Stephanie met Alex at his roommate’s birthday while the pair were attending the University of Florida. The began dating a month later.
“We knew very quickly that we wanted to spend our lives together,” Stephanie shared.
After graduation, Stephanie moved to St. Pete for law school while Alex headed to Jacksonville to complete his Masters degree.
“The strong relationship we established in college helped us as we dated long distance,” the bride said.
That bond led to a surprise wedding proposal.
“The week before Alex proposed, he suggested we go to St. Augustine for dinner. We both love St. Augustine, but I was hesitant because we had been traveling for the past three weekends, but Alex was insistent. At this point, I became very suspicious, but I agreed to go anyway,” Stephanie said. “That night, we went to St. Augustine and had dinner on the river. It was as if Alex planned it because we had the balcony to ourselves. Throughout dinner, Alex seemed nervous and kept excusing himself from the table, which furthered my suspicions that he was going to propose that night. However, during dinner, I received a phone call from a friend in Jacksonville asking if we wanted to see her new house and go out that night. I asked Alex if he wanted to go, but I completely expected him to say ‘no’ because I thought he was going to propose. To my surprise, he said he thought it was a great idea. The entire car ride to my friend’s house, I kept thinking that I couldn’t believe how wrong I was about the whole situation! He really did just want to go to St. Augustine for dinner!”
“We made it to my friend’s house and she told us to take a look around. I noticed that she had a patio covered with white Christmas lights, so I immediately wanted to check it out. Alex led the way, and I opened and closed the sliding glass door. As I turned around, I noticed a chalkboard sign that said ‘She said yes!‘ I was confused, but then it clicked and I was in complete shock! The entire patio was decorated with lights and flowers. I never thought after five-and-a-half years of dating Alex would be able to surprise me — but he did! He proposed, and I said yes!”
As native Floridians, Stephanie and Alex wanted to incorporate the beach and water, but not the heat of a June wedding.
“We looked at a lot of venues, but Isla Del Sol Yacht & Country Club was the only one which we could be inside, but still have a type of ‘Florida wedding’ — beautiful views of the water and a private beach. It was absolutely perfect!” Stephanie shared. “Our favorite parts of Isla were the beautiful views from the bay windows which lined the reception area, the large dance floor and the amazing food!”
“I love white weddings. I find them very classy and romantic,” Stephanie explained. “All of our flowers were white, and the silver complemented the blue very well.”
Family played a large role of the couple’s St. Petersburg wedding ceremony.
“One of Alex’s brothers was our officiant. He became ordained just for us,” the bride shared. “He did an incredible job. It was so special that he was able to marry us.”
Since the couple met at UF, they incorporated their alma mater with Gator football Save-the-Dates and orange and blue pom-poms for their grand exit.
“One of our favorite moments from our wedding was our exit, where all of our friends and family lined the stairs and shook the pom-poms while chanting “It’s great to be a Florida Gator” (one of our school’s cheers). It was completely unplanned – but absolutely perfect!” Stephanie gushed.
To capture their wedding day, Stephanie and Alex hired St. Petersburg wedding photographer Carrie Wildes Photography.
“Carrie was wonderful to work with. There are so many moments you will not see, so you want the photographer to capture them for you. She’s so nice and really knows what she’s doing,” the bride said. “She was willing to travel to Gainesville, FL so we could do our engagement shoot at UF. All of our wedding photos came out amazing!”
“Carrie Wildes Photography was wonderful to work with. There are so many moments you will not see, so you want the photographer to capture them for you. She’s so nice and really knows what she’s doing. She was willing to travel to Gainesville, FL so we could do our engagement shoot at UF. All of our wedding photos came out amazing!” – The Bride
“Our favorite parts of Isla Del Sol Yacht & Country Club were the beautiful views from the bay windows which lined the reception area, the large dance floor and the amazing food!” – The Bride
“Having our guests dance at our wedding was very, very important to us. We wanted everyone to have a great time! We are so lucky to have found Cory [of Grant Hemond & Associates]! He listened to our ideas, had great recommendations and knew how to get our guests involved. We received a lot of compliments from our guests! He was very interactive with the crowd — and when he was dancing with the crowd, many of our guests thought he was one of our friends that we invited. He did an amazing job!” – The Bride
“One of our favorite moments from our wedding was our exit, where all of our friends and family lined the stairs and shook the pom-poms while chanting “It’s great to be a Florida Gator” (one of our school’s cheers). It was completely unplanned – but absolutely perfect!” -The Bride
St. Petersburg Wedding Venue: Isla Del Sol Yacht & Country Club
St. Petersburg Wedding Photographer: Carrie Wildes Photography
St. Petersburg Wedding Videographer: Trinity Wedding Cinema
St. Petersburg Wedding Florist: Flowers by Design
St. Petersburg Wedding Cake: Cakes by Carolynn
St. Petersburg Wedding Rentals: Rent All City
St. Petersburg Wedding DJ: Grant Hemond & Associates – Cory Barron
St. Petersburg Wedding Dress: The White Closet Bridal
St. Petersburg Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
St. Petersburg Wedding Hair & Makeup: The Michele Renee Hair & Makeup Artist Group
St. Petersburg Groomsmen Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse
We are proud to have Carrie Wildes Photography as a Marry Me Tampa Bay sponsor!