Vibrant, Tropical Destination Florida Wedding | Hilton Clearwater Beach

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Katelynn and Marques’ Clearwater Beach destination wedding was a fantasy-filled weekend that brought the couple’s closest friends and family to Tampa Bay’s best beach for a dream vacation. The modern tropical wedding incorporated luxurious Florida palms and striking geometric accents to create a beachfront paradise that was unique to their love story.

“Marques and I loved the thought of our wedding as a weekend, giving us quality time with our friends and family instead of cramming that into one day. We decided Florida was a good spot for almost all our guests to travel to,” the bride explained. “Our colors included bright magenta for the bridesmaids’ dresses and navy, white and grey for the groomsmen. Our flowers had a ton of tropical green plants with magenta, purple and tangerine colors. Our tables included a wicker placemat with a palm leaf on top and navy blue watercolored table numbers and thank you cards.”

MORE: CLEARWATER BEACH WEDDING INSPIRATION

With their family and friends arriving from different regions of the country, the bride and groom considered destinations that would serve as a relaxing getaway for their 85 guests, while also finding a full-service hotel wedding venue that would complement the modern tropical aesthetic they were seeking.

“Marques and I took a long weekend to fly down to Florida to check out a few venues in the Clearwater, Siesta Key, and Sarasota areas. Out of all the venues, the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa was our favorite. We selected the Hilton because it best suited our diverse wedding guests, and it had the best interior and exterior design for the needs of our guests,” Katelynn shared. “We had families, singles, older and younger couples, and the Hilton could accommodate all of their needs for a vacation. The relaxed vibe that we were receiving from the outdoor reception space called the Sandpiper Deck also intrigued us because we weren’t looking for anything extravagant. Working with the event staff and Candice Slater, in particular, was a wonderful experience.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT HILTON CLEARWATER BEACH RESORT & SPA | EMAIL

As the Columbus, Ohio couple planned their dream Florida beach wedding, Katelynn used professional recommendations to find a highly reputable wedding DJ to deliver a playlist that would have the entire reception on the dance floor.

Grant Hemond & Associates lived up to the recommendations. The service was amazing, and we absolutely loved our disk jockey, Eric Harding!” the bride gushed. “Eric had a wonderful playlist and song mixes. The dance floor was full the entire time. He accommodated all of our requests and did a wonderful job communicating with our photographers and catering specialist. We would recommend anyone that was getting married in the area to hire Grant Hemond and Eric for their wedding disc jockey. Our guests would say the same as well!”

LEARN MORE ABOUT GRANT HEMOND & ASSOCIATES | EMAIL

Looking back on their wedding day, it was the significance of their two families uniting as one that holds the sweetest memory in Katelynn and Marques’ hearts.

“Our most memorable moments were the vows because I also ended up giving vows to my now stepdaughter Ava, the first look was such a private and intimate experience for Marques and me, and for our first dance, we invited both sets of parents up to finish the dance beside us,” the bride reminisced. “During our sunset photoshoot, the sky was so romantic and vibrant during the entire shoot. Two dolphins also popped out of the water mid-shoot. We cheered so loud and couldn’t believe it!”

Tampa Bay Waterfront Beach Hotel Wedding Venue Hilton Clearwater Beach
Tampa Bay Waterfront Beach Hotel Wedding Venue Hilton Clearwater Beach
Tropical Elegant White, Greenery and Geometric Patterns Wedding Invitation Suite
Round Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring on Infiniti Band
Wedding Dress Hanging on Greenery Wall of Hotel Lobby | Tampa Bay Waterfront Beach Hotel Wedding Venue Hilton Clearwater Beach

The Proposal:
Marques planned an entire evening for us to get dressed up and go to a nice dinner at our previous first big date location in Columbus, OH. Once we got there, we ran into local husband and wife photographers who Marques hired to capture our engagement. As we ran into them, they asked us if we would pose for a photo in front of the outdoor fountain and mid pose Marques got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I was completely caught off guard, and when that happens, it’s a mix of laughter and crying. Once I collected myself, I absolutely said yes! We did go to dinner, where he had a dozen roses at the table ready to greet us. We both couldn’t stop smiling at one another the entire time.

Bride in Elegant Beaded Lace Applique Fit and Flare with Illusion Sweetheart Neckline Lo'Adoro Wedding Dress Wedding Portrait
INSTAGRAM Bride Holding Tropical King Protea, Red and Orange Roses, Pink and Yellow Floral Accents, Monstera and Palm Fronds Wedding Floral Bridal Bouquet Portrait
Florida Bride with Bridesmaids in Matching Magenta Dresses Holding Tropical Monstera Palm Leaves, Orange Flowers, King Proteas, Pink and Orange Roses Floral Bouquets | Tampa Bay Waterfront Beach Hotel Wedding Venue Hilton Clearwater Beach
Classic Tropical Florida Bride Beauty Wedding Portrait with Neutral Makeup Hair Updo
Tropical Florida Bride and Groom Intimate Emotional First Look Wedding Portrait, Groom in Grey Vest and Blue Pant Suit, Short Sleeve White Shirt and Floral Bowtie
Intimate Bride and Groom First Look Wedding Portrait In Front of Greenery Hotel Backdrop | Tampa Bay Waterfront Beach Hotel Wedding Venue Hilton Clearwater Beach

What was your wedding design inspiration?
Once we decided to have the wedding at a tropical location, I loved the idea of having as much color and tropical foliage as we could.

What were your colors?
Our colors include bright magenta for the bridesmaids’ dresses and navy, white and grey for the groomsmen. Our flowers had a ton of tropical green plants with magenta, purple and tangerine colors. Our tables included a wicker placemat with a palm leaf on top, and navy blue watercolored table numbers and thank you cards.

Tropical Beachfront Wedding Ceremony Decor, Blue and White Watercolor Welcome Sign | Clearwater Beach Waterfront Beach Hotel Wedding Venue Hilton Clearwater Beach
INSTAGRAM Clearwater Beach Waterfront Beachfront Wedding Reception Decor, Tropical Floral Arrangements, King Proteas, Palm Fronds, Monstera Palm Leaves, Orange, Pink, Purple and Yellow Floral Arrangements on Geometric Octagonal Ceremony Arch
Clearwater Beach Waterfront Tropical Floral Arrangements on Chairs, Monstera Palm Leaves, King Proteas, Orange and Pink Roses, Yellow and Purple Floral Arrangements | Florida Beach Wedding Ceremony Decor Ideas
Clearwater Beach Waterfront Beachfront Wedding Reception Decor, Tropical Floral Arrangements, King Proteas, Palm Fronds, Monstera Palm Leaves, Orange, Pink, Purple and Yellow Floral Arrangements on Geometric Octagonal Ceremony Arch | Florida Beach Wedding Ceremony Decor Ideas
Tropical Wedding Ceremony Decor, Pink and Orange Roses, King Proteas, Purple Orchids, Yellow Peony, Monstera Palm Leaves Floral Arrangements
Tropical Clearwater Beach Bride Walking Down the Wedding Ceremony Aisle with Father Holding King Protea, Purple, Red and Orange Roses, Purple Orchids, Palm Fronds and Monstera Leaf Floral Bridal Bouquet
Clearwater Beach Bride and Groom Exchanging Wedding Ceremony Vows Waterfront, Geometric Octagonal Wooden Arch with Tropical King Proteas, Orange, Pink and Red Roses, Purple Orchids, Palm Fronds and Monstera Palm Leaves Floral Arrangements on Beach Portrait | Tampa Bay Waterfront Beach Hotel Wedding Venue Hilton Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach Intimate Kissing Bride and Groom Portrait, Geometric Octagonal Wooden Arch with Tropical King Proteas, Orange, Pink and Red Roses, Yellow and Purple Accents, Palm Fronds and Monstera Leaves Floral Arramngements, Beachfront and Waterfront Wedding
Clearwater Beach Bride and Groom Excitement Wedding Portrait After Saying I Do's, Geometric Octagonal Wooden Arch with Tropical Palm Fronds, Monstera Leaves, Pink, Orange and Red Roses, Yellow and Purple Floral Arrangements | Tampa Bay Waterfront Beach Hotel Wedding Venue Hilton Clearwater Beach
Clearwater Beach Bride and Groom Waterfront Recessional Wedding Portrait
Creative Florida Bride Wedding Portrait Holding Tropical Palm Fronds, Monstera Leaves, King Protea, Red, Pink and Orange Roses, Purple and Yellow Floral Bouquet
Clearwater Beach Bride and Groom Sunset Intimate Waterfront Wedding Portrait
Clearwater Beach Bride and Groom Sunset Intimate Waterfront Wedding Portrait

What did you look for in a wedding venue?
Marques and I took a long weekend to fly down to Florida to check out a few venues in the Clearwater, Siesta Key, and Sarasota areas. It was important that the venue accommodated the diversity of our wedding guests and how we wanted to spend our time at the site. We also wanted the wedding reception to be at the same location as our ceremony for ease of transportation and time.

Out of all the venues, the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa was our favorite. We selected the Hilton because it best suited our diverse wedding guests, and it had the best interior and exterior design for the needs of our guests. We had families, singles, older and younger couples, and the Hilton could accommodate all of their needs for a vacation. The relaxed vibe that we were receiving from the outdoor reception space called the Sandpiper Deck also intrigued us because we weren’t looking for anything extravagant. Working with the event staff and Candice Slater, in particular, was a wonderful experience.

 

Tropical Tampa Bay Waterfront Wedding Venue Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa
Tropical Wedding Reception Decor, Round Tables with White Linens, White Folding Chairs and Colorful Floral Centerpieces, White Draping | Outdoor Florida Beach Hotel Wedding Venue Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa
Tropical Wedding Reception Decor, Small Gold and Clear Vases with King Protea, Orange and Purple Flowers and Palm Leaves Centerpieces
Tropical Clearwater Beach Wedding Reception Decor, White Linen with Blue Watercolor Thank You Stationery, Palm Frond and Wicker Charger
INSTAGRAM Classic Two Tier White Wedding Cake Garnished with Real Tropical Florals, Palm Leaves, Pink, Yellow, Red and Purple Roses on Acrylic Cake Stand

What did you look for in a wedding DJ?
We had to rely on the Hilton’s preferred venue list, and after advice from our wedding catering specialist, we chose the services from Grant Hemond & Associates, and they lived up to the recommendations.

The service was amazing, and we absolutely loved our disk jockey, Eric Harding! Eric had a wonderful playlist and song mixes. The dance floor was full the entire time. He accommodated all of our requests and did a wonderful job communicating with our photographers and catering specialist. We would recommend anyone that was getting married in the area to hire Grant Hemond and Eric for their wedding disc jockey. Our guests would say the same as well!

 

Tropical Florida Bride and Groom First Dance Wedding Reception Portrait | Waterfront Hotel Wedding Venue Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa | Tampa Bay Wedding DJ and Entertainment Grant Hemond and Associates
Night Portrait of Florida Waterfront Hotel Wedding Venue Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Visit the venues you are interested in because the images online can be very deceiving. Also, if you have a beach wedding, make sure to visit where the ceremony site will be on the beach. Multiple venues had a very short beachfront that wasn’t suitable for the number of wedding guests we had. If we hadn’t visited, we would have never known due to the misleading photos online. Also, you should have multiple conversations before hiring your vendors.

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort and Spa *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Venue
Photographer: Ashlee Hamon Photography
Videographer: Joe Creighton
Florist: Iza’s Flowers
Cake: Chantilly Cakes
DJ: Grant Hemond & Associates *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Officiant: Rich Tiemann
Invitations: Minted
Dress Shop and Designer: Henri’s Bridal, Lo’Adoro
Bridesmaid Dress Shop and Designer: LuLu’s and JJ’s House
Hair & Makeup: Lindsay Travis Artistry
Caricature: Rich Caricatures




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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