Destination I Do
Friday, August 12, 2011

Destination Wedding Florida: A Dream Homecoming

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of Joy Marie Photography

Jessica and Bryan are a Nashville couple who both happen to be originally from Florida. Since both their families still live there, a destination wedding was an easy decision. “As much as we love Nashville, we really miss the water and beautiful beaches,” says the couple. “We knew that we wanted to have our wedding at a location that was on the water and captured the beauty of Florida that we love so much!”

The couple searched for venues online until they had a list of top picks. On a visit to Tierra Verde, Florida, however, Jessica and Bryan immediately knew that the Tampa Bay Watch was the place for them. Jessica had a very clear vision of what she wanted her and Bryan’s W-day to look like so she took great care in describing her vision to her different vendors.

In the end, the wedding was beautiful and even the weather cooperated! “After discussing the ceremony and reception the way we wanted it, we realized that there was not going to be a backup plan if it rained during the ceremony,” says the couple. “This made us a little nervous, but in the end, January 1, 2011 was one of the most beautiful days ever!”

One of the couple’s favorite parts of the wedding was the shelter they got married under. Jessica’s crafty parents actually constructed it themselves – her dad hand carved the canopy and her mom hand-sewed and embroidered the cloth which made up the center. No doubt these items will serve as treasured keepsakes for the couple!

In return, the couple wanted to ensure that their wedding was a great experience for all of their guests. The entire wedding party stayed in one place and the couple was able to use that venue for both the rehearsal dinner and a New Year’s Eve party! “Since we were getting married on New Year’s Day and our guests were traveling from all over the U.S., we wanted to have a big weekend celebration,” says Jessica.

It’s obvious from the day’s pictures that Jessica did an amazing job working with her vendors to ensure that her W-day vision became a reality. Her and Bryan’s seaside theme was beautiful and consistent throughout their ceremony and reception. They also did it all while staying on budget – the couple knew the areas where they wanted to spend more money, and simply allotted for that in other areas.

The couple has some words of advice for other couples considering a destination wedding. “Planning a wedding is such a fun, crazy, exciting and stressful process. Staying organized and always having a really clear vision of what you want from the venue, food, decorations, flowers, etc. really helped us. There will be little hiccups and obstacles along the way, but we were constantly reminded that at the end of the day, no matter what happened, we would be married!”

Photographer: Joy Marie Photography
Wedding Planner: Candy Jackson
Ceremony/Reception Site: Tampa Bay Watch
Gown Designer: Casablanca Bridal
Groom’s Clothing Designer: Jos A Bank
Florist: Candy & Connie Designs
Catering: Olympia Bakery & Catering of Tampa
Hair & Make-Up: Glitz & Glam Make-up, Azarette Diaz

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