Tropical Hawaiian-Inspired Clearwater Beach Wedding | Opal Sands Resort

Tampa Bay Best Local Wedding Venue 2021

Jennifer and Nathan’s Clearwater Beach wedding featured a tropical-inspired paradise filled with elegance. The bride and groom envisioned a wedding ceremony filled with friends, fellowship, and festivity that centered around the symbolism of Hawaiian-leis and pineapples.

“The theme for our was wedding was tropical elegance with lots of Hawaiian inspiration! My family has spent several summers in Maui, Hawaii; it’s our favorite place in the whole world. I wanted our wedding to feel like a weekend in paradise, so we included lots of pineapples, bright, tropical flowers, and gorgeous, purple-orchid leis to give the warmth of aloha to all our family and friends,” the bride beamed. “Our colors were tropical jade, bright blue, and gold. We choose the bright blue suits because the blue had a beautiful beachy vibe, but it was still very classy.”

As the St. Petersburg couple dreamt of a wedding by the beach, they enlisted a highly reputable and reviewed wedding planner to guide them along the way. Unaware that their wedding would eventually be delayed five months due to COVID-19, hiring Special Moments Events Planning became their most worthwhile wedding investment.

“We wanted a wedding planner who would make the whole planning process less stressful and that would advise us how to throw a really beautiful wedding without spending money unnecessarily,” the bride explained. “We hired Special Moments Events Planning because Tammy and her team came highly recommended. Hiring Tammy was the best decision we made regarding the planning process! She is incredibly knowledgeable and connected with the best vendors. She made planning and then replanning our wedding since we had to delay our wedding by five months so much less stressful! She recommended the best vendors, gave us great advice on how to save money, and was incredibly supportive throughout the whole process. Tammy carefully executed our wedding vision exactly the way we wanted it and made sure every detail was taken care of. This was the greatest gift to me on my wedding day because I didn’t have to worry about a thing but instead was free to be fully present and enjoy our special day!”

Knowing they had a wedding planner who could execute any theme she envisioned, Jennifer read Marry Me Tampa Bay to help inspire her tropical wedding elegance aesthetic.

“I used Marry Me Tampa Bay during the wedding planning process for décor inspiration. In fact, one of Marry Me Tampa Bay featured weddings gave me the idea of incorporating pineapples into our décor plan,” Jennifer revealed. “Scrolling through Shannon and Justin’s wedding photos where they placed pineapples down the aisle to decorate their ceremony gave me the idea to use pineapples as a theme for our wedding too! It was quite perfect because, in addition to being fun and tropical, pineapples are the Hawaiian symbol of hospitality, friendship, and love, so they became a really great theme that was meaningful to us. We used them everywhere in a lot of creative ways, and it was really fun!”

Giving careful consideration to every detail, Jennifer styled her bridal party in flattering jade mismatched Azazie bridesmaid dresses, while the groomsmen’s dark green Hawaiian-leis were the perfect touch of tropical flair.

“I fell in love with the deep tropical jade color for the bridesmaids’ dresses because it complemented the bright tropical flowers so well and the blue in guy’s suits. We choose the bright blue suits because the blue had a beautiful beachy vibe, but it was still very classy. Also, Nathan looks amazing in bright blue, and we call it Nathan-blue because it is his favorite color!” the bride gushed.

While their 60 guests enjoyed Tampa Bay’s beautiful weather and beachfront views, live music from Breezin’ Entertainment set the tone for romance with a string rendition of the bride and groom’s favorite songs. During the ballroom reception, Grant Hemond & Associates kept the energy high with an all-night dance party.

“We hired Breezin’ Entertainment to play the violin during our wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. I wanted live music during our ceremony, and I love the violin, especially during a wedding. I think it is just beautiful,” Jennifer shared. “We hired Breezin’ Entertainment because I had a few special songs, Somewhere Over the Rainbow for the bridal entrance, and hymns during communion that I wanted to be played during our ceremony, and Michael, our amazing violist, was able to perform them for us. Our guests really enjoyed the music.” 

As the bride and groom looked back on an intimate evening with family and friends, Jennifer beamed while describing the moment she and Nathan stole the show with their choreographed first dance.

“There are too many special moments to recount all of them but one moment that comes to mind was our first dance as husband and wife. Neither Nathan nor I are especially good dancers, but we decided to take dance lessons so we would feel more comfortable dancing at our wedding. For several weeks, we learned a routine to At Last by Etta James, and we practiced a lot,” the bride revealed. “I’ll never forget Nathan offering me his hand and walking out onto the dance floor for the first time as husband and wife. We danced the entire routine perfectly and the whole thing was like a dream, very surreal! I’ll never forget it.”

Saint Petersburg Beach View from Wedding Venue Opal Sands Resort
Tropical Elegant Wedding Invitation Suite with Watercolor Palm Tree Leaves and Bridal Jewelry Accessories
Gold Round Solitaire Engagement Ring and Yellow Gold Diamond Wedding Band on Bed of Tropical Flowers
Elegant Lace Wedding Dress Hanging on Hotel Balcony
Bride Getting Ready Wedding Photo Wearing White and Gold Foil Pineapple Tropical Robe Reading Letter from Soon to be Husband
Bride Getting Ready Wedding Photo Wearing White and Gold Foil Pineapple Tropical Robe, Bridesmaids in Matching Pink with Gold Foil Pineapple Robes Drinking Champagne with Pop the Champagne Banner | Special Moments Event Planning
Tropical Elegant Bride Getting Ready Photo with Mom in Aqua Blue Dress Zipping Bride's Dress, Lace, V Neckline, Tank Top Straps, Low Open Back Wedding Dress, Tropical White Orchid in Updo Hair
Tropical Elegant Bride in Delicate Lace Wedding Dress Holding Lush Colorful Floral Bouquet with Purple Orchids, Pink Roses, White, Yellow Pincushion Protea Flowers, Greenery and Palm Tree Leaf
Tampa Bay Bride in Lace V Neckline Wedding Dress with Straps Praying with Bridesmaids in Mix and Match Teal Dresses
Tampa Bay Bride in Lace Wedding Dress with Bridesmaids in Mix and Match Teal Dresses Holding Tropical Floral Bouquets, Tropical Pink Ginger, Yellow Pincushion Protea, Purple Orchid, Greenery, Monstera Palm Tree Leaves Flowers
Tropical Florida Bride in Lace and Illusion Low Open Back Wedding Dress with Pearl Buttons First Look Picture with Groom

The Proposal:
Nathan and I were in Estes, Colorado for a good friend’s wedding. The day after the wedding we spent the entire day hiking and exploring the Rocky Mountain National Park; we both love hiking. The leaves were changing and there were beautiful bright yellow Aspens everywhere. Towards the end of the day, Nathan wanted to do one final hike on the Alpine Ridge Trail which has a very steep hike to the top. When we reached the summit (which has an elevation of 12,005 feet), Nathan said he wanted someone to take our picture together. While I was posing for the picture, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was completely surprised! And the guy that I thought was taking our picture got the whole thing on video! We spent the next few days hiking together in the gorgeous fall weather and enjoying being newly engaged. It was really special and such a beautiful place to get engaged!

Tropical Wedding Ceremony Decor, Wooden Sign with White Font, Palm Leaves, White Flowers | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning
Tropical Elegant Waterfront Wedding Ceremony Decor, Arch with Palm Tree Leaves and Flowers | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Clearwater Beach Wedding Venue Opal Sands Resort
Tropical Elegant Wedding Ceremony Decor, Monstera Palm Tree Leaves, Pink Ginger, Purple Orchids Floral Arrangements on Arch, White Folding Chairs and Pineapples Lining Ceremony Aisle | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning
Tropical Wedding Waterfront Ceremony Decor, Arch with Monstera Palm Tree Leaves, Pink Ginger, White Flowers | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Clearwater Beach Wedding Venue Opal Sands Resort

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
Tropical elegance with lots of Hawaiian inspiration! My family has spent several summers in Maui, Hawaii; it’s our favorite place in the whole world. I absolutely love the natural beauty of the island and the bright tropical flowers that grow everywhere. I wanted our wedding to feel like a weekend in a Hawaiian paradise, so we included lots of pineapples, bright, tropical flowers, and gorgeous, purple-orchid leis to give the warmth of aloha to all our family and friends.

What were your colors?
Our colors were tropical jade, bright blue, and gold. We wanted our wedding to have a fun, tropical vibe but also to be very elegant. We choose the bright blue suits because the blue had a beautiful beachy vibe, but it was still very classy. Also, Nathan looks amazing in bright blue, and we call it Nathan-blue because it is his favorite color!

I fell in love with the deep tropical jade color for the bridesmaids’ dresses because it complemented the bright tropical flowers so well and the blue in guy’s suits. I found these amazing gold pineapple vases that really brought the whole tropical look together and added a touch of sparkle. For the flowers, I knew I wanted a Hawaiian-inspired bouquet of as many vibrant tropicals as I could have in an arrangement. My favorite flowers are hibiscus, plumerias, and orchids so we included those along with some other tropical to create a huge arrangement with pink, purple, yellow, and white, and lots of tropical greenery to tie it all together.

Tropical Elegant Waterfront Wedding Ceremony, Bride Walking Down the Aisle | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Clearwater Beach Wedding Venue Opal Sands Resort
Tropical Elegant Bride Holding Lush Colorful Floral Bouquet Walking Down the Aisle

What was your ceremony music inspiration? 
I wanted live music during our ceremony, and I love the violin, especially during a wedding. I think it is just beautiful!

We hired Breezin’ Entertainment to play the violin during our wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. I had a few special songs, Somewhere Over the Rainbow for the bridal entrance, and hymns during communion that I wanted to be played during our ceremony, and Michael, our amazing violist, was able to perform them for us. Our guests really enjoyed the music. Michael did an incredible job!

Tropical Elegant Wedding Ceremony, Bride and Groom Exchanging Vows Under Arch with Monstera Palm Tree Leaves, Pink Ginger Florals | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Clearwater Beach Opal Sands Resort
Tropical Elegant Wedding Ceremony, Bride and Groom Exchanging Wedding Vows Under Arch with Monstera Palm Tree Leaves, Pink Ginger, Purple and White Floral Arrangements | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Waterfront Clearwater Beach Opal Sands Resort
Tropical Elegant Waterfront Wedding Ceremony Decor, Bride Holding Lush and Colorful Bouquet and Groom Kiss Under Arch with Monstera Palm Tree Leaves, Pink Ginger, Purple Orchids, White Flowers | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planner | Clearwater Beach Opal Sands Resort

What did you look for in a wedding planner?
We wanted a wedding planner who would make the whole planning process less stressful and that would advise us how to throw a really beautiful wedding without spending money unnecessarily.

We hired Special Moments Events Planning because Tammy and her team came highly recommended. Hiring Tammy was the best decision we made regarding the planning process! She is incredibly knowledgeable and connected with the best vendors. She made planning and then replanning our wedding since we had to delay our wedding by five months so much less stressful!

Tammy recommended the best vendors, gave us great advice on how to save money, and was incredibly supportive throughout the whole process. She carefully executed our wedding vision exactly the way we wanted it and made sure every detail was taken care of. This was the greatest gift to me on my wedding day because I didn’t have to worry about a thing but instead was free to be fully present and enjoy our special day! Additionally, with Tammy’s team of support, we didn’t need to put our family or bridal party members to work during our wedding weekend. Everyone was free just to enjoy the weekend! We would highly recommend Special Moments Events Planning to all couples!

Tropical Elegant Bride and Groom Wearing Floral Leighs with White Flowers and Green Palm Tree Leaves
Tropical Elegant Bride Under Arch with Monstera Palm Tree Leaves, Pink Ginger, Purple Orchids, White Flowers | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Waterfront Clearwater Beach Opal Sands Resort
Tropical Elegant Waterfront Bridal Party Photo, Bridesmaids in Mix and Match Teal Dresses, Bride in Lace Wedding Dress Holding Colorful Lush Floral Bouquet, Arch with Monstera Palm Tree Leaves, Pink Ginger, Purple Orchids, White Flowers | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning
Tropical Elegant Wedding Party Photo on Clearwater Beach, Groomsmen in Blue Suits with Hawaiian Green Leaves Leis, Bride Holding Lush Colorful Floral Bouquet Wearing Lace Dress and All White Floral Leis, Bridesmaids Wearing Teal Mix and Match Dresses Wearing Hawaiian Purple Flower Leis | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning
Clearwater Beach Bride Holding Lush Colorful Tropical Floral Bouquet with Pink Ginger, Monstera Palm Tree Leaves, Purple Orchids, Yellow Pincushion Proteas, White, Floral Bouquets, All White Hawaiian Floral Leis
Tropical Clearwater Beach Bride and Groom Sitting on Rocks

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
Nathan and I originally planned to go to Greece for our honeymoon but ended up planning a last-minute trip to coastal Maine in October instead. It ended up being an incredibly wonderful honeymoon! It was the peak week for fall foliage in Acadia National Park, so we had an amazing time hiking and enjoying the crisp fall weather in Maine.

We spent several days in Bar Harbor, Maine, then drove to Portland, Maine, and finally spent the last few days of our trip in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was fun doing a road trip down the eastern coast and very relaxing. We were a little apprehensive about traveling during COVID but ended up having a really amazing time!

Tropical Wedding Decor, Funny Pineapples Dressed as Bride and Groom with Sunglasses and Purple Orchid Floral Leis | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning
Tropical Elegant Wedding Reception Decor, Teal Tablecloth, Gold Chiavari Chairs, Gold Painted Pineapple with Pink Ginver, White and Purple Flowers, Gold Mercury Candles | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Clearwater Beach Opal Sands Resort
Tropical Elegant Wedding Reception Decor, Teal Tablecloths, Gold Chargers, Tall Floral Centerpiece, Clear Hurricane Glass Vase with Sand and Gold Pineapple, Monstera and Palm Tree Leaves, Pink Ginger, Purple Orchids, White Florals Centerpiece | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning
Tropical Elegant Wedding Reception Decor, Teal Tablecloth, Gold Painted Pineapple with Pink Ginver, White and Purple Flowers, Gold Mercury Candles | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Clearwater Beach Opal Sands Resort
Tropical Three Tier Elegant White Wedding Cake with Purple Orchids, White Flower, Gold Cake Topper
Tropical Clearwater Beach Bride and Groom First Dance Wedding Reception Photo | Tampa Bay Wedding DJ Grant Hemond and Associates

What did you look for in a wedding DJ?
We were looking for someone who would help us throw a really fun party and get everyone on the dance floor! We also wanted someone with a lot of wedding experience who would function as a fabulous MC and keep the evening flowing as far as the timeline. 

Grant Hemond & Associates came highly recommended by our wonderful wedding planner Special Moments Event Planning and had fantastic reviews, so we felt confident hiring them. Eric was our DJ during the reception and he did a fantastic job! He worked with us to play all our special songs and took care of all the miscellaneous song selections so we didn’t have to come up with an entire wedding playlist. It was really wonderful to simply share our general musical preferences with him and then let him put on a great event! 

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Do whatever you can to help yourself be fully present and enjoy your special day. Wedding planning can be very stressful. And I think it’s easy to get caught up in all the details (and COVID concerns) and completely miss the most important thing, which is the gift of your spouse and the joy of coming together as husband and wife!

Leading up to our wedding, I allowed myself to grieve over friends and family who couldn’t make it, and I intentionally let go of all our original plans that had to be altered due to COVID. I prayed a lot that there would be a spirit of joy over our wedding and that Nathan and I would be fully present to each other and all the gifts of our wedding weekend.

Our wedding was absolutely beautiful and so much fun; we loved every moment of it! I was so thankful for Tammy at Special Moments and Jenna at the Opal Sands who took care of every detail. Their attentiveness and exceptional care allowed us to fully hand over all the details and just be present for our day. My advice to couples is to do whatever you can to make the planning process less stressful and on your big day be fully present to every joyful moment!  

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Opal Sands Resort
Photographer: Revery Company
Videographer: Contessa Films Weddings
Planner: Special Moments Event Planning – Tammy Waterman *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Pro
Florist: The Bride’s Bouquet
Chairs, Up Lights, Draping: Gabro Event Services
Rentals: Mobile Wind
Linens: Connie Duglin Linens
Cake: A Piece of Cake
DJ: Grant Hemond & Associates *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Pro
Ceremony Music: Breezin’ Entertainment *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Pro
Officiant: Ron Kuykendall
Invitations: Minted
Dress: The Dressing Room
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Makeup: Flawless Beauty by Becca Yoder
Hair: Mallory Dandino

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.

MEET THE EDITOR

Marry Me Tampa Bay editor, Anna Coats, created Marry Me Tampa Bay in 2012 to showcase the area's best local weddings and vendors. She has been featured as a wedding expert on the national talkshow Daytime, Fox13, ABC Action News, Great Day Tampa Bay, and Bay News 9 (now Spectrum).

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