Welcome to the World Giada!

5 years ago on 11.17 I was photographing Rachel and Pete's wedding and now they are a family of 3!  Giada is such a little beauty!  She tried to stay awake but you know, when you're less than 3 weeks old it's pretty hard to:-)  So tiny and squishy and just plain adorable.  Rachel and Pete she's just beautiful, we're so happy for you guys!! xoxoxo

Groomsmen Gifts Ideas

Happy Friday!  We love sharing fun and unique ideas and these are some great ones for groomsmen gifts.  These custom gifts from Groovy Guy Gifts are some of the coolest that we've seen.  The cufflinks/money clip, and flask also come in a personalized wooden box and the pocket knife has a custom wood panel on it as well.  The very last photo is one I hadn't seen before.  They are custom whiskey rocks that you put in the freezer and then in your whiskey (or wine if I was using them:-) and it keeps it cool but doesn't water it down.  Stop on by www.groovyguygifts.com to see all their cool custom guy ideas!!! 

Madison & Matthew

Here's some of our favs from this pretty little session with Madison, Matthew, and Winston! It was the perfect evening for a stroll around Oxford Exchange and University of Tampa.  I love the blue and pop of pink, it matched Winston's ice blue eyes.  Madison is the catering and social media coordinator at the Tampa Club and we usually get to work with her on other couple's weddings. This time, 1.6.18 we'll be photographing her and Matthew saying I do! 

{Kelly & Ryan @ The Postcard Inn}

I knew this was going to be a fun group when I first talked to Kelly and found out they are fellow Ohioans:-)  They wanted a fun, romantic, and whimsical wedding for their favorite people to enjoy with them.  Nailed it!  The girls aqua flowy dresses and the guys in khakis and white linen was perfect for the beach. Ryan wore a single starfish instead of a boutonniere.  I saw a little tear sneak down Ryan's cheek  as he saw Kelly being escorted down the aisle by her parents.  Their guests threw petals as the exited as Mr. & Mrs. Thomas.  Earlier in the day it was super super foggy, but that all cleared out and there was a beautiful sunset.  This bridal party was a blast, they turned up the music on an iPhone and sang so we would have party music down on the beach.  Postcard Inn has so many great spots for photos inside and outside and there's always something different and new.  Their reception was on the lawn, strung with lights, lanterns, and little tags with flip flops for the table numbers. Kelly and Ryan did their first dance under the canopy of trees and the party didn't stop!  We had just as much fun shooting it as everyone was having in the photos.  Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Thomas!!! xoxoxox
Venue | Postcard Inn | Hair and Makeup | Lasting Luxe | DJ | Jeff Staples Group 

{Taisha & Andres @ The Carrollwood Recreation Center}

Taisha and Andres are both on the worship team at Bay Hope Church and it was pretty perfect that they walked down the aisle to say I do in the chapel there.  Taisha and her friends hand made the paper flowers on the wooden arch and the rows were lined with hydrangea.  Their little flower girl and ring bearer stopped a few times while walking down the aisle to make sure we got lots of photos of them, they were adorable!!  You could feel the nerves go away and the joy on Andres face as Taisha started walking down the aisle.  Taisha is a super talented singer and surprised Andres with a little serenade during the ceremony.  There was a tiny bit of rain but the light on the lawn and walkways was so pretty!  Their reception was a romantic, family style setting with rows of wine bottles lit with candles and lace accents.  You might remember Andres' fabulous dance moves from Lauren & Anibal's wedding, here they are again! Their entire day was all about the most important people in their lives being together to celebrate, it was perfect.  Taisha and Andres, we could not be happier to see you guys start your life together as husband and wife!  Congratulations!! xoxoxo
Church | Bay Hope Church | Reception Venue | Carrollwood Recreation Center |  DJ | Magic Mobile Entertainment 

{Nicole & Nick @ The Davis Island Garden Club}

Nicole and Nick's wedding was fall fancy in style with a gray of the wedding party with gold, orange, and black pumpkin accents.  Nicole gave her girls a basket of fabulous gifts including a wine glass that said, "if I go missing please put my face on wine bottles so my friends know".  I literally laughed out loud seeing that, so awesome!  Nick gave the guys storm trooper socks and Converse (for after the ceremony) and he wore Darth Vader socks.  They each had a box of such thoughtful gifts for each other.  Nicole's was even decorated to match the fall theme.  Two of Nick's gifts were a framed print with all the important dates in their relationship and a key chain that said "May the Force be with You" and a little note that said "you'll need the force today"!  Before heading to the Garden Club, Nicole's dad met her downstairs to see her as a bride.  Nick loves artistic photography so we got some pretty sweet stuff with him and the guys.  The look on his face when Nicole stared walking down the aisle can't really be put into words.  Those are the tiny seconds in life that you can look back at and it puts you right back in that moment.  After the ceremony the guys changed into their Converse and we had so much fun with this bridal party.  The weather was absolutely perfect for their waterfront reception.  They did their first dance under the market lights.  After the dance floor opened they took a step off the dance floor to just watch and soak it all in and then we used the Tampa skyline at night with just the 2 of them.  Congratulations Nicole and Nick!!  xoxoxo
Venue | The Davis Island Garden Club | Hotel | Tampa Marriott Waterside | DJ | Grant Hemond | Videography | Voila Cinematic | Wedding Coordinator | Liz Kamali Events | Officiant | Sensational Ceremonies | Catering | ExecChef Catering | Florist | Events in Bloom | Hair and Makeup | Michelle Rene the Studio | Cake | Publix 

Happy Halloween!

One of my favorite things to do every year is come up with fun Halloween costumes for my kids.  It accidentally started when they were 1 year olds and I made them mini granny costumes now I have to do something cool each year:-)  They're 3, so they love candy and sugar and parties so I figured why not make them cotton candy and a gumball machine.  Maddie's favorite color is purple and Evie loves anything with sparkles.  I of course went on pinterest for some how to's.  I love when they show you photos of what, and how they did it so if you look below I'll show you exactly what I used and how I made these.  I never do anything difficult because I don't have the patience for it, so anyone can do this!  Hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween! 

Gumball Machine Costume

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How To:
With scissors I cut the metal pie crust pan so just the lip was left and then painted it red. Trace the plastic part on the red paper and cut in a circle. Put all the pom poms in the pie top and the red circle on the back and then seal it like you would a pie. Cut the felt to a square and draw on the 25 cents.  To attach it the "gumball part", I used red thread and tied it around the edge of the metal so I could tie it on the straps.  Voila! You're done!

Supplies:
1 Bag of 1 inch Pom Poms - Michaels
1 Sheet of Gray Felt - Michaels
Red Craft Paint for Metal - Michaels
Small Paint Brush - Michaels
Red Sheet of scrapbook paper - Michaels
8 in Pie Crust - Walmart
Red outfit - Amazon
Red Shoes - Walmart
Red Thread, Scissors, Black Permanent Marker

Cotton Candy Costume

How To: 
This one was a little trickier, I wasn't seeing a way to do it that I thought totally looked like cotton candy so made this one up.  The poly fill is in layers so I laid it out in a single layer on trash bags outside.  Hold the spray paint about 2 feet away and cover the top with a layer of color and let it dry for an hour or so.

Supplies:
1 large bag of Poly Fill - Michaels
2 3 oz cans of purple fabric paint - Michaels
1 Can of Krylon Spray Glue - Michaels
Large Piece of White Paper - Michaels
Purple Hair Spray - Walmart
Purple Shoes - Walmart
Longer t shirt - Walmart
 

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Take the shirt and place put it over a pillow so you can put the fill on it.  Spray the surface directly and place the fill on it and hold for a couple of seconds.  It holds really well!  Wrap the layers to get the look you want and then make holes for the arms.  Let it set overnight.  Take the white paper and make a hat that looks like the paper cone that cotton candy comes in.  I used double sided tape to hold it.  Staple ribbon to each side to tie it on.  Spray hair with the hair color and you're done! 

{Melissa & Mike @ The Hilton Clearwater Beach}

I learned that Mike is super crafty.  He actually hand crafted their ring box and all the girls foot jewelry for the beach! Melissa said he was bored during hurricane Irma.  They literally had the perfect weather for their wedding on the beach and Sandpiper deck at the Hilton Clearwater Beach.  Melissa's twin sister, Megan, (AKA fake Melissa:-) was her maid of honor and Mike's dad was his best man.  I love the custom wooden boxes that matched the guys sunglasses that Mike had gotten them as a gift.  In true beach style the girls were in teal dresses and the guys in tan shorts and Sperrys.  They all had so much fun getting ready, and that was just the beginning!  Before the ceremony we got Mike all set behind a sand dune ready to see his bride.  He had her do a little spin and then he did one too!  They had "shoe parking" for their guests so they could have their toes in the sand.  Teal and green florals with greenery behind decorated their arch.  I know sometimes people think if you do first look that it's not as meaningful a moment when the groom sees the bride walking down the aisle, but Mike had one of the sweetest reactions when he saw Melissa walking toward him.  There were some surprise seagull guests that decided to join us for a few photos as well!  The overcast sky was awesome after the ceremony.  As we headed down the beach the paddle boards and canoes were all packed up but they happened to match their wedding colors perfectly, how awesome is that? The girls found a sand beach bunny that needed to be in a photo with their flowers.  Since it was cloudy we did sunset photos a little earlier so Melissa and Mike got to go to their cocktail hour and enjoy the food and the view.   Their colors looked fabulous on the deck and there were little wooden sea turtles on everything from the invitations, to the cake, and even the center pieces.  Their guests couldn't wait to get the party started, they opened the dance floor during cocktail hour.  The toasted, and ate, and danced, and smoked cigars (while watching the Yankees) with the view of the gulf in the background.  Congrats you guys it was amazing!!! xoxoxo
Venue | Hilton Clearwater Beach | Florist | Iza's Flowers | Hair and Makeup | Kyle Lynn | Officiant | Sensational Ceremonies | DJ | Grant Hemond | Cake | Chantilly Cakes 

{Kelly & Matt @ The Hyatt Clearwater Beach}

Kelly and Matt are just the sweetest and so much fun!  Kelly's light and flowy gown with lace cap sleeves and a sparkly belt was perfect for their ceremony on the beach.  The girls each wore a different style aqua short lace dress and the guys were in gray with coral bowties and suspenders.   We did a first look with her bridesmaids, dad, and her grandmother.  I know I always say it but I just love seeing everyone's joy and excitement as they saw Kelly as a stunning bride.  Their ceremony arch was 2 palm trees draped with florals.  They had custom sunglasses for everyone to wear with a little sign that said "don't be blinded by our love:-)".  When Matt saw Kelly at the end of the aisle his face was priceless.  It was a gorgeous evening and the guests headed to the 16th floor sky terrace for cocktails while had some fun on the beach and a fabulous sunset.   Their reception was decked out in coral and aqua beach chic style.  I love the little chocolate turtles and sea horses on the cake.  Toasts, dinner, and LOTS of dancing in this awesome party.  Congrats Kelly & Matt!!  xoxoxo
Venue | The Hyatt Clearwater Beach | Florist | Rose Garden Florist | Hair and Makeup | Salon Island Estates | Cake | Chantilly Cakes | Officiant | Weddings on a Whim | DJ | Grant Hemond | Shutter Booth | Shutter Booth Tampa Bay 

{Emily & Kalub @ The Sirata Beach Resort}

Emily & Kalub are from KY and moved to Tampa last summer which was perfect because Emily always wanted to have a beach wedding, and she did!  Their little 4 lb Yorkie, Sophie, (who Emily said runs the house:-) looked so adorable in a tiny little Yorkie wedding dress!  Emily gave her mom a bracelet with the word "Love" written in her grandmother's handwriting, literally one of the sweetest gift ever.  She gave her dad a handkerchief that said "Loved you yesterday loved you still. Always have, always will.  Today a bride, tomorrow a wife. You little girl for all of life." Her gown was the perfect flowy beach dress and so were her girls in blush and flower crowns.  Kalub and the guys were in tan linen suits, I love this look beach chic, and elegant but simple and so pretty!  Sophie walked down the aisle right before Emily was escorted by her dad so she and Kalub could become Mr. & Mrs. Wilkins.  Their reception was tropical themed with palm fronds, white florals, and cigars.  Such a fun group and so many beautiful moments! Congrats Emily & Kalub, hope you are enjoying St. Lucia!!! xoxo
Venue | The Sirata Beach Resort | Officiant | Michael DeArruda Weddings | Florist | Jennie's Flowers | DJ | Expert Productions | Cake | Publix | Hair and Makeup | Lasting Luxe | Videography | Viegas Photography | Wedding Gown Boutique | The White Closet | Stationary | Citrus Press Company 

Metropolitan Ministries Culinary Arts & Uplift U Graduation

Hope is Here.  It's so true!  That is honestly what they do in Tampa Bay and why I love Metromin and donating my time there whenever I can.  I had the opportunity to photograph the graduation from their Culinary Arts and Uplift U programs. Chef teared up as he talked about his students and celebrated each one as he called them up to be recognized.  They've got jobs in some of the premier restaurants in Tampa like Mise En Place and Ulele.  The Uplift U graduates have completed training that has landed them jobs and stable housing for themselves and their kids (all the kids are so freaking cute:-)!  At some point in life they found themselves in a position of homelessness with no one to turn to.  Metromin helped give them the resources needed to change their life and become self-sufficient. When Tim Marks, President and CEO was talking to them he said something like "this place isn't the best place, the best place is your own place" it's the same as home sweet home right?  Each of the Uplift U grads were recognized and I love that each of the kids got a medal as well.  At the end, they had a little surprise guest for the graduates.  WWE wrestler Titus O'Neil shared his story of how his mom was raped at 11 years old and he was born when she was only 12 years old.  His story is pretty amazing and he lives here in Tampa Bay and does a ton of work with charities helping kids go to college, after school programs, and United Way just to name a few.  This was definitely a very special event and so inspiring! 

{Alyssa & Michael @ The Postcard Inn}

Alyssa's gown was a gorgeous moscato 2 piece gown (seriously so in love with it) accented with Kendra Scott jewelry and beige heels.  Alyssa and Michael are from Cincinnati, and choose Postcard Inn because they wanted a super fun and laid back location for all their favorite people to celebrate with them!  After we arrived at PCI with the girls, Alyssa read a card from Michael and it was one of our favorite moments, she said "he went all Nicholas Sparks on me" lol!!  Their friend Alex officiated their wedding and we had just enough time for the ceremony and some bridal party on the beach before it started raining.  The lobby of PCI is very cool and perfect even if it isn't raining!  Everything coordinated with the pink, moscato, gray, and gold color palette.  Alyssa loves pineapples so you'll see them in white and gold throughout the reception in the tiki hut.  Micheal's cousin was his best man, and said they had always been more like brothers.  He told a story from when they were 8 years old and Michael bribed him with McDonalds chicken nuggets so he would keep a secret from his mom.   When it came time for cake, Michael may have gotten a little smashed in his face, just a little:-) That flower girl she's got some dance moves!  Before we knew it, it was time for sparklers on the beach!  Congrats Alyssa and Michael!! xoxoxxo
Venue | Postcard Inn | Event Planner | 2Birds Events | DJ | Grant Hemond | Cake | Publix | Hair & Makeup | Femme Akoi Beauty Studio | Gown | Bridal & Formal | Gown Designer | Watters | Tuxes | Men's Warehouse | Jewelry | Kendra Scott 

{Katrina & Joe @ Citrus Hills Golf and Country Club}

Katrina and her girls got ready at the house she grew up in!  She had so many pretty details that matched her navy and pink color palette!  Super cute navy pillows with pink flowers, custom wood hangers, and even white and navy towels in the bathroom so they matched:-)  Katrina got coffee mugs with everyone's initials, and even included an H for Haley and a C for me, thanks for including us Katrina!  Her adorable little niece, Isabella, was the flower girl.  She loved her little robe so much she wanted to wear it over her dress.  Their gifts to each other were wooden watches engraved with their own handwriting.  Joe also gave Katrina a gorgeous set of pearl earrings.  Right before the ceremony, they held hands around a door and read cards from each other and then it was time!  They officially became Mr. & Mrs. McNamara at St. Benedict's.  Little Isabella decided to take a nap towards the end as the family was processing out.  There were a few tiny sprinkles but that didn't stop us from getting photos by the big oak tree at Citrus Hills.  I love the ones of the 2 of them laughing I think it totally describes who they are and how happy they are together.  The reception was decorated with white, green, and pink florals and each place card was on a little navy flower.  Joe's parents were the last ones left on the dance floor during the generation dance, having been married the longest, 57 years in November.  Katrina's sister was her Matron of Honor and Joe's brother was his Best Man.  They both shared how excited they are for not only Katrina and Joe to be Mr. and Mrs. but also how happy they are to have each other's family now one big family.  Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. McNamara we had such an amazing time!!!!! 
Venue | Citrus Hills Golf and Country Club | Church | St. Benedict Catholic Church | Florist | Flower Time | DJ | TMC Productions | Cake | Queen of Cakes | Hair & Makeup | Mika Harris

Rooftop 220 Styled Shoot

There is a very cool new space that is part of Armature Works, located on the rooftop of the building adjacent to it.  I love doing styled shoots in brand new spots with concepts so people can envision their own wedding or event there.  It's so hard to see an empty space and imagine what it will look like all decked out.  This team below showed off what this space can do with 2 different looks and sizes of wedding.  Both were different, but in a similar style with greenery, metallics, gold, silver, and gray.  The first is the rooftop set for 150 guests with silver chivari's and I love the hanging globes with greenery wall and tall crystally florals.  Inside was set for dinner with that metallic theme, marble cake, and those linens are just awesome!  The 2nd setup was a ceremony for 50 people with black chairs outside.  The inside was set as a cocktail reception with a fabulous spread of deliciousness by Puff N Stuff in the center.  The details were all different, short centerpieces with huge crystals, totally different swirly linens and a combo of hightop and low square tables.  The custom wood and metal bar added the finishing touch to this space.  If you're looking for an amazing view and really unique brand new space for your wedding or event definitely check it out and this group of talented professionals that made it happen!  
Venue | Armature Works - Rooftop 220 | Coordination | Burlap to Lace | Florals & Decor | Concept Bait | Linens | BBJ Linens | Cake  | Elise's Pieces Designer Cakes | Bar | uDream Events | Cuisine & Chargers | Puff n Stuff | Chairs | US Tent 

Laila!

I've gotten to photograph so many important moments for Anum and Eihab, engagement session (one of my favs ever at IKEA:-), wedding, maternity session, and now they are officially a party of 3!  Little miss Laila is so cute and squishy she was very alert and didn't want to miss any of the action.  I love seeing our couples become families it's literally my favorite!  Stay tuned for Laila's 6 month and 1 year session!!!

Once Upon a Time @ Bakers Ranch

Once Upon a Time..... was the theme for this gorgeous styled shoot we got to be a part of at Bakers Ranch.  Their team wanted to show off all the elements of their brand new Simply Incredible all inclusive wedding collection they are now offering.  Everything about it is freaking gorgeous.  We did this shoot around dusk so you still get the natural light but also can see the chandelier and twinkle lights in the trees.  I LOVE the X table setup that is lined with greenery, candles, and gold flatware.  Um, yes, that is a floral tree behind the head table that was then transformed into the cake table.  The x back chairs, linens and long benches add in a earth toned element and the white draping and chandeliers add in the elegant feel.  I love using models who are real couples because it brings the relationship and authenticity to what we are doing.  Sebastian looked James Bond like in this Michael Kors ultra slim tux, and Josie looked stunning in this just released Martina Liana gown.  One of unique ideas they have for the couple exchanging letters or gifts is having the groom drop it down from the balcony room where they guys get ready.  All 3 outside ceremony spaces were covered in ferns, crystals, lights and greenery.  I could write so much but I'm just going to let you look for yourselves:-)  
Venue | Bakers Ranch | Lighting, Draping & Chandaliers | On the Move Productions | Florals | Events in Bloom | Gown & Tux Boutique | Something Blue Bridal | Gown Designer | Martina Liana | Tux | Michael Kors Ultra Slim | Greenery | A1 Foilage | Place Settings, Tables & Chairs | A Chair Affair | Linens | Linens by the Sea | Models | Josie and Sebastian Mark | Hair & Makeup |  Destiny & Light | Cake | The Cake Zone | Invitation | Invitation Galleria

{Lindsey & Christopher @ Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club}

Lindsey and Chris are from Pittsburg and their friends and family all traveled down to the beautiful Isla Del Sol for their wedding.  They had a fun and bright wedding style that totally matched their personalities. One of Lindsey's bridesmaids made all the girls foot jewelry to wear in the sand instead of shoes.  The beach was set with bamboo chairs and aqua, coral and white florals.  Their dog Charly was dressed in a little tux in perfect doggie ring bearer style.  We were so thankful the curtain of rain you see in the background stayed in the background and gave the prettiest cool tone to their photos with the sail boats in the background.  Their reception was decorated with submerged florals, aqua and coral accents and wine stopper favors in burlap that matched the guys tan suits.  Their dessert table had a small cake for them to cut and a tower made out of macaroons!  Their official last name as a couple is "Wild" so their wedding # was #wildwedding!  The dance floor was packed the entire night and this group has got some moves!  Congrats Lindsey and Chris thanks for having us!!!!  xoxoxo
Venue | Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club | Florist | Iza's Flowers | DJ | Fast Breaks Executive Entertainment | Hair and Makeup | Michele Renee The Studio | Cake | The Artistic Whisk 

{Stephen & Laura @ The Tampa Club}

I'm in love with the new trend of two piece gowns!  Laura had two different tops, one for the ceremony with lace that was ivory and one for photos at Tampa Club that was more champagne and a little sparkly.  Laura's BFF's Katie and Mark were here Maid of Honor and Man of Honor and literally made sure every detail was perfect the entire day.  Stephen's brother was his Best Man and his sister Lydia was his groomsmaid. We did a first look with Laura's side of the wedding party and their reaction was just priceless at how stunning she looked.  Father Zach at Sacred Heart married them in a gorgeous ceremony.  One of the things he said I thought was an awesome idea, was that on their anniversary they should re-read the readings that were read on this day and remember their wedding vows and how special this day was!  It was a perfectly cloudy day for lots of photos on the steps of the historic Le Meredien right next door.  There was even a little breeze (and help from Katie:-) to sweep up that chapel length veil.  I would call their wedding style "fancy and fun" with everyone in black with burgundy white and greenery in the flowers.  Add that the gold sparkly reception accents, wine cork place cards, and that cake and it's pretty fabulous!  Their wedding day was also one of the bridesmaid's daughter's birthdays so they did a little surprise cake for her. Laura's grandparents won the generation dance, having been married the longest, 60+ years.  When the DJ asked her grandma to share some marriage advice she said "say yes a lot"!!  They were literally the cutest couple ever!  Once the dance floor was open it was packed the entire time.  They had a few little surprises for their guests as well. Stephen loves popcorn so they had a late night snack and an entire spread of mini desserts.  As everyone was leaving there was a little coffee bean favor that said, "All you need is Love and Coffee"!  Laura and Stephen we could not be happier for you and that we got to be there for it all!!! xoxoxox
Venue | The Tampa Club | Church | Sacred Heart Catholic Church | Hotel | Hilton Downtown Tampa | Florist | Northside Florist | DJ | DJ by CJ | Cake | Hands on Sweets | Hair and Makeup | Collective Creations | Wedding Coordinator | Confetti Events 

Kim & Shane

St. Pete has so many fun art murals and this one was perfect for Kim and Shane's engagement session to go along with their wedding being in St. Pete.  This is pretty special because we've known Kim for a number of years now, as she is an event industry professional as well.  It's always so fun to photograph our friendor's best day ever:-)  2.10.18 is going to be fabulous!!!!