Waterfront Terracotta and Gold Wedding | Tampa River Center
Wedding

Waterfront Terracotta and Gold Wedding | Tampa River Center

Shanaika and Javen's waterfront downtown Tampa wedding combined sentimental cultural details, a warm, romantic color palette, and an ombre of uniquely chic wedding party attire.

“Our wedding theme was terracotta romance! We wanted to highlight a warm palette with ivory and mixed metal accents of silver and gold. We envisioned a warm and romantic aesthetic, surrounded by soft floral arrangements and an abundance of candles. I’ve always been drawn to wedding inspiration that highlighted a warmer palette,” the bride revealed. “We wanted each of our bridesmaids to select a dress that spoke to their own unique style. The wedding day was the first time that I got to see all of the dresses come together, and it was more beautiful than I could have imagined!”

Planning from out-of-town, Shanaika did extensive research for her October wedding with the help of online resources and past couples' recommendations.

Planning a wedding during quarantine gifted us plenty of time to join Facebook groups, reach out to previous brides to inquire about their experiences, and read plenty of wedding articles! I constantly went to the Marry Me Tampa Bay Facebook group for advice, recommendations, vendor reviews,” the bride shared. “If it was not for support groups such as Marry Me Tampa Bay, the process of finding reliable vendors would not be possible. Our videographer and baker were both referrals from the site. Our wedding coordinator also shared an extensive list of preferred vendors which was extremely beneficial.” 

The Atlanta couple incorporated their Haitian culture and family heritage throughout the wedding by displaying family photos, reciting vows in Haitian Creole, and providing guests with Haitian flags and liqueur bottle favors during the festivities. According to the bride, it was the unity of the celebration that made the wedding feel so special.

We are both family-oriented, and the wedding was a clear portrait of that. Some of our favorite components from the wedding day were the unique details of our family, such as showcasing the wedding portraits from our parents' and grandparents’ weddings. My bridal clutch was made from my mother-in-law’s wedding dress,” Shanaika revealed. During the ceremony, Javen surprised me by reciting a portion of his vows in Haitian Creole (needless to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd). The joining of our two families and our cultures was beautiful to witness.”

The couple sought to inject their culture into their wedding menu and prioritized hiring a caterer that could live up to their elegant vision and discerning palates to treat their 200 guests to a gourmet dining experience.

“We are both big foodies, so we wanted to ensure our caterer could not only meet our expectations but exceed our goals! It was important that our caterer could capture Caribbean flavors and provide our guests with a meal that embodied a home-cooked family meal full of flavor and heat,” the bride emphasized. “Elite Events Catering captured our admiration and attention from our first interaction. Their attention to detail, customer service, and professionalism made our experience truly extraordinary! After our tasting, there were a few things we wanted to change before the wedding day. Melissa and her team made it possible for us to have a second tasting of our final menu and this was so special to us. Our menu highlighted Caribbean flavors with crab empanadas, maduros (fried plantains), coconut rice, and jerk chicken thighs.”

The couple incorporated statement décor pieces for a stunning head table that was the focal point of the reception, combining satin table linens, warm gold accents in the place settings, and modern chairs.

“Our head tables were designed with several Kate Ryan Event Rentals pieces to include their ghost chairs, gold-rimmed goblets, and champagne tablecloths. We wanted to really focus our design efforts on the center of our wedding venue space since this area surrounded our sweetheart table. Our intention was to utilize rentals strategically and ensure our highly photographed areas were picture-perfect,” the bride reasoned. “The lanterns and place settings coupled with the ghost chairs and tablecloths created the warm, romantic ambiance we wanted to achieve.”

Shanaika and Javen were so caught up in the party that they missed the intimate last dance they had planned, but fate had other ideas, and they were able to experience an unforgettable memory to end the evening.

“Originally we had planned to do the last dance alone at the venue so that we could have a quiet moment together, but we ended up dancing with our friends and family right up to our water taxi send-off so it did not happen,” the bride recalled. “While on the river taxi, the captain of the boat made that possible for us, so we got to dance to XO by Beyoncé under the starry sky in the city that we love. It was a moment we will never forget.”

Burnt Orange Envelope with White Wedding Invitation with Gold Seal
Wedding Vows Book and Grooms Watch
Grooms Brown Oxford Dress Shoes, Watch, and Bleu Chanel Cologne
V Neck Illusion Ballgown with Bead and Jewel Belt | Isabella Margianu
Bride Balloons in Bridal Getting Ready Wedding Suite
Bride Getting Ready with Bridesmaids Wedding Portrait
Bride on Steps in Long Train Ballgown and White Floral Bouquet with Greenery Wedding Portrait
Bride with Bridesmaids in Mix and Match Jenny Yoo Bridesmaids Dresses in Burnt Orange and Champagne Wedding Portrait
Bride and Groom First Look Wedding Portrait

The Proposal:
Javen proposed to at an iconic Atlanta landmark, Ponce City Market! It was shortly before my graduation from Emory University, so he deceived me into thinking that we would be taking graduation pictures on the rooftop. Instead, he had a beautiful proposal planned for me with all of my friends and family.

White Ceremony Chairs with Pink and White Floral Details | Tampa Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Wooden Cross Ceremony Detail with Floral and Greenery
Bride and Groom Exchanging Vows at Outdoor Downtown Tampa Wedding Ceremony | Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Bride and Groom Exchanging Vows at Outdoor Downtown Tampa Wedding Ceremony
Bride and Groom Exchanging Vows at Outdoor Downtown Tampa Wedding Ceremony
Bride and Groom Just Married Wedding Portrait
Bride and Groom Just Married Wedding Portrait
Bride and Groom Bridal Party Portrait on Hillsborough River Downtown Tampa
Bride and Groom Popping Champagne with Bridal Party in Downtown Tampa | Hillsborough River

Where did you host your bachelorette party?
With the help of a jet-set bachelorette, my bridesmaids and I took a trip to San Juan. Puerto Rico during Labor Day weekend! I wanted to go somewhere with beautiful beaches, historic landmarks to visit, and great weather; Puerto Rico did not disappoint! We made memories to last us a lifetime including a photography session in Historic Old San Juan, spa day, and dinner prepared by a private chef to end the weekend.

Where did you spend your honeymoon?
Due to COVID-19, we decided to take a mini-moon to Dahlonega, Georgia where we enjoyed a few days at the Dahlonega Resort and Vineyard. We are planning to take a longer honeymoon to the Caribbean next summer.

Groom with Groomsmen in Navy Suits Downtown Tampa Wedding Portrait
Bride and Groom Downtown Tampa Riverwalk Wedding Portrait
Bride and Groom Downtown Tampa Wedding Portrait
Bride and Groom Downtown Tampa Hillsborough River Wedding Portrait
Bride and Groom with Bridal Party Downtown Tampa River Center Wedding Portrait
Bride and Groom Downtown Tampa River Center Wedding Portrait
Vintage Inspired Wedding Book with Floral Details
Ghost Chairs with White Linens and Tall Gold Greenery Centerpieces Wedding Tablescape | Tampa Florida Rental Company Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Tall Blush and White Floral and Greenery Centerpiece on Round Table with White Linen and White Chairs | Tampa Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Caterer Elite Events Catering
Gold Charger and Gold Flatware for Wedding Tablescape | Kate Ryan Event Rentals | | Caterer Elite Events Catering

“We are both big foodies, so we wanted to ensure our caterer could not only meet our expectations but exceed our goals! It was important that our caterer could capture Caribbean flavors and provide our guests with a meal that embodied a home-cooked family meal full of flavor and heat. Elite Events Catering attention to detail, customer service, and professionalism made our experience with them truly extraordinary.”

-The Bride

Blush and White Floral and Greenery Centerpiece on Round Table with White Linen and White Chairs | Tampa Rentals Kate Ryan Event Rentals | | Caterer Elite Events Catering
Pink and White Floral Centerpiece with Silver and White Table Number
Ghost Chairs with White Linens and Tall Gold Greenery Centerpieces Wedding Tablescape | Tampa Florida Rental Company Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Classic White and Gold Wedding Tablescape with Gold Candle Holders | Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Tampa Caterer Elite Events Catering

How did the rentals add to your ambiance?

Our head tables were designed with several Kate Ryan Event Rentals pieces to include their ghost chairs, gold-rimmed goblets, and champagne tablecloths.

We wanted to really focus our design efforts on the center of our wedding venue space since this area surrounded our sweetheart table. Our intention was to utilize rentals strategically and ensure our highly photographed areas were picture-perfect. The lanterns and place settings coupled with the ghost chairs and tablecloths created the warm, romantic ambiance we wanted to achieve. 

White Napkins and Clear and Gold Chargers | Kate Ryan Event Rentals | Tampa Caterer Elite Events Catering
Ghost Chairs with White Linens and Tall Gold Greenery Centerpieces Wedding Tablescape | Tampa Florida Rental Company Kate Ryan Event Rentals

“We wanted to really focus our design efforts on the center of our wedding venue space since this area surrounded our sweetheart table. Our intention was to utilize rentals strategically and ensure our highly photographed areas were picture-perfect. Our head tables were designed with several Kate Ryan Event Rentals pieces to include their ghost chairs, gold-rimmed goblets, and champagne tablecloths.”

-The Bride

Wedding Quote Backdrop Behind Sweetheart Table in White and Greenery | Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Wedding Quote Backdrop Behind Sweetheart Table in White and Greenery

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?

Our wedding theme was terracotta romance! We wanted to highlight a warm palette with ivory and mixed metal accents of silver and gold. We envisioned a warm and romantic aesthetic, surrounded by soft floral arrangements and an abundance of candles.

What were your colors?

For our fall wedding, we leaned towards a warmer color palette with terracotta being our main focal color and accenting that with ivory and mixed metal tones.  

We wanted each of our bridesmaids to select a dress that spoke to their own unique style. The wedding day was the first time that I got to see all of the dresses come together, and it was more beautiful than I could have imagined. 

Gold Candle Lantern Wedding Décor in Front of Sweetheart Table | Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Wedding Quote Backdrop Behind Sweetheart Table in White and Greenery | Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Bride and Groom in Front of Sweetheart Table Tampa Reception Portrait | Kate Ryan Event Rentals
Wedding Sit Down Menu for Tampa Reception | Florida Caterer Elite Events Catering
Caribbean Style Salad Wedding Reception Starter | Tampa Caterer Elite Events Catering

What did you look for in a wedding caterer?

We are both big foodies, so we wanted to ensure our caterer could not only meet our expectations but exceed our goals! It was important that our caterer could capture Caribbean flavors and provide our guests with a meal that embodied a home-cooked family meal full of flavor and heat.

Elite Events Catering captured our admiration and attention from our first interaction. Their attention to detail, customer service, and professionalism made our experience with them truly extraordinary. After our tasting, there were a few things we wanted to change before the wedding day. Melissa and her team made it possible for us to have a second tasting of our final menu, this was so special to us. Our menu highlighted Caribbean flavors with food such as crab empanadas, maduros (fried plantains), coconut rice, and jerk chicken thighs. 

Three Tier White Wedding Cake with Pink Florals and Greenery
Bride and Groom First Dance Wedding Portrait
Downtown Tampa Wedding Venue
I Do Light Up Sign Wedding Décor

Which vendors really exceeded your expectations?
Our wedding photographer, Katherine George, was truly a godsend! She is so special to us; as a longtime family friend, Katherine truly went above and beyond her role as a photographer. She hand-painted the tapestry which was behind our sweetheart table and also designed our wedding invitation suite and all other stationery utilized for our wedding (welcome signs, menu, cocktail signs, table numbers).

Throughout our wedding planning journey, Katherine was always willing to provide her artistic expertise and support which made our wedding day vision truly come to life. On the wedding day, she even steamed my veil before the ceremony! 

Bride and Groom After the Reception Downtown Tampa Wedding Portrait
Bride and Groom Riding Scooters After the Reception Downtown Tampa Wedding Portrait

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
One thing that helped Javen and me early on in our wedding planning process was to take some time to determine what key elements were important for us on our wedding day. We often went back to this list to ensure that anything we were incorporated was related to those key elements. This will ensure that you and your spouse can look back on your wedding day in the future and reminisce on all of the things that were unique to you both.

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.