The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

The Best in West Coast Florida Weddings

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Great Gatsby - Modern Fire and Ice Theme

Metro of Tampa Bay's First Annual Gala
Fall 2013

We were honored to work with this fine organization in initializing their first ever major fund-raising gala last September at the Tampa Garden Center. We were able to have a great deal of input into decor, color scheme, and food presentations.

There were many challenges in keeping all cuisine somewhat "potable" with few seats and table set-ups available.

The cuisine was a total collaboration with a mix of several influences: from 1920's staples to modern presentations. We took it a bit further by offering a balance of cold themed items with firey hot for an interesting mix of hand-passed, small plate, and action station selections.

The conservatory and outside patio area encompassed the initial social hour space where guests were greeted with a bright red momentum and "hot" cocktails supplied by a local distributor. Our bar service, including bartenders, was part both the "hot bar" bar in the entry/silent auction area, and the main room's icy atmosphere.

ConceptBait in Clearwater, was a major sponsor who amazingly adapted the duo theme with color-coordinating lounge furnishings, spandex table coverings, and sleek modern accessories such as lamps and hanging swags in key high ceiling areas. 

Our hand-passed appetizers were on the heavy side because of the client's wishes in urging guests to circulate among silent auction tables and the main room.

Our selections included a mix of 1920s favorite party foods such as fire-roasted Gazpacho Shooters and Crostini Green Goddess Salads. 

Inside the main room, the atmosphere was a bluish, icy theme. The corner bar was decked out in white and silver.

After a welcome and a few speeches, the main stations opened. This included an Shrimp Cocktail station served in vintage champagne glasses. There were condiment choices along with a selection of three cocktail sauces.

We also featured a dual carving station with Roast Baron of Beef and Honey Glazed Ham. Accompanying this was a Hasselback Potato presentation that could easily served and consumed in a cocktail situation.

A hot aspect of the main station was our popular Asian Stir Fry station with Saki-infused spring vegetables flamed for finishing before being served on sticky rice in Chinese take-out containers.

Finishing touches to the evening included an ensemble of micro sweets. Sweet Tweets Cakery fashioned the Metro logo along with a firey candy topping on mini cupcakes. We also served Nitro-infused Popcorn that allowed guests to breath "like dragons" as the rest of the evening unfolded.

Concept, Planning, Basic Decor, Coordinating and Catering: Catering By Robert/ Event Concepts . Fl 

Friday, September 26, 2014

That's Amore - Italian Styled Beach Wedding

Lisa and Shawn
Photos by Melissa Lauren Images

"When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fazool
That's amore . . 
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love . . 
When you walk down in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore . . 
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
That's amore . . " 

Immortalized By Dean Martin 1956
Celebrated by Lisa and Shawn Summer 2013

Even though I not met their families prior to their wedding day, I could tell Lisa and Shawn's well- planned celebration in St. Pete Beach would evolve into a huge destination reunion for family and friends.

The couple chose the Guy Harvey Outpost for their host hotel and beach-front ceremony site. With most of the guests attending from out of town including, Long Island, they made certain that all of the "beachy elements" were in place to create a tropical feel.

The reception was held at the St. Pete Beach Community Center with transportation between resort and venue provided by Pure Limo.

Both Lisa and Shawn were equally involved in all phases of the wedding. They started early in their planning so they were able to attend a variety of our open houses and experience many different cuisines and their own personalized guest table look. Armed with colors of turquoise, peach and coral the couple set out to create a relaxed feel for both wedding and reception.

Everything from DIY items to detailed timing, to food items, was focused on the comfort of their guests. Since most family members were of Italian heritage, they chose our flamed Chicken Frangelica station as the centerpiece of the meal.

 We loved the flexibility they gave us in adding many of our in-house table top props. They entrusted our design team to use its imagination for a tasteful beach-style look. 

The wedding day began with lots of guest-centered activities. Lisa and Shawn made certain everyone staying had lots to do.


Of course, getting ready pictures were the focus of  the camera. Behind it was Alex of Melissa Lauren Images, who captured it all.

The ceremony was held on the beach behind Guy Harvey. The couple and their guests dodged stormy skies for a rain-free celebration. Despite the threat of rain, Alex was able to capture many special beach moments after the ceremony for the couple.

Meanwhile, less than a mile away, the reception got underway at the community center. Utilizing the second level covered terrace and small lobby right inside, social hour included personalized beer coozies and a full open bar. As you can see, we added the couple's wedding colors to our bar set-up.

Inside the main reception room, our staff was busy putting the final touches on the turquoise-coral inspired guest table decor. The couple hired A1 Foliage to provide assorted palm and tropical greenery to the space. Our "sail" fabric structures framed the customized sweetheart table..

Lisa and Shawn worked with our designer, Kent Billiter, to incorporate their color scheme and beach feel into the guest table look. They chose turquoise napkins and coordinating chair ties with runners and our in-house white carriage lanterns. 

Scattered starfish and shells around the table and shells inside the lanterns finished the look. 

Inside each lantern were colorful orchid heads and LED pillar candles.

Lisa and Shawn decided to use white starfish to display guest table place cards. They were thoughtfully placed in alphabetical order in boxes to make our job easier for set up. We added one of our lanterns and a star fish duo to decorate the table already decorated with our in-house coral and turquoise fabrics.

The reception area was filled with color and vibrance. The couple chose a peach colored champagne for our champagne glasses at each table.  

We loved that Lisa and Shawn allowed us to create a dramatic, nautical look with our huge porpoise centerpiece for the buffet.

Sweet Tweets Cakery custom designed a cupcake display with formal top layer wedding cake. A cupcake menu described the different flavors. 

The couple made a traditional entrance and went immediately into their first dance. What guests did not expect, came next. . . . 

The music changed by DJ Eladio of DeLite Entertainment. Suddenly, he was asking everyone to join hands and dance around the bride and groom to "That's Amore." Needless to say, this brought many tears and smiles to everyone's faces.


As dinner approached, our chef, Robert (Bob) began his custom Italian station "flaming" Chicken in a Frangelica sauce complete with toasted hazelnuts. 

This entertained guests as they proceeded through the buffet.

Many of our in-house decorating elements were utilized for the entry and other special tables. 

The place card table was transformed into a candy station with goodies provided by the bride. 

Alex captured many special moments for Lisa and Shawn. These are two of our favorites. Additional uplighting was provided by DeLite Entertainment. 

Thank you to Lisa and Shawn for including us in your special celebration.

It's Amore!

Event Planning, Decor, Coordination, and Catering: Catering By Robert / Event Concepts . FL
Kent Billiter, designer

DJ, Lighting: DeLite Entertainment

Photography: Melissa Lauren Images

Foliage: A1 Foliage

Wedding Cake and Cupcakes: Sweet Tweets Cakery

Transportation: Pure Limo

Host Hotel, Ceremony Site: Guy Harvey Outpost