Vibrant, Tropical Outdoor Wedding | St. Pete Pier
Wedding

Vibrant, Tropical Outdoor Wedding | St. Pete Pier

Abby and Ron's downtown St. Pete wedding combined offbeat bohemian elements with tropical flora against the exciting backdrop of the new St. Pete Pier. After originally planning a more subtle green and white palette, the bride opted for an assortment of bright shades befitting the Florida locale, and the result was even better than her initial vision.

“The wedding inspo was tropical, bohemian, funky, and bold. Initially, we were going to do all white and green with pops of blush, but one day I was talking to our wedding planner, and I said ‘Would It be totally crazy if we did something different with the flowers? Instead of green and white, we do all of the colors?' Then, with the inclusion of a tropical explosion color palette, we were able to play with everything having a funkier, less formal vibe,” the bride explained. “Capturing the beach vibes with the colors was a major pivot about two months out, and we were so happy we did! Our wedding palette was a tropical explosion, orange, pink, red, yellow, green, all of the vibrant tropical colors. Even though this is where we live, we wanted this to be like a destination wedding for our guests.”

The St. Petersburg pair focused on providing their guests a unique and memorable experience that was a departure from the typical wedding day traditions, prioritizing immersive florals and décor, interactive elements, and attentive meal and drink service.

“We wanted the wedding to be an experience and not typical. We are very social people who love entertaining and connecting, so we wanted our wedding to be atypical in the sense that it allowed for a lot of movement and flow for people to talk instead of sitting at a table for a long time. We wanted things to do around every corner, so we had a photo booth, a lounge, action stations for food, a band, and a grassy knoll area at the pier to hang out on,” Abby shared.

The St. Pete Pier features lots of open space with stunning waterfront and city views making it a transformative space for a reception. The pair converted the nearby park with tables, chairs, linens, a lounge, a greenery wall, and wicker egg chair rentals.

Kate Ryan Event Rentals made the ambiance!” the bride gushed. “We had a totally blank slate and the combination of farmhouse tables and round tables was so dynamic and fun. For the linens and chargers and other tables and colors, everything was made of wood or bronze or a subdued earthy green color to get those earthy vibes in the background to complement the florals. The linens captured that earthy vibe we wanted, and the lounge was just so funky and cool!  We love a bohemian, rock n roll vibe; everything was just fantastic to look at.”

With guest experience as a top priority, Abby and Ron chose The Gala Photobooth as an interactive experience that everyone would enjoy for their April wedding.

“Looking back at all of the pictures our guests really had fun being creative in there. We had some say they kept going back in all night! We picked a golden palm backdrop and a Havana night prop theme that really complemented our tropical vibe throughout the wedding. The prints were super clean looking with a white background and simple text with our names and date, so we loved those as additional party favors,” the bride raved. “The pictures are gorgeous! And as a matter of fact, some of the pics of us in the photo booth are our favorites of the whole night! I definitely think it added to our interactive element and vibe we wanted for the guests and everyone loved it and looked awesome in those pics. Countless guests used them in social media posts to commemorate the weekend. The response time and professionalism were key in me choosing The Gala Photobooth but I also loved their aesthetic and it was super affordable! I definitely was pleased with the service they offered, how all of the images were printed for us to take home as a couple, and how all the guests were given a digital album link! It was very much worth it!”

Being the first wedding on the iconic St. Pete Pier, the couple looked for a wedding photographer who could capture all of the unique elements of the day, as well as the couple's unique personalities.

“I actually interviewed several photographers and wanted to make sure we connected to break us out of awkwardness in photos. So, after I identified some that were fun to connect with, I asked Amber McWhorter what I should look for, and her answer was brilliant; she said to look at the editing style! So my mom created several collages of pictures from various photographers and didn't tell me whose pictures were whose; she just asked me to tell her which numbers were my favorite so we could figure out which editing style I was the most drawn to. Of all the collages she sent, I picked Amber McWhorter Photography in each one!” the bride revealed. “Looking back I realized that the style is very bright, fun, bold but whimsical, so, I knew Amber was the right fit for us. She was absolutely amazing! She knew that my timeline was very important, and she was a real pro in getting all the shots we wanted in a timely manner. She also is a wizard at taking any environment and finding an amazing place to take unmatched pictures.”

Witnessing her guests as they interacted with the various wedding elements was one of Abby's favorite memories of her wedding day. Knowing that everyone had an unforgettable evening is something the bride will forever treasure.

“There were so many memorable moments from the day, from the ceremony and cocktail hour to the transition to seated tables with speeches and our band!! These were where we got to see people experience our vision as it came to life, and we were just so happy with the event!” Abby reminisced.

Tropical Green Palm Leaves and White Wedding Invitation Suite, Bridal Accessories | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography
Tropical Green Palm Leaves and White Wedding Invitation Suite, Bridal Accessories | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography
Round Solitaire Diamond Engagement Ring and Black Groom Wedding Band in Floral Bouquet, King Protea | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography
Boho Lace Strapless Wedding Dress with Nude Lining Hanging Outside Wedding Venue | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography
Florida Bride and Bridesmaids in Matching Tan Robes with Lace Trim | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Hair and Makeup Femme Akoi Beauty Studio
Tropical Boho Bride Holding Colorful Floral Bouqouet with King Protea and Pink Anthurium | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Hair and Makeup Femme Akoi Beauty Studio

The Proposal:
We got engaged in Hawaii in September. We went for a friend’s wedding scheduled on the second weekend we were there, so on the first weekend of our visit, we found a trail race on the island of Kauai. We love being active and working out, and I love running, so at the finish line at the end of the trail race Ron popped the question!

We were covered in volcanic mud head to toe; it was awesome! Ron had run the entire race with a fanny pack on (which isn’t out of character for him!) and in there he had the ring. He had coordinated people to take pictures and videos when he did it so we have such great images of the mud-covered moment! I loved it so much because this is so my personality. I am like please don't get me dressed up, I want to be in my element when you propose! 

Waterfront Tropical Wedding Ceremony Decor, Circular Colorful Floral Arch | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography
Bride and Groom Exchanging Wedding Vows During Waterfront Tropical Wedding Ceremony Decor, Circular Colorful Floral Arch | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography
Bride and Groom Dip Kiss, Waterfront Tropical Wedding Ceremony Decor, Circular Colorful Floral Arch | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography
Bride and Groom Kissing on Trolley Train with Bridesmaids and Groomsmen | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography
Boho Bride Holding Tropical Colorful Floral Bouquet, King Protea, Monstera Palm Leaf, Purple Orchids, Red Roses, Pink Anthurium, Orange Flowers | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Hair and Makeup Femme Akoi Beauty Studio

What were your hair and makeup inspiration?

I wanted someone who could do bold but natural hair and makeup! 

My wedding planner had done a styled shoot with Femme Akoi Beauty Studio and all the girls had amazing fun braids and just looked so boho-chic with natural glowing makeup but killer lips, so I was like, yes, I need this! My stylist knocked my trial out of the park! 

Boho Tropical Bride and Groom Veil Blowing in Wind Portrait | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Hair and Makeup Femme Akoi Beauty Studio

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
Hawaii! Going back to the scene of the engagement! We loved it so much and just wanted more time to explore and to re-do the trail race we got engaged on! 

Boho Tropical Bride with Bridesmaids in Mix and Match Taupe Dresses Holding Colorful Floral Bouquets | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Hair and Makeup Femme Akoi Beauty Studio
Boho Tropical Bride with Bridesmaids in Mix and Match Taupe Dresses Holding Colorful Floral Bouquets | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Hair and Makeup Femme Akoi Beauty Studio
Florida Bride and Groom Holding Hands Waterfront From Above Wedding Photo | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography

What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
I actually interviewed several photographers and wanted to make sure we connected to break us out of awkwardness in photos. After I identified some that were fun to connect with, I actually asked Amber McWhorter what I should look for and her answer was brilliant; she said to look at the editing style!

So my mom created several collages of pictures from various photographers and didn't tell me whose pictures were whose; she just asked me to tell her which numbers were my favorite so we could figure out which editing style I was the most drawn to. Of all the collages she sent, I picked Amber McWhorter Photography in each one! Looking back I realized that the style is very bright, fun, bold but whimsical, so, I knew Amber was the right fit for us! 

Amber was absolutely amazing! I was in a wedding she shot a month before, so it was awesome to have the other wedding and our family engagement shoot before to get to know each other and be comfortable. Amber knew that my timeline was very important. We chose to do a first look and had a very tight timeline for family pics, etc. She was a real pro in getting all the shots we wanted in a timely manner. Amber is a wizard at taking any environment and finding an amazing place to take unmatched pictures. 

Florida Boho Bride and Groom Holding Tropical Colorful Floral Bouquet | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography
Florida Bride and Groom Holding Hands Waterfront From Above Wedding Photo | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography

Amber McWhorter Photography is a wizard at taking any environment and finding an amazing place to take unmatched pictures.”

-The Bride

Intimate Bride and Groom Kissing Waterfront Wedding Photo | Tropical Colorful Floral Bouquet, King Protea, Orange Flowers, Pink Anthurium, Monstera Palm Leaf | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography
Boho Tropical Wedding Lounge Decor, Ivory Couch, Greenery Boxwood Backdrop with White Neon Sign "All You Need Is Love" | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Tropical Boho Wedding Lounge Decor, Gold and Mirror Coffee Table, Tic Tac Toe Game, Single Flowers in Vases | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Bamboo Outdoor Egg Patio Chair Wedding Lounge Decor | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals

How did your rentals enhance the ambiance of your event?

Kate Ryan Event Rentals provided our tables, chairs, linens, lounge, a greenery wall, and a wicker egg chair. They made the ambiance! We had a totally blank slate and the combination of farmhouse tables and round tables was so dynamic and fun. For the linens and chargers and other tables and colors, everything was made of wood or bronze or a subdued earthy green color to get those earthy vibes in the background to complement the florals. The linens captured that earthy vibe we wanted, and the lounge was just so funky and cool!  We love a bohemian, rock n roll vibe; everything was just fantastic to look at.

Tropical Boho Tent Wedding Reception Decor, Wooden Feasting Table with Wooden Crossback Chairs, Tall Rectangular Gold Stands with Palm Fronds, Monstera Leaves, Pink Ginger, Anthuriums, Orange Flowers, Pin Cushion Protea Lush Floral Centerpiece, Greenery Garland | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Tropical Boho Tent Wedding Reception Decor, Wooden Feasting Table with Wooden Crossback Chairs, Tall Rectangular Gold Stands with Palm Fronds, Monstera Leaves, Red Hanging Amaranthus, Pink Ginger, Anthuriums, Orange Flowers, Pin Cushion Protea Lush Floral Centerpiece, Greenery Garland | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals

How would you describe your theme?
The wedding inspo was tropical, bohemian, funky, and bold. We wanted the wedding to be an experience and not typical. We are very social people who love entertaining and connecting, so we wanted our wedding to be atypical in the sense that it allowed for a lot of movement and flow for people to talk the whole night instead of sitting at a table for a long time.

We wanted things to do around every corner, so we had a photo booth, a lounge, action stations for food, a band, and a grassy knoll area at the pier to hang out on. We had pops of color and table numbers that were actually song names that represented the people sitting at that table.

We had a tent so everything was a blank canvas, and we knew we had an opportunity to make it pop! So we let the florals do the talking. Initially, we were going to do all white and green with pops of blush, but one day I was talking to our wedding planner, and I said ‘Would It be totally crazy if we did something different with the flowers? Instead of green and white, we do all of the colors?' Then, with the inclusion of a tropical explosion color palette, we were able to play with everything having a funkier, less formal vibe. We then decided to name the tables a song title that represented that table (and a song we knew the band would play) and continued to go with details that were more funky and fun all around. 

What were your colors?
Our wedding palette was a tropical explosion, orange, pink, red, yellow, green, all of the vibrant tropical colors. Capturing the beach vibes with the colors was a major pivot about two months out and we were so happy we did!

Tropical Boho Tent Wedding Reception Decor, Long Wooden Feasting Table with Bamboo Chargers, Palm Fronds Garland, Single Flowers in Small Vases | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Boho Tropical Wedding Reception Decor, Round Table with Sage Green Table Linen, Wooden Chargers, Single Yellow Flower in Vase, Gold Candlestick | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Boho Tropical Wedding Reception Decor, Round Table with Sage Green Table Linen, Wooden Chargers, Tall Lush Floral Centerpiece, Monstera and Palm Fronds, Yellow and Red Flowers, Gold Candlestick | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Tropical Boho Tent Wedding Reception Decor, Wooden Feasting Table with Wooden Crossback Chairs, Tall Rectangular Gold Stands with Palm Fronds, Monstera Leaves, Pink Ginger, Anthuriums, Orange Flowers, Pin Cushion Protea Lush Floral Centerpiece, Greenery Garland | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Tropical Boho Wedding Reception Decor, Red Roses, Yellow Orchid, Red Anthurium, Greenery Floral Centerpiece, Greenery Table Runner Garland, Acrylic and Sage Green with Gold Table Number | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Tropical Boho Tent Wedding Reception Decor, Wooden Feasting Table with Wooden Crossback Chairs, Tall Rectangular Gold Stands with Palm Fronds, Monstera Leaves, Red Hanging Amaranthus, Pink Ginger, Anthuriums, Orange Flowers, Pin Cushion Protea Lush Floral Centerpiece, Greenery Garland | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals

Which vendors exceeded your expectations?
Gala Photo Booth with their amazing quality and follow-up. Our planner, Wilder Mind Events, was absolutely amazing. She was worth her weight in gold and just such an amazing asset to any bride. I could not have done it without her. Amber McWhorter Photography captured our wedding in a gorgeous and memorable way. Our video footage from Martin Media Productions keeps bringing tears to our eyes. It was amazing. 

Tropical Boho Tent Wedding Reception Decor, Long Wooden Feasting Table with Bamboo Chargers, Palm Fronds Garland, Single Flowers in Small Vases | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Acrylic Table Numbers with Popular Songs
Boho Tropical Bride and Groom First Dance Tent Wedding Reception Photo | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Amber McWhorter Photography | Wedding Hair and Makeup Femme Akoi Beauty Studio

What did you look for in a wedding photo booth company?
I did a search online and found The Gala Photobooth! Honestly, the response time and professionalism were key in me choosing them but I also loved their aesthetic and it was super affordable! I was like, is this real?! And I definitely was pleased with the service they offered and how all of the images were printed for us to take home as a couple and how all the guests were given a digital album link! It was very much worth it! 

Looking back at all of the pictures they really had fun being creative in there. We had some guests say they kept going back in all night! So we picked a golden palm backdrop and a Havana night prop theme and that really complimented our tropical vibe throughout the wedding. The prints were super clean looking with a white background and simple text with our names and date, so we loved those as additional party favors. The pictures are gorgeous! And as a matter of fact, some of the pics of us in the photo booth are our favorites of the whole night! I definitely think it added to our interactive element and vibe we wanted for the guests and everyone loved it and looked awesome in those pics. I would also add that countless guests used them in social media posts to commemorate the weekend. 


What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Just know you’ll go over budget! Have fun with colors and florals, and be memorable by choosing unique details. Hire a wedding planner!

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

Vendor Credits

 

  • Dress and Bridesmaid Attire
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