Waterfront Citrus Themed Brunch Wedding | The Godfrey

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We love featuring all of our Tampa Bay couples, but it is even more special when we know (and love!) them personally!

Ilana and Eric’s Tampa wedding featured a waterfront pier ceremony and sentimental family heirlooms, such as the wedding dress, which originally was worn by the bride’s mother.

The bride, the co-owner of Tampa Bay wedding pet coordination business FairyTail Pet Care, also included her fur child, Coop, who was incorporated throughout her wedding day.

“We knew from the beginning that our pup was definitely going to be there! Coop is our baby, and there was no way he wasn’t going to be a big part of our day!” Ilana gushed. “He came by while we were getting ready for some photos, then we had him walk down with my Maid Of Honor Kelly, co-owner of FairyTail Pet Care. Eric actually had custom socks with Coop’s face on them, and I made a custom cake topper with the three of us on it.

While Ilana was used to being a part of her own clients’ weddings, she learned firsthand how her own business helps couples’ on their wedding day.

“It was quite the experience to see what it’s like as a bride. Of course, I am passionate about our company and what we do, but now I really get it! The relief knowing that my pup was completely taken care of on such a chaotic day, and having him come by while we were getting ready to ease my own tension was incredible,” the bride shared. “Coop was the perfect gentleman all day (when he is normally an extremely anxious dog) because our lead wedding coordinator, Taylor, took him for an adventure all morning beforehand. Honestly, words cannot describe how amazing it was. All I know is that seeing Coop and having him there was our favorite part of the entire day!”

LEARN MORE ABOUT FAIRYTAIL PET CARE | EMAIL

With the couple embracing their low key and laid back personalities, Ilana and Eric knew a waterfront brunch wedding would be the perfect fit. The Tampa natives wanted to be near the water but not necessarily on the beach, which made The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas the perfect fit.

“We loved the more casual and fun vibe of our brunch wedding. We passed on a lot of the normal wedding day traditions and just focused on what we wanted the day to be, rather than what everyone else thought our day should be. For example, we didn’t have formal seating and instead had several tables for those who wanted to sit. We had cocktail tables and lounge furniture to promote everyone mingling and getting up and dancing! We both feel like the end result perfectly reflected us as a couple,” the bride gushed. “The pier is absolutely stunning at The Godfrey, and it had the perfect brunch vibe. We had chicken and waffles, mimosas and Bloody Mary’s and then had a pool party when it was all over. We knew the venue would be super convenient for all of our out-of-town guests, and we loved all the waterfront views! The staff was wonderful to work with.”

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GODFREY HOTEL AND CABANAS | EMAIL 

As a business owner in the wedding industry herself, Ilana knew the importance of hiring an experienced wedding photographer and looked for someone who made her feel comfortable.

Marc Edwards Photographs blew us away with his photography skills and style, but most importantly, he is a wonderful human being. Within minutes both of our families had essentially taken him in; he was part of the family, and everyone felt completely comfortable and natural posing for the camera,” the bride beamed.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MARC EDWARDS PHOTOGRAPHS | EMAIL 

From the beautiful linens to the ghost chairs flanking the ceremony pier, guests were raving about the amazing details and rentals provided by Kate Ryan Event Rentals.

“We knew we wanted bright and colorful, but that can be challenging as you don’t want to go overboard and end up looking tacky,” Ilana explained. “Kate Ryan Event Rentals had everything we needed and more, plus they provided their expert advice and assistance in designing it and all bringing it together. They not only understood our vision but had tons of ideas and options for us that fit our theme perfectly. I cannot recommend them enough!”

LEARN MORE ABOUT KATE RYAN EVENT RENTALS | EMAIL 

Looking back on their wedding day, the couple reminisced on one of their favorite moments, which, of course, included their pup Coop.

“Cooper was so good during the entire ceremony. When he got down the aisle, he literally laid down on the train of my wedding dress and sat there the entire time. He only barked once, when the officiant asked if we had prepared our vows. It was perfect,” the bride reminisced. “We also decided to forgo wedding favors, and instead donated to Suncoast Animal League (an animal shelter we are extremely passionate about) in honor of each wedding guest.”

Citrus Inspired Wedding, Bright Pink, Yellow, Orange and Greenery Floral Bouquet, Uekele with Yellow and White Anemone Floral Boutonniere, White Sating Garter, Beaded, Strappy Sandal Heel Wedding Shoes | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

Citrus Inspired Wedding, Bright Pink, Yellow, Ivory and Greenery Floral Wedding Bouquet | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

White Satin Garter with Grand Piano Pin | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

Florida Bride Outdoor Wedding Portrait, Bride in White Satin and Lace Sweetheart Neckline, Cap Sleeve Ballgown Wedding Dress with Bright Pink, Yellow, Ivory and Greenery Floral Bouquet | Tampa Bay Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

Florida Bride Outdoor Wedding Portrait, Bride in White Satin and Lace Sweetheart Neckline, Cap Sleeve Ballgown Wedding Dress with Bright Pink, Yellow, Ivory and Greenery Floral Bouquet | Tampa Bay Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

Florida Bride, Mother of the bride and Grandmother Wedding Portrait of Hands with Wedding Rings | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

Waterfront Island Inspired Wedding Ceremony with Ghost Chairs| Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa | Tampa. Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs | Chair Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals

Citrus Inspired Wedding Ceremony Decor, White Pedestals with Bright Floral Bouquets in Gold Vases | Waterfront Island Inspired Wedding Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa | Tampa. Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

What did you look for in a wedding venue?
We knew we wanted to be on the water, but not necessarily on the beach. We also wanted to stay in the Tampa Bay area.

I want to learn more about weddings at The Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas Tampa.

Book with confidence. The Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas Tampa is a trusted Marry Me Tampa Bay preferred wedding venue. Powered by ConvertKit

The pier at The Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas Tampa is absolutely stunning, and it had the perfect brunch vibe. We knew it would be super convenient for all of our out-of-town guests to be able to stay at and loved all the waterfront views! The staff was wonderful to work with.

Citrus Inspired Wedding Ceremony Decor, White Pedestals with Bright Pink, Ivory and Greenery Floral Bouquets in Gold Vases | Waterfront Island Inspired Wedding Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa | Tampa. Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

Citrus Inspired Wedding Ceremony, Groom in Blue Suit with Orange Floral Boutonniere, Bridesmaid in Short Blue and White Dress with Design, Dog in Blue Tuxedo Bandana | Waterfront Island Inspired Wedding Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa | Tampa. Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs | Wedding Pet Planner FairyTail Pet Care

Waterfront Pier Wedding Ceremony Bride and Groom Wedding Portrait | Waterfront Island Inspired Wedding Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

Florida Wedding Ceremony Bride and Groom Wedding Portrait, Bride in White Lace, Sweetheart Neckline, Cap Sleeve Ballgown Wedding Dress | Waterfront Wedding Ceremony Bride and Groom Wedding Portrait | Waterfront Island Inspired Wedding Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

The Proposal:
Eric and I had been dating since college (for nine years!), and we own a house together in Tampa Heights. Of course, marriage had come up in conversation, but we both weren’t in any rush and knew it would happen eventually. Apparently, Eric had other secret plans. We had planned a week-long trip to San Francisco simply because we wanted to go somewhere we’d both never been. A good friend of ours, Devin, lived nearby and actually does part-time photography/journalism, so we met up with him on one of the last days to show us around some of his favorite spots. After way too many mimosas and lots of exploring, we ended up at Battery Spencer, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and all its magical beauty.

Maybe it’s because I am so naive, but I didn’t even think twice about Devin having his professional camera and taking so many photos (he is a journalist after all!) The view was breathtaking. Devin asked me to go to the edge and look out over at the bridge so he could get an artistic shot, I did as I was told, then when I turned back around Eric was on his knee. The crowd above us started clapping and cheering, and I cried like an embarrassing baby. Already overwhelmed, Eric then informed me that he hadn’t told me the best part yet. Very confused, I waited as he pulled out his phone. He was looking for a video. He got Andrew McMahon, my favorite musician and overall human being, to congratulate us on our engagement and wish us a successful marriage. I thought I was ugly crying before! Man. Best day ever!

Dog in Blue Tuxedo Wedding Ceremony Waterfront Portrait | Island Inspired Wedding Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa | Tampa Bay Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs | FairyTail Pet Care

Florida Bride and Groom Waterfront Private Dock Wedding Portrait | Island Inspired Wedding Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

Waterfront Private Dock Bride and Groom Wedding Portrait, Bride in White Sweetheart Neckline with Cap Sleeves Ballgown Wedding Dress with Bright Pink, Orange, Ivory and Greenery Floral Bouquet, Groom in Blue Suit and Yellow and Orange Boutonniere | Island Inspired Wedding Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
We were extremely picky about choosing our photographer.

I want to learn more about Marc Edwards Photographs.

Book with confidence. Marc Edwards Photographs is a trusted Marry Me Tampa Bay preferred wedding venue. Powered by ConvertKit

Marc Edwards Photographs blew us away with his photography skills and style, but most importantly, he is a wonderful human being. Within minutes both of our families had essentially taken him in; he was part of the family, and everyone felt completely comfortable and natural posing for the camera. Our photos turned out incredible!

Florida Bride and Groom with Bridal Party Wedding Portrait on Waterfront Private Dock, Bridesmaids in Short White and Blue with Design Dresses, Groomsmen in Blue Suits with Brown Wing Tipped Dress Shoes, Bride in White Lace and Satin Sweetheart Neckline and Capsleeve Ballgown Wedding Dress | Waterfront Island Inspired Wedding Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

Florida Bride Outdoor Wedding Portrait in White Lace and Satin Cap Sleeve Ballgown Wedding Dress with Dog in Blue Tuxedo | Island Inspired Wedding Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas | FairyTail Pet Care | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

Why did you choose to incorporate your pet into your wedding day?
As co-owner of FairyTail Pet Care, we knew from the beginning that our pup was definitely going to be there! Coop is our baby, and there was no way he wasn’t going to be a big part of our day! He came by while we were getting ready for some photos, then we had him walk down with my Maid Of Honor, Kelly, who is also co-owner of FairyTail Pet Care!

I want to learn more about including my pet in my wedding from FairyTail Pet Care

Book with confidence. FairyTail Pet Care is a trusted Marry Me Tampa Bay preferred wedding pro. Powered by ConvertKit

It was quite the experience to see what it’s like as a bride. Of course, I am passionate about our company and what we do, but now I really get it! The relief knowing that my pup was completely taken care of on such a chaotic day, and having him come by while we were getting ready to ease my own tension was incredible. Coop was the perfect gentleman all day (when he is normally an extremely anxious dog) because our lead wedding coordinator, Taylor, took him for an adventure all morning beforehand. Honestly, words cannot describe how amazing it was. All I know is that seeing him and having him there was our favorite part of the entire day!

Florida Outdoor Bride and Groom Wedding Portrait, Bride in White Satin and Lace Cap Sleeve Ballgown Wedding Dress with Bright Pink, Yellow, White Anemone and Greenery Floral Bouquet, Groom in Blue Suit with Yellow and Orange Boutonniere, Dog in Blue Tuxedo | Waterfront Island Inspired The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas Tampa | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs | FairyTail Pet Care

Citrus Inspired Waterfront Wedding Reception Decor | Island Inspired Wedding Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs | Tampa Kate Ryan Event Rentals

Citrus Inspired Waterfront Wedding Reception Decor, Round Table with Bright Pink Tablecloth, Clear Acrylic Ghost Chairs, Blue and White Vases with Ivory, Yellow, Pink and Greenery Floral Centerpiece | Island Inspired Wedding Venue The Godfrey Hotel and Cabanas | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs | Kate Ryan Event Rentals

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration? 
Bright and fun! Even though we technically had a fall wedding, we knew living in Florida that we could still pull off a bright, citrus-inspired theme. It’s essentially summer here all year long!

What were your colors?
Citrus, blue and white. We utilized a citrus palette, primarily focusing on grapefruit, lemon and orange with lots of greenery. We also tied in a blue and white toile pattern.

White and Blue Porcelain Vases with Citrus Colored Pink, Yellow, and Greenery Florals, Bright Pink Tablecloth and Gold Mercury Candle Votives | Tampa Bay Rental Company Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

Citrus Inspired Wedding Reception Decor, Green and White Tablecloth with White Vase and White Hydrangeas, Purple and Pink Floral Centerpiece | Tampa Bay Wedding Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

What did you look for in a wedding linen and furniture rental company?
We knew we wanted bright and colorful, but that can be challenging as you don’t want to go overboard and end up looking tacky. We also needed some additional chairs and cocktail tables that fit our style.

I Want to Learn More about Decor from Kate Ryan Event Rentals

Book with confidence. Kate Ryan Event Rentals is a trusted Marry Me Tampa Bay preferred wedding pro. Powered by ConvertKit

Kate Ryan Event Rentals had everything we needed and more, plus they provided their expert advice and assistance in designing it all and bringing it together. They not only understood our vision but had tons of ideas and options for us that fit our theme perfectly. They were absolutely wonderful to work with. I cannot recommend them enough!

Tropical Inspired White and Blue Floral Printed One Tier Wedding Cake with Custom Bride, Groom and Dog Cake Topper | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Marc Edwards Photographs

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Hire a planner. Seriously. Even if you think you don’t need one, go with a day of coordinator. I promise you, you don’t want your mom, or sister, or best friend or you having to deal with any drama or last-minute changes on the day of your wedding.

Also, hire a videographer. We almost didn’t and at the last second decided to find the money to fit it into our budget even though we were already over. We won’t get our video back still for a couple months, but I already know it was worth it. Our photos turned out incredible! What everyone says really is true. The day flies by. I know I was happy, really happy, but I barely remember anything (and I swear I only had two mimosas!) Knowing I will have the video to look back on and see it all again is absolutely priceless and worth every penny.

Venue: The Godfrey Hotel & Cabanas Tampa *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Venue
Photographer: Marc Edwards Photographs *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Planner: Bourbon and Blush Events
Videographer: Rad Red Creative
Florist: Florist Fire
Hair & Makeup: Angelica Fulchino
Rentals: Kate Ryan Event Rentals *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Donuts: Little Donut House
Cake: The Girl With The Whisk Tattoo
Entertainment: DeLeon Entertainment Inc.
Pet Care: FairyTail Pet Care *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Officiant: Alex Hill (Friend)
Invitations: Paperless Post
Dress: Bride’s Mother’s Dress
Bridesmaid Dresses: Macy’s




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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