Tropical Waterfront Tampa Elopement Inspiration | Godfrey Hotel

Tampa Bay Wedding Planning Advice Group

As an era of socially distanced events and small gatherings have increased in popularity, many of today’s couples envision their wedding day in a more intimate setting.

Wedding planners Emily and Melanie with Elope Tampa Bay, which specializes in intimate ceremonies, sought to create a new style of inspiration that fit the need for modern-day celebrations in Florida.

“Since we have seen a big increase in intimate weddings and elopements due to the pandemic, we really wanted to showcase how unique small weddings can be. Just because you have an intimate wedding does not mean you have to compromise on design and some of the really fun elements of a larger wedding,” Emily shared.


With outdoor wedding venues being ideal for large or small events, the planners selected the Godfrey, located just off the Courtney Campbell Causeway, which offers an overwater ceremony pier, amazing sunsets, and all the Florida feels.

The Godfrey pier is really the perfect place for an elopement. The pier is small enough to host an intimate wedding but yet not too small where guests would feel crowded. This is the perfect location for couples that want that water view without actually having their toes in the sand,” the planner gushed.


Complementing the boutique hotel’s “chic waterfront oasis,” the planners chose a vibrant tropical design, with bursts of oranges and reds.

“Since this was by the water on the pier, we really wanted to stick with a tropical, colorful theme. We wanted the flowers to pop and really stand out in front of the water rather than going with muted tones and greenery,” Emily explained.


Emphasizing the scenic beauty of Florida, the vibrant bridal bouquet created by Brides N Blooms Designs featured an array of tropical flora that popped against the stark monstera leaf greenery.


For an elopement experience that was filled with all of the style and none of the stress, Elope Tampa Bay designed a ceremony that incorporated all of the most desired elements of a wedding day. The bride’s effortless look was styled by Nikki’s Glitz and Glam Boutique while Femme Akoi Beauty Studio provided glamourous braid and makeup that accentuated her natural beauty.


To capture the sweet moments and stunning sunset Amber McWhorter Photography detailed every moment, from getting ready to the champagne pop.


Personalizing the wedding day for each couple is what makes each event special, and Elope Tampa Bay chose carefully selected desserts to commemorate the life-changing moment.

“The desserts really were fun for us to play around with for this couple. They didn’t like a traditional wedding cake and really loved Key Lime Pie. Since that is a staple in Florida, we thought it was the perfect alternative for a small cake cutting for a post-ceremony celebration!” the planners beamed. “We also thought the custom donuts would be a fun photo op and a great way for future couples to announce their elopement through photos on social media and to family and friends!”

Wanting to ensure that couples who get married during the pandemic still have a memorable day, the planners incorporated all of the most magical moments from a wedding day into a single elopement.

“We really try to make every single elopement unique for couples. If they are not feeling a champagne toast, we will swap it out for their favorite cocktail. If they don’t like a wedding cake, we still want them to be able to share a treat together and enjoy that moment,” Emily explained. “Just because they are having a small wedding does not mean they cannot still enjoy the first dance together. We want couples to really feel like they are not compromising on any of the details of a larger wedding and promise to make it just as special!”

How would you describe your theme?
Since this was by the water on the pier we really wanted to stick with a tropical, colorful theme.

What were your colors?
We wanted the flowers to pop and really stand out in front of the water rather than going with muted tones and greenery. Since this was during Summer it was fitting as well!

What was your inspiration for this shoot?
Since we have seen a big increase in intimate weddings and elopements due to the pandemic we really wanted to showcase how unique small weddings can be. Just because you have an intimate wedding does not mean you have to compromise on design and some of the really fun elements of a larger wedding.

This all-inclusive elopement package starts at $2,750.

Venue: The Godfrey Hotel *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Venue
Photographer: Amber McWhorter Photography *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Planner: Elope Tampa Bay *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Florist: Brides N Blooms Designs *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Hair and Makeup: Femme Akoi Beauty Studio *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Dress: Nikki’s Glitz and Glam Boutique
Suit: Groom to Have
Officiant: Kaitlin with CCC
Models: Taylor King and Nolan Escher


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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