Daniel and Kimberly’s Botanical Garden Elopement at Sunken Gardens

March 13, 2023

Imagine eloping in a dreamy garden oasis filled with lush tropical gardens, a few waterfalls and a flock of pink flamingos as your witnesses. Daniel and Kimberly did exactly that when they chose to start their new chapter at Sunken Gardens in St. Pete. Take a peek at their elopement experience below!

elope tampa bay


Daniel perfectly surprised Kimberly with proposing mid-morning on a Tuesday before their three year anniversary. She had a feeling it might be coming, and kept reiterating to not propose in front of people; that she wanted something special without others watching. The night before, Daniel fake proposed while watching the sunset over the lakes in downtown Clermont using a broken keyring as a placeholder. Kimberly responded that she would keep that on her finger until he actually popped the question. Little did she know what was in store for her the next day when working from home. Daniel rang the doorbell, setting off their dogs, and Kimberly opened the door expecting to tell a salesman she wasn’t interested in buying solar panels. Instead, she found Daniel with a bouquet of roses, and when she pulled the flowers away from her face, she found him down on one knee asking for her to spend the rest of her life with him. An immediate “yes” came out of her mouth and she began to cry from happiness. 


Both Kimberly and Daniel wanted to have a more intimate ceremony with only immediate family members. Having a smaller wedding allowed them to explore outside of Central Florida, and they stumbled across Elope Tampa Bay’s website and Sunken Gardens. The pictures were gorgeous, and the location meant that they would be able to have some delicious seafood options for a reception. After seeing the venue online, they drove over to St. Petersburg the next morning to view Sunken Gardens in person, and realized within 5 minutes this is where they were getting married. The beautiful flowers, the flamingos, and the large open area of the wedding lawn just felt like the perfect match for them. Both were involved heavily in decision making, truly encompassing a joint vision for their wedding day.


Elope Tampa Bay made the process so streamlined and easy! Being very much a “Type A” personality, Kimberly couldn’t believe how stress-free a 2.5 month long engagement with wedding planning could be. Not only were the wedding coordinators (shout out to Catie) friendly and quick to respond, the questionnaires were designed to anticipate any and everything. When questions did arise, ETB had solutions, and were flexible in accommodating any requests that the couple had.


Kimberly’s wedding dress came from Lily’s Bridal in Orlando. It was a mermaid-cut with lace floral patterns that perfectly tied into the Sunken Gardens venue. She wore flats from Greece that also had a floral design, and made it much easier to walk down the aisle. To add some drama, she opted for a cathedral length veil, and a floral blinged hairpiece, which really made her feel like a bride.

Daniel’s tux was all black, with a design on the vest that was subtle yet had a vine-like look to it. He wore a bowtie and went for the classic look of black and white to offset him from the burgundy that was worn by the wedding party. Daniel thought Kimberly looked stunning, and Kimberly thought that Daniel could rival a movie star or secret agent in his tux.


The whole day was a perfect dream come true! One of the couple’s favorite part of the day without a doubt was spraying the champagne. When Mariah asked if they wanted a normal toast or to spray the bottle, they looked at each other and said “let’s do it!” Daniel loved shaking the bottle and dousing the field, and the video and pictures of it are some of their favorites. Sunken Gardens also had so many different locations to take photos in – getting the flamingos in the background with the couple made Kimberly smile from ear to ear.


The time leading up to your wedding shouldn’t be stressful; you should enjoy the process and stay excited for this new beginning! The pressure put on brides from social media and the wedding industry needn’t be a concern, especially if you use a company like ETB. 

Love every moment of your engagement, and make that walk down to your person on one of the best days of your life. Never forget the love you have for each other, continue to date your spouse, and build your lives together as a unit ready to conquer the world.


Officiant: Pastor Brian Jones

Photographer: Mariah Lacy Photo

Videographer: Imagery Wedding Films

Venue: Sunken Gardens

Floral: Wonderland Florist

Pastry Chef/Cake: Sweet Divas

Dress: Lily’s Bridal

H&M: Creative Touches Hair & Makeup


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