Wedding

Vibrant Green, Pink, and Orange Downtown St. Pete Wedding | The Renaissance Vinoy

Andrea and Eric’s vibrant downtown St. Petersburg wedding took place a the romantic tea garden in the heart of downtown St. Pete. Vibrant florals with varying shades of pinks and oranges popped against the lush greenery of the courtyard, making the tropical location of Tampa Bay feel all the more like paradise for their 90 guests.

“Eric’s style is very classic, and mine is very bright, bold, and loud. We wanted the wedding to reflect both of those things in the decor and the overall vibe. I would describe my design inspiration as a sort of tropical boho-chic. I live in a neighborhood called Coconut Grove in Miami, which is lush and green and covered in bougainvillea vines. The bougainvilleas were my inspiration for really all the decor; they feel so Florida to me, and I wanted to embrace that. I always dreamed of being married in St. Pete, where I was born and raised so that I could show off my hometown and how charming and perfect it is!” the bride beamed. “Our primary color was green, with pops of bright pink and orange flowers as well as gold and wicker accents.”

To plan her November destination wedding, the South Florida bride researched venues and entrusted Marry Me Tampa Bay preferred wedding planner Staci Mandikas, owner of UNIQUE Weddings & Events, for her vendor selections and eye for design. The vibrant floral chuppah took centerstage while the iconic garden fountain was accented with pops of pink and orange roses surrounded by greenery.

“Before we settled on The Vinoy, we definitely used Marry Me Tampa Bay to explore different venue options. Beyond that, I relied entirely on our planner, Staci! Particularly with this being an out-of-town wedding, her help was invaluable, and she did a killer job,” Andrea gushed. “More than anything, I needed someone with a design eye. Design and decor are NOT my things at all, but I could tell immediately that it was Staci’s passion. UNIQUE Weddings & Events had so many incredible ideas and worked with me to identify which were the most important design elements for me, like the chuppah, the fountain, and the lighting at dinner, and how I could best negotiate other design elements to stay within budget. Additionally, because we don’t live in Tampa Bay, I needed someone on the ground to assist in dealing with vendors efficiently. Staci was a dream, detail-oriented, and creative, and she made an overwhelming process fun. She was incredible, and I would highly recommend her to anyone!”

Lifelong Photography Studio’s reputation for exceptional wedding portraits was the perfect fit for the couple, who sought out both a natural and editorial style of portraits.

“We were looking for a classic style and someone who could really accentuate the color pops of the wedding. I also know my husband can get easily annoyed when asked to take a million photos, so I wanted someone I felt he could vibe with,” the bride revealed. “We had narrowed it down to a few photographers, but I felt like Gabriel from Lifelong Photography Studio had really calming energy and a lot of ideas for the best places at The Vinoy to take photographs.”

Femme Akoi Beauty Studio pulled Andrea’s hair back into a whimsical low-bun with ringlets that framed her face and a gorgeous bold glam for her makeup.

“I hired Femme Akoi at the recommendation of our planner, and they were fantastic. I wanted a soft, effortless-looking updo with flowers from the wedding pinned to my hair and a smokey eye and bold lip for makeup,” Andrea detailed. “I am very into makeup and was not afraid to go bold! I was obsessed with my look, and it really stayed together pretty much all night!”

The pièce de résistance of the evening was the cake and dessert table from The Artistic Whisk. Gold foiling and bright florals decorated the white-iced two-tier wedding cake. In lieu of the precious pup Khalessi joining them on their wedding day, she was featured at the top of the cake for all to adore.

“We chose The Artistic Whisk at the suggestion of our wedding planner, and they did not disappoint! We are not really cake people, so we wanted to keep it minimal and focus on having a gorgeous dessert bar with lots of different options. For example, we knew we needed to incorporate cannolis, and we also had creme brûlée, cake pops, macarons, and this incredible chocolate peanut butter crisp brownie. It was amazing!” the bride beamed. “I wanted the cake design to echo the gold leaf accents of the overall wedding decor and to be subtle and allow the incredible flower arrangement around the dessert bar to really pop. The most important detail of the cake was the cake topper of our dog, Khaleesi. We commissioned it from an artist on Etsy, and she really nailed it!”

As Andrea reflected on her favorite parts of the day, the subtle moments meant the most, such as the look on her nephew’s face while they were dancing the horah.

“My nephew Jacob, who was seven at the time, wasn’t so sure about the wedding. He was interested in the cake pops but seemed otherwise dubious about the event. But once we started dancing the horah, I looked over and saw him have this moment where he realized that he got to join in this festive dancing, and with a giant smile on his face, he joyfully joined the circle. It was so pure, I’ll never forget it,” the bride reminisced. “Toward the end of the evening, my friends and I had an epic singalong to “I2I” from A Goofy Movie. The dance floor was torn up. Third, I am the chatterbox in the relationship, with a very bubbly, outgoing personality. Eric is much quieter and much more private, and while he will go on and on about things like Star Trek and constitutional law, he is otherwise quite reserved. But to hear his vows, to hear him express his emotions in such a profound way…it blew me away. I’ll never forget the feeling of watching him profess his love for me in front of a crowd of people who love us.”

The Modern Groom Banner Ad 728x90 1

Green and White Wedding Invitation Suite inspiration
White Deep V Jewel Neckline A-Line Justin Alexander Wedding Dress
Green Satin Matching Bridesmaids Wedding Day Pajamas | White with Black Piping Monogram Bridal Pajamas | Tampa Bay Hair and Makeup Artist Femme Akoi Beauty Studio
Garden Wedding Portrait | Lifelong Photography Studio

The Proposal:
Eric and I were finally moving in together and had just gotten the keys to our new townhouse. Our initial plan was going to be to celebrate the new place with a champagne toast on the roof before going out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, but the COVID closures had just begun, so we had to revert to eating takeout on our roof.

When Eric told me that we should still dress up, I knew this would be the moment! I’d always told him I wanted to look nice when he proposed. He proposed that night on our roof, and I yelled in response, “OF COURSE I’LL MARRY YOU.” It was such a dark time in the world with the onset of the pandemic, and the response we got when we announced it was over the top, I think, because people were just so glad to finally hear some good news! We spent much of our engagement holed up together. As crazy a time as that was, it was also a special time in our relationship. We made a great #quaranteam.

Intimate Bride and Groom First Look Wedding Portrait
Intimate Bride and Groom First Look Wedding Portrait

What did you look for in a wedding photographer?

We were looking for a classic style and someone who could really accentuate the color pops of the wedding. I also know my husband can get easily annoyed when asked to take a million photos, so I wanted someone I felt he could vibe with.

We had narrowed it down to a few photographers, but I felt like Gabriel from Lifelong Photography Studio had really calming energy and a lot of ideas for the best places at The Vinoy to take photographs.

Romantic Veil Wedding Portrait | St Pete Photographer Lifelong Photography Studio
Tropical White Orchid, Yellow Pincushion Protea, Red and Orange Roses, Monstera Bridal Wedding Bouquet
Dark Green Bridesmaids Dresses and Gray Suit Bridal Party Wedding Attire
Mismatched Dark Green Vera Wang Bridesmaids Wedding Dresses
Bold Makeup Inspiration | St Pete Hair and Makeup Artist Femme Akoi Beauty Studio

What were your hair and makeup inspiration?

“I hired Femme Akoi Beauty Studio at the recommendation of our planner, and they were fantastic. I wanted a soft, effortless-looking updo with flowers from the wedding pinned to my hair and a smokey eye and bold lip for makeup,” Andrea detailed. “I am very into makeup and was not afraid to go bold! I was obsessed with my look, and it really stayed together pretty much all night!”

Tea Garden Tropical Wedding Inspiration | St Petersburg Venue The Vinoy | Tampa Bay Planner Unique Weddings and Events
Tropical Flower Arrangement Wedding Ceremony Fountain Decor
Pink Bougainvillea, Orange and Red Roses, Monstera Wedding Chuppah Floral Arrangement Inspiration
Bright Pink Bougainvillea, Orange and Red Roses, Monstera Wedding Chuppah Floral Arrangement Inspiration
Jewish Wedding Tradition Ideas | Breaking of the Glass | Kiddushin

What elements of your wedding were the most important?
The most important thing to us was the Jewish wedding ceremony. Judaism is a big part of our lives, and it was important that we have a ceremony that was rooted in tradition but with a modern egalitarian sensibility. As part of this, I spared no expense when it came to our chuppah (wedding canopy). It was covered in gorgeous tropical flowers, with my father’s tallit (prayer shawl) hanging along the top. My father died just after Eric and I got engaged, so to be able to have a piece of him at the ceremony meant the world to us.

The music was also important. Since I was a teenager, I had always dreamed of walking down the aisle to Something by The Beatles. We hired a three-piece jazz band to play during the ceremony, a nod to the time I spent living in New Orleans, and their version of the song was everything I’d hoped for!

Lastly, the bougainvilleas were really important to me. Unfortunately, my wedding planner soon found out that they wilt almost immediately after trimming them off the vine! We worked around this by incorporating faux bougainvillea (you’d never know) with an array of other tropical flowers. The floral pieces were absolutely stunning and everything I wanted!

Bride and Groom Wedding Vow Reading | Florida Jewish Wedding
Circling and Seven Blessings | Jewish Wedding Ceremony Ideas | Florida Jewish Wedding
Bride and Groom Kiss | Tampa Bay Planner Unique Weddings and Events | St Pete Photographer Lifelong Photography

What did you look for in a wedding planner?

Before we settled on The Vinoy, we definitely used Marry Me Tampa Bay to explore different venue options. Beyond that, I relied entirely on our planner, Staci! Particularly with this being an out-of-town wedding, her help was invaluable, and she did a killer job.

More than anything, I needed someone with a design eye. Design and decor are NOT my things at all, but I could tell immediately that it was Staci’s passion. UNIQUE Weddings & Events had so many incredible ideas and worked with me to identify which were the most important design elements for me, like the chuppah, the fountain, and the lighting at dinner, and how I could best negotiate other design elements to stay within budget.

Additionally, because we don’t live in Tampa Bay, I needed someone on the ground to assist in dealing with vendors efficiently. Staci was a dream, detail-oriented, and creative, and she made an overwhelming process fun. She was incredible, and I would highly recommend her to anyone!

Bride on Stairs Wedding Portrait
Bride and Groom on the Stairs | St Petersburg Photographer Lifelong Photography Studio
Bride and Groom Kiss on Front Steps | St Pete Wedding Venue The Vinoy
Unique Wedding Reception Seating Chart Ideas
Pink, Orange, and Gold Wedding Decor Ideas | St Petersburg Planner Unique Weddings and Events
Outdoor Wedding Reception | Champagne Linen | White Folding Garden Chairs | St Petersburg Venue The Vinoy
Pink, Orange, Red, and Ruscus Greenery Floral Centerpieces | Gold Frame Table Number

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
Eric’s style is very classic, and mine is very bright, bold, and loud. We wanted the wedding to reflect both of those things in the decor and the overall vibe. I would describe my design inspiration as a sort of tropical boho-chic. I live in a neighborhood called Coconut Grove in Miami, which is lush and green and covered in bougainvillea vines. The bougainvilleas were my inspiration for really all the decor; they feel so Florida to me, and I wanted to embrace that.

What were your colors?
Our primary color was green, with pops of bright pink and orange flowers as well as gold and wicker accents. 

Outdoor Wedding Reception | Champagne Linen | White Folding Garden Chairs
Geometric Flower Stand Candlelit Centerpiece Ideas
Outdoor Wedding Reception | Champagne Linen | White Folding Garden Chairs
Sweetheart Table with Champagne Linen and Tropical Flower Table Spray Inspiration

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
We went to Capetown, South Africa,
as well as on safari. We wanted to go somewhere epic and also take advantage of the fact that we had these two weeks off and go somewhere far away. Safari has always been a dream of mine, and I’ve always wanted to see Capetown. It was truly the best two weeks of our lives. If we didn’t miss the dog so much, we would have stayed forever!

Where did you host your bachelorette party?
We did a weekend in Austin. I’d never been and heard it’s amazing, and it seemed like the perfect vibe for a girl’s trip. We had a blast and ate a ton of breakfast tacos!

Tropical Chuppah Jewish Wedding Inspiration | St. Pete Venue The Vinoy Tea Garden
Tropical Maroon Carnations, Orange, Pink, and Red Roses with Eucalyptus and Ruscus Greenery Dessert Table Floral Arrangement Ideas
Vibrant Dessert Bar | Brownie Cake pop, Macaron, Creme Brulee Wedding Reception Cake Alternatives

What was your wedding cake inspiration?

We chose The Artistic Whisk at the suggestion of our wedding planner, and they did not disappoint! We are not really cake people, so we wanted to keep it minimal and focus on having a gorgeous dessert bar with lots of different options.

For example, we knew we needed to incorporate cannolis, and we also had creme brûlée, cake pops, macarons, and this incredible chocolate peanut butter crisp brownie. It was amazing!

I wanted the cake design to echo the gold leaf accents of the overall wedding decor and to be subtle and allow the incredible flower arrangement around the dessert bar to really pop. The most important detail of the cake was the cake topper of our dog, Khaleesi. We commissioned it from an artist on Etsy, and she really nailed it!

Two-Tiered Semi-Naked Wedding Cake | Tropical Maroon Carnations, Orange, Pink and Red Roses with Eucalyptus and Ruscus Greenery Dessert Table Floral Arrangement Inspiration | St. Pete Bakery The Artistic Whisk
Bride and Groom First Dance Wedding Portrait

Which vendors really exceeded your expectations and how?
I had high hopes for our florist, and my expectations were surpassed. Our chuppah was absolutely breathtaking, just as I had dreamed it would be. Plus, because of how we used the space, it also served as a backdrop for our dessert display, so it had a lot of functionality and made it into a ton of photographs.

I was also extremely pleased with The Artistic Whisk. We wanted an array of desserts, including cake pops, cannolis, mini creme brulees, and more. The presentation and taste were both spectacular.

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
I think St. Pete is such a gem that many people don’t know about if they’re not from Florida, and that if you can have the wedding in a place that’s centrally located, it gives guests a great opportunity to explore the city. My guests were all raving about St. Pete and how charming it is.

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Vendor Credits

 

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.