Palm trees, a puppy and the glowing Florida sunset made Stephanie and David’s elopement an evening to remember. The waterfront gazebo at Isla Del Sol served as a perfect backdrop for this tropical themed elopement featuring a bold color palette and the cutest sweet treats for every guest.
The real star of the reception though was Serena, Stephanie and David’s pup, that joined them during their first dance. We asked these two lovebirds to share more about their elopement details and advice for other couples planning their big day.
Keep scrolling to see their answers and stunning portraits by Jessica Cruz Photography!
WHAT WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING?
Perfect! It was intimate, tropical and full of love.
One of the first places David and I traveled to together was House on the Rock in Spring Green, WI. Therefore, it was special to us. In April 2021, David proposed in front of the giant, dazzling carousel inside House on the Rock.
The vision for the wedding was beachy, intimate and destination. We knew we only wanted about 25 guests, so our closest family and friends. We envisioned a waterfront ceremony and a fun celebration afterwards. No formal reception, more like a beach bar celebration. We wanted the ceremony to be tropical with a touch of glam.
THE PLANNING PROCESS:
At first, I tried planning the wedding myself. I started researching venues and vendors, but the process was time consuming and overwhelming. I had contacted multiple venues and only got a couple responses. Even though the venues advertised that they host micro-weddings/elopements, they didn’t seem to care about proactively responding to us. We assumed it was because we wanted a small wedding ceremony, so they viewed our wedding as not worth their time. Honestly, it was kinda heartbreaking. At that point, I began researching wedding planners that specialized in miro-weddings/elopements. That is when I came across Elope Tampa Bay. After scouring online reviews, your blogs and Instagram feed, I felt hopeful that Elope Tampa Bay was the perfect partner to help us. I reached out and received a prompt and friendly response. We were encouraged and felt like someone was actually listening and truly cared about helping us make our dream wedding a reality. From this point, the planning process was a total breeze. We even wanted to plan a lunch for our guests the day before our wedding at a local restaurant and Elope Tampa Bay provided awesome recommendations. (We ended up choosing Red Mesa Cantina for the lunch the day before the wedding. Food was delicious and the terrace area we reserved was so beautiful. Our guests loved it!)
YOUR OUTFITS AND ACCESSORIES:
Wedding dress was from The Crystal Bride in Geneva, IL. I fell in love with the sparkle and fit of the dress. I knew it was the one because it made me cry! The groom’s suit was from Bell’s Clothing Store in Ottawa, IL.
Our first dance, which included our dog, Serena. Also, exchanging our personal vows. Such a meaningful moment to us.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES:
Don’t feel like you have to plan this all alone! Ask for help so you can enjoy the wedding planning process. We absolutely recommend getting a wedding planner. We felt like we were able to focus on enjoying every moment of our engagement while all the details of our dream wedding were handled by the professionals. We can’t thank Elope Tampa Bay enough for the help and for genuinely caring about us. We’re so grateful that we were able to enjoy every moment leading up to our wedding without stress.
Officiant: Bonnie Sanchez, IG: @weddingsbybonnie
Photographer: Jessica Cruz, IG: @jessicacphotography
Coordinator & Permit: Catie and Jacinta w/ Elope Tampa Bay, IG: @elopetampabay
Venue: Isla del Sol Yacht & Country Club, IG: @isladelsolycc
Floral: Wonderland Florist, IG: @wonderlandfloralart
Pastry Chef/Cake: Sweet Divas, IG: @sweet.divas.cakery
Hair & Makeup: Femme Akoi, IG: @femmeakoi