Ariel & Matt | Palma Sola Botanical Park Wedding

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Ok, aren’t they the sweetest?!  Ariel and Matt officially became Mr. and Mrs. this past weekend, and I hold this wedding near and dear to my heart because that beautiful bride you see is my family.  When we were kids, I never in a million years thought I would be the one photographing her wedding (hell, I never in a million years thought either one of us would get married….but here we are).  Their day started out laid back, Ariel getting ready in their home with her bridesmaids and Matt and the guys hanging out at an Air BnB near the venue.

Everyone was dressed and ready ON TIME, which, let me tell you, almost never happens!  All the girls and all the guys loaded up in their respective cars and headed over to the venue for Matt and Ariel’s first look.  The couple visited Palma Sola Botanical Park over a year ago and fell in love with the gardens….so they booked the venue immediately.  I can’t blame them!  The park was absolutely beautiful and it really made their first look dreamy.

So I’ll be totally honest with you, I wasn’t always a fan of first looks.  I always loved the idea of the groom not seeing the bride until she walked down the aisle.  Now that I have witnessed so many first looks, my opinion has totally changed.  Nothing beats that quiet, intimate moment that the couple has together without guests, family or friends.  They get the opportunity to be alone and appreciate each other.  They also get the opportunity to knock out all the family and wedding party photos before the ceremony so everyone can spend more time at cocktail hour (wink, wink).  On the topic of the ceremony, Matt and Ariel’s was unique in that they fused together both Jewish and Christian traditions.  They wed under a chuppah made from fabric that their friends and family decorated, they tied the chord of three strands, and signed a ketubah.  It showed such great appreciation not only for each other, but for each other’s beliefs.  The ceremony ended with kisses and lots of bubbles.

Ariel surprised Matt during their first dance by sneaking some of her own lyrics into their song.  It was easy to do because her brother and Man of Honor played his guitar and sang their song.  How sweet is that?!  The speeches were incredible, the food was amazing, and the dancing and champagne sprays were ON FIRE!

Ariel and Matt ended the reception with a glow stick send off.  What an incredible night it was!  An what an amazing team of vendors that made it all possible!  Ariel and Matt, I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness ❤

Vendor Team:

2nd Photographer:  Jeremy Scott Photography

Wedding Planner:  Tammy Waterman of Special Moments Event Planning

DJ:  Jamaal Day Entertainment

Catering:  Delectables Fine Catering

Cake:  A Slice of Heaven

Hair & Makeup Artist:  KellyAnne Bridal

Lauren & Phil | Marco Beach Ocean Resort Wedding

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Phil and Lauren’s wedding was nothing less than incredible.  These two are residents of New Jersey and planned their destination wedding from out-of-state, so I didn’t have the opportunity to meet them in person before their big day….but when I met them for the first time, it was like I had known them forever.  They are two of the most loving, laid back people I have ever had the pleasure of working with, and it carried on throughout their entire day.

Every detail of their wedding had sentimental value.  From the bride and bridesmaid’s bouquets that they made, to Lauren’s personalized sandals, to the ashes of family members pinned inside her dress…so many personal touches were incorporated into their day.  Even the jewelry Lauren was wearing was worn by some of her bridesmaids on their wedding days.  You couldn’t help but feel the love!

The day before the wedding, Phil and Lauren’s wedding party had the idea to trick Phil during the first look.  Rather than turning around to see his bride, Phil’s best man was the one to tap him on the shoulder.  You can’t help but laugh at that!  Phil wasn’t sure if he was surprised to see his best man, or disappointed that it wasn’t Lauren!

After the laughs were over, Lauren stepped in to show Phil what he had been waiting to see all morning….his stunning bride.  I absolutely love the intimacy of first looks, and this one did not disappoint!

The ceremony was so sweet and filled with happy tears.  Lauren and Phil read their vows before friends and family and even the birds flew on cue as they shared their first kiss as husband and wife.

I absolutely love that Lauren and Phil’s reception was centered around dancing.  While they still had the traditional first dances and speeches, but after dinner it was straight to dancing and boy did their wedding party know how to get down!  They also decided to forgo a traditional wedding cake, and had an ice cream bar with tons of toppings for their guests.  Who doesn’t love ice cream?!  Phil and Lauren’s wedding was one I won’t soon forget.  Congratulations again to the happy couple!

 

Venue and Catering: Marco Beach Ocean Resort

DJ: DJ Dayve

Florist: Christie’s Flowers

Hair & Makeup: Charlotte Phinney

2nd Photographer: Jeremy Scott Photography

Videography: Imagery Wedding Films

Kelly & Keith | Davis Island Garden Club Wedding

2018-9-15-Davis-Island-Wedding-Photographer-1402Where do I even begin?  These two were the most beautiful couple…OBVIOUSLY…but their family was just as amazing.  The father of the bride and I share the same mentor, and I was through the roof excited when he asked me to photograph his baby girl’s wedding.  I think the best part is that prior to her own wedding, Kelly had never been to one!  How special is that?!

Kelly and her sweet Maid of Honor, Taylor, got ready at the Sheraton River Walk Hotel in downtown Tampa.  Taylor drove all the way down from Tennessee to be there.  They were so calm and laid back while they got ready.  Kelley shared a beautiful first look with her Dad right before we headed over to The University of Tampa for her bridal portraits.

I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hot and we all weren’t drenched in sweat during these portraits.  It is Florida, after all.  But gosh….is she not BEAUTIFUL?!   Her flower crown and bouquets by Alta Fleura were simply elegant, and smelled amazing.  After we were done with portraits and ready to get out of the heat, we headed over to the wedding venue for Kelly’s first look with Keith.