The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Monday, August 27, 2012

A New View of the St. Pete Beach Community Center

The St. Pete Beach Community Center, since opening over five years ago, has become one of the most popular waterfront, off-premise catering facilities in Tampa Bay. Not only are the rental rates amazing ($2100 for 8 hours including the use of the outdoor plaza for the ceremony), it actually is very attractive with stunning views of the intercoastal waterway.

Our client, Stefanie, knew she wanted a fairy tale wedding near the beach where her friends and family could stay and play.

Fancy, stuffy hotels weren't her thing.

So our design/planning team convinced her to book the St. Pete Beach Community Center with some upgraded features that would transform basic look of the space.

Stefanie and Matt's first focus, of course, was the ceremony held outdoors on the center's plaza overlooking Boca Ciega Bay. The view is uncluttered and also includes the draw bridge from 75th Avenue to Pasadena.
Event Designers Kent Billiter and Bradley Dempsey teamed up to create an apple red, white, and platinum color palette that coordinated with Stefanie's attendant attire. Florist, Carmen Gonzalez was hired to create fresh centerpiece florals.
We featured Stefanie's sample guest table at one of our open houses when she originally was considering purple in the mix. The tablescape changed several months before the wedding when Stefanie decided to keep the look more conservative without the edgy purple/eggplant in the mix. Below is the original design and below it is the finished product.
The tall centerpiece alternated with a crystal-studded hurricane shade surrounded in red and white roses.

The bride also decided to alternate platinum and cranberry overlays. Originally we pitched our in-house chair covers with cranberry satin chair ties. Stefanie was so impressed by the white chiavari chairs at another open house sample table, she decided to secure them for her reception.
This is an example of the design process for our clients. It's not always "cut and dry." Sometimes decisions change even after a designed table is featured at an open house. But 95% of our clients settle on a during the preview showing.
Bradley was also Stephanie's Event Coordinator for her rception. Since she was getting ready at the St. Pete center, he made certain she and her court were comfortable with chilled beers and champagne in one of the getting ready rooms.

Stefanie had her photographer arrived early to captures some special pre-wedding getting ready shots especially with her two darling daughters.

The two girls served as her flower girls and Stefanie's mom escorted down the aisle.

Inside the Boca Ciega Ballroom upstairs, we were busy putting the finishing touches on the couple's very unique room decor which included three solid walls of white curtains with red uplighting and twinkle-lit fresh foliage.

Stefanie had fallen in love with Carmen's crystal collection she had seen from another wedding via Facebook. So tables were embellished with hanging crystals on the centerpieces, studded and silver votive candle holders and glass orbs.

Instead of a long head table, Stefanie and Matt opted for a sweetheart table decorated mostly in platinum surrounded on each side by two family feasting tables. Bridal party members and their guests were seated at nearby round guest tables.


Carmen's tall centerpieces even diamond studs in the center of each rose bloom.


Even though it was just late March, sudden showers slightly delayed the start of the ceremony. No worries. Our staff, armed with dry rags, cleaned off the chairs in record time. 

Back upstairs, Stefanie's fairy tale wedding decor came to life. Curtains installed by Xydex Event Services created an elegant white backdrop for the uplighting and trees.

A photo booth was strategically placed right inside the main entrance to the ballroom. Guests and bridal party members alike, took advantage of the fun and silly props  . . . including the groom for introductions
Since the view of the bay was part of the couple's choice in the venue, we left the front window area uncovered except for three of our uplit "sail" structures behind the main buffet.

The Publix bakery in Pasadena furnished a simple ivory square and round stacked cake which "came to life" with the addition of red roses, petals and lots of bling courtesy of Carmen.

One reasons for leaving the ballroom's wall of windows uncovered was to offer a completely different daylight look early in the reception. Once the sun went down, the area took on a completely focus. 


Carmen designed another unique centerpiece for the place card table. Ceremony florals were also brought up to add to the reception decor.

 An extended event time for us and the center allowed Stefanie, Matt, and the photographer, Debbie Gill, to make a short trip over to the beach for sunset pictures after formal photos with family and bridal party members.
The party began right after dinner. The blazing uplight curtain backdrop electrified the room.
Guests lined the steps down to the plaza for the couple's farewell. Matt surprised Stefanie with a special wedding gift of a custom painted VW Bug during their farewell.

 Many thanks go out to our design and service team for creating a new signature look for the St. Pete Community Center. Also, kudos to Stefanie and Matt for allowing us to step outside the box. We couldn't have profiled this without the beautiful photography of Debbie Gill.
Event Planning, Decor, Service and Catering by
Kent Billiter and Bradley Dempsey, Designers
Fresh Florals, Table Accents, and Wedding Flowers: Carmen's Flowers
Curtains and Uplighting: Xydex Services
Foliage: A1 Foliage
Cake: Publix of Pasadena
Officiant: Tom Erickson of Weddings on a Whim


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ali and Joe at Belle Maison


Holding a destination wedding at a private rental home is the perfect way to enjoy a full week or weekend with family and friends. Hotels and resorts are natural destination choices. But if true privacy is what you seek, a residence with overnight accommodations that allows an on-site ceremony and reception is your perfect choice

Catering By Robert / Event Concepts.FL and its Florida Loves Weddings program, connects wedding couples with a variety of  West Coast Florida properties for events of 40 to 150. We are excited to offer exclusive planning, decor, and catering services at many of these locations. .

This past May, Ohio residents, Ali and Joe, decided on a destination wedding for just over 50 of their family members and friends. They chose Belle Maison, one of our newest properties in Indian Rocks Beach. The three-story mansion sits directly on the Gulf next to a short beach trail. Because it is situated in a residential neighborhood, Belle creates a secluded get-away far from the noise and congestion of the public beaches along the Pinellas Coast.

Mom, Cindy, spent over nine months working with us from her New Jersey home and made several trips to visit  here to help Ali make planning decisions. After many emails and phone calls, Ali's special wedding week began on the Saturday before her Wednesday wedding. Staying at the house (accommodates up to 12 guests), were her parents, various relatives and their families.

The rest of the bridal party and guests had nearby accommodations at the Holiday Inn Harborside and other vacation rentals less than a mile from the residence.

Indian Rocks Beach is one of the most ideal townships for hosting private home weddings because of its long stretch of eateries and bars all catering to locals and beach-goers walking or riding bikes everywhere they go.

Arriving several days early gave Ali, Joe, and their families time to unwind before the stresses of the wedding day set in. The backyard pool facing the beach was their first stop. We greeted them within an hour after they arrived making certain everything was to their liking. Since we had never met the bride or groom in person, it was great to spend a few minutes going over logistics four days before the wedding.

Rehearsal was done at the exact time of the wedding the day prior so we could "test" the direction of the setting sun (so it would not be blaring in the guests' eyes). One of our favorite officiants, Vicki of Beachangels Notary, attended and helped us organize the wedding party for their positions and walk down the sandy aisle. The rehearsal dinner was held at the Holiday Inn.


The spacious third floor master bedroom had plenty of room for all of the ladies to get ready. Above, Cindy helps Ali with the final details of putting on her gown. 
The artistry of Alicia of Jazzy Jewels, was secured for make-up and hair touches after Cindy met her and our other vendors at one of our open houses.

Ali even had a few private moments to spare in order to survey the wedding details
from the balcony three stories up.

Plans called for guests to arrive the hour before the wedding entering from the beach trail's boardwalk to the beach where the ceremony was to be held. It was the couple's wish to do a First Look photo session with destination photographer, Lisa Crawley, before their nuptials. That way, they were not rushed to have those special moments with family in front of the camera.



The ceremony was held at the 4 p.m. hour. DJ Eladio of DeLite Entertainment provided both the remote ceremony sound system and main system for the outdoor reception.

Ali and her dad made their way down the path to the beach, sans shoes.

Our Event Services package includes a choice of ceremony arches and aisleway decor. Ali chose a simple bamboo backdrop with flowing chiffon fabrics and hanging starfish from our shepherd's hooks.



The ceremony chairs were later moved by our staff and utilized around guest tables on the pool pation area for the reception. Existing outdoor lounge furniture and high top cocktail tables created a beachy social hour area in a sandy inset next to the ceremony setting.

Our staff hand-passed an assortment of delicious finger foods including the bride's favorite Coconut Shrimp. We utilized the double garage area for staging and food prep.

As guests enjoyed social hour with client-provided alcohol and our included bar service, Ali and Joe spent an hour of picture-taking with Lisa. The impressive spiral staircase was the focal point for many couple shots.


When it was time for the main reception to start, guests found their place cards attached to boxed favors which also served to keep the cards from blowing away in the sea breeze. The table was set at the side entrance to the pool / patio deck. 

We utilized the indoor bottom level for the food stations which included displayed salads, Shrimp Creole and Carved Beef Tenderloin with a rose peppercorn sauce.

While we can seat up to 75 in and around the patio area, 60 or less people is ideal for Belle Maison. This allows everyone, including the dj, to be located under cover of the balcony above in case of rain. Ali chose a six person head table set right at the edge of the pool. A wide part of the pool deck became the official dance floor.

A classic black, white, and gray palette flattered each guest table. Ali chose a trio of fragrant, fresh peonie and white hydrangea centerpieces created by Carmen's Flowers.

Everyone had a great view of the couple's
first dance across the pool.

Ali's mom, Cindy, tasted cake samples from Sweet Tweets during one of our open houses she was able to attend, and urged Ali to order a small cake for photo opps and an assortment of cupcakes for guests to savour.

Plenty of time to party. Plenty of time to indulge in sunset pictures.

Belle Maison is truly the Belle of the Beach.

For more information, availability, and pricing, please contact us at (813) 960-7092 /

Event Planning, Design, Catering - Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL, Ashley Allred Davis, event designer

Fresh Florals and Personal Wedding Flowers - Carmen's Flowers

Hair / Make-Up on Site - Jazzy Jewels

Cake / Cupcakes - Sweet Tweets Cakery

Additional Accommodations / Rehearsal Dinner - Holiday Inn Harborside, Indian Rocks Beach