Selected Photos by K and K Photography
The West Coast of Florida is the absolute perfect setting for a destination wedding if you want to take advantage of ideal accessibility, almost year-round pleasant weather, and a wealth of "vacation worthy" activities nearby. However, the current trend in estate-styled celebrations, this amazing versatile area , has a limited number of quality private home venues available for brides and grooms to consider for their wedding week or weekend.
Casa Bella Estate, located just north of the Tampa Bay metro area, has met the utmost criteria for such affairs of the heart. Its privacy and amorous Mediterranean styling makes the setting perfect for romantic outdoor celebrations.
One such November weekend was set aside for a world-traveling couple, Gina and John who call Tampa Bay home. With 85% of their guests from out of state, they were anxious to plan out their several days of activities to accommodate as many people as possible.
Although Casa Bella has limited overnight accommodations because the owners live there full time, it is a note-worthy private estate venue that still lends itself to a day prior rehearsal and private suite where the bride and her maids can linger for hours getting ready in luxury. The groom and his guys have the separate quarters in a nearby cabana suite to "chill" prior to the wedding.
Gina and John chose the Safety Harbor Spa as their "host" hotel for out of town guests. Their rehearsal dinner was held at small, intimate banquet hall in the quaint village area of Palm Harbor.
The close proximity for all of their wedding weekend activities offered the couple the opportunity to do more DIY projects they treasured as part of their special day. One important feat was the installation of a huge lighted LOVE sign on the back of the pool terrace.
There were many other special features that Gina and John felt comfortable including only at a wedding venue that allowed outside food and beverage. This included special menu items that were shipped in from places like Pittsburg and Denver (more details to come). As avid travelers, comfort food from the many places that they treasured was much a part of their celebration.
Thus we worked with them on the inclusion of some special cuisine that included appetizer options for pizza and Buffalo pastrami for mini reubens and Gina's family restaurant's favorite pasta sauce. Bison tenderloin was a part of their sit down dinner options.
The Bison came in as whole tenderloins and as the guest count selection for that entrée increased just days before the wedding, we had to seek additional pre-cut filets to meet the quota.
Also, with not having on-site preparation facilities, the challenge was even greater in reheating the pizza slices and other menu items.
But the early November day was picture-perfect with blue skies and dreamy clouds that seemed to favor the rural, tree-laden setting. The ceremony area was focused around a graceful towering oak tree across a small pond from the reception terrace.
Fiestas Solutions installed the bride's favored chandelier and tree-wrapped lighting that was enjoyed far beyond the ceremony time.
Fiestas also supplied all of the rental items and specialty lighting on the reception terrace that highlighted the old world charm of the architecture.
The wedding day began early with many close family members arriving to relax and enjoy the surroundings prior to the ceremony. Our staff welcomed guests with a glass of champagne and lots of personal attention.
Our attentive service staff made certain every guest was taken care of before and during the wedding.
When they first arrives, glasses of champagne were offered to guests. Then as they made their way over to the ceremony area where Fiestas placed a wood farm table, we added refreshment of infused water and lemonade.
The ceremony began soon after with Gina transported via golf cart for her grand entrance.
While bridal party members participated in formal picture taking, the rest of the guests enjoyed social hour on the western portion of the pool deck area. Decadently covered high top cocktail tables outlined the perimeter where one of two open bars were located. Besides an abundance of hand-passed hors d'oeuvres, we featured an entire table devoted to French-inspired Charcuterie selections. Miniature items ranged from smoked meats to pared cheeses and acruments.
Nearby, a pasta station (with red sauce provided by the bride's family) offer Gnocchi Pasta and Deep Dish Lasagne.
Luxurious blush pink and champagne linens were furnished by Custom Linens. We loved the gold high chiavari bar stools Fiestas Solutions added for guests' comfort.
As guests made their way to the main reception area closer to the back of the mansion, they found their seats via a framed placement chart.
Guest tables alternated between base colors of champagne and blush (our in-house linens) with blissful lacey overlays from Custom Linens. Brides in Bloom designed the guest table centerpieces in a hue of ivory and soft pink.
An Italian rustica feel was added with Fiesta's brand new dark wood Tuscan cross back chairs.
We loved featuring our unique antique ivory charger plates which fit perfectly into the setting.
As the sun set, we were able to bring out the huge wedding cake displayed near the sweetheart table.
Later in the evening, we provided a deep fried station with freshly prepared Pome Frites (French fries) and traditional Churros with dipping sauces and toppings.
Congrats to Gina and John for their beautifully unique private mansion wedding.
Event Planning: Friend of the Bride's
Design, Coordination and Catering: Catering By Robert
Specialty Linen Overlays and Linens for Cake and Sweetheart Table - Custom Linens
A WONDERFUL COMBINATION OF OUR IN-HOUSE FABRICS WITH LUXURIOUS OVERLAYS THAT SAVED THE CLIENT MONEY!!!
Fresh Flowers: Brides in Bloom
Lighting, All Rentals - Fiestas Solutions
Photography: K and K Photography
Entertainment: Grant Hemond