Whimsical Succulent Inspired Downtown Tampa Wedding | Rialto Theatre

Tampa Bay Wedding Planning Advice Group

Val and Bob’s whimsical downtown Tampa wedding featured greenery centerpieces with succulent accents and a green, blue, and purple color palette.

“We are big fans of Wes Anderson movies and were inspired by his style for our details and décor,” the bride shared. “Our invitations were created to resemble a book cover from an author who is a character in a Wes Anderson movie, and we had menus reminiscent after Bar Luce, in Italy, which was also designed by Wes Anderson. Lastly, the seating chart was in the style of movie credits!”

MORE: GREENERY WEDDING INSPIRATION

After falling in love with their industrial wedding venue, the North Tampa couple wanted to make sure they hired a design and planning expert to bring everything full circle for their 89 guests.

“It was important for us to find a planner who was organized and friendly, but also familiar with our venue specifically,” the bride shared. “UNIQUE Weddings + Events was listed on our venue’s preferred vendor list which is why we felt comfortable reaching out. Staci responded promptly to our initial inquiry, and we found immediately she was easy to talk to and was both thorough and knew our venue well.”

“Valerie and Bob are an all-around ‘cool couple’ who didn’t get swept up in the formalities of planning their wedding. They truly made it their own!” Staci shared. “Rather than doing numerous round tables, they wanted their guests to have a more intimate feeling for dinner. Long tables with numerous guests seated on each side lined the theatre. To emphasize the ‘theater’ theme and to highlight the fact that Valerie and Bob like to attend concerts, the guest place cards were personalized tickets. The live band played covers of rock classics, such as Tom Petty, and included the groom’s high school teacher, who traveled from overseas to be a part of their wedding.”

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It was important for the couple to truly have a connection with their wedding photographer and after meeting Carrie Wildes of Carrie Wildes Photography, they knew she was a perfect fit.

“We were lucky. Right after we got engaged Carrie held a contest for an engagement photo session, and we were selected as winners,” Val beamed. “It was almost fate because we later realized that Carrie had also shot Bob’s sister and brother-in-law’s wedding a few years prior. Carrie was a breeze to work with, and her photographs speak for themselves. Hiring her was a no-brainer!”

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Finding just the right florist started as a difficult task, but after researching Marry Me Tampa Bay, the bride and groom discovered  Monarch Events and Design.

“We were having trouble hiring a florist, and we were able to find Monarch Events on Marry Me Tampa Bay. They did the job perfectly,” the bride beamed. “We hired Monarch after speaking with Jean. Specifically building a package that suited us, she made the process seamless. I love plants. My favorite are succulents, so the colors reflected that in greens, blues, and purples. We fell in love with the custom curly willow trees Jean recommended and featured them prominently during the ceremony.”

“Valerie and Bob had a specific look and style in mind for their wedding day. Their original idea for the ceremony design was an arch that Bob’s best man was going to build for them. Valarie wanted to know if I had another idea for that area if they decided not to do an arch. I knew exactly what I would do if we didn’t do an arch. Trees!” Jean shared. “I told Valerie that trees made out of curly willow and greenery would go perfectly with her style. I also explained that we could move the trees behind the sweetheart table after the ceremony to create the perfect magical backdrop during the reception. She loved it all and decided to not do an arch and to go with the natural tree design.”

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Being surrounded by friends and family during their magical day meant more than words to the couple and proved to be the highlight of their night.

“We had three friends perform short readings, which were all meaningful and special to us,” the bride reminisced. “The most memorable being from our friend Andy who perfectly performed, the ‘mawwage’ scene from The Princess Bride. The mother-son dance was also extra special because Bob’s mother Nancy had just completed treatment for breast cancer the week prior. Watching them spend that time together was a moment all in itself.”

Wes Anderson Inspired Book Cover Wedding Invitation, Yellow, Gray and Mint Green | Tampa Bay Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography

Wes Anderson Themed Wedding, Antique Pointed Halo Round Diamond Engagement Ring on Page of Book | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography

Ivory Delicate Lace Crew Neck Wedding Dress | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography

Bride Getting Ready Wedding Portrait with Sister in Ivory Lace Open Keyhole Back Wedding Dress, Bride and Sister in Matching Floral Robes and Braided Updo | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography

Garden Inspired Floral Bouquet, White Roses, Succulents, Palm Fronds, and Greenery | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events

Bride in Delicate Lace Wedding Dress Holding Garden Inspired Floral Bouquet, White Roses, Succulents, Palm Fronds, and Greenery | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events

Florida Bride and Groom Outdoor First Look Portrait | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography

Florida Bride and Groom Outdoor First Look Portrait | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography

The Proposal:
While on a visit to New York, Bob led me on a walk through the park to the Bailey Fountain in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza. He had hired a musician to sit on a bench and play the song, There She Is by my favorite musician, Frank Turner. Suddenly he got down on one knee!

Florida Bride and Groom Portrait in Front of Sculptures at The University of Tampa | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography

Florida Bride and Groom Portrait On Steps of The University of Tampa | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design

What did you look for in a wedding photographer?
We wanted a photographer who could capture our style and was easy to work with. We also really appreciate a good candid, so that was important as well!

We were lucky. Right after we got engaged Carrie Wildes Photography held a contest for an engagement photo session, and we were selected as winners. It was almost fate because we later realized that Carrie had also shot Bob’s sister and brother-in-law’s wedding a few years prior. Carrie is a breeze to work with and her photographs speak for themselves. Hiring her was a no-brainer!

 

Romantic Bride in Delicate Lace Wedding Dress Holding Floral Bouquet and Groom in Gray Suit Portrait | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design

Florida Bride, Groom, Bridesmaid in Green Off the Shoulder Dress, and Groomsmen Portrait in Front of City of Tampa Mural on Red Brick Building | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography

Florida Bride and Groom Outside of City of Tampa Mural on Red Brick Building | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography

Wes Anderson Themed Wedding Ceremony Decor, Wooden Cross back Chairs, Curly Willow Trees and White Brick Wall with Hanging Lights | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings + Events | Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Wedding Venue Rialto Theatre

Wes Anderson Wedding Ceremony Decor, Curly Willow Trees Against White Brick Wall and Uplighting | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings & Events | Wedding Venue Rialto Theatre

How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
We are big fans of Wes Anderson movies and were inspired by his style for our details and décor. Our invitations were created to resemble a book cover from an author who is a character in a Wes Anderson movie, and we had menus reminiscent after Bar Luce, in Italy, which was also designed by Wes Anderson. Lastly, the seating chart was in the style of movie credits!

What were your colors?
I love plants. My favorite are succulents, so the colors reflected that in greens, blues, and purples.

Unique Wes Anderson Ceremony Decor, Curly Willow Trees, Uplighting, White Brick Wall | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue Rialto Theatre | Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings and Events

Unique Wes Anderson Ceremony Decor, Curly Willow Trees, Uplighting, White Brick Wall | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue Rialto Theatre | Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings and Events

What did you look for in a wedding planner?
It was important for us to find a planner who was organized and friendly, but also familiar with our venue specifically.

UNIQUE Weddings + Events was listed on our venue’s preferred vendor list which is why we felt comfortable reaching out. Staci responded promptly to our initial inquiry, and we found immediately she was easy to talk to and was both thorough and knew our venue well.

 

Sunset Bride and Groom Waterfront Dock Portrait | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography

Wes Anderson Inspired Wedding Reception Decor, Long Feasting Tables with Wooden Cross back Chairs, Tall Greenery Plants Centerpieces and String Lights, Hurricane Glass Candles | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue The Rialto Theatre | Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings and Events | Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Olympia Catering

Wes Anderson Inspired Wedding Reception Decor, Long Feasting Tables with Wooden Cross back Chairs, Tall Greenery Plants Centerpieces and String Lights, Hurricane Glass Candles | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue The Rialto Theatre | Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings and Events | Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Olympia Catering

Wes Anderson Inspired Wedding Reception Decor, Tall Glass Vase with Palm Fronds, Succulents, Eucalyptus Greenery Centerpiece | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue The Rialto Theatre | Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings and Events | Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design

What did you look for in a wedding florist?
We looked for a company that was easy to communicate with and offered the arrangements we were looking for at a price we felt was fair.

We were having trouble hiring a florist and we were able to find Monarch Events and Design on Marry Me Tampa Bay. They did the job perfectly. We hired Monarch after speaking with Jean. Specifically building a package that suited us, she made the process seamless. We fell in love with the custom curly willow trees she recommended and featured them prominently during the ceremony.

 

Wes Anderson Inspired Wedding Reception Decor, Eucalyptus, Succulents, White Roses, Greenery Garland on Sweetheart Table with White Linen, Wooden Cross back Chairs, Curly Willow Trees | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings and Events

Wes Anderson Inspired Wedding Reception Decor, Eucalyptus Greenery Garland on Sweetheart Table with White Linen, Wooden Cross Back Chairs, Long Feasting Tables | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings and Events | Wedding Caterer Olympia Catering

What was your wedding menu inspiration?
We didn’t love the idea of a buffet or making our guests choose a menu item, so we wanted to do a seated meal with a duel protein. Also, we wanted it to be delicious!

Olympia Catering blew us away! They made delicious food. We liked their menu options and Sherri made the process very easy. We had people telling us long after the wedding how good the food was. The servers and bartenders also did a phenomenal job.

 

Wes Anderson Inspired Wedding Reception Decor, Long Feasting Tables with Wooden Cross back Chairs, Tall Greenery Plants Centerpieces and String Lights, Hurricane Glass Candles | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue The Rialto Theatre | Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings and Events | Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Wedding Caterer Olympia Catering

Wes Anderson Inspired Wedding Reception Decor, Long Feasting Tables with Wooden Cross back Chairs, Tall Greenery Plants Centerpieces and String Lights, Hurricane Glass Candles | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Bay Wedding Venue The Rialto Theatre | Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings and Events | Wedding Florist Monarch Events and Design | Wedding Caterer Olympia Catering

Two Tier White Wedding Cake with Succulent Sugar Flowers and Red and Green Bride and Groom Gummy Bear Cake Topper | Wedding Photographer Carrie Wildes Photography | Tampa Wedding Planner UNIQUE Weddings and Events

How did you incorporate your personalities into the wedding?
Playing cards are big in Bob’s family and were used as table numbers and as our seating chart background. Val loves gummy bears, so when we couldn’t decide on a cake topper, we ordered two giant gummy bears.

What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Indoor ceremony! Read contracts closely! Take a moment together, just the two of you, right after the ceremony.

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Rialto Theatre
Photographer: Carrie Wildes Photography *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Planner/Coordinator: UNIQUE Weddings + Events *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Florist: Monarch Events and Design *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Caterer: Olympia Catering *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Pro
Lighting: Tampa Lights
Cake: Publix
Band: Butch Ryan Band
Officiant: Family Friend
Invitations: Black Lab Studio
Dress Shop and Designer: Wear Your Love
Suits: Bespoke & Co
Bridesmaid Dress Shop: Lulu’s
Hair & Makeup: Destiny and Light
Pet Sitting: Wags and Wiggles

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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