The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Heileman vs. Tichenor: A Win-Win Game of Love

On the football field of love, colors know no boundaries

This is what devoted football fans, Raelani Heileman and David Tichenor, found to be a fun-filled part of their wedding planning. Along with many celebrated photos by Jorden McPhee Bowman Photography, we are pleased to share many special aspects of this couple's special celebration in mid-November at Davis Islands Garden Club.


Coming from an Hawaiian background, Raelani, growing up, envisioned a sea-inspired wedding. Her outlook changed a bit once she fell in love with David Tichenor, Davis Islands Garden Club, and the idea of combining the couple's Alma Maters of Florida State and UF.

Early in the planning process, we found that they both "loved  sports and the competitive environment it fosters." Event Designer, Ashley Allred Davis, (also a sports enthusiast), understood this completely when she started working with them on their wedding designs. At first the couple was unsure of their allegience to colors choices. After put in the position to decide their table decor they were a united front for merlot (burgundy) and orange.

Raelani described it as a compromise between she (FSU grad) and David (UF grad). We didn't question the lack of royal blue in the color scheme!!!

Raelani surprised us with her amazing DIY skills in creating unique monogrammed centerpieces that alternated between sunken floating candles in ribbon-accented glass cylinder trios to tall clear pieces filled with ivory spindle balls and hand-made burgundy and orange paper flowers.

She also made additional diamond-studded flower heads for each place setting along with personalized table cards/ place cards named after she and David's favorite sports figures.

The couple kept the ceremony decor simple with two bunches of latched natural sticks on the garden club's waterfront gazebo.

Social hour was on the back patio. Even in mid-November, the weather was mild and perfect. Event Coordinator Bradley Dempsey mimicked the guest table decor on the displayed hors d'oeuvres station in front of the big picture window on the patio.On the other side of the window, indoors, was a similarly decorated sweetheart table with the rich burgundy and orange colors again at work.

On a softer, note, florist Carmen Gonzalez created wedding flower bouquets with a palette of white, peach, and dark orange roses dotted with white pearl centers.

The couple's three tiered wedding cake had similar floral features with rose petals and fresh rose heads. More of Raelani's and David's playful personalities were represented in their cake topper.

We placed the buffet in the front foyer and Bradley fashioned a large centerpiece from our in-house silks and some of Raelani's hand-made buds.

Congratulations to Raelani and David on their personalized celebration that truly reflected them as a couple . . in "their house divided!"


Event Planning, Catering, Decor: Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL
Ashley Allred Davis, Designer
Wedding Flowers: Carmen's Flowers
Entertainment: Bill of DeLite Entertainment
Photo Booth: Mojo Photo Booth

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Romantically Rustic

Engagement pictures taken in Micacanopy near Ocala, FL

When Niki and Kipp decided on a December 2011 destination wedding here in the Tampa Bay Area, they wanted to bring a part of their Indiana, North Florida, and Atlanta life experiences with them.

It seemed natural to find a seaside location that could provide a "natural, rustic" backdrop for their wedding. They fell in love with Tampa Bay Watch in Tierra Verde just north of Ft. DeSoto Park. Since the venue is dedicated to the preservation of estuaries of Tampa Bay, Niki and Kipp knew they had found a place that matched their love of nature.

Ocala-based Erin Blakely Photography captured not only many sweet moments of the couple, but many breath-taking shots of the outdoors on an exceptionally warm, sunny afternoon Dec. 4, 2011.

Niki stayed constantly in touch with me from Atlanta through the eight-month planning process. She and Kipp made several scheduled trips here that also served as scouting sessions for a new job, specialized nursing program, and residence in Central Florida. They made every trip productive with meetings with us and other vendors.

The end result was a stress-free casusal approach to their wedding day. From their "pot luck" picnic rehearsal dinner at Ft. DeSoto to their full day of wedding activities, Niki and Kipp stayed true to their genuine personalities.

Here's a combination of Erin's pro pics, some Facebook entries, and my "snaps."

Niki and Kipp spent a great deal of time making certain their family and friends who attended felt welcomed and very much a part of the celebration. Niki made up welcome bags for each family with information on the area. Instead of a stuffy formal rehearsal dinner, the couple chose to have a cookout in one of the pavilions at Ft. DeSoto Park.

Because they wanted a natural feel to their ceremony, we designed a dark wood Chuppah draped in swaying chiffon fabrics with varying shades of fiber sticks latched to each front pole with rope. Designed By Bradley Dempsey.

The sprawling back lawn of Tampa Bay Watch provided a true sunset celebration for Niki and Kipp. Simple live guitar music played in the background. Since the ceremony itself was very short, the couple decided on simple white samsonite folding chairs.

Florist Carmen Gonzalez filled small glass bulbs with Niki's favorite multi-colored pastel daisies. They were hung with twine on shepherd's hooks along the main aisle.

A bonus for Niki and Kipp's decor was the in-house natural wood chairs. Guest tables were simply accessorized with cornflower blue runners and napkins.

The couple was able to find an Atlanta artisan who custom cut birch tree pieces for the centers of their tables. They acquired birch candleholders from another with the tallest having their initials carved on the side. Niki took the responsibility for glueing twine to several votive candle holders. We suggested that she scatter assorted potpourri in between. We alternated our glass cylinders with natural rock and flating candles with cylinders that held attendant bouquets.  

We had a lot fun designing the buffet. We dusted off some "woodsy" buckets we had had in storage for some time. We also were able to use our tall triangular topiaries. We brought in the hanging bulbs to accent the display.

We kept the cornflower blue as a base cloth (all in-house) for most of the accent tables. We utilized a burlap piece on the sign-in/gift table where many candid photos were intermingled among rustic elements the couple provided.

A simple sweetheart table was set right in front of the main picture window so everyone could view the beautiful sunset that became Niki and Kipp's backdrop

We were delighted to find out that Tampa Bay Watch has added high top tables to its inventory. They were perfect for the cocktail hour on the deck.

Instead of traditional favors, this good-natured couple chose to make contributions to Niki's former hospital program unit for pediatrics. Pictures of one of her patients she nursed back to health was placed in front of each client.

ON A SIDE NOTE: this youngster was thrilled to be able to attend the wedding as Niki's guest!

 A combination of a tulle canopy and burlap graced the cake table. We had this wood cake plateau in our inventory. Camen draped daisies on the delicious cake designed by Sweetopia Bakery.

The calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico reflected the orange sheen of the sunset in the west. A picture perfect setting for Niki and Kipp on the TBW dock.

Photographer, Erin, continued to capture many beautiful moments for the bride and groom the following day. The "trash the dress" session on the beach was frolicky and sweet at the same time.


Event Planning, Design & Catering: Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL
Kent Billiter, designer

Fresh Flowers: Carmen's Flowers, Tampa
DJ Services : Randy Markum, Celebrations of Tampa Bay
Wedding Cake: Sweetopia Bakery, Tampa