The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Fairy Tale for Fall

Having a reception room filled with fragrant flowers was always something Michelle dreamed of for her wedding day. Michelle and groom, Jake, met while working at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Pete, so lighting and a hint of the surreal also played a big part in the total look of their reception which was held two days before Halloween.

While this kind of fairy tale look is not always in everyone's budget, Michelle and Jake, were very fortunate to have some "fairy godmothers and godfathers" to help them achieve their decorating goals.

To begin with, the couple chose an inexpensive reception site - the Treasure Island Community Center. Everyone shared their vision to transform the somewhat ugly room into something more. And with Michelle's aunt being a florist, they were able to turn a plain "pumpkin" into a beautiful, "well-appointed carriage."

The savings on the hall gave this "Cinderella" and her "Prince Charming" more money to install white high curtains along the walls with amber uplighting. The creative use of long feasting tables (included in the hall rental), and our huge inventory in-house glass cylinders, helped created a splendid fall look that uniquely belonged to Michelle and Jake.

Graceful large black vases surrounded by gold pumpkins adorned two corners of the room. Natural light flowed in from uncovered floor to ceiling windows early in the evening. Then as darkness fell, the room took on a completely different ballroom look.

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere. With it being late October, the combination of dark red, orange, and yellow colors popped in tabletop decor provided by Michelle's aunt for specialty tables such as the gift and sign in.

The pumpkin theme carried over to the couple's place cards, each attached to a small gord and doubled as a favor for their 200+ guests. This was a huge undertaking that Michelle's family was more than happy to assist with weeks before the wedding.

The small main entry area of the hall had some "unsightly" vending machines and a coat rack which we disguised with gold and burgundy fabrics. These made the perfect backdrop for the sign-in table. Catering By Robert / Event Concepts.FL comes prepared to address these extra decorating needs.

With the ceremony held at a nearby church in Madiera Beach, Michelle and Jake got their first glimpse of the reception only when they entered during formal introductions.

Because the couple were able to see their guest table design created by Catering By Robert event designer Ashley Allred Davis during the month prior's open house (above), they were confident in the outcome. The only change Michelle made was the elimination of the burgundy chair ties . . . in favor of the neutral ones included in our package. As you can see from the pictures below, that decision focused even more attention on the stunning tables themselves.

Along the centers of the long tables were a set of two gold satin runners and one burgundy poly runner. Her aunt filled the centers with spellbinding assortments of submersed yellow and orange calla lilies in our assorted heights of clear glass cylinders. These were interspersed with shorter cylinders of orange baby roses, vibrant lilies, and smaller bowls holding sprigs of simple greens or more roses.

The most amazing thing about the decor was the short time everyone had to set up . . . less than three hours. This included the wall drapings and lighting by Xydex Productions. Considering there were a total of 28 people among three staffs working on different projects at the same time, this was somewhat of a royal fete.

Our gold chargers completed the look of the tables with a triangular folded napkin atop each. Another personalized favor, a box of fall colored M & M's, was placed at every setting.



The social hour was held in a separate garden room and featured the bar along with two separate hors d'oeuvres displays with our signature smokey cheddar spread in the shape of a heart.


The five-tiered wedding cake from Olympia Bakery had two looks during the reception. The first was the daylight backdrop of the outdoor lawn. The second was a gleaming sparkle from the large urn of lighted natural sticks after dark.  

Flower arrangements used to decorate the ceremony were brought over from the church and added to the buffet. Also, the bride's and attendant bouquets were set in fall colored vases along the front of the sweetheart table.

Catering By Robert / Event Concepts.FL provided over 124 - 14." 10," and "7" glass cylinders for Michelle and Jake's reception at no extra charge. The cylinders have a variety of uses especially for floating candles. This is just one of our commitments to save our clients money through our in-house decor inventory

A special thank you to Raquel Sergio who contibuted many of the beautiful pictures you see above.


Event planning, design and catering:
Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL -
Ashley Allred Davis, designer

Photography: Raquel Sergio Photography

Flowers: Hamilton's Florist

Wedding Cake: Olympia Bakery

Room Drapes and Uplighting: Xydex Event Services

Venue: Treasure Island Community Center

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Food and Design Decisions: How They Get Done!

Our spring open house at the new Brandthoover Hall in St. Pete, featured over 10 client-inspired guest tables for 2012-2013 that ranged from shabby chic to traditional elegance. Our talented team of event designers, Bradley Dempsey, Kent Billiter, and Ashley Allred Davis, tooks cues from their clients to create final design looks for their upcoming weddings.

Having your guest table look featured at one of our open houses, is one of the many benefits of being a client of Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL. Not only can you see our in-house decor items in action, you can also view custom upgrades, fresh florals, and bring your own embellishments to enhance the design. 

A special thank you to Carmen of Carmen's Flowers for supplying so many beautiful arrangements to enhance our joint client tables.

Ashley's June 5th clients, Laura and Nate, had many decisions to make regarding their chair options. So we set up two different chiavari chair colors, a white wood folding chair, and our regular included chair cover with colored tie for them to choose from. Our florist, Carmen of Carmen's Flowers did a sample arrangement of pink peonies and white roses to complete their look.

Another of Ashley's design clients, Carra, did brought her own centerpiece elements to put in our vases. But prior to her arrival, Ashley and Carmen offered another centerpiece option for her to consider. 

Ashley's and Carmen's third client, Chelsey and her mom, Sylvia, did a lot of rearranging of table elements that reflected their terra and water-themed wedding reception for this July. The pair came prepared with lots of natural moss terrarium features and switched out some different fresh floral looks Carmen is going to provide. It's a work in progress!!!

In between design viewings, guests were treated to some of our NEW hand-passed hors d'oeuvres options which ranged from Greek Tiropitas to shrimp Gazpacho shooters and smoked salmon pate "pops" all skillfully put together by our behind-the-scenes-staff.

Another food feature was a Parison Whipped Potato Station with individual portions in champagne glasses. Buffet linens provided by Connie Duglin Linens. In-house decor arranged by Bradley Dempsey.

We had a record-breaking number of black accented sample tables at this open house. These all started with our basic black floor length cloths and neutral chair covers and evolved into some individualized looks with touches of red, platinum, and three versions of popular damask designs in runners and center squares.

Above, Kent started with a simple black/white with a touch of red for Cassie and Mary's July outdoor celebration. They decided a completely different look after seeing some other options displayed on other guest tables. The tall cylinder was replaced with a simple black lantern and the damask square is now a black and white damask runner AND no more red.
Even chair tie styles are sometimes up in the air until seen at an open house. The couple will be doing a destination wedding for close family and friends in Italy and having a larger reception at a friend's house a week after they return.

Kent's November outdoor wedding at a private lakefront home, will feature yet another black and white combination with a smashing touch of red in our trio of cylinder vases filled with rose petals, water, clear crystals, and floating candles. Client, Taryn, chose a simple rolled napkin fold atop our silver chargers and the popular damask runner in the center. Also, at the open house, she chose a white chair cover with red tie. Later, after thinking about the final picture (above), she decided to change the ties to black. Every bride has the right to change her mind, right?

Carla and Ronni's July reception at the Bayanihan Arts Center also has a black and white and silver focus. They also will be utilizing our vase trio FIRST as aisle markers for their commitment ceremony and then transferred to awaiting guest tables during the social hour. Carla purchased a silver based damask fabric and made her own runners. They also placed their gift favor bags on the silver chargers to see how they would look.

Bradley's August bride, Lisa, also chose the damask runner look with a tiny bit of  red found in her fresh red rose arrangement created by Carmen. Her tastes call for a lot of bling with will be added to our tall glass cylinders inside and out with crystals. After seeing the red napkins, she decided on a flat fold black napkin on each silver charger.
Lisa also decided to alternate her guest tables with Carmen's piece and our trio of cylinders filled with water and red petals.     

One of food stations focused on our Greek make-your-own Gryo station with carved meat and the option for different pita toppings. We also offered our slow-roasted top round of beef.

Another station had Italian emphasis with a made-to-order Mediterranean small plate,
Penne Pesto past, and Chicken Marsala.


As with all open houses, we displayed all of our in-house guest table centerpieces so clients could see them utilized in a certain color scheme and theming.

A new platunum overlay from Kate Ryan Linens was on display at a mock sweetheart table. It was surrounded by our black wrought iron Chuppah and uplit white sail structure. We always love to offer the latest in new decor.

It was the last chance for out of town client, Robin, to view her final table design for her beach wedding the following weekend. Bradley and Carmen put together a simplified version of her coral, turquoise and fushia table features so she could give her final approval.

Kent's mid-2013 client, Marsha, was anxious to see her "over-the-top" guest table early in her planning. She had Kent create her custom garden look that include gold, fushia, ivory, and a touch of ice blue. She decided against the baby blue chair covers in favor of our in-house ones. Carmen designed a specialty centerpiece to compliment the design. All linens were ordered from BBJ Linen. Because Marsha will be spending a great deal of money on upgrading her guest tables, she wanted to make certain her fiance and family approved of it way in advance.

Finally, Bradley's royal blue and gold table for February bride Rachel, created a lot of interest in our optional gold flatware and the self-wrap gold satin chair covers. The blueberrytwist fabric was also ordered fromBBJ Linen and a simple, stunning baby's breath cluster in a clear glass vase was fashioned by Carmen for this table. After viewing her table, the bride decided there was too much gold for her taste and opted for in-house chair covers with a gold satin tie.

And what would our open houses be without our wonderful vendors. Here Jazzy Jewels
 Mobile Make-Up does a make over on our June client, Laura.

This fun-filled afternoon of serious event design and food tasting also included a full open bar with a featured specialty drink, more than 20 albums of our past events, many interactive opportunities with our service, culinary, and design staff.
As with all of our open houses, we cannot thank our participating vendors enough for all their contributions.

Carmen's Flowers
DeLite Entetainment
Decorating Elves
Laura McMurdock
PKS Rentals (all rental chairs)
A1 Foliage
Jazzy Jewels Mobile Make-Up and Hair Design
Beach Angels Notary Services
Sweet Tweets Cakery
BBJ Linens
Connie Duglin Linens
Kate Ryan Linens

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ringin' in the NEW with the OLD

Rachel and Geoff were not our typical wedding couple. Their willingness much research over a course of 18 months, helped trim their budget enough to give them a allotment for a very glamorous pink and black wedding and reception at the Davis Islands Garden Club this past New Year's Eve.

With Rachel being an attorney, and Geoff, a dentist, their busy schedules demanded a clear concise planning schedule. Their first meeting with our designer, Bradley, took place 13 months prior with a featured table at our December 2010 open house.

Rachel's initial decor elements changed slightly, but the results were still nostalgic with a modern twist. This ranged from informal cocktail tables to strings of cafe lighting indoors and out. Our custom food stations represented Greek, Chinese, and Latin cuisines personally chosen by the couple.

Despite all of their attention to details, Rachel and Geoff ran into a "bump" less than three months before their wedding. Original plans had included an all outdoor celebration. Davis Islands Garden Club had changed their policy on allowing outdoor music after 10 p.m. Even though Rachel had felt confident that the annual NYE fireworks display across Seddon Channel created an "exception" to the noise issue, she and Geoff decided not to risk disruption of their party. 

This disappointment didn't damper their spirits, though. We and the other vendors were glad to help revamp the logistics for more indoor accommodations after the "curfew." We still were able to do the ceremony in the gazebo area with overhead string lights, cigar station, and  food arrangements on the outdoor patio.Rachel put together meticulous, color-coded lists of what everyone was to provide
and where it was to be found once we arrived to do set up on Jan. 31st. This included both client- and vendor-provided items.


Photographer, Jessica Charles, created a stress-free window of time for casual pre-nuptial pictures for the bride, groom, and their entire wedding party before dusk. The tradition of the bride and groom not seeing each other prior to the wedding was not an issue for Rachel or Geoff. Guests were shuttled by bus from Downtown hotels.

By the way, many thanks to Jessica from sharing many of the beautiful images you see in this blog.

 Rachel purchased black candlelabras which were dressed up with light pink rose heads and hot pink petals from Events in Bloom. These sat atop black lace overlays which were surrounded by black chiavari chairs from PKS Rentals.

High top cocktail tables flaunted hurricane shades surrounded by white feather boas and were placed around the indoor dance floor.

Tampa Lights provided both indoor and outdoor illumination. The bright cafe lights dotted the night sky during the 7 p.m. ceremony at the gazebo. The "party" started immediately after the ceremony with individualized music clips for every bridal party member as they entered through the front door.

What would a New Year's Eve wedding be without party hats? The couple furnished top hats and feather crowns for the guests. A photo booth also provided shenanigans for guests throughout the evening. It was provided by Snapshoot.

Hand-Passed hors d'ouevres and champagne flowed through the clubhouse for the first hour of the reception. Each tidbit reflected one of the international food stations featured later in the evening.

One of the big hits of Rachel and Geoff's celebration was the Greek station that featured traditional Greek Salad, Hummas with pita chips, and a "make-your-own Gyro." Chef Robert carved the meat from a rotating platform kept hot with an infrared light.

At the Cuban station freshly fried plantains complimented our traditional Spanish Paella and Cuban bread.

The sister of the bride, a graphic artist, created signature signage for each of the stations. Above, groom, Geoff, is depicted as the center of attenton at the Asian Bistro station serving Asian slaw, and Saki-flamed stir fry in Chinse take-out containers. She also used an antique frame to inform guests of the available bar choices.

Event Coordinator, Bradley, utilized manyof our in-house decor items such as the black and white pheasant feathers along with the extra silver buckles Rachel furnished for the high top tables.

"Soda Shop Vanguard" awaited wedding guests after dinner. An artful display of bright, colorful cupcakes from The Cupcake Spot caught everyone's eye. Nearby was Geoff's favorite Root Beer and Coke floats.

The reception ended with a BANG, of course with more champagne toasting (eight total cases of sparkling wine purchased for the entire evening!!!!) at midnight along with sparklers and the Downtown Tampa fireworks display.

Here's a toast to Rachel and Geoff on their successful NYE wedding celebration!


Event Planning, Design, Coordination, and Catering - Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL - Designers, Bradley Dempsey and Kent Billiter

Photographer: Jessica Charles Photography
DJ: Eladio of DeLite Entertainment
Rentals: PKS Rentals
Transportation: Magical Charters
Lighting: Tampa Lights
Photo Booth: Snapshoot Photo Booth
Cakes/Cupcakes: The Cupcake Spot / Publix
Fresh Flowers: Events in Bloom
Venue: Davis Islands Garden Club