With nods to the changing Autumn season and a stunning church setting, this intimate Tampa wedding from Marissa Moss Photography balances both the vintage and traditional with the romance that we all love. Featuring gorgeous florals in soft pink and peach hues and one of the prettiest cakes to be cut, I love all of the sweet – and romantic – details. The lovely bride Bethany is here to share all of her planning insight with us:
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
There were so many people who helped us to pull together our wedding day. My father was very sick (and passed away about 5 months after my wedding), so we planned to have the wedding in Tampa where my parents and my brother’s family live. This allowed my father to comfortably attend the wedding. My sister-in-law, Betsy, was instrumental in helping to connect us to our amazing caterer, Wayl of a Time Catering. I truly believe good food makes or breaks a wedding – and Wayl of a Time came through! My husband and best friend have Celiac’s disease so 90% of our wedding food was gluten free (I had to have a side of bread and real cake – but he also had a gluten-free cake). We still hear compliments on the food. Betsy was also able to give me feedback on other vendors/locations in the area because she has hosted and attended a lot of local events.
The internet was vital in our wedding planning process. We googled every single vendor we considered and read all of their reviews until we felt comfortable choosing them as a vendor.
Finally, our florist acted as our event planner – Juli Vaughn from Juli Vaughn Designs. She is a personal friend and a design genius. We met and I shared my vision for the wedding and she put it all together. She brought all of the flowers from Atlanta in her car and did them in a hotel room. AMAZING. She also took care of every last detail and vendor coordination on our wedding day. We worried about nothing and my husband fell in love with her when we entered into the reception to see the room before everyone else did and she met him with his favorite drink and some snacks! Talk about thinking of every detail.
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
We chose our wedding vendors based on reputation, professionalism and budget. There are some amazing wedding vendors out there that we just could not afford. However, there were a lot of great options in the range we could afford and so then we had to go to work researching their work. I also took note of how they corresponded with me, how well they followed up on details, and how others said they did at crunch time. We do not regret one single choice. They all did a fabulous job.
What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?
I wanted a soft romantic feel for our wedding. I wanted people to feel at home at our reception. I wanted it to be effortlessly elegant – to not look like we tried to hard or had things too perfect. We had a gorgeous church in St. John’s. The architecture and wood really didn’t require much work by us and we didn’t put much into the church. Our venue provided a beautiful view of the Bay and was such a perfect clean slate that we were easily able to create the relaxed elegance we hoped to have. For the food, we focused on bringing in seasonal elements – pumpkin seeds in the salad, squash in the risotto, etc. We both wanted people to walk away feeling loved, cherished and relaxed.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
The favorite part of my wedding day was being surrounded by so many of the people we love in our life. We had a small wedding of about 80 people and visited and were able to connect with each person. I loved having everyone I love together laughing and relaxing during a really hard season of life (with my Dad’s illness). I also loved the flowers and food. Finally, the pictures are what continues to bless me daily. You are in a total haze when you get married (no matter how present you try to be) and looking at the pictures allow you to enjoy the day over and over again – they jar your memory and give you a birds-eye view of what everyone else experienced. I loved them. Thank you, Marissa!
What is your best piece of advice for other brides?
Don’t micro-manage your wedding. Think about what you want, do your research on your vendors, follow-up a few days before the wedding and then trust them to do their job. When it comes to your wedding day, enjoy it. This is not a Broadway production. It is the celebration of two lives coming together to be one. There will be imperfections or hiccups, but it will all add to the beauty of it. As I was typing this, a Maya Angelou quote was what came to mind. Long after your wedding, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Wonderful, wonderful advice! I love how much thought Bethany and Samuel put into making their guests feel welcomed and relaxed; the sign of a perfect pair of hosts. I also love their daytime ceremony and reception. I feel like the champagne brunch reception is way, way underrated and would love for it to become a trend. Champagne and cake is always appropriate and stylish.
How about you? Are any of you considering a mid-day soiree?