The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Monday, June 13, 2011

And Baby Makes Three!

When Adriana and Aaron started their wedding plans in late 2009, one name was not on their guest list. Three months after booking a full service Treasure Chest package with us, they discovered they were pregnant. Joining them for their celebration at Sand Key Park on April 9, 2011, was little Miss Abigail, complete with smiles and giggles.

The bride and groom chose Tampa Bay as the setting for their destination wedding because Adriana's family was located here. With her continuing law studies in at the University of Florida, and Aaron's residence in Washington, DC, it was decided that the Clearwater area provided a wealth of hotel options and beach-related activities for their other family members and friends making the trip.

Our inclusive package included full event planning, the officiant, wedding coordinator, personal wedding flowers, professional photography, wedding cake, dj services, ceremony location and decor, reception venue, bar service, centerpieces, and full service catering . . . . for just under $12,000 for 100 guests. The couple saved additional money by providing their own alchol as Adriana's parents had just sold a liquor store they owned (after putting aside selections for the wedding.)

Baby Abigail and Dad Aaron await mommy's arrival for the beachfront ceremony.

Adriana poses on the staircase of the nearby Marriott Sand Key
 for photographer, Elizabeth Adkins, of  Elle Creative. She, her mom, and attendants utilized a suite to get dressed for the wedding Jazzy Jewels came to the hotel to do on site  
make-up and formal hair design in a relaxed, laid back atmosphere.
Ceremony/Rehearsal Coordinatior, Christy Monaco, provided some extra touches at the entry path to the ceremony area. Besides a sign in their wedding colors of blue and gold, Christy offered guests the option to put their shoes in a basket before heading down the boardwalk to the beach.

With no real "staging" area except for the short bank of sea oats, everyone took their cues from Christy as they made their way down the natural aisle toward the water. Some wedding party members, needed more assistance than others.
Adriana and her dad make the long walk from the boardwalk to the ceremony area as the photographer captures some important shots.

The couple chose a sand ceremony which was officiated by Vicki Goonen of Beach Angels Notary. Vicki also brought a
portable boom box which played traditional processional and recessional music.

Elizabeth did an amazing job capturing many different formal and informal poses during a
very short four hour time period. Catching the sun at just the right position on the beach gave Elizabeth several options for Adriana and Aaron's post ceremony pictures.

Christy and partner, Danny, spent much of the afternoon at the end of Boardwalk 1, securing the
simple bamboo structure against the breezy conditions. Teathered royal blue fabrics swayed with the wind.
Only a handfull of chairs were placed for the short ceremony on the beach. The sandy aisle was lined with
shepherd's hooks with hanging starfish.

Carmen Gonzales of Carmen's Flowers designed the bouquets, "boots," corsages, and cake topper with
all white roses and a touch of dark blue.

Across Gulf Boulevard from Sand Key Park at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, Catering By Robert staffers were busy putting together the details of the 100-person reception. From royal blue floor length tablecloths to blue chair ties and gold charger plates, the color scheme projected a formal feel to the second floor banquet space

A simple, yet stunning three tiered wedding cake from Sweetopia Bakery was displayed along the back wall of the Carlisle Room - the only air conditioned section of the Sailing Center.
We set 10-person tables to allow enough space for all of the guests for toasts and dinner.

As always for buffets, Catering By Robert offered a generous amount of tableside
 service with individually plated salads.

The open air veranda provided space for the social hour, buffet, bar, hors d'oeuvres, and large dance floor.
The "intimate" indoor setting was cozy and comfortable for 100 guests. Everyone had a great view of the bridal party and bride and groom.

After dinner and the formalities, the party moved outdoors for lots of dancing and festivities. DJ Bill of DeLite Entertainment, by request, played many popular Polish dance selections enjoyed by Adriana's family members.

As the sun set in the western sky, Adriana and Aaron were treated to the unique backdrop only the West Coast of Florida offers. That's what makes destination weddings a specialty for Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . Florida.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Catering By Robert's second spring wedding celebration at Ybor State Museum showcased the personal style of couple Lindsey and J.J. With the help of family and friends, they were able to incorporate many fabulous and fun elements such as fresh flowers in our standard centerpiece containers, an entry arbor, Chinese lanterns in their dining area tent, and lots of extra hands during set-up and breakdown.

Much of the savings from DIY projects was put toward activities to keep wedding guests entertained during their hour long photo-shoot in and around Ybor City. These included a photo booth, cigar roller, specialty martini from an ice luge, and a romantic mood set by a Spanish guitarist.

A black, turquoise/teal, and platinum color scheme pulled in elements of an overall peacock theme for the reception held all outdoors at the Ybor State Museum. Lindsey, J. J. and their families did a lot of indepth research prior to their wedding including any conflicts with other Ybor special events on their wedding day. They also found out about another wedding being held the day after theirs and agreed to share in the costs of renting a large tent for both events. Not only did this offer cover in case of rain, it gave guests a nice, cool shady dining experience.

The couple chose our Dubloon Package with Latin emphasis of traditional black beans, yellow rice, and pulled Mojo pork coupled with some mainstream standards such as corn, creamy pasta, and southwest chicken.

Lindsey and J.J. were huge fans of personalized, practical favors for their guests. This ranged from place cards attached to imprinted match books (very appropirate with the breezy conditions) to  custom water bottles and beer coozies promimentaly displayed in colorful buckets near the bar.

Guests could not stop chatting about the excitement of the evening especially when the true party atmosphere got underway post-dinner via dj Rob Sword of Sword Sounds. We're happy to share some pictures we captured of Lindsey and J.J.'s very personalized wedding reception.

A Patriotic Tradition

This month is filled with all kinds of traditions . . . from JUNE WEDDINGS to PATRIOTIC CELEBRATIONS. Traditions keep us focused. They make us feel comfortable. They create memories. For us in the special event business, traditions challenge us with opportunities to reinvent old ideas and provide new angles for decor with a modern twist. We'd like to kick off our tribute to June with a peek at the annual Krewe of Venus President's Party held this past Saturday at the Tampa Garden Center.

Catering by Robert shares a 11-year history with this Gasparilla social organization. We first catered for them in January of 2000 for their Coronation Ball at the Egypt Shrine Temple Auditorium (now the A La Carte Pavilion). In those days, the larger krewe events attracted upwards of 600 guests for their annual celebrations. I will not forget the late evening supper where we had three "vodka-flamed" Beef Stroganoff stations for their Russian Czar theme.

Over the course of the next 10 years we would be called upon to cater the Queen's Tea, six president's parties, King's celebrations, and numerous coronations with nothing less than "over the top" in lavish decor,  variety in food, and non-stop merriment. 

I dedicate this blog entry to a very special lady, Jackie St. John, who has been that continuing thread throughout our history with the Krewe of Venus. Her husband, Michael, ended his two-year term as President this year and the Krewe celebrated with a BANG with a patriotic theme.

Here's Catering By Robert's 2011 version of a patriotic salute to celebration:

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