Real Weddings

Simple & Intimate Florida Church Wedding

Amid a pandemic, Colleen and Luis proved that love is strong and enduring! The Florida natives scaled down their guest list and proceeded with an intimate ceremony at Espiritu Santo Catholic Church and followed it up with a rainy walk in the park before they celebrated the evening away at a private residence.

If any duo could figure out how to make the most out of the little things, it's these two! The details of the wedding were simple yet thoughtful. With that being said, would it surprise you if we said that the florals you see in these photos were actually made of wood? Well believe it! Thanks to Evergreen Bride, the hand-crafted wooden bouquet was everything the bride could have wanted and more!

Not only are the wooden florals timeless – literally! – so is the style of Colleen's bridal look. Deep green accent shoes, a classic Stella York gown, and a perfect blushed look from the Savannah Olivia Beauty Boutique (hair/makeup) team. To bring it all together, these simple but elegant details were captured by the wonderful Bonnie Newman Creative and we are lucky to see a glimpse into this special day.

How did you meet?

We met on a backpacking trip through USF Tampa. Luis was a trip leader, and Colleen was a participant on the trip. After they returned, they began hanging out, and the rest is history!

What is your proposal story?

Luis proposed to Colleen on their third anniversary. They went on a Thanksgiving weekend trip to their favorite climbing destination, Horse Pens 40, in Alabama. He popped the question one rainy evening in their cabin, and she said yes!

Tell us a little a bit about your wedding (your vision, color, style, and location choices).

Very minimal! We didn't have much of a vision as we were planning. Our reception venue (where our reception will be held in 2021) has a lot going on atmosphere-wise, so we intend on using the venue to do the talking for us.

Tell us about your attire choices.

I wanted something super classic and timeless for my dress. The dress that I found was perfect – mikado, simple from the front, with a bit of flare in the back. Luis had so much fun designing his custom lapis blue suit.

What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?

The most important thing when planning was our venue. We didn't care much about decor, and opted to skip florals entirely. Having a good menu, good venue, and good drinks was a priority for us.

What were your favorite parts of the day? (memories and stories)

Standing at the altar, hand in hand, was the most special part of the day. A close runner up was our rainy photo shoot at Philippe Park. Since we didn't have a reception that day, it made everything feel very special and wedding-y. We ran around getting soaked, my green shoes dying my feet, splashing around in the rain and laughing like fools.

Tell us about your wedding flowers.

Since we weren't going with florals for our reception, we knew we wanted a wooden bouquet and boutonniere set! Evergreen Bride on Etsy hooked us up with something more beautiful than we could've imagined. It worked out perfectly, because we'll still have our actual bouquet and boutonniere next year for our reception (and for all the years after that, too!)

Tell us about your wedding cake.

We don't eat dairy, so naturally Valhalla Bakery in St. Pete baked up the most delicious coconut-guava cake that we've ever seen.

Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?

My mother lent me the pearls that she wore on her wedding day!

Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?

Try to focus on the essence of the day-committing yourself to your partner. Getting married during Coronavirus forced us to take a step back and really savor the process of our ceremony, and I am so grateful for that. Even if you have a reception after your ceremony like most do, take the time to consciously put in an effort to not stress about reception details during your special moment!

Credits

The below wedding pros made this amazing event happen. See more of their work by visiting their website.