what I wanted. I am so happy I chose them and consistently refer friends to them.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT BRUCE WAYNE FLORALS | EMAIL

To enhance their “Tampa Tropic” decor, the couple hired Kate Ryan Event Rentals to add the finishing decor touches with specialty glassware and table linens.

Kate Ryan Event Rentals was so accommodating and budget-friendly with my needs. They already worked well with my caterer and came recommended by my wedding planner. I have also seen them on Marry Me Tampa Bay,” Katie shared. “The linens were pristine, and the water goblets gave the tables some diversity and vintage flare. I loved how everything came together!”

LEARN MORE ABOUT KATE RYAN EVENT RENTALS | EMAIL

To honor James’ Cuban heritage and pay homage to Tampa’s history, the couple incorporated Tampa’s famous Cuban cuisine into their wedding menu. The seasoned team at Catering by the Family, with 75 years of expertise and a knack for authentic local dishes created the festive spread.

“We served mini-Cubans, bacon-wrapped plantains, bruschetta, and meatballs during cocktail hour. For dinner, we incorporated mojo chicken and breaded chicken with roasted veggies, black beans, and yellow rice. It was a hit!” the bride raved. “Catering by the Family had the most (and best) Cuban options, and Rachel provided me with 5-star service. She was able to provide me a quote that same day, so I knew what I was going to be dealing with. All the staff were super friendly and professional day-of.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT CATERING BY THE FAMILY | EMAIL

Although the couple are typically outgoing, they chose to keep their vow exchange private and intimate, which ended up being Katie’s favorite memory of the day.

“We had many memorable moments, but one sticks out to me. James and I did private vows instead of in front of everyone during the ceremony. We did end up having our videographer record them for the video, and I can say that was one of the most special moments. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room, and it really was so special,” Katie reminisced.

Tampa Wedding Flat Lay Green Monogram | Designer Sam Edelman Heels Bridal Wedding Shoes

Ivory Designer Sam Edelman Heels Bridal Wedding Shoes with Ankle Straps

Florida Wedding Dress Hanger Shot | White Illusion Lace Spaghetti Strap Sheath V Neck Bridal Gown with Sheer Bodice

Bride and Bridesmaids Getting Ready in White and Green Tropical Leaf Print Robes with Confetti

Bride and Bridesmaids Getting Ready in White and Green Tropical Leaf Print Robes with Veuve Champagne and Custom Yeti Wine Tumblers

Bride Getting Dressed and Ready | Crown Braid Wedding Hairstyle Half Up Half Down with Soft Curls | Femme Akoi Beauty Studio

Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals | Florida Tropical Wedding Bridal Bouquet with Greenery Palm Fronds and Ferns and White Roses Orchids and Snapdragons

Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals | Florida Wedding Outdoor Bridal Portrait | Tropical Bouquet with Greenery Palm Fronds and Ferns and White Roses Orchids and Snapdragons | White Illusion Lace Spaghetti Strap Sheath V Neck Bridal Gown with Sheer Bodice | Femme Akoi Beauty Studio

What was your wedding day beauty inspiration?
When looking at beauty inspiration, I always gravitated towards the classy, elegant, and natural looks.

I hired Femme Akoi Beauty Studio for day-of hair and makeup because they came highly recommended and after looking at their Instagram page, their style of makeup was exactly what I was going for. Grissel was very communicative, professional, and accommodating. She came to my house for the hair and make-up trial and helped me find the perfect style for my big day. My bridesmaids and moms loved how their hair and make-up turned out too! We all felt and looked amazing.

Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals | Bride and Bridesmaids Portrait Shot | Light Grey Silver Neutral Long Bridesmaid Dresses with Tropical White and Green Bouquets

Bride and Groom First Look | Groom in Classic Navy Blue Suit with Silver Neck Tie

Bride and Groom Outdoor Portrait | Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals | Florida Tropical Wedding Bridal Bouquet with Greenery Palm Fronds and Ferns and White Roses Orchids and Snapdragons | Groom in Classic Navy Blue Suit

The Proposal:
James had never been to New York City, so we planned a quick weekend trip to visit NYC with his sister and her husband. We had quite the itinerary planned, from the Top of the Rock with Magnolia Bakery to amazing restaurant reservations and cocktail spots, it was going to be a busy trip. We landed around 10 a.m. and headed straight to the iconic Plaza Hotel for a private tour and high tea in the Palm Court.

We went upstairs to preview the Grand Ballroom, where some of the most famous people in the world have gotten married. The doors opened, and I walked into the room where I saw a candlelit aisle with rose petals at the end and Ed Sheeran music playing in the background. It was magical! Once we get to the aisle, James got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife and marry him.

We celebrated in the Palm Court with lots of champagne. It was the best way to kick off an awesome weekend!

Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals | Tropical Florida Wedding Ceremony Floral Arrangement with Palm Leaves and Fern Greenery and White Orchids | Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
I had a very specific vision of what our special day would look like. My style is very simple. We chose to go with all neutral colors including greenery, grey colors for bridesmaid dresses, ties, linens, etc. For florals, I love the tropical Florida look. We went with big palms, white orchids, and roses.

What were your colors?
After going back and forth with colors, I chose to incorporate all neutral colors, just because I couldn’t decide! Essentially, we went with green, white, and grey.

Downtown Tampa Riverwalk Wedding Venue | Outdoor Wedding Ceremony with White Chairs and Chalkboard Wedding Sign overlooking Hillsborough River

Bride Walking Down the Aisle with Mom and Dad during Outdoor Wedding Ceremony | Long Cathedral Lace Edge Veil | Tropical Tampa Wedding

Downtown Tampa Riverwalk Wedding Venue | Outdoor Wedding Ceremony with White Chairs and Chalkboard Wedding Sign overlooking Hillsborough River

Bride and Groom Exchanging Vows during Tropical Florida Wedding Outdoor Downtown Tampa Ceremony

Bride and Groom First Kiss during Tropical Florida Wedding Outdoor Downtown Tampa Ceremony | White and Green Ceremony Floral Arrangements with Palm Leaves and Ferns and White Orchids atop White Columns

Wedding Guests Group Shot | Downtown Tampa Wedding at Tampa River Center

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
When planning our honeymoon, we decided to explore Europe. We chose to spend a week between London and Paris. Up until the Wednesday before the wedding, that was the plan. Then, COVID-19. We worked with our travel planner to cancel all reservations made in Europe and to rebook an amazing all-inclusive resort in Key Largo, The Bungalows.

It was not the Euro-trip we had planned but honestly, everything was perfect! It was an adult only-resort that we could drive to. Service and food were amazing and everyone stayed in their own individual bungalow, It also had an outdoor bathtub!

Calligraphy Wedding Seating Chart and Table Numbers

Tropical Tampa Florida Wedding Reception | White Wedding Reception Table with Silver Chiavari Chairs and Tall Tropical Palm Leaf Centerpiece with White Orchids | Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals

What did you look for in a wedding florist?
When planning the wedding, I found that choosing the florist was making me the most anxious. Flowers are expensive, and I was really trying to be budget-conscious. When getting quotes, I was surprised at some of the proposals I got with no descriptions or pictures to help me visualize exactly what I was getting. I looked for someone to really be consultative with me and to help me bring my vision to life.

I hired Bruce Wayne Florals because they by far had the best proposal, and John was so patient with me and followed up with my requests every step of the way. John was able to accommodate my budget and was able to make day-of decisions with my best interest because he understood exactly what I wanted. I am so happy I chose them and consistently refer friends to them.

Tropical Tampa Florida Wedding Reception | White Wedding Banquet Feasting Table with Silver Chiavari Chairs and Grey Napkins and Tropical Palm Leaf Centerpiece with White Orchids | Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals

Tropical Tampa Florida Wedding Reception | White Wedding Table with Silver Chiavari Chairs and Grey Napkins and Tropical Palm Leaf Centerpiece with White Orchids | Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals | Clear Acrylic Table Number with Calligraphy

How did the rentals enhance the ambiance of your event??
We rented mainly linens and special water goblets for some vintage flare.

After quoting out linens, Kate Ryan Event Rentals was so accommodating and budget-friendly with my needs. They already worked well with my caterer and came recommended by my wedding planner. I have also seen them on Marry Me Tampa Bay. The linens were pristine, and the water goblets gave the tables some diversity and vintage flare. I loved how everything came together!

Tropical Tampa Florida Wedding Reception | White Wedding Reception Table with Silver Chiavari Chairs and Tall Tropical Palm Leaf Centerpiece with White Orchids | Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals

Tropical Tampa Florida Wedding Reception | White Wedding Reception Tables with Silver Chiavari Chairs and Tall Tropical Palm Leaf Centerpiece with White Orchids | Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals

Tropical Tampa Florida Wedding Reception | White Wedding Reception Tables with Silver Chiavari Chairs and Tall Tropical Palm Leaf Centerpiece with White Orchids | Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals

What was your wedding menu inspiration?
James’s family is Cuban and with guests traveling to Tampa we thought incorporating a Cuban/American theme would be perfect. Also, who doesn’t love black beans and rice? We served mini-Cubans, bacon-wrapped plantains, bruschetta, and meatballs during cocktail hour. For dinner, we incorporated mojo chicken and breaded chicken with roasted veggies, black beans, and yellow rice. It was a hit!

For our big day, we went with Catering by the Family to provide the food and bar service. They had the most (and best) Cuban options, and Rachel provided me with 5-star service. I set up a meeting with her in person so she could walk me through their menu and what they provide. She was able to provide me a quote that same day, so I knew what I was going to be dealing with. Up until the day before, we were in communication. All the staff were super friendly and professional day-of.

Tropical Tampa Florida Wedding Centerpiece with Palm Frond Leaf and Candles | Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals

Tropical Tampa Florida Wedding Reception | Wedding Sweetheart Table with Tropical Palm Leaf Centerpiece with White Orchids and Candles and Bud Vases | Tampa Wedding Florist Bruce Wayne Florals

Simple Tropical Wedding Cake | Two Tier Half Naked Buttercream Wedding Cake with Fresh Flowers of White Roses and Orchids and Fern Greenery topped with Silver Monogram Cake Topper

Bride and Groom First Dance Photo | Tampa Wedding Portrait

What did you look for in a wedding DJ?
When choosing a DJ, I looked for someone who was reputable and could keep the party going.

A friend of mine hired Grant Hemond & Associates, and they were awesome day-of. They were very professional and had affordable uplighting packages along with their DJ services.

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
When choosing vendors, referrals and reviews are crucial when deciding. The best investment was to hire our wedding planner. They were amazing every step of the way.

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Tampa River Center
Photographer: K&K Photography
Videographer: Connor Halden
Planner: Confetti Events
Florist: Bruce Wayne Florals *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Caterer: Catering by the Family *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Rentals: Kate Ryan Event Rentals *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Cake: Publix & Costco
DJ: Grant Hemond and Associates *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Invitations: Magnet Street
Transportation: 5 Star Dave
Dress Shop: Lighthouse Bridal
Bridesmaid Dress Shop: Lulu’s and David’s Bridal
Hair & Makeup: Femme Akoi Beauty Studio *Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pro
Honeymoon: Bungalows Key Largo

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.

 




Menu