Waterfront Pink Spring Tampa Wedding | Davis Islands Garden Club

Kayla and Chris’ Tampa garden wedding showcased a triadic color palette through a romantic, elegant wedding theme. The waterfront Davis Islands wedding featured market lighting that dazzled the oversized letters spelling out “LOVE” and yard games for their guests to enjoy.

“When I first started wedding planning I took a quiz that told me my wedding style is romantic with a bit of Southern and a touch of nautical in a backyard or waterfront setting. That’s not necessarily how I would describe how our wedding turned out apart from it being romantic and in a waterfront setting, but I thought it was funny! Lesson learned you can’t really follow those quizzes and, you just have to go with your gut and not over-think it all,” the bride shared. “The main driving design factor for our wedding was it being spring; that really influenced our color palette. The flowers were the star of the show for me! I wanted some bright pops of color. We had bright pink peonies, hot pink garden roses, light pink Mondial roses, orange ranunculus, and cream ranunculus with greenery. They were the flowers straight out of my dreams! I will forever be swooning over them.”

The Clearwater couple originally planned a destination wedding, however, the COVID-19 pandemic convinced them to keep the location local.

“We were initially planning to get married at a vineyard in North Carolina, which is where Chris is from, but due to the pandemic, we decided to keep it close to home,” the bride revealed. “Having a local wedding ended up making planning immensely easier so we’re both glad we made that decision! Now, I can’t imagine having it in any other location because it turned out perfect!”

While looking at an entirely new venue aesthetic, the bride followed Marry Me Tampa Bay’s on social media and read wedding features to inspire her big day.

“I have been following Marry Me Tampa Bay on Instagram, and the page provided me with inspiration throughout the wedding planning process,” Kayla shared. “I would screenshot flowers or tablespaces that I saw and save them to an album on my phone to refer back to. I also read through the blog to see other weddings hosted at my venue and to see where they placed everything.”

Fortunately for Kayla, she had a secret weapon that was on top of the constantly changing CDC guidelines. Her aunt, Tammy Waterman, is a Master Wedding Planner and Owner of Special Moments Event Planning. With the help of her aunts, Kayla was able to keep preplanned elements of her North Carolina wedding and intertwine them into the new Florida setting.

“I was extremely lucky because Tammy and Jennifer from Special Moments Event Planning are my aunts! Honestly, though, even if they weren’t, they are everything I could have ever looked for in a wedding planner! I could not have made it through without them,” the bride beamed. “From providing me with recommendations for vendors and hearing me when I was stressing out, to developing an extremely detailed day-of timeline and being there to help everything run smoothly during the wedding, Special Moments Event Planning thinks of every last detail so that you don’t have to!”

The custom engraved wooden wine stoppers originally intended for the North Carolina wedding elegantly enhanced the opulent tablescape, while the bright floral centerpieces popped against the gold beveled crystal charges from Outside the Box Event Rentals.

“We rented gold beaded glass chargers, wooden cross-back chairs, a dance floor, a gold circle arch, and string market lights from Outside the Box Event Rentals. We also rented our cake table, sweetheart table, and gift table from them,” the bride explained. “The market lights provided a great romantic ambiance for the evening as we were dancing. Outside the Box was extremely friendly and easy to work with. They were super quick throughout the proposal process and, and after shopping around, had the best prices that I found for the items we were looking for.”

As Kayla looked back on her whimsical wedding day, it was the beautiful moments made with loved ones that would stay closest to her heart.

“Chris and I wrote personalized vows for each other. Thank goodness we have them written out and on video because we were both so nervous up there, that I think we both blacked out at what exactly was being said,” the bride reminisced. “One of my favorite parts of the night was that my dad and I ended our father-daughter dance with a fun routine that we made up to a mash-up of three songs. We wanted to open up the dance floor with a bang, and it made for a great surprise! It was also a special bonding experience for my dad and me leading up to the wedding. We practiced over Zoom video calls.”

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Romantic Elegant Floral Garden Wedding Invitation | Pastel Pink Flowers with Greenery | Wedding Invites by Minted
Halo Engagement Ring with silver band | Silver Couples Wedding Bands
Scalloped Neckline Wedding Gown with Illusion Detail | Ivory & Lace Maggie Sottero Wedding Dress
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Bridesmaids in Matching Pink Robes and Big “Bride” Balloons Photo | Getting Ready Bridal Party Inspiration
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Bride in Lace Maggie Sorento Wedding Dress Portrait | Pink Bouquet of Peonies for Tampa Bay Garden Wedding
White and Pink Peonies Bridal Bouquet | Vibrant Garden Wedding Bouquet for the Florida Bride
Mismatched Long Blush Bridesmaids Dresses for Garden Wedding | Neutral Bridesmaid Gowns by Birdy Grey

Where did you host your bachelorette party? 
Given the pandemic, I hosted my bachelorette party locally in St. Pete! We went to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Bella Brava, and then went to a couple of bars in downtown St. Pete.  

White and Vibrant Pink Peonies Wedding Bouquets | Mismatched Long Blush Bridesmaids Dresses for Garden Wedding | Neutral Bridesmaid Gowns by Birdy Grey
White and Vibrant Pink Peonies Wedding Bouquets | Mismatched Long Blush Bridesmaids Dresses for Garden Wedding | Neutral Bridesmaid Gowns by Birdy Grey
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The Proposal:
It was the day before Thanksgiving, and we had just arrived at Chris’s parents’ house in North Carolina. Chris’s sister (also one of my bridesmaids) asked us to come with her to drop something off to her friend in the mountains and said we could go for a quick hike beforehand so that we made the most of the drive.  

Upon pulling up to the “hiking spot,” I immediately recognized where we were. It was a beautiful park along the Blueridge Parkway, with a 47-acre lake at its focal point. Chris had taken me there on our first trip to North Carolina together.  

We started walking towards the trail when Chris pulled up a picture of me on his phone, which was of me looking out at the same view where we were currently standing. He asked, “Do you remember this picture?” I replied, “Yes…,” recalling that day. He said, “This was taken four years and one month ago.” He then proceeded into a heartfelt speech where he said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I completely blanked out at exactly what he was saying, but I know it was beyond sweet and immediately brought me to tears! He then got down on his knee and proposed, and we enjoyed moments of giddiness overlooking the sunset together (after I said yes, of course)! His sister was behind us, taking photos to capture the moment. She never had anything to drop off to her friend, after all! 

Bride and Groom Wedding Photo Ideas | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue Davis Islands Garden Club
White and Vibrant Pink Peony Bridal Bouquet | Mid Length Wedding Veil
Welcome to Our Wedding Sign | Elegant Gold Décor with White Handwritten Cursive Letters and Mirror Detail
Waterfront Tampa Bay Wedding Ceremony Venue | Davis Islands Garden Club in Tampa Florida | Special Moments Event Planning

What did you look for in a wedding planner?
I was extremely lucky because Tammy and Jennifer from Special Moments Event Planning are my aunts! Honestly, though, even if they weren’t, they are everything I could have ever looked for in a wedding planner! I could not have made it through without them!

I found nearly all of my wedding vendors through my planner. From providing me with recommendations for vendors and hearing me out when I was stressing out to developing an extremely detailed day-of timeline and being there to help everything run smoothly during the wedding, Special Moments Event Planning thinks of every last detail so that you don’t have to! 

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Where did you spend your honeymoon? 
We spent our honeymoon in the Florida Keys! We would’ve loved to go out of the country to somewhere international, but given the pandemic, we wanted to choose a location that we could drive to.  

The Florida Keys was a natural fit for us! We bonded over our love for Key West the night we first met, as Chris had just been stationed there with the Coast Guard, and I had just gotten back from there the weekend prior for my birthday. Then, we were off to Key West for our first vacation together a month and a half later! It was great to get back to Key West to reminisce on past trips we had taken there together when we first started dating. We went paddle boarding, biking around town, snorkeling, and parasailing! It was a blast. 

Bride and Groom on a Swing During Wedding Portrait Session in Tampa | Katie Hauburger Photography  | Special Moments Event Planning 
Big White LOVE Letters Wedding Reception Décor | Tampa Bay Waterfront Wedding Venue Davis Islands Garden Club

How did you incorporate your personalities into the wedding?
Chris and I love being out on the water, so the venue was really overall reflective of our personalities. We had a water taxi that transported guests from the host hotel to the venue. How fitting that our last name even has water in it – Atwater! 

Chris loves craft beers, so we ensured that we had a couple of his favorite local selections at the bar, Cigar City Brewing’s Jai Alai IPA from Tampa and 3 Daughters Brewing’s Beach Blonde Ale from St. Pete. 

As a special request from my dad, we had a cigar bar, which was a huge hit, and given Tampa’s rich cigar history, it was a no-brainer! He really enjoyed picking out the cigars that would be on display for everyone to choose from. 

I love playing games. Growing up, my dad and I would play a game literally every night whether it was cards, a board game, backgammon, mancala – you name it, we played it! I always got super excited when I saw giant yard games at weddings I’ve attended in the past so I knew I wanted one at ours. We had a giant Jenga set but truth be told, I did not make my way over to play it during the wedding! At least it was there!   

Finally, we wanted to nod to our (or really, my) love of wine and also that we were originally going to wed at the vineyard in North Carolina, so as our wedding favors, we had custom engraved wooden wine bottles stoppers.

Outdoor Garden Wedding Reception with Wooden French Country Chairs, Round Tables with White Linens and String Lights | Tampa Bay Rental Company Outside the Box Event Rentals | Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Venue Davis Islands Garden Club
Clear Glass Beaded Wedding Chargers with White and Gold Menus | Wedding Tablescapes for Outdoor Florida Wedding Reception | Tampa Bay Rental Company Outside the Box Event Rentals

How did your rentals add to the ambiance of your wedding? 
We rented the gold beaded glass chargers, wooden cross-back chairs, a dance floor, gold circle arch, and string market lights from Outside the Box Event Rentals. We also rented our cake table, sweetheart table, and gift table from them. The market lights provided a great romantic ambiance for the evening as we were dancing!  

Outside the Box Event Rentals was extremely friendly and easy to work with. They were super quick throughout the proposal process and, after shopping around, had the best prices that I found for the items we were looking for.

Pastel White and Blush Pink Rose Centerpiece with Greenery and Clear Glass Beaded Wedding Chargers | Romantic Garden Wedding Reception Ideas | Tampa Bay Rental Company Outside the Box Event Rentals
Outdoor Garden Wedding Reception with Wooden French Country Chairs, Round Tables with White Linens and String Lights | Tampa Bay Rental Company Outside the Box Event Rentals | Wedding Planner Special Moments Event Planning | Venue Davis Islands Garden Club

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
When I first started wedding planning, I took a quiz that told me my wedding style is romantic with a bit of Southern and a touch of nautical in a backyard or waterfront setting. That’s not necessarily how I would describe how our wedding turned out apart from it being romantic and in a waterfront setting, but I thought it was funny! Lesson learned, you can’t really follow those quizzes and, you have to go with your gut and not over-think it all. 

What were your colors?
The main driving design factor for our wedding was it being spring! That really influenced our color palate. The flowers were the star of the show for me! I wanted some bright pops of color. We had bright pink peonies, hot pink garden roses, light pink Mondial roses, orange ranunculus, and cream ranunculus with greenery. They were the flowers straight out of my dreams! I will forever be swooning over them.

I also love gold, so we sprinkled that into various elements as our main accent color, as seen in our gold flower arch, gold beaded glasses charger plates, antique gold mirror welcome sign, and other special touches.

Pastel White and Blush Pink Rose Centerpiece with Greenery and Clear Glass Beaded Wedding Chargers | Romantic Garden Wedding Reception Ideas | Tampa Bay Rental Company Outside the Box Event Rentals
Wedding Sweetheart Table with White Linen | Gold Arch with Pink and White Florals and Laterns | Romantic Garden Wedding Reception Ideas | Tampa Bay Rental Company Outside the Box Event Rentals | Planner Special Moments Event Planning
Classic Two Tier Round Wedding Cake with Pink and White Flowers with Greenery | Wedding Cake Ideas and Inspiration
Bride and Groom First Dance Photo | Tampa Bay Wedding DJ Grant Hemond & Associates | Outdoor Garden Venue Davis Islands Garden Club

What did you look for in a wedding DJ? 
We wanted someone who was going to be extremely professional, reliable, fun, and followed high standards! Grant Hemond & Assoc. was recommended to me by my wedding planner, Special Moments Event Planning. They were highly rated online and provided a great package at the best price!  

Tony from Grant Hemond and Associates was our DJ. He arranged a call with us the week before the wedding where we went through the entire schedule. He made us feel at ease and was extremely organized! On the day of the wedding, Tony played all of the songs that we were hoping for. He also went above and beyond, even coming over and asking if we needed our drinks refilled before speeches! He kept the energy up throughout the evening and was extremely professional. 

Big White LOVE Letters Wedding Reception Décor | Tampa Bay Waterfront Wedding Venue Davis Islands Garden Club | Planner Special Moments Event Planning

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples? 
My advice to other couples planning their wedding is to not sweat the small stuff! You’re not going to remember how everything looked exactly, but you’ll remember how you felt and the memories you make with the people you love surrounding you on your big day. And relax! I realized I over-stressed during the wedding planning process. 

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Davis Islands Garden Club 
Photographer: Katie Hauburger Photography  
Videographer: Torres Tribe Films  
Planner: Special Moments Event Planning *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Florist: The Bride’s Bouquet
Caterer: Delectables Fine Catering
Rentals: Outside the Box Event Rentals *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Cake: A Piece of Cake  
DJ: Grant Hemond & Assoc. *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Invitations: Minted 
Transportation: Tampa Water Taxi 
Dress Shop and Designer: Ivory & Lace, Maggie Sottero  
Shoe Designer: David’s Bridal 
Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Birdy Grey 
Hair & Makeup: Sip & Dry Blow Bar
Rehearsal Dinner: Jackson’s Bistro
Letters: Real Big Letters

Quotes have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

*Preferred Marry Me Tampa Bay Wedding Pros are highly respected by our local wedding community and have been personally vetted by our editor.

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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