While they were on a visit to his childhood home in Canada, Adam surprised Christina with a beautiful Christmas Eve proposal. Almost a year later at The Westin Tampa Harbor Island, an event venue in Tampa, the couple exchanged vows in a serene waterside ceremony, surrounded by 120 of their family and friends. The exquisite color combination of eggplant and pink was used from ceremony to reception, where the flower arrangements and soft candlelight produced the perfect balance of elegance and warmth. Pour yourself a glass of wine and peruse this romantic day, photographed by Tampa wedding photographer Carrie Wildes Photography.
Tell us how you met…
One of my friends (who was also one of my bridesmaids) introduced us at a get together one evening. That was almost 6 years ago and we have been together ever since.
Now for the proposal… details!
Adam grew up in Canada and has most of his family up there, including his parents. He took me to Canada for Christmas 2011 and on Christmas Eve in his childhood bedroom where I was about to go to sleep, he came in to say goodnight and had me listen to a song. It was a song that he had written and recorded. I was listening to the song and crying because it was so sweet, and at the end when the music was fading out he reached over into the drawer of the nightstand, pulled out a box, got down on one knee and proposed. I of course said yes! We got up and spread the news to the rest of the family after that. It was the best Christmas I have ever had!
We want to know about all the wedding details, was it small and intimate or big and traditional?
I would say it was a medium sized wedding with 120 guests.
Tell us about your wedding gown and what your bridal party wore.
I wore a Demetrios gown that I fell in love with the moment I put it on. It portrays my personality perfectly! The girls wore long eggplant gowns with tulle that went over one shoulder. The men wore black tuxes from Men’s Warehouse with eggplant vests and bow ties.
Can you give us an overview of the event?
The wedding was very much a mix of traditional and modern styles. The ceremony took place by the water at the Westin located on Harbour Island near Downtown Tampa. The guests were seated on a tree lined walkway facing the water. There were stairs that led down to the site that the bridal party descended down during the ceremony. Cocktail hour immediately followed the ceremony while the bridal party took pictures. The reception was held in a terrace that overlooked Downtown Tampa. The guests danced and partied for so long that it was hard to squeeze in the traditional wedding events!
Was there a specific theme or style?
We wanted to make sure the theme of our wedding was elegant, but also very fun and inviting. We chose eggplant as the primary color with different shades of pinks for accents. Our reception consisted of charcoal linens, with 2 different types of centerpieces. Half the tables had 3 different sized vases with floating candles and flowers wrapped around the base, and the other half had very tall vases with a huge flower arrangement at the top. There were also smaller arrangements by the base. We used a lot of candles to give the reception a warm and comforting feeling.
What inspired the theme or style?
I got a lot of ideas from looking at sites like pinterest, etsy and other wedding sites. I also had a ton of help from my fabulous vendors. I couldn’t have done it without them!
What were your playful twists that made the event unique?
I surprised Adam by having his niece and nephew carry down a sign that said “Uncle Adam, here comes your bride.” He thought that was really neat and special. For the reception I think that our families really made the wedding fun. We had to get them to stop dancing so we could cut the cake, toss the bouquet, etc. Everyone wanted to dance!
Did you DIY any of the details?
When I was planning this wedding I wanted to make sure that the day of the wedding no one was stressed. I didn’t want to have to worry about anything other than the fact that I was about to get married. The items that we had to bring in were given to the coordinator the day before so we wouldn’t have to worry about anything, and by 5pm everything was beautifully decorated.
What was the most memorable moment?
There are so many to choose from! Of course, it would have to be the moment we were introduced as husband and wife and walked back down the aisle. I could never forget all the love that surrounded us in that moment. Also a very memorable moment was everyone doing the Wobble and Gangnam Style! At the end of the night all the guests went outside for our grand exit with sparklers. We ran through them and everyone wanted more, so we ran back and forth through them. At one point Adam picked me up and carried me through the crowd of screaming guests. At the very end of the night Adam and I were going up to our room and saw a piano in the hotel lobby. Adam started playing a song for me while I sat on the floor in my big poofy dress, in a hotel lobby, just the 2 of us. That is something I will never forget!
Tell us about the food and desserts.
During cocktail hour we served bruschetta, coconut shrimp, and jerk chicken. For dinner there were 3 options, grouper served with a lemon butter sauce, beef tenderloin, or chicken wellington. I made sure that we had all 3 on our plate! Although there wasn’t much time for us to eat. The cake I designed myself with Chantilly Cakes. It’s a 3 tiered cake. The bottom tier had a swirl design on it, the middle and top tier had an eggplant ribbon with the top tier having fresh flowers placed on top. Fresh flowers were also placed around the bottom of the cake. Of course we had an open bar for the duration of the wedding!
What kind of energy did your entertainment give the guests?
I cannot begin to describe how wonderful our DJ Frank Lebano was. He had everyone on the dance floor the entire night. It was amazing.
If there was one thing you could change, what would it be?
The only thing I would have changed was hiring a videographer. We were so fortunate to have family members tape the ceremony for us, but would have loved to have had parts of the reception recorded.
What was the best wedding advice you received?
To never stop dating.
Venue: The Westin Tampa Harbour Island | Photographer: Carrie Wildes Photography | DJ: Frank Lebano | Wedding Coordinator & Decor: Days Remembered by ND | Floral: Events in Bloom | Cakes: Chantilly Cakes | Stationery: URBANcoast