Over 10 years ago, the trend toward holding ceremonies at the same location as the reception picked up popularity. Couples in general, we found, were less inclined to have formal church ceremonies. Here in Florida, we are seeing more than 75% of nuptials being held beach-side, in an adjoining garden, or separate indoor venue space at the same locale as the reception.
Some of this reasoning has to do with the increased costs of a wedding in general. When you consider the savings of having everything at one place, this makes sense.
We have been delighted to work with many multi-functional venues over the past several years. Our favorite by far is Centro Asturiano on the western fringe of Ybor City. Even though it has a liquor license, its pricing overall is very attractive for brides and grooms wishing to incorporate a vintage-historial backdrop into their celebration.
Centro has excellent parking and provides secuirty services. And you have a variety of options for use of the building. A former social club for the Cuban-American community, the venue maintains relics from the past in floor to ceiling windows in the ballroom, to sweeping, wide staircases on three levels.
We did our first wedding and reception there just about a year ago. Most recently, the wedding of Lisa and Fred, captured more of our attention. Lisa's vision for her celebration focused on the many
wonderful features of this century-old building.
Lisa was a very involved client. Even with her busy job, she managed to tackle every aspect of planning her wedding early on in her relationship with us. Armed with a set wedding budget, Lisa was determined to "have it all" and her determination paid off.
When she found only one option for a certain item that perhaps was out of her budget range, she trimmed elsewhere to accommodate it. She shopped around and explored where ever she could. Surprisingly enough, two weeks before her wedding, she was still on target with all of her original "champagne wishes" in place.
When Lisa was unavailable to handle planning-related tasks, fiance Fred stepped in to handle communications. This really showed a great deal of teamwork between the two, even though Fred admits Lisa was mostly in charge.
Event Designer Bradley and myself were delighted to work hand-in-hand with the bride on her ideas. Not everyone has the resources or eye for exactly what they want like Lisa did. Lisa utilized many of our vendor resources.
We were pleased to be introduced to photographer, Melissa Lauren via Lisa. She provided many of the images you see in this entry.
One of the most important aspects Lisa wanted were lighted ceiling swags with hanging cyrstals Arlene Floral Designer's sweeping drapes captured the elegance of the room with a white dance floor beneath it.
Lisa chose a popular damask table runner (from Kate Ryan Linens) that we have coincidently had acquired for a previous wedding there. But her vision for her table design was further personalized with custom table names that spoke of emotion instead of numbers. She also added table cards and imprinted boxed matches.
One of the best cost-saving measures Lisa and Fred had at their disposal was our inclusive decor. This ranged from the floor length black guest table cloths to the white chair covers, and all guest table centerpieces. Even all of the cake table, head table, and buffet linens and decor were a part of our basic package.
Even though renting chiavari chairs was an early consideration, Lisa decided that our neutral covers with upgraded black ties better reflected her glam theming for the reception.
Lisa and Fred chose the second floor theater for their ceremony setting. The existing red curtains fit perfectly into their colors of black, silver, red, and white. Our own Kent Billiter served as ceremony and rehearsal coordinator.
A practical aspect Lisa incorporated was a red clutch purse for each of her attendants (in lieu of bouquets). The choice for mid-length gowns was very chic and suited the figures of all her girls.
One of the best things designer, Brad, and I found about Lisa was her great sense of humor. Despite her hair and make-up sessions running longer than expected, Lisa still managed to keep her cool and enjoy every aspect of her ceremony.
A special wedding gift came from her Aunt Mary who emceed and dj'd her wedding and reception. Fred arranged to rent the sound equipment locally as Mary had traveled from out of town. One of our favorite officiates, Vicki of Beachangels Notary, performed the ceremony.
Back upstairs in the third floor ballroom, everything was prepared for the guests to enjoy the pre-reception right inside the room. Lisa added high top cocktail tables and our cube clusters to create a lounge feel in the space.
Live uplit palm trees from A1 Foliage dotted the perimeter of the room along with several of our "sail" structures tied with black sashes behind the long traditional head table.
Glass cylinders with clear crystals and floating candles were positioned in between red votive holders and scattered red rose petals along the bridal party table. The three-tiered wedding cake from Let Them Eat Cake was easily visible in the right corner of the ballroom.
The buffet and pasta station was tucked into a front corner of the hall with mirrors and large windows gracing the backdrop.
As twilight set in, the glow of the floating candles and submerged LED lights warmed the reception area. Our trio of varying height glass cylinders were used on all but four guest tables. Single-height, 20" tall cylinders featured hanging crystals rings and four large fresh rose pomeador balls set stately in the four corner tables of the room. Carmen's Flowers provided Lisa's matching bouquet, the pomadors, and the wedding corsages and boutennaires for the men.
Thank you Lisa and Fred for including Cateirng By Robert / Event Concepts in your special celebration!
Venue: Centro Asturiano
Planning, Coordinating & Design: Catering By Robert . Event Concepts . FL,
Bradley Dempsey Designer
Photography: Melissa Lauren Images
Officiant: Vicki of Beachangels Notary
DJ: Lisa's Aunt Mary
Ceiling Decor: Arlene Floral Designer
Videography: Robert Solomon
Cake: Let Them Eat Cake
Flowers: Carmen's Flowers
Foliage: A1 Foliage
Dance Floor: U.S. Tent Rental