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Bride Plans Wedding With “Anti-inspiration” and the Results Are Epic

[section title=”The Planning”]
[field title=”Wedding Colors”]I am a neutrals girlie, but did not want just whites and greens and was open to pops of color, but I allowed the experts to choose what those pops were.[/field]
[field title=”Design / Vibe / Vision”]

It is worth noting that I was not like a Pinterest bride (I do not know how to use Pinterest, actually it is very overwhelming to me!) and I largely sent our incredible planner, Alexa Kritis, anti-inspo of things from Instagram that I did NOT care for LOL. I wanted it to feel like me and Jamie. Fun and elegant, but a little moody and edgy. Our venue, Oxford Exchange, was the perfect place for that with all of its history and intrinsic decor. We love the dark wood and their photo wall and wanted to play off of that, but also had the whimsy of the greenhouse ceiling.

[field title=”Proposal Story”]We were accidentally set up by two of our best friends who are dating. My girlfriend and I had brunch plans with her new boyfriend – one of Jamie’s best friends – for me to meet her new guy. I had overindulged the night before and was not feeling my best, so when my friend told me that more people were coming to brunch, I tried to get out of it so I could rot on the couch, but she wouldn’t give me the out, so I made my way to brunch almost an hour late and met Jamie. We were both newly out of serious relationships, so to the shock of everyone, we became immediately inseparable.

Jamie proposed while we were visiting my parents at their beach house on Longboat Key. I knew he had the ring, because he had picked it up from my family’s jeweler while we were down there, but I was not expecting him to propose while we were there. We had gone to dinner in downtown Sarasota and as we were driving back onto the island, he suddenly pulled off on an inlet and said “this looks like a good place to propose.” I guess the ring was burning a hole in his pocket! He got down on one knee in front of the water and we got some strangers to take what may go down in history as the worst newly-engaged photo of all time.[/field]
[board_carousel title=”Getting Ready”]

[board_carousel title=”Bridal Portraits”]

[board_carousel title=”Flat Lays”]

[board_carousel title=”First Look”]

[section title=”The Fashion”]
[field title=”Wedding Gown”]My dress was a surprise to a lot of people (including myself) – I had been drawn to simpler gowns when I scrolled through Instagram looking. The universe had other plans, though. My mom is from Israel and I was especially excited to try on dresses by Israeli designers for her, and had started to veer away from the “clean girl look” and admiring Galia Lahav dresses specifically. I traveled to Tampa to shop for dresses there and had made my appointments well in advance. After I had already made my appointment there, Isabel O’Neil Bridal announced that they were hosting a Galia Lahav trunk show. My mom and I had the same favorite gown and I chose a cathedral length veil (again, NOT what I went in expecting!) I also chose a bolero and another pair of sleeves to change in and out of throughout the night, which was so fun. My earrings were also very personal. My mom had purchased some diamonds from Israel when I was younger to save to set in earrings for me, and we finally had them set as studs for the wedding. My dress and sleeves were so detailed and intricate, they were the perfect gentle compliment. My shoes were Christian Louboutin, and my second-look shoes were the Carrie Bradshaw Monolo Blahniks which were so fun.[/field]
[field title=”Bridesmaid Dresses”]My girls were in Jenny Yoo dresses via Bella Bridesmaids Atlanta. I wanted them all to like what they were wearing and how they felt, so they each chose their favorite silhouette and color out of four options.[/field]
[field title=”Groomsman Attire”]Jamie bought his tux from Suit Supply and his groomsmen rented from Black Tux. As a gift for the wedding, I bought him a bigger Tom Ford tie so that he stood out a bit from the groomsmen![/field]
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[board_carousel title=”Ceremony”]

[board_carousel title=”Cocktail Hour”]

[section title=”The Details”]
[field title=”Food & Drink”]Our venue is a restaurant-by-day and the food is a HUGE priority to them which was great. We had some fun appetizers – like mini tacos and margarita shooters – and our entree choices were short rib, scallops, and eggplant napoleon. We had an open bar with French 75 and Old Fashioned as our signature drinks. We also made sure to have a specialty mocktail and NA beer for any friends who chose not to imbibe.
[field title=”Florals & Decor”]Also much much much prettier than I was. I let the geniuses at Tailored Twig really take the reins on this. I loved that their whole process involved getting to know Jamie and I and creating something special just for us, that felt like us. I loved what they came up with so much and would let them make all of my life decisions for me if they would. It was SO FUN to see them for the first time as we had only seen a mockup of a tablescape and sketches. They only had an hour to flip the space after the venue closed to the public, and it was so cool to get to watch some of that.[/field]
[field title=”Wedding Cake”]Our cake was way more beautiful than me and was as delicious as she was stunning. Chef Marie at Hands On Sweets made a stunning cake that played off the vibe of the venue with stunning sugar flowers to match our florals. We had two flavors – lemon poppyseed with blueberry coulis and chocolate with raspberry coulis.[/field]
[field title=”Readings, Ceremony Music, Reception Songs”]We read personal vows at our ceremony. I told Jamie that mine were about 200 words (guidance he did not care to take and went way over.) They were so special to us. The music was my one complete creative contribution. Our family walked by to Martin Arteta’s remix of Past Lives by BORNS. The bridal party walked down the aisle to Sanctuary by Joji, which is more upbeat and funky than is usually expected. I walked down the aisle to Angels by The XX. I have had it in mind that I would walk to Angels since the first time I heard the song many moons ago, and it was so special to finally hear it while I walked down to my person. We exited to Hessian’s remix of Night Light by Blonde Maze, and were introduced into cocktail hour to Kyle (I found you) by our favorite artist, Fred Again. We had our first dance to a cover of Rufus du Sol’s You Were Right by Ryan Harris and we cut our cake to Luh You by anderson.paak. I danced with my dad to Keep Me in Your Heart by Warran Zevon and Jamie danced with his mom to You are the Sunshine of my Life by Stevie Wonder. Jamie and I collaborated with our amazing DJ, Cory Barron, on the most fun reception playlist (that MANY guests have asked for.) [/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #1″]Jamie wore his late grandmother’s pin on the inside of his jacket which was so special, and my “something old” was his great-grandmother’s wedding handkerchief which was incorporated in with my bouquet which was such an honor.[/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #2″]I know everyone says this, but seeing each other for the first time. I was SO excited to see Jamie and was walking as fast as I could in my heels and gown (which was probably 0.5 mph max speed.)[/field]
[field title=”Special Detail #3″]None of the groomsmen brought socks or knew how to tie a bowtie. SO stereotypical and our only snafu. The guys had a whole team of hotel staff, as well as our planning team were down in the groom’s suite tying bowties.[/field]
[board_carousel title=”Couple Portraits”]

[board_carousel title=”Reception”]

[board_carousel title=”Wedding Weekend Events”]


Floral Design: Tailored Twig | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Cake: Hands On Sweets | Stationary: EJD Design | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Makeup: D2+Co. | Hair: Hologram Salon | DJ: Cory Barron | Groom's Attire: Suitsupply | Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux | Transportation: Ambassador Limo | Bride's Second Look: Alice & Olivia | Groom's Tie: Tom Ford | Linens: Nuage Designs | Photography & Videography: Nate Puhr | Planning & Design: Alexa Kritis Events | Second Look Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Second Look Stylist: Lexie Skipper | Venue & Catering: Oxford Exchange | Wedding Submission Services: Published Pretty | Welcome Party & Getting Ready: The Edition Miami Beach

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A Breathtaking Waterfront Wedding in Blue and White

Welcome to a wedding celebration that will sweep you off your feet and transport you to a dreamy day on the water. Done in soothing hues of blue and white, every detail has been meticulously crafted by Anna Lucia Events to create an ambiance of pure enchantment. Love and beauty intertwine to create an unforgettable experience with extraordinary floral design by Velvet And Twine. Get ready to immerse yourself in the captivating imagery by Hunter Ryan Photo and watch the celebration unfold in the full gallery.

Sophia and John met at Florida State University in 2013. Six years later, John got down on one knee to propose during a walk on Ponte Vedra Beach in October of 2019. Sophia said, “The next thing I see just up the beach,” she says, “are both of our entire immediate families, together—cheering, smiling, and joyfully celebrating our love and ever-growing familia.”

The couple wanted to plan a wedding centered around the idea of “La Familia,” a motto used by the late Priest who married Sophia’s parents. He said, “As I think on everything I have witnessed in my priesthood, it is clear to me that the person we become in this world can always be traced to our experiences in the family.” “La Familia” has been the motto of Sophia’s family – and was the central theme of their wedding weekend. With “La Familia” as the theme – It was only fitting that the couple decided to hold their reception at Sophia’s grandparents’ waterfront estate. “I couldn’t ignore my dreams of having an outdoor wedding reception in a picturesque setting like that of my family’s home.”

The venue being so special to the couple – they had a custom sketch drawn, dubbed “Casa Abuelos,” or “grandparents’ home,” for their the save-the-date and details cards, and a personalized crest that reflected the home.

“I have an emotional, purposeful connection to my reception venue,” she says. “It’s a special place where I have made so many unforgettable memories while growing up—it is home to numerous celebrations and family gatherings, high school proms, graduations, and anniversaries.” Since they would be completely transforming the grounds for their wedding and creating an entirely new “look” at the home, the couple also chose to have their engagement photos captured there too. John wore heirloom cufflinks from his grandfather, also named John. He proposed to his wife (John’s grandmother)—also named Sophia—exactly 60 years before their grandson presented his bride with her engagement ring. The bride donned a custom Madrid-Rosaline veil with blusher. “Though blushers aren’t used often these days, I always imagined my father lifting it back as he presented me to my husband! I appreciate this traditional element,” she says. “It was such an honor to wear the most exquisite diamond solitaire earrings that belonged to my late Abuelita, my great-grandmother from Cuba.”

Keeping with tradition, Sophia and John’s saw each other for the first time at the aisle. But Sophia wanted to have a special moment with her father before the ceremony. They shared a father/daughter “first look” on the staircase of their family home. “His first words, ‘You look stunning,’ melt my heart just as much today. I cherish the sweet memory of us driving to the chapel, before the greatest man in my life would present me to the man of my dreams.”

Sophia and John selected the Chapel of the Holy Cross at Jesuit High School—the alma mater of the bride’s father, uncle, and cousins. “This was the easiest decision we had to make—we are both Roman Catholic and our entire families are all devout Catholics, too!” Sophia and John chose a blue-and-white color palette. For the overall design…”We drew upon the existing beautiful architecture and overall feel of the house—it was already all there!” says the bride.

“The incredible cane-wrapped, four-sided bar, positioned around the grand oak and illuminated by chandeliers woven into the greenery, had a truly magical, ethereal feel,” says Sophia. “It was the original inspiration for our reception vision and was truly my favorite design element!” A nod to the bride’s Cuban heritage – The couple’s signature drink featured at the bar was a Cuban mint mojito. The couple’s planner Anna Lucia Events, designed the escort wall that matched the transom window over the front door of the home. Glass and chinoiserie bud vases held a variety of white blooms with each guests escort card. Flowers used were pure perfume garden roses, orlaya lace, larkspur, ranunculus, stock, majolik spray roses. Their cake was displayed on a hand-stitched blue and white linen, “a familial treasure my great-grandmother brought to America from Cuba,” says the bride. The pool area was transformed into a dance floor; the stage and backdrop built were secured over the water. “I bet most of the guests never knew they were dancing over a pool!” says Sophia. Late-night snacks were served on the patio from their custom “La Ventanita,” or “little window,” says Sophia. “It was a nod to the nostalgia of the go-to-hub for conversation within the Cuban community. It was fun to highlight a little bit of tradition of evenings when Cuban friends would gather around with great conversation and authentic Cuban food.” After guests grabbed a ‘Cuban’ from La Ventanita – they danced the night away as the band switched to Latin music. The bride said, “The dance floor was filled the entire night and our guests loved dancing to the Latin vibes!”

The newlyweds exited their reception from Casa Abuelo’s via boat – as guests waved sparklers.

Photography: Hunter Ryan Photo | Cinematography: Voila Cinematic | Event Planning: Anna Lucia Events | Floral Design: Velvet And Twine | Wedding Dress: Sareh Nouri | Cake: Hands On Sweets | Invitations: Dear Elouise | Ceremony Venue: St Anthonys Chapel Jesuit High School | Reception Venue: Private Residence | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Puff 'n Stuff Catering | Calligraphy: Laura Lines Calligraphy | DJ: Bella Musica | Band: Blonde Ambition | Men's Attire: The Black Tux | Beauty: Femme Akoi | Bridal Store: The Bridal Finery | Custom candles: The Candle Pour | Dessert: Bern's Steakhouse | Dessert: Chill Bros. Scoop Shop | Rentals: Treasury Rentals | Rentals: Vivant Rentals | Rentals: Stradley Davidson Linen Collective | Rentals: Regency Party Rentals | Rentals: Pialisa | Rentals: Nuage Designs | Rentals: Fiesta Solutions | Rentals: Events on the Loose | Rentals: Event Effects | Rentals: A Chair Affair | Rentals: Spark Wedding Events | Weddings Rings: Hope Jewelers | Weddings Rings: Mavilo Fine Jewelry

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Cuban Inspired Intimate Summer Soiree

Celebrating the bold colors of summer, this Cuban-inspired summer celebration brings the heat.  Baylye Burnette Events & Design planned the well-thought-out details for this inspired editorial shoot, and floral design by Lemon Drops Weddings & Events fills it with a touch of the unexpected and lots of fun.  Each artful image captured by Kelsey Halm Photography is more elegant than the last, see them all inside the full gallery.

From Kelsey Halm PhotographyThe intention and vision behind this celebratory editorial was to showcase a bold love and an intimate wedding weekend. Choosing to keep a wedding celebration intimate forces couples to be intentional, and choose people who truly love and support them. We want to share this style of wedding so more couples feel the freedom to be intentional and create a day that truly reflects them.

Trent and Jamil are an active, vibrant couple, and we were thrilled when they loved our vision and wanted to be featured. Their own wedding (in February of 2022) was intimate with less than 30 people, so this whole concept was something they already love! The story of this wedding weekend follows the grooms through their morning of relaxing together with coffee, then getting ready together prior to their intimate ceremony and reception.

After the reception they invited their guests to their “after-party” enjoying the great nightlife Tampa’s historic Ybor City has to offer, and then again explored historic Ybor during the day. Hotel Haya was the perfect backdrop for the soiree with their funky and eclectic design and historic building and great Cuban-inspired menu.

Photography: Kelsey Halm Photography | Event Planning: Baylye Burnette Events & Design | Floral Design: Lemon Drops Weddings & Events | Invitations: Ashley Frye Studio | Ceremony Venue: Hotel Haya | Reception Venue: Hotel Haya | Groom's Attire: Indochino | Groom's Attire: Louboutin | Groom's Attire: Gucci | Beauty: Femme Akoi | Rentals: Gabro Event Services | Rentals: Lola Valentina Design

A Vibrant Jewel-Toned Wedding On The Beaches Of Florida

With deep, bold, and rich hues this jewel-toned wedding is nothing short of wonderful.  Albriana Shante Events brought this couple’s wedding day vision to life with a circular beach ceremony that will take your breath away.  Filled with moody blues and purples, floral designs by Royal Events & Services add to the elegance.  You can feel the love and joy of the day in the incredible imagery by Terrie Images, visit the full gallery for a closer look at all the chic details.

From Terrie ImagesIn the beautiful outdoors of The Current Hotel, a dream wedding was about to happen. The witnesses? The dearest families and friends of Stacy and Marvell, and the breathtaking Tampa bay.  When the team and I got to the venue, the panoramic view stunned us. We were enthralled and speechless. Every detail was perfect! The overall inspiration for the wedding originated from Stacy’s love for rich jewel-toned colors. Similar to peacock colors but without the feathers. She loves the rich, deep purples and blues and those were a must for the wedding. Stacy wanted to memorialize her father so for the ceremony she draped one of his shirts on his seat as a way of saying, “I saved a seat for you Dad.” Stacy also loves candles. She had custom scented candles made for her guests as a wedding favor. Stacy’s guilty pleasure in between workout sessions is brewster cake batter ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. They served it to their guest as part of their late-night snack. The signature His and Her drinks were inspired by two of their loving dogs. When it came to cake tasting, they could not choose one flavor. So they had not one, not two, but three different mini cakes each with a different flavor. Each cake was named after three of their dogs.

From the bride… I had just arrived to my new duty station for the U.S. NAVY in Bahrain in 2014. It was my first day and I was walking around the facility to learn where I would be working. As I was about to leave the watch floor I got that feeling that someone was watching me. I turned around and that’s when I saw him. He was across the room amongst other co-workers and he was the one who was standing up and slow waving at me. I remember thinking is he waving at me? I looked around and saw no one else so I waved back said, “hey” and chuckled to myself as I walked out the door. Over the next few weeks, we would randomly see or talk to each other for a few minutes or we would talk at work. We had our first “hang out” date at a place we came to love called Healthy Calorie and I remember thinking to myself, ” I like him.” He had massive broad shoulders, deep brown eyes, and amazing lips. We always had great conversations and he always had a way of making me laugh. We ended up being great friends and I always looked forward to seeing him or talking to him. In fact, my day wasn’t complete until I got to see and talk to him. I didn’t realize it was really love until he and I went on leave back to the states and I didn’t get to be around him every day. He had become my everything. About a year later he invited me to visit him in California. I remember getting off the plane and being so excited to see him because it had been a few months since I had left Bahrain. As I was walking to the main lobby of the airport I saw him and my entire body LIT UP. I ran to him and he picked me up and hugged me. (I swear it looked like one of those chick flick moments). We had a great time in California and on one of our last nights there we ate at this delicious pier-side seafood restaurant. We walked on the pier after dinner and as I was watching the sunset I turned to see Marvell with a ring in his hand. My heart jumped a billion times as he asked me to marry him and a tear came to my eye as I said YES!!! I am so excited and blessed to be marrying my best friend. So many people never find their soul mate and I am so overjoyed and lucky to have found mine. You never know you are missing a part of yourself until you make this bond with someone you know that you can’t live without. 

Photography: Terrie Images | Cinematography: Z and Z Image | Event Planning: Albriana Shante Events | Floral Design: Royal Events & Services | Cake: Cake Cuties Bakery | Lighting: Tampa Lights | Entertainment: Cigar Xperience | DJ: DJ Lady Shay | Favors: The Ladybug Factory | Groom's Attire: Bespoke & Co. | Beauty, Hair: The Hair Doula | Beauty, Makeup: Nicki Mac Brides | Bride's Gown: Ccs Boutique | Graphic Designer: Andi Mejia | Linen: Fancy That Linens | Location: The Current Hotel | Musician: Cotton Lifestyles | Rentals: On The Move | Rentals: Letz Dance On It | Rentals: Stylehouse Rentals | Rentals: A Chair Affair, Inc.

A Major Cottage Makeover

Jenna Sue doesn’t shy away from a tough project! Case in point: The Cottage. The blogger, turned print maker, turned designer, DIYer, and real estate investor (wow!) purchased the fixer upper and did a major overhaul on the California home. We caught up with Jenna Sue Design Co. to chat about the project and busy life!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business?

I started blogging in 2011 to document the renovation of my second home. A few months later I launched an Etsy shop selling custom art prints, which became a full time job later that year. I still have my Etsy shops (and sell prints directly on my website) but my focus is now mostly on design, DIY, investing in real estate and blogging about the process.

What’s a typical work day for you like?

The majority of it consists of either working on DIY projects or documenting/photographing/taking video/editing and blog writing. Both my husband and I work from home and our current renovations are within walking distance, so that has been super convenient. He’s able to DIY with me on evenings and weekends, and during the weekday is when I can focus on the content. Lately it has been non-stop as we’re trying to settle into a new house and prepare for the arrival of our first child next month.

How do you blend your love of interiors with photography?

I’ve slowly eased into photography since buying my first DSLR over a decade ago, and quickly learned how important it was for blogging (and communicating in general). Online, your design work is only as good as your photo, so you have to take the time to learn how to capture it properly. I still have a long way to go, but I enjoy the process and satisfaction of being able to evoke the right feeling through my lens.

Take us through the home, what was your vision when designing the space?

The cottage was very dark and outdated when I purchased it. I envisioned a clean, bright and open space that still retained the original character and highlighted its unique features and location in the woods. White walls, wood trim and black accents made it feel fresh and interesting, while natural textures, a soft palette and cozy layers kept it warm and inviting.

What is your favorite room in the house?

So much love went into all of them, but the upstairs bathroom has a special place in my heart. The brick floors, vintage clawfoot tub, the DIY vanity we built out of a desk and coffee table… to me, it’s pure heaven.

What, if any, were some of the challenges with bringing your vision to life?

I had a lot working against me. A tight budget and timeline, to start (the entire project was finished in around 5 months) but the biggest challenge was distance. I was living 3 ½ hours away in San Francisco at the time, commuting back and forth half the week and DIYing as much as I could in the few days I was there. I ran into issues with contractors, unexpected expenses, snowstorms and power outages that lasted for days. It was worth it in the end, but I vowed to never do a long-distance flip again.

For someone looking to revamp their home one room at a time, where would you start?

That’s a personal question that will be different for everyone, but I like to start somewhere that I spend the most time in, or on somewhere functional that would make life easier. Organization is very important to me, so having our bathroom vanity set up before moving in was crucial, as was having our kitchen cabinet storage systems in place. Apart from the basic needs and rooms that get the most use, it can be anywhere! I’ve always jumped around depending on what happened to be inspiring me lately.

What are a few design staples people should invest in?

This will also depend on individual needs and preferences. When it comes to quality, functional pieces are the most important (ie furniture—specifically couches, tables, chairs and beds) and you can usually take more risks with décor and other items.

What are your favorite places to shop for pieces?

I always look secondhand online first (Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, LetGo, Craigslist), and have been able to find almost all of my antique pieces at great prices. If I can’t find what I need there, Amazon has actually been my #1 go-to lately, followed by Wayfair, Target, Overstock, Lowe’s, IKEA—the more budget-friendly sources.

What’s on your home ‘wish list’ right now?

We’re still settling into a mostly empty house and there’s a lot to buy! I’m currently trying to hunt down the perfect sofa, chairs, living room rug, coffee table, armoire, dining chairs, canopy bed, master bedroom rug, living room curtains… the list goes on!

Interior Design: Jenna Sue Design

For a Sweet First-Look Alternative, Check Out This Wedding

You’ve decided you want to wait until the walk down the aisle to see each other, yet you wouldn’t mind a special, pre-ceremony moment for just the two of you. May we suggest a “first touch”? This Bride and Groom were guided to each other, with eyes closed, by the Bride’s father so that they could share an intimate prayer before their nuptials and reception at Oxford Exchange. Luckily for us, PSJ Photography captured the sweet moment, and it’s waiting for you in the Vault!

From PSJ PhotographyMy favorite thing about this wedding was how relaxed the Bride and Groom were throughout the day. I adored the way that Adam looked lovingly at Kari, and together they savored every moment. Living in Italy (the Groom is a professional Italian basketball player), they spend many of their dinners around a table for hours just soaking in good times and good people. Their wedding was much like this, including a two hour dinner that was unfussy and full of laughs and great food. The Groom’s ring was also made of the melted down metals of his grandparents’ rings and had his wife’s fingerprint imprinted on it! Another special moment was the “first touch” where the Bride’s father guided the Groom across the room, and they shared a prayer over the lives they were about to promise to each other.

From the Bride… We love greenery and natural beauty and wanted simplicity, yet classy, elegant, and timeless. We always envisioned our wedding to have a garden feel. However, the heat and rain of summer made this idea somewhat impossible… Until we found Oxford Exchange. The indoor garden feel, natural beauty, and elegance of Oxford captured our hearts from the first moment we walked in.

Our unique elements included olive branches to bring in a touch of Italy, a sign in globe to represent our love of travel and how all of our guests mean “the world to us,” and a remembrance table to remember those who couldn’t be with us but who are forever in our hearts.

It is really tough to choose a favorite moment! The Groom’s father was also a basketball coach, and the image of the two of them leaving the church and sharing a basketball handshake gives me so many chills! One of the most special moments for us was just prior to Adam’s thank you and blessing. We took a moment, looked around the entire room, and saw that every single person we love was all in one place, and they were there to celebrate our love and our marriage. How amazing a feeling that was! It warms our hearts thinking about this moment, and it will be a memory we will cherish forever. 

My gown was was by Maggie Sotterro and the name was Lisette. I never envisioned having a princess style gown until putting it on. It was classy, elegant, sexy, and I loved it! Our cake was made by Kim Yelvington at Chocolate Pi. It was a champagne scented strawberry cake with mimosa cream. DELICIOUS! We created welcome bags when our guests checked into the hotel including water, snacks, Advil, and a thank you cards for our guests. 

Our advice to couples is to do a last dance with just the Bride and Groom. That was another one of our favorite moments because it gave us one more chance to soak it all in! It was so special and so memorable.



Photography: PSJ Photograpgy | Cinematography: Alvaro Misericordia Films | Floral Design: Botanica International Design Studio | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Cake: Chocolate Pi | Ceremony: St Lawrence Catholic Church | Reception: Oxford Exchange | Hair + Makeup: Rachel Reumann | DJ: Impulse Entertainment | Bridal Boutique: Lily's Bridal Of Orlando | Robe: Homebodii

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Luxe Florida Wedding With a Cool, Lounge Vibe

There’s so much for love about this Floria affair photographed by Jacqui Cole, but my favorite element is all about the party atmosphere. When it came time for the reception, they opted for an ultra cool lounge vibe with awesome seating setups for guests to casually mix and mingle. Not to mention the yummy food stations! Tracie Domino Events planned this chic, fuss-free celebration and we can’t get enough.

From the Bride… Mike and I met through mutual friends after I decided to crash the group’s Sunday night tradition of dinner followed by the TV show Game of Thrones. I was planning on leaving after dinner but decided to stay and learn more about the show and the handsome guy in the room. Mike and I talked for a little bit that night but had an opportunity to get to know each other better when he arranged a group outing to the movies later that week. We were inseparable from that night on.

Mike insisted on exchanging Christmas gifts early. His family had already agreed to have a practical Christmas, so I somewhat jokingly asked for new underwear to keep with the theme. On the night of the proposal, I opened a Victoria’s Secret box full of different types of underwear. You can imagine my confusion to find a pair of my underwear along with a pair of Mike’s boxers in the mix, but it all made sense once I read the checklist at the bottom of the box – something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Mike dropped to one knee and proposed in our living room. I immediately said yes!

Mike has two extraordinary children from his first marriage, Drew and Gabby. For our wedding, it was important to include them in our festivities. We envisioned a small, intimate wedding with our family and dearest friends in attendance followed by a big party with the rest of our guests. In lieu of a bridal party, we asked Mike’s sister, JoAnna, and my brother, John, to stand by our sides. Drew and Gabby served as our ring bearer and flower girl. We realized very quickly that due to our busy personal and professional lives we really needed the help of a wedding planner. Immediately after meeting with Tracie Domino with Tracie Domino Events, we felt exceedingly confident that she would be able to make our wedding everything we hoped for and more. She introduced us to some of the most talented vendors in the business who would help us bring our vision to life.

Within a few weeks of our initial meeting we had a venue, band, photographer and décor company booked. She made the process incredibly easy for us and alleviated much of the stress that accompanies planning an event of this size. January in Tampa is all about Pirates, so, when we chose our wedding date a couple of weeks before the Gasparilla parade and events, we knew we had to incorporate some Tampa-inspired elements into our event design and décor.

Our graphic designer was inspired by a vintage cigar box label for our stationary suite. We had custom throw beads made as party favors for our guests. We really gravitated toward bold colors and incorporated navy and marsala into our color palette. Palma Ceia Golf & Country Club was the perfect backdrop for our wedding, so we decided to have our ceremony on the golf course and our cocktail hour and reception in the clubhouse. MMD Events completely transformed the ballroom by creating a warm and inviting lounge atmosphere. I loved that our guests could take a break from dancing by relaxing on the comfortable furniture surrounding the dance floor. The layout really encouraged our guests to mix and mingle. We set up food stations with “his” and “her” favorites. Our guests enjoyed comparing menus served at each station.

At the end of the night, we surprised our guests with sliders and French fries. Knowing our friends and family, a stocked bar and great band were important for the celebration we wanted to share with our guests. Our band, The Headliners, kept our guests (young and old) on the dance floor the entire night. By the end of the reception, the crowd migrated toward the stage for what felt like a private concert. They were fantastic! One of our fondest memories of our wedding was our personal and heartfelt ceremony.

Prior to our wedding, Mike and I were asked by our officiant to answer some questions about our relationship, which he used to tell our “love story”. The heartfelt story shared by our officiant brought the entire crowd to tears and we loved sharing our story with those people who were instrumental in the growth and nurturing of our relationship.

We are so happy we decided on a first look! Jacqui Cole shared our enthusiasm with our decision because she knew the light would be perfect for our wedding portraits. It also gave us some time to enjoy a private moment together in the middle of a busy day. We feel like her amazing photos vindicate our decision to do a first look. We still find ourselves admiring Jacqui’s beautiful photographs. Her vision and talent perfectly captured the joy and love that we felt surrounding and embracing us that day.



Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Event Planning: Tracie Domino Events | Wedding Dress: Amsale | Cake: The Cake Zone | Reception Venue: Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club | Hair and Makeup: Irina Bilka | Ceremony Music: Bella Musica | Bridal Store: Calvet Couture Bridal | Decor: MMD Events | Floral Design + Rentals: MMD Events | Reception Band: The Headliners Band

After an 18-Month Engagement, This Beautiful Wedding Was Worth the Wait

Long engagements aren’t for everyone, but when you’re a Bride who isn’t sure what she wants for her wedding, a long engagement gives you time to discover your wedding style and turn your vision into a reality. And in the case of this sweet Bride and Groom, their 18-month engagement allowed them to plan their day to perfection. See it all from L. Martin Wedding Photography in The Vault!

From The Bride…I had no idea what I wanted at first so we had an 18 month engagement to give us plenty of time to decide. I wanted a venue that was different and surrounded by beautiful nature. After seeing the Davis Island Garden club we knew that was the place.

I really like neutral colors so we decided on a light color palette of white and gray with touches of blush pink. The Garden is so beautiful it didn’t need a lot. I didn’t want anything to extravagant as far as extra décor, but my own touches to make it feel like a nice relaxing day in the garden. We had an acoustic guitarist playing in the gazebo while guest entered the garden which helped to set the tone.

I made the entrance sign into the venue from pieces of pallet wood. My dad made all of the flower boxes for the centerpieces and the wood pallet cake stand. My father-n-law made our DIY photo booth frame and a stand for our succulent wedding favors. My mother-n-law and I repotted off the succulents and added the thank-you and seating assignment. We were very blessed to have all the help we did for our DIYs from both families!

My favorite moment was at the end of the night when we were leaving on the boat looking up and seeing all of our family and friends cheering for us standing on the shore. I was so surprised to see how many people stayed for the entire reception and even the send off. It was so nice to see and hear all their support at the end of the night.

My florist did an amazing job! I was a little nervous not being able to see the way all the flowers would look like ahead of time. The first flowers I saw was my bouquet when I was getting ready and I was speechless! My florist made exactly what I pictured all my flowers looking like. I loved my gown, it was so light for all the tool that it had. It was so much fun to dance in all night. I put my own touch on it with the belt and it made it fit my personality perfect. Our cake was so delicious but the only piece I had time to eat was the one my husband fed me after cutting the cake. I cant wait to see what it will taste like when we celebrate our one year anniversary.

Get a wedding planner or a day of coordinator, esp if you have a DIY venue. I did not have one and it made me a little stressed having to think of every little thing esp. since I have never been married before. I was so lucky to have my husbands family and mine to set everything up and help me along the way. My DJ was also a great help the day of making sure everything happened when it needed to.

From L. Martin Wedding PhotographyBoth of their occupations are to help others, CJ is a firefighter and Erin is a nurse, which explain their open and caring personalities! The Davis Islands Garden Club is one of the most popular spots in Tampa, with its waterfront views on Hillsborough River you can see all of Downtown Tampa. The lush backyard and gardens of this 1950 home, served as a beautiful ceremony space for Erin & CJ. They had a classic blush and grey color palette that seamlessly flowed through every detail!

Erin fell in love with gardens at the Club and all the details they had planned – the signage, florals and handmade decor made her vintage garden vision come to life! Their guests loved the floating frame her Father-in-Law made for a DIY photo booth. They stocked the bar with liquor that had been gifted to them from friend’s and family. Erin’s Dad built a custom wood pallet planter shelf for the succulent favor’s that doubled as place card’s. (This was one of my favorite details! I said a few ohh’s and ahh’s when I saw it.) Erin also made the entrance sign that welcomed guests to the wedding. So many pretty handmade details!

I love send off’s, they just end the night in a fun way. Not only did they have a confetti canon send off, they ran to the dock nearby onto a boat they chartered, that took them directly to their hotel on the riverwalk. The guests stood by the water’s edge and cheered them on as their boat went by. A truly magical way to end such a gorgeous wedding!

Photography: L Martin Wedding Photography | Floral Design: Bloomingdale Florist | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Cake: Publix Bakery | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: David's Bridal | Catering: 911 Catering | Hair + Makeup: Destiny And Light | Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Venue: Davis Island Garden Club | Bridal Boutique: Robyn Lynne Bridal | Signage: Z Create Design

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Beyond Blooms: This Couple Used Cakes As Their Centerpieces!

Why don’t more weddings do this!? Instead of sharing one main cake, let’s spread the sweet love and have a cute confection at every single table! That’s exactly what this wise lady did and I’m a fan! Jacqui Cole captured each adorable treat – and all the other delightful details of this Floridian fete, with Voila Cinematic filming away! See it all below and satisfy your sweet tooth with more in our Vault here!

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From Jacqui Cole PhotographyPatrice and Ashlyn celebrated their marriage at The Vault in Tampa. This venue is a gem for our small city providing a grand historic backdrop while still feeling romantic and warm. The floor to ceiling windows light up the whole ballroom until the sun sets over your wedding day.

Patrice hand picked some incredible details. She absolutely loved her sparkly pink Jimmy Choo’s… I mean, who wouldn’t! Her sleeved, low-back gown fitted her like a glove. Patrice and Ashlyn wanted to make sure Ashlyn’s daughter was included in the portraits. Some of the sweetest moments of the day were as their little flower girl looked up at them both.

Jennifer from Bourbon and Blush Events helped to bring Patrice’s vision to life! The soft romantic blushes’ of the bridesmaids dresses really stood out against the vibrant pops of marsala and golds. This was carried through the reception decor where a unique cake was at the center of every table! The guests were able to cut into their very own personal cakes! Gold flatware, custom calligraphy paper goods and countless textured linens really brought the space to life.

Patrice, Ashlyn and their family and friends danced the night away until they rode off in their vintage car. The entire day was full of magical moments and I thoroughly enjoyed capturing every one of them! Congratulations Mr and Mrs Parker!


More fabulous Floridian weddings here!

Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Videography: Voila Cinematic | Event Planning: Bourbon And Blush Events | Floral Design: Inna Olimpiyuk Events | Cakes: Trudy Melissa Cakes | Invitations: Writefully Simple | Reception Venue: The Vault Tampa | Catering: Salt Block Catering | Linens: Kate Ryan Linens | Rentals: Ever After DeAnn

This Whimsical Country Club Wedding Is the Perfect Spring Affair

Sarah Beth and Josh’s wedding is truly one to cherish. It’s classic, timeless, and filled with oh-so-elegant details. Captured by Jacqui Cole Photography with beauty from Salon Inga, we’ve got this stunner of a celebration waiting for you to fall in love with time and time again in The Vault!

Country Club

From Jacqui Cole PhotographyEvery single moment of Sarah Beth and Josh’s wedding day was truly a joy to capture. There was so much love throughout the day you couldn’t help but smile as you saw the memories unfold.

Sarah Beth and Josh chose to celebrate their marriage at the beautiful Tampa Yacht and Country Club. This classic Tampa venue not only has stunning grounds but the ability to enjoy both dining al fresco under twinkly lights and dancing the night away in the air-conditioned ballroom! Any Florida girl knows this is the best of both worlds.

Sarah Beth got ready at her family home with her dear friends and of course their sweet family pup! The girls sipped on champagne and relaxed as the team at Salon Inga pampered them with their beautiful hair and makeup. When it came time for Sarah Beth to step into her Monique Lhuillier gown, her mum and sister were able to share a special moment by themselves. So many of Sarah Beth’s detail were meticulously chosen and almost every one had a sentimental meaning. The wedding day events map was hand painted by her father, the champagne goblets were her Grandmother’s bridesmaid gifts and the custom embroidered bag was a gift from her sister.

Sarah Beth and Josh wanted a classic, timeless wedding with neutral colors. Pops of soft lilac and organic greens added depth to their decor. The table settings were simple yet oh-so elegant. The bride and groom love the beach and chose to substitute name cards in place or hand calligraphed shells.

Sarah Beth switched into her honeymoon dress and arm in arm they exited under sparklers into their Rolls Royce getaway car. I couldn’t be happier for these two beautiful souls – it was a true honor to capture these memories!

From the Bride… I had never pictured getting married in my hometown, but after living away from home for the past 10 years, it was incredibly special to have our wedding where I grew up. Josh and I wanted our wedding to be formal and timeless but also very personal. I had always pictured an organic, romantic style for our wedding, so we used long, candlelit tables to make the dinner feel more intimate and chose mostly greenery and neutral colors with a pop of purple in the flowers. We served craft beer brewed by my uncle and had a bourbon bar especially for Josh. I have a major sweet tooth, so we had an ice cream and cookies bar served alongside the cake. My parents also helped me (painstakingly) collect and paint over 200 oyster shells to use as place cards since most of my childhood memories revolve around the water and Josh often took family trips to beaches just an hour away from Tampa, despite growing up in the Midwest.

We also tried to incorporate a lot of family traditions. We got married in the church where my parents were married over 35 years ago and had our reception at the same location where both my parents and paternal grandparents had their wedding receptions. We displayed photos from our parents’ and grandparents’ weddings at the reception and used some special family heirlooms, including my grandmother’s set of toasting goblets. On my grandmother’s wedding day, her five bridesmaids gifted her with a set of six silver goblets — one for each of them and one for her — which they used at her wedding reception. After my mom realized that I happened to have five bridesmaids as well, we used them during the day while getting ready at my parents’ house. It was such a fun and relaxing part of the day that was made even more special since my grandmother couldn’t be physically present with us.

We are so grateful to Jacqui for perfectly capturing our wedding! It is so true that the day goes by really quickly, but we are thankful to have such wonderful photographs that remind us of all of the joy and love from that day.

Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Floral Design: The Potting Shed | Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Publix Bakery | Invitations: Little Miss Press | Reception Venue: Tampa Yacht And Country Club | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Nordstrom | Hair + Makeup: Salon Inga' | Band: Frequency Band | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss

Classic + Elegant Museum Wedding in Tampa, Florida

This Tampa celebration is a work of art. Because not only did this darling pair plan the perfect party, but the also held their reception in an art museum. I mean, how cool is that?! History buffs take note, this celebration is for you. A gallery that has garnered praise, thanks to K&K Photography we’ve got it all curated and collected for you to view. See it all displayed in The Vault!

From the Bride… The most important aspect of our day was knowing that God was honored in the middle of it all. From the ceremony to the reception, Aaron and I desired for love to be the centerpiece. And it was! Our ceremony was a beautiful celebration of becoming one in front of all of our closest family and friends.

Arriving at the museum, we were greeted by delicate touches of beauty and love, from the linens, to the centerpieces, to the food, to the music – it was all exactly as we had envisioned. The Fall November air was crisp and light, and the love that surrounded us was warm and comforting.

One unique touch there was, was a hot donut stand. There was a line of people waiting to create their own hot donut the entire night. It was a hit!

We can’t thank our vendors enough for providing such excellent service and talent. It was truly, the perfect day.

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See even more head-turning trends here!

Photography: K and K Photography, LLC | Event Coordinator: Bay Bouquet | Event Planning & Design: Ideal Design Events | Floral Design: Bay Bouquet | Cake: Cakes by Nomeda | Reception Venue: Tampa Museum Of Art | Hair + Makeup: Jess Waldrop | String Quartet: Alafia String Quartet | Transportation: Ambassador Limo | Wedding Venue: Hyde Park Presbyterian Church | Donuts: Hot Donut Co. | Wedding Band: The Buzzcatz

Elegant Black Tie Tampa Yacht Club Wedding

Lesson learned from these elegant yacht club nuptials? Twinkling lights, gleaming gold and baby blue details, and tuxedos as far as the eye can see make for one beautiful set of “I Do’s.” Lucky for us, Kallima Photography was there to capture all the pretty — from the endless laughs to the enviable ‘maid squad moments — and we’ve got it all in the gallery right here!

From Kallima PhotographyKate and Josh had a gorgeous classic black tie wedding in Tampa, Fl. The bride and groom chose the Tampa Yacht and County club for their reception venue. Guests were treated to a band underneath a clear tent in the back of the club overlooking Tampa Bay. The clear tent featured hanging floral arrangements and strung lights. For their ceremony, the couple was married at the Jesuit School chapel, and they were the last couple to ever be married there as the chapel was to be renovated just after the day. The couple was sent off with a sparkler exit.

Photography: Kallima Photography | Event Design: One Fine Day, Inc. | Event Planning: One Fine Day, Inc. | Floral Design: Bay Bouquet | Wedding Dress: Marchesa | Cake: Chocolate pi | Ceremony Venue: St Anthonys Chapel Jesuit High School | Reception Venue: Tampa Yacht And Country Club | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Tampa Yacht And Country Club | Band: Bobby And The Aristocats | Ceremony Music: Dillingham Quartet | Dress Alterations: Mark Ingram Atelier

Abby Capalbo

Design, Styling, Parties
Traditional Tampa Garden-Inspired Wedding

This Florida wedding has all of the elements for a perfect day: a gorgeous venue, personal touches (the Bride made the Groom’s baseball jersey from the Minor Leagues into a guest book!) and a dream team including Justin DeMutiis PhotographyStonehouse Events  and Voila Cinematic. Add to that details like the Bride’s Valentino shoes, the Groom’s custom cuff-links, and you’ve got a stunning day. See it all here.

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From Justin DeMutiis PhotographyWhen Scott proposed to Chelsea, he planned the perfect evening with flowers, candles and a steak dinner delivered to their private hotel room. It was Chelsea’s birthday and Scott gave her a birthday present she would never forget, an engagement ring! Chelsea said yes and planning the perfect wedding day began!

The Davis Island Garden Club in Tampa, Florida was the perfect setting to create an intimate and welcoming space for Chelsea and Scott’s family and friends! The ceremony was adorned with rose petals, candles and flowers to create the perfect backdrop for Chelsea and Scott to share the wedding vows that would make them husband and wife. The magic continued as guests made their way to cocktail hour enjoying a full bar, especially the bride and groom’s signature drink, the Orange Crush and hors d’eouvres. The reception room was warm and inviting with soft pink and blush hues and lots of candlelight. It was breathtaking as the bride and groom made their way to the dance floor for their first dance, “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. Chelsea had a special surprise for Scott that night as she had his baseball Jersey made for all of the guests to sign along with his bat and baseballs used when he played for the minor leagues! It was an evening full of laughter and joy as everyone celebrated the happy couple. As Chelsea and Scott made their way through the sparklers, they drove away in a Golf Cart decorated by the bride’s sister and brother in law, a true tradition on Davis Island! It was a night they would both never forget!

Photography: Justin DeMutiis Photography | Videography: Voila Cinematic | Event Coordination: Stonehouse Events | Floral Design: Events In Bloom | Cake: Hands On Sweets | Hair & Makeup: Femme Akoi | Bridal Boutique: Robinson's Bridal | Music: Grant Hemond And Associates

Romantic Coastal Bridal Inspiration

I’ll forever be enchanted by the coast; just a brief sight of the sea makes my heart happy. I wasn’t sure what could make an already stunning view better… but then Jacqui Cole shared these pics from her shoot with Oh Hello Events and here we go! Entranced with these two gorgeous gowns and romantic hair and makeup by Salon Inga, I’ll be spending my Monday daydreaming away right this way.


From Jacqui Cole… Fellow LBB member Salon Inga and myself are thrilled to share this inspiration bridal shoot with you!

This organic, coastal inspired bridal portrait session was an opportunity for our team to revel in beautiful details that adorn a modern bride. The soft hues of the Floridian waters and the perfect morning breeze created the ideal backdrop. We selected two gowns by Hayley Paige and Christos to show versatility of a classic waterside setting.

For the makeup we chose a classic look that can suit any bride and added a pop more of color on the lips to fit the vintage/exotic look of the set-up and location. Salon Inga created hairstyles that walked the line of effortless and a little undone yet still would still match the formality of a wedding. Each look compliments the dress in different ways – no matter the personality of the bride.

Oh Deery Floral really wanted to create something loose with a lot of movement – something to mimic the movement of the ocean waves. We chose light pink astilbe, light green hellebore, purple lilac, light pink ranunculus and a moody dark purple ranunculus, paired with white hybrid ornithogalum, and white clematis. The rich berry and coral florals provided an element of vibrancy and depth against the tranquil blue and aqua water. Lastly, a long piece of champagne silk ribbon was tied around the bouquet which happily blew in the wind throughout the whole shoot.

To ground the setting, we sourced a vintage sofa and rose armchair that lent themselves to relaxed and blissful poses.

Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Event Planning: Oh Hello Events | Floral Design: Oh Deery Floral | Hair And Makeup: Salon Inga' | Beaded Bridal Gown: JLM Couture, Inc | Bridal Boutique: The White Magnolia | Film Lab: Goodman Film Lab | Halter Neck Silk Gown: Christos | Model: Chanda Am | Rentals: Tufted Vintage Rentals

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Simple + Elegant Tampa Wedding

Ladies, get ready, because this precious flower girl in her pink tulle tutu is going to melt your heart. And that’s just the beginning. Photographed by Justin DeMutiis Photography and planned by Clover & Company Weddings And Events, this Tampa wedding is full of heartfelt touches—from the Maker’s Mark groom’s cake to the couple’s adorable dog. Swoon over all the pretty in the gallery.

From Clover & Company Weddings And EventsOne of the Clover Girls favorite sayings is that the “Love is in the Details.” This elegant, yet simple wedding sums up the essence of what we as planners strive to encourage our brides and grooms to do and that is to make it personal. It is the little touches of a couples style or personality that guests will remember. This particular wedding achieved just that. From the signature drink “Moscow Mule” to the mix of diamonds softened by pearls, allowed the perfect balance of bringing rustic glamour down to earth. Who doesn’t love gorgeous florals, sparkle, and tu-tu’s?!?!. This unique, rustic and glamourous wedding is certainly an inspiration for southern weddings of any season.

Photography: Justin DeMutiis Photography | Event Planning: Clover & Company Weddings and Events | Floral Design: Botanica International Design Studio | Wedding Dress: The White Magnolia | Cake: Chocolate pi | Cake: Outrageous Cakes | Invitations : Minted | Band : Easy Posse | Officiant : Sensational Ceremonies | Harpist : Tampa Bay Harpist | Venue: Tampa Yacht And Country Club | Make- Up & Hair: Lasting Luxe | Photo Booth : Foto Box

Rustic Chic Tampa Spring Wedding

One of the best parts of my job is reading stories from brides; I’m always eager to learn the reasons behind various wedding decisions. So with this couple, in learning they choose their venues for deeply personal reasons, made me fall even more in love with their whole celebration. Jacqui Cole’s pics, Salon Inga’s gorgeous work and one romantic gown were the icing on the cake. See it all right here!

From Jacqui Cole Photography… McKay and Kenny’s Tampa Yacht Club wedding is just so beautiful and I’m thrilled to share this one with you1 Luckily for us, this January 3rd wedding could have been any time of the year in sunny Florida!

McKay’s details were both whimsical and rustic while still maintaining the classic elegance of a traditional wedding. Her bridal party looked fun and girly in their mismatched Ann Taylor dresses and gorgeous bouquets. McKay’s jaw-dropping, low-cut back dress from Malindy Elene couldn’t have been any more perfect for her! With absolutely stunning florals from the internationally acclaimed Botanica Design Studio and a dance floor overlooking the Tampa Bay, their reception was just heavenly. The specialized coffee cart and separate dessert room was of course an added bonus! Unique little touches throughout the entire day really made this wedding one to remember. Thank you McKay and Kenny for allowing me to capture these beautiful memories for you!

From The Bride… Kenny and I met when we both interned over the summer at the same church. It was technically not allowed for interns to date each other, but about two weeks into the summer, Kenny consulted our boss about breaking that rule, received permission, and that’s when it all began! After we had dated a year and a half, I went to spend Christmas with Kenny and his family in Washington. The Saturday before Christmas, he popped the question at his parents home by the Christmas tree. It was such a sweet proposal and moment shared between the two of us. Afterwards, we celebrated with his family and then continued with a fancy date for just the two of us at a local restaurant. When we returned from dinner, we walked up to his parents home and inside, I was surprised with a swanky engagement party filled with his family and friends! Overwhelmed and excited, I turned into the next room to take off my coat and found my parents, who Kenny had flown from Florida to join us, waiting to excitedly congratulate us! It was a perfect day and one that I will always cherish.

We chose Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church where we interned that summer, and where Kenny now works full time, as the location for our ceremony. Not only was the location special to us, but our boss from that summer, and dear friend, David performed the ceremony. It was so sweet and personal to be married by someone who knows us both so well!

For the reception, we chose the Tampa Yacht and Country Club where both my parents and maternal grandparents held their wedding receptions. When we considered how special it was, in addition to the great food and ample dance floor, we knew it was the place for us!

My priorities for the rest of the planning were to find a great photographer and a dress I loved. Jacqui was recommended by our florist and I knew as soon as I saw her beautiful website that our styles would mesh effortlessly. She was an absolute JOY to work with, for both our engagement session and wedding day. Next came the dress, which the wonderful staff at Melindy Elene Bridal in Tampa helped me to find at my first appointment. It was a dream and so exciting to have those two important aspects of the day planned!

It is so difficult narrowing down one favorite moment of the day! I loved my first look with my bridesmaids and with Kenny and will cherish those joyful moments forever. But my favorite moments of the whole day were probably spent on the dance floor at the reception when Kenny and I were both free to celebrate such a wonderful day and dance with our closest friends who had come from all over the country. It was such a happy time!

My advice for those couples in the wedding planning process is, despite how wonderful and exciting it is to plan for this one special wedding day, to devote time to preparing yourself for the actual marriage you are entering into. Take a break from all of the decisions, and have a date night. Maybe read a book together about the purpose of marriage or have an older couple share their wisdom about marriage with you. Those conversations are important and will bless you. Marriage is beautiful and tough and I believe is worth taking the time to prepare for in addition to the wedding day!

Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Floral Design: Botanica International Design Studio | Cake: Let Them Eat Cake | Ceremony Venue: Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church | Reception Venue: Tampa Yacht And Country Club | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Ann Taylor Loft | Catering: Cafe A La Carte | Hair And Makeup: Salon Inga' | DJ: Impulse Entertainment | Men's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Bridal Store: Malindy Elene | Rentals: Pks Rentals

Southern-Inspired Coastal Florida Wedding

This pastel-infused coastal Florida wedding is truly so beautiful, I’m really not sure where to begin. From the soft pastel Bridesmaids dresses, to the charming watercolored stationery from A&P Design, to the three (yes, three!) gorgeous cakes, there’s really too much pretty in this gallery from Best Photography to describe in a few short lines. But don’t just take my word for it — click here to see it all!

Country Club

From Best PhotographySouthern inspiration paired with a gorgeous couple and whimsical details is nothing short of a perfect combination. Christine and Nils are some of the sweetest, selfless people you will ever meet. Not to mention, ridiculously photogenic. These two are practically supermodels. They poured their time and hearts into their wedding, and that fact is easy to see. With so many romantic details, and the gorgeous West Florida sunlight to set the tone, we are swooning… Between all of the incredible vendors and people that came together to make this elegant affair happen, we couldn’t have imagined anything more beautiful! It was perfect…

From the Bride… Nils and I were both terribly shy teenagers when a mutual friend in high school introduced us. We were too nervous to speak in person so we spent hours chatting on instant messenger (embarrassing screen names and all). It didn’t take long before we became best friends and high school sweethearts. By the time graduation came around, we had our hearts set on two different out-of-state universities. Nils and I went our separate ways, learned, loved and started making our own lives; he calls these the “lost years.” It wasn’t until three years later that I opened my inbox to find a surprising message from the same boy I fell so hard for in halls of our high school.

Nils proposed by recreating our first real date in high school, the first one where Nils got a truck and our parents didn’t have to drive. He recreated a picnic near a local Tampa bridge and even remembered the brand of sweet tea that we had so many years ago! We moved to Gainesville, FL where Nils began graduate school and dove right into wedding planning. We knew we wanted to get married in our hometown Tampa and I always dreamed of getting married in October, just like my parents and my grandparents. Our wedding took place on the same day my grandparents were married 70 years before.

Nils and I may be natives of the sunshine state but that doesn’t stop us from loving the south. Our collegiate tie to Georgia and Alabama keeps southern hospitality running through our veins and there was no doubt that we wanted to bring this same comfort to our wedding. With the help of our coordinator Kyela Faett and Anna Lucia Events, our vision for a beautiful southern affair came true.

We started with simply beautiful letterpress from A&P Designs complete with a monogram and cute map of Tampa Bay. The map included the Gasparilla pirate ship, locations of some of our favorite spots and even our two pups! We had a copy of the map blown up and have it hanging in our home.

I spent hours on blogs and Pinterest but had a hard time coming up with a distinct theme. Nils and I knew we adored the huge oaks trees at our venue so we kept the greenery flowing throughout our ceremony and into the crisp white tent for our reception. Botanica International Designs created the most beautiful garland and mint julep centerpieces. For décor I drew inspiration from table numbers we found at Rifle Paper Company and had a marvelous time mixing wreath and ribbon images to create our DIY paper products like the menus, program, escort and place cards. When it came to picking a color for my bridesmaids, I couldn’t get the Dusty Shale color from J.Crew out of my mind. I knew it would be a perfect compliment to the oak trees and even my strawberry blonde bridesmaids. Our happy day wouldn’t have been complete without the amazing music of Deleon Entertainment and their rendition of Come Thou Fount that will always remind me of walking down the aisle with my daddy.

Our favorite detail of our wedding was the DIY personalized escorts cards that welcomed every guest individually. This was such a small detail but made every one of our guests feel special and loved. Unique details like these were the reason we decided to have a wedding with fewer than one hundred guests. The wedding may have been a celebration for Nils and I, but we would be nowhere without the love and support of our loved ones and we made sure all of our wedding guests knew how special they were to us. We even managed to squeeze in a few rivalry college football digs on the escort cards that made everyone laugh.

We couldn’t resist adding foods like mini ham biscuits and shrimp and grits to our cocktail menu and completed the night eating sweet peach cobbler on wooden rocking chairs. Our cakes were made by the amazing husband and wife team at Hands on Sweets and were the perfect focal point for our tent reception. How did we end up with three cakes? It was completely impossible to choose just one flavor and design! We could not have been happier with our pink champagne with eucalyptus garland and that beautiful sugar magnolia.

Photography: Best Photography | Event Planning: Signature Event Rentals | Event Planning And Design: LUCIA|PAUL DESIGN | Floral Design: Botanica Specialty Rentals | Cake: Hands On Sweets | Stationery: A&P Designs | Hair And Makeup: Femme Akoi | Band: DeLeon Band | Officiant: Rev. Lee Crane | Transportation: Network Limousines | Venue: Tampa Yacht And Country Club | Linens : Over The Top Linens | Photo Booth: Photogenica Photo Booth Co.

Elegant Vintage Inspired Bayshore Wedding

What I would’ve given to attend this celebration. From a vivant timbalero player, to Spanish guitarists, to specialty cocktails followed by fresh beignets and cafe au lait, every moment is memorable. It’s a marriage made for sharing and Pezz Photo captured it all right here!

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From the beautiful Bride… Jon and I both come from big crazy families with thick accents. His side happens to be Louisiana Cajun while mine comes from Argentina. We celebrated this blending of cultures through music and food. A classic Spanish guitarist performed during our cocktail hour where bartenders served up specialty cocktails named “La Latina” (a pomegranate margarita) and “El Gringo” (a whiskey on the rocks). After dinner, a timbalero took the stage drumming in harmony with our DJ who played salsa and merengue. Once the dance floor was packed we threw a mini New Orleans Mardi Gras. Within minutes the entire room was parading around with umbrellas, masks, hats, beads and feather boas. We even served fresh beignets and cafe au lait.

I always knew I wanted to create a classic, elegant and romantic atmosphere, but my specific décor was inspired by my dress. When I picked a 1920’s style Lazaro gown with layers of ruffles and vintage-inspired embroidery, I knew I had to go a little Gatsby. I picked a classic black and ivory color scheme with metallic accents and tons of candles to help the room sparkle. Our escort cards and menus used Art Deco fonts and geometric patterns. My favorite décor element was our shiny black vinyl dance floor.

Hire the best photographer and videographer you can afford, and do your best to get to know them before the big day. These professionals are with you all day! You want them to be experienced, calm under pressure and willing to take charge. I know they’re expensive when they’re good… but trust me, they’re well worth it!

Photography: Pezz Photo | Videography: Imprint Cinema | Wedding Dress: Kleinfeld Bridal | Cake: Hands On Sweets | Ceremony Venue: The Academy Of The Holy Names Chapel | Reception Venue: Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club | Bridesmaids Dresses: Badgley Mischka | Food: Palma Ceia Golf and Country Club | Entertainment: Daniel Giron | Entertainment: Mr. Timbalero | DJ: DJ Papi | Groom's Attire: Suitsupply | Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Dance Floor: IM Events | Party Rentals: Imperial Party Rental And Linens & Beyond

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Rustic and Elegant Tampa Yacht Club Wedding

What began as a high school friendship soon turned into courtship after college, and when it came time for their Big Day this duo wanted the ultimate celebration. With MMD Events at the helm, their vision became reality in the form of neutral linens, wood tones and lush greenery. Justin DeMutiis was behind the lens capturing it all, and the gallery is the perfect place to see it, right here!

Yacht Club

From the beautiful Bride… Like so many other relationships, ours began after years of friendship. Kevin and I met in high school but didn’t begin dating until after college. After getting engaged, we immediately knew that we didn’t just want to plan a wedding – we wanted to plan a party. We wanted our wedding day to not only celebrate us but to celebrate all of our friends and family who supported and loved us along the way.

Kevin and I decided that an outdoor ceremony and reception felt the most comfortable for us. Because we wanted to get married in Tampa – our hometown and where we currently live – a fall wedding was ideal. We quickly decided on a location that was able to host our entire wedding in one place – the Tampa Yacht & Country Club.

When it came to the décor, I knew exactly what I wanted – neutral linens, wood tones and lush greenery highlighted by candles and market lights with our guests seated at long feasting tables. The amazing team at MMD Events took my vision and made it a reality. The end result was gorgeous but not fussy – so fitting for our big day.

So many of our other vendors aided in making our wedding day the ultimate party. From our quartet playing modern hits to our incredible band who kept everyone on the dance floor with their classic rock covers – we couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Photography: Justin DeMutiis Photography | Videography: Tampaniac Pictures | Coordination: Tracie Domino Events | Event Design: MMD Events | Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza | Cake: Publix Bakery | Ceremony Venue: Tampa Yacht And Country Club | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Hair: Michele Renee The Studio | Band: The Adrian Duke Project | Officiant: Michael DeArruda | Bridal Boutique: Joan Pillow Bridal | Bridesmaids' Sleep Shirts: Eberjey | Invitations, Save The Dates, Calligraphy, Day Of Signage: Tangerine Calligraphy | Quartet: Classern String Quartet

Classically Elegant Avila Country Club Wedding

Hillary and CJ infused their classically elegant wedding day with an incredible sense of family love—a love that runs deep and trumps a pretty detail any day. But lucky us, we don’t have to choose one or the other, because these captures from Jacqui Cole Photography are graced with both. From Dad officiating their ceremony to those sweet and sparkly ‘maids, this gallery is cause for a happy, happy dance.

From Jacqui Cole PhotographyHillary and CJ were such a joy to photograph and I feel beyond blessed to have captured these memories for them. Every single aspect of Hillary and CJ’s day was perfectly planned. From the beautiful getting ready details in the bridesmaids’ Pretty Plum Sugar pj’s to the gorgeous florals by Carrollwood Florals. My favorite moment of their day was the moment the new Mr + Mrs turned around from their first kiss to walk up the aisle as husband and wife. The sheer elation and joy in their face as they looked at each other was so memorable!

From the Bride… CJ and I met at the University of Florida during our junior year (Go Gators!). We were both from Tampa, but our paths never crossed until college. We dated our entire senior year and after graduation CJ had to move cross-country to Phoenix, AZ for a new job. I was finishing up nursing school in Gainesville while we dated long-distance. We saw each other every six weeks, either in Tampa or in Phoenix. A week before our two-year anniversary, on his latest trip to Tampa, he proposed at the end of Davis Island overlooking beautiful Tampa Bay. His 16-year-old sister, and budding photographer, hid in the grass, catching the proposal while the sailboats passed behind us. We spent the rest of the day celebrating with our families. The next day, we drove up to Gainesville where all of our friends threw an engagement party for us. It was the most amazing weekend of celebrating with the people we love.

I finished nursing school in August, so we knew it would be perfect to have the wedding in the fall. We had three dates to match up vendors with, all of them revolving around Gator football. We ended up choosing October 18th, Florida’s Homecoming game. Needless to say, all of our guests were fortunate enough to miss the debacle that was the Missouri/Florida game.

During our venue search, we wanted to find something with character and meaning in the Tampa Bay area. CJ’s dad, Steve, has been the Senior Pastor at Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church for 16 years. We were so blessed and honored to have him officiate and marry us in the church he leads each Sunday. The neighborhood I grew up in, Avila, has this gorgeous “old-world” Spanish architecture that complimented the church and the historical charm that I love. The most attractive feature of the club was the expansive atrium; perfect for all the dancing we knew would go down.

Since our venues elevated the wedding to a more formal mood, I wanted to throw in some laid-back, organic features. My theme became bohemian glamour. My dress looked fancy, but was as comfortable as a nightgown. It had two layers, a champagne silk gown with a beaded lace overlay. It fit me perfectly with flats, so all I had to do was bustle it! The bridesmaids’ dresses were nude with silver beading. They looked like champagne from far away, but were shorter for a more casual look. Everything at the reception was mercury glass, a natural shimmer in candlelight. The groomsmen matched the groom, with modern tuxedos and suspenders, for a more relaxed approach. I met with my florist, Jaclyn, who is also a friend from high school, numerous times during the six-month engagement to get the flowers just right. We came up with the word whimsical to describe the arrangements. I wanted the flowers to almost sparkle against the bridesmaids’ dresses with their light natural colors and textures.

We had the most beautiful ceremony with the music lead by the team from our church in Gainesville. My dad walked me down the aisle to “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”, sung by my good friend Brittany. Both my dad and my grandpa gave me away. On my right wrist was my grandma’s tennis bracelet, alongside my great-grandma’s coral and pearl ring. The bridal party recessed to “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go”, a beautiful yet upbeat song that got us all dancing down the aisle and into the back of the church. It was such an amazing feeling to see the gospel on display in front of our family and friends and to be married at the same time. I was feeling nervous all morning, but I’ve never been so happy and affirmed at the commitment CJ and I had just made. When I hear that song today, it brings back so much joy.

The pictures of the bridal party were taken in my backyard. I loved snapping one with my groom under the bougainvillea arch where I had taken countless family and prom pictures before. It was such a special day, centered around two families coming together as one in the presence of God. At the reception, I had two goals: to eat and to have fun. It was hands down the most amazing party I’ve ever experienced. Isabel, our wedding coordinator prepared us to-go boxes of filet, chicken and the leftover cake, and we exited to our friends holding sparklers and wishing us well.

We stayed at the Le Meridian in downtown Tampa before heading to Jamaica for our 11 days of tropical paradise. Following the honeymoon, we headed straight to Arizona, my new home. We currently live in the Phoenix area, and I just accepted my first job as a Labor and Delivery nurse. We have a great group of friends and a church that we’re growing to love. I definitely miss the southeast and our friends and family, but love the opportunity to explore and enjoy the west!

Photography: Jacqui Cole Photography | Floral Design: Carrollwood Florist | Cake: Publix Bakery | Bridesmaid Dresses: Lord & Taylor | Hair And Makeup: Destiny And Light | DJ: Grainger Entertainment | Bridal Gown: Allure Bridal | Bridal Store: CC's Bridal | Bridesmaid PJs: Plum Pretty Sugar | Country Club: Avila Golf And Country Club

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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