The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sea Shell Sensation

Krystal and Justin
May 2013
Select Photos by Alex Wedding Photography*


Being on the West Coast of Florida, there's always the inclination for  couples to create a beach theme for their weddings. So it was for Krystal and Justin's late spring celebration at the St. Pete Beach Community Center. Krystal and her mom, Sharon, did an amazing job with the balance of bright color and seaside elements they created through DIY projects prior to the wedding.

Krystal and Justin wanted a more casual feel to their wedding. They even chose not to have a formal bridal party: their only attendants included their son, Nolan, and a nephew who served as "ring-boys." and a niece who was the flower girl. 



Krystal's mom spearheaded all of the projects that ranged from mason jar favors to collecting a huge assortment of shapes, sizes, and colors of shells. A nurse, Krystal, had limited time to devote to all of the wedding details and left many details entrusted to Sharon.

 The wedding colors included aqua-turquoise with bright accents of coral, pink, and yellow. Platinum was used sparingly, and we chose to add a"sandy" color of champagne to match the theme.

In keeping with the casual celebration Krystal and Justin chose Columbia shirts for the boys and an adorable sparkling aqua dress for the flower girl.

The reception room decor featured the turquoise color with a bold contrast of white in table cloths and our white carriage lanterns. The tropical shades were featured in small amounts.

Krystal and her family got ready in the center's "bridal room," as the ceremony was also held on the plaza facing Boca Ciega Bay. Krystal's bouquet was comprised mostly of her favorite flower - daisies.


Turquoise and Sheer Aqua Damask sashes were tied to chairs along the aisle. About 80 guests were in attendance. 

The couple chose a sand ceremony during their vows. The mason jars decorated in shells were just a few of  the many craft designs Krystal's mom incorporated into the event.




Our white pergola arbor was simply decorated
 with white chiffon.

Krystal and Justin enjoyed the post-ceremony time posing for casual pictures along the tree-laden side of the center.

Social hour was held on the outdoor balcony terrace with an open bar, hand-passed appetizers, and a sign-in/gift table. Shells were everywhere including on the gift card box.


Place cards tied to white starfish were placed in alphabetical order in baskets right inside the main reception ballroom. 

The bride and groom chose to have the dance floor in the center of the room with the sweetheart table in front of the windows overlooking the bay. The dj was located directly across from them against the west wall.

The sweetheart table was decorated with lots of shells and hand-made beach elements. A shell-studded vase held the bride's bouquet.


We loved the clever table number holders that had hand-painted numerals on sand dollars atop another shell. Our carriage lanterns were filled with smaller shells and an LED pillar candle.



The sand-castle wedding cake was especially important to Krystal. It was provided by the Treasure Island Publix Bakery.

Lou's Florist brought many loose flowers, some of which were incorporated into the back of the turquoise chair ties and scattered around the centers of the guest tables.



Highlight of their wedding menu was our Shrimp Creole in our huge Paella Pan cooked right before their guests.

Our staff is always attentive to the little ones when it comes their turn to go to the buffet!

Congratulations to Krystal and Justin on their "shell-sational" wedding day!

Event Planning, Design, Coordination and Catering

St. Pete Community Center
Ceremony and Reception Site

Alex Wedding Photography

Entertainment and Uplighting

Treasure Island Publix Bakery
Wedding Cake

Fresh Flowers

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hawaii XOXO

Tiana and Michael
Spring 2013
Selected Photos by Alisa Sue Photography*


Tiana was one of those brides who knew exactly what she wanted and never hesitated to put her desires into action for her spring wedding at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota. Even though she and Michael booked with us a year out, Tiana was a passive bride for the first few months or so. But once the six month mark kicked in, Tiana was a consistent communicator, sharing info and requesting information several times a week.

I had no doubt by the time her wedding day came, we all would be on the same page.

Tiana and Mike chose Selby because if reminded them of Hawaii where he proposed to her. Its lush tropical landscaping, winding, foliage-laden walkways, and serene waterfall, was their Hawaiian setting, but much closer to home in Tampa Bay.


Tiana and her mom, Deborah, had their own love affair with the gardens as they made several trips a month there from their homes in the Tampa area. Each visit gave Tiana more focused ideas on how things would look, function, and flow on her wedding day.

As her planner and caterer, we made all of the arrangements with hard good rentals, on-site details, ceremony and reception room decorating/lights, and even a Sarasota-based day-of wedding coordinator. Tina chose to personally handle her fresh floral acquisitions although she kept in constant contact regarding these. Her deep purple, fuchsia, and platinum colors were incorporated into 
all aspects of her wedding day. 

There "bumps" along the way. One of our joint site visits revealed that major construction was to be going on in a portion of the garden area. The facility rental manager, reassured all of us they would have it tastefully camouflaged  behind a temporary bamboo fence. Also, we discovered that an exhibit of  tribal masks was to be on display inside the mansion. While this didn't match Tiana's theme, she took it in stride.

With over 200 guests expected and FOUR distant celebration areas to manage, we put our best event team together to handle the massive details for the day. 

First there was the getting ready for the girls, and main "check in" area for the guests at The Mansion. Then there was a distance between the mansion and the ceremony area at the Wedding Lawn and Pavilion. A third portion of the celebration was the trek back to the Mansion along the Sarasota Bay walk-way for the cocktail hour. Finally, the main reception was to be held inside the Great Room a short distance from the mansion.



Still this enormous tropical paradise was all Tiana and Mike's for the later part of the day.

The wedding day came and so did the higher chance of rain. Tiana was unwavering in her high hopes that this would not ruin her outdoor plans. As she prepared in the bridal suite upstairs in the mansion, she kept a smile on her face and her family and attendants close by. This included her supportive mom and her precious little twins, a boy and girl.


Our staff was busy toying with the weather conditions which worsened as the afternoon progressed. Originally we were to hold the social hour all outdoors on the back patio and lawn of the mansion with a double bar in between that area and the Great Hall. After struggling with the gusts of wind for an hour and a half, it was decided to put the bar on the covered front porch of the mansion with all cocktail tables, entry table, and socializing indoors on the first floor. 

The intermittent downpours of rain created major delays in starting the ceremony. The indoor alternative was to hold the ceremony inside the Great Room. Tiana felt this was her last resort and held out for a break, which did come. Many family members had sought refuge from the rain inside the Great Room, which we were still setting up. Because of the walking distance to the pavilion wedding site, many guests chose to wait for the single golf cart to transport them there. This created even more delays.

But many smiling faces later, Tiana and Mike celebrated exactly as they planned with family and friends all in attendance.  Here's the trio of happy greeters who handed out programs as guests arrived.

Here are more highlights of this very loving, carefully planned wedding day for Tiana and Michael. I hope you enjoy browsing through this as much as we enjoyed helping them create it.


Our favorite mobile make-up and hair artistry company, Jazzy Jewels provided on-site services for Tiana and other bridal party members. Day-Of/ Ceremony/Rehearsal Coordinator, Tonya Kida, was a huge asset in independently orchestrating details and last minute changes for the bridal party. We all walked an average of three miles each that day! Thank goodness for cell phones.

Ceremony chairs were provided by Selby Gardens and a combination of decor was produced by Affairs in the Air and Beneva Flowers. Tiana's dad's passing the year prior did not dampen his memory during the ceremony. 

The couple had special signage made to guide guests through the "garden maze" from event to event.

Our servers hand-passed an assortment of tropical appetizers that ranged from Jerk Shrimp Cocktail to fruit skewers, Calypso chicken, and mini meatballs.

A bamboo backdrop was positioned behind the sweetheart table and ultimately hid the back glass doors. Affairs in the Air decorating did the backdrop along with drapes and lighting throughout the room. We encouraged Tiana not to cover up the high wood ceiling in the center of the room as it had a Hawaiian dwelling style. 


As the sun shone through the clouds, it was a picture-perfect view of Sarasota Bay through the front windows.

Tiana chose three alternating guest table centerpieces each using some degree of fresh orchids. These were provided by Beneva Flowers.

Each guest table seating 10 guests, featured a diamond embroidered overlay with silver chiavalri chairs and silver charger plates with eggplant napkins. 

Once social hour was over, our staff assisted our bartenders in moving the bar to a side room inside the reception area. We featured two specialty drinks: A Blue Hawaiian and traditional Sangria.

My senior designers, Kent Billiter and Bradley Dempsey surprised Tiana with a separate buffet room completely filled with Hawaiian themed decor ranging from brightly colored Chinese lanterns, fuchsia voile swags, large butterflies and traditional Polynesian statues.

These were all items in our in-house decor!

Colleague, Eladio of DeLite Entertainment, provided three separate sound systems throughout the event along with uplighting and video projection for a special presentation by Tiana before dinner. Instead of the traditional Father-Daughter dance, Tiana danced alone with her father's jacket on as a slide show of his life projected behind her.



Thank you for allowing us to share your vision, Tiana and Michael!

Event Planning, Decor, Coordination and Catering: Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL
(including all Chinese lanterns)

DJ, Lighting: DeLite Entertainment

Hair and Make-Up: Jazzy Jewels Parties, Tampa

Rehearsal, Ceremony Coordinator: Tonya Kida

Draping, Backdrops: Affairs in the Air

Personal Flowers, Fresh Flower Decor and Centerpieces: Beneva Flowers

Chiavalri Chairs, Social Hour Tables: All Event Rental

Cake: A Slice of Heaven

Photography: Alisa Sue Photography

Videographer: Snap and Play