Andrea and Aaron's Safety Harbor wedding embodied a French country aesthetic with a pale blue, navy, gold and blushcolor palette. Embracing classic ideals to incorporate a romantic feel, the bride and groom wove a touch of sparkle and greenery into their decor.
“You really need all the help you can get when planning a wedding, and with websites like Marry Me Tampa Bay and Pinterest, it's truly a godsend,” the bride shared. “I am so very grateful for websites like Marry Me Tampa Bay where you can find recommendations and reviews for wedding vendors because it makes the entire planning process so much easier. I used the site when searching for reliable vendors.”
Starting to plan their Tampa Bay wedding from Texas, the couple moved back to their hometown of Tampa during their planning process. Searching for a local ceremony venue, Andrea and Aaron had heard the buzz about a new ceremony venue that fit the bride's vision of a bright, beautiful chapel.
“The moment we heard about construction plans for Harborside Chapel, my husband and I knew that was it! Growing up in the Clearwater area, both of us had been involved at Harborside Church at different times. During our very first week of dating, we attended a Sunday morning service together, and Pastor Kurt just so happened to be preaching on the subject of love. It was definitely no coincidence looking back on it,” Andrea gushed. “Shortly after Aaron and I were engaged, I emailed Krystal, the wedding coordinator at the chapel, regarding availability. When she told us our date was available I'm pretty sure we danced around our apartment for the next hour! Harborside Chapel just exudes elegance, romance, and beauty, everything we were looking for in a ceremony venue. When we walked through their doors for the very first time, the feeling was indescribable. That was exactly the feeling we wanted for our wedding.”
Looking back on their wedding day, the bride reflected that one of her most cherished was being truly present during the ceremony.
“Adrian, our officiant, asked us to take a few deep breaths, collect our thoughts, and just enjoy a quiet moment in an otherwise chaotic day. He told us to really look at each other, look out at our guests, and to appreciate the love being celebrated that day. I will never forget the emotions I felt as I gazed at my husband while we held hands at a beautiful altar, and then to look around the chapel and see all of our family and friends enjoying this moment with us. That was what the day was truly about,” the bride reminisced.
What did you look for in a wedding ceremony venue?
It was always a dream of mine to get married in a bright, beautiful chapel! My husband, on the other hand, had always pictured exchanging vows in an outdoor ceremony. Ultimately, we agreed on an indoor wedding to avoid any risks that could come with the temperamental Florida weather. Regardless, we knew we wanted a venue that took our breath away, something that would capture the love and romance of our special day.
I want to learn more about Harborside Chapel
The moment we heard about construction plans for Harborside Chapel, my husband and I knew that was it! Growing up in the Clearwater area, both of us had been involved at Harborside Church at different times. During our very first week of dating, we attended a Sunday morning service together and Pastor Kurt just so happened to be preaching on the subject of love. It was definitely no coincidence looking back on it. Shortly after Aaron and I were engaged, I emailed Krystal, the wedding coordinator at the chapel, regarding availability. When she told us our date was available I'm pretty sure we danced around our apartment for the next hour! Harborside just exudes elegance, romance, and beauty, everything we were looking for in a ceremony venue. When we walked through their doors for the very first time, the feeling was indescribable. We were just in awe of every single detail they put into making their venue the ideal wedding ceremony location. It is so absolutely stunning; you can't help but feel like you are in a fairytale. That was exactly the feeling we wanted for our wedding. We truly could not have dreamed of a better place to say our I dos.
Our ceremony was everything we ever dreamed it to be. We met with Krystal multiple times prior to our big day to set plans and make sure everything went perfectly! She kept this anxious bride calm through all the planning and scheduling and was always there to answer any and all of our questions or concerns. They were so accommodating with special requests we had and did multiple run throughs during our rehearsal to make sure everything was perfect. All the decorations were perfectly placed, the timing of everything was on point, and our officiants were amazing! The entire ceremony flowed so smoothly; it seemed like a movie! We still have guests commenting about our beautiful venue and how seamless everything was. If we could do it all over again, we would undoubtedly choose Harborside Chapel for our ceremony venue.
Aaron and I both grew up in the Clearwater area. We attended the same high school and college and always knew each other, but didn't hang out with the same circle of friends. Shortly after graduating from college, I started working in the Tampa area and Aaron accepted a job opportunity in Houston. Oddly enough, we reconnected with one another on Facebook. A few likes, comments, and messages later, we couldn't stop talking, and we never did! We dated long distance for about a year, before I decided to make the move to be with him in Houston. Of course in making such a big move, I was expecting a ring! Little did I know Aaron was already in the works! I moved to Houston in August. My mother's 50th birthday was in February that following year, and our family had been making early preparations to assure she had a memorable half century celebration. Aaron and I had schemed with my father convincing my mother we wouldn't be in town for her birthday. Of course, this was not the case.
Everything I thought I planned to surprise my mother, I was just made to believe I planned. Aaron, my parents, and my maid-of-honor orchestrated it all; and I played right into their plans! My brother and his girlfriend picked Aaron and I up at the airport, and we jetted off to Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach to surprise my mother with our arrival. Coincidentally, so I thought, this is where Aaron and I had our first date. I'll never forget when I reached the midpoint of the pier, and there was my mother, camera in hand, standing next to a beautiful table decorated with balloons, flowers, candles, precious trinkets, and photos taken throughout Aaron and my relationship. What made it more special? That was the exact place on the pier where Aaron and I had our first kiss! I was in shock! Aaron spun me around, held me by the hands, and told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Next thing I know, he's down on one knee slipping a ring on my finger! I cried, I laughed, I screamed! Just when I think the surprises are over, we drive to a local restaurant to celebrate where I find a big group of family and friends. Aaron really could not have planned a more perfect proposal.
How did you incorporate you and your spouse's personalities into the wedding?
Aaron was so amazing throughout the whole wedding process. Anything I envisioned he was eager to appease me. From the colors, to the decorations, the drapery and lighting, he went along with anything I chose. I got the romantic day I had always dreamed of, so it was only fair that I planned a surprise exit for my husband. He is a big Star Wars fan, so I got the groomsmen together for a little surprise. As our guests lined up outside our reception venue after the party had wrapped up, I kept Aaron preoccupied. As it was time for us to make our exit, the DJ played us out to the Star Wars theme song while his groomsmen gave us a “jedi” exit under an arch of multicolored light sabers. The look on his face was priceless!
How would you describe your theme/wedding design inspiration?
French country. We liked the idea of classic love and romance and wanted to incorporate greenery and flowers.
What were your colors?
Pale blue, navy, gold, and blush. Pale blue and blush were ideal colors to represent the spring season. We chose navy to serve as our bold pop of color, and gold as an accent color to add a little sparkle in the special details.
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay couples?
Enjoy every minute of the entire process. You only have a short while to enjoy that time as fiancé and fiancée! Don't stress the small stuff. Plan as much as you can as early as you can. We tried to get everything booked early and plan even the smallest details, so the time leading up to the big day was as enjoyable as possible. Lastly, soak in every moment of your wedding day. People really aren't kidding when they say it flies by. It truly does.
Ceremony Venue: Harborside Chapel – Krystal Rapp *Marry Me Tampa Bay Preferred Wedding Venue
Reception Venue: Matheos Hall
Photographer: Sea Shack Photography
Videographer: Diego Stuart Films
Planner: Janice Bieu
Florist: The Bride's Bouquet
Caterer: Creative Catering By Design
DJ and Chiavari Chairs, Draping, Lighting and Rentals: On the Move Productions
Cake: A Special Touch – Cakes by Carolynn
Officiant: Adrian Traurig, Scott Mauldin (Family Friend/Pastor)
Invitations: Elegant Wedding Invites
Transportation: Ambassador Limousine
Dress Shop and Designer: Whittington Bridal (Houston, TX) – Stella York
Bridesmaides Designer: The Dessy Group
Hair & Makeup: Destiny and Light Hair & Makeup
Linen Rentals: Fancy That Specialty Linens
Desserts: The Dessert Bar Tampa