Real Wedding | Michelle and Chris

This week’s wedding is a lovely orchid filled summer wedding with sweet details. I love the bride’s simple monogramed necklace, it is the perfect accessory. Also, this is the second wedding I’ve seen where the couple rented a beautiful home for the venue. I see this being a great trend, especially for those looking for a unique space and more flexibility.

The bride Michelle shares the details:

Chris and I are very relaxed and low key and really wanted the wedding to be about Family. I am from California and he is from Florida so we wanted everyone to come together in a place that we could enjoy the celebration together. That is how we came up with the idea to rent a house and have the wedding on site. That way all of our family were able to stay at the house instead of rushing around from nail salon to makeup to ceremony then to  reception etc. It was amazing, exactly what we wanted. The house that we rented we found doing a simple search on Google for rental properties. We ended up renting a 7 bedroom Villa on Lake Keystone in Odessa Florida for a VERY reasonable rate. This allowed us to have the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and lodging all at one place! Another great money saving tip is that if you rent a house than there are no restrictions on alcohol. Vendors tend to mark up heavily for open bar and champagne toast, we avoided all of this by buying a keg and stocking a bar with wine and liquor and food for the entire weekend from wholesale sources.

Chris and I just could not decide on a color for the wedding so we went out on a limb and choose them all, giving the wedding a nick-name of  “rainbow wedding”. Although we got a lot of funny looks and questions from rental companies, caterers, friends and some less adventurous photographers, we think it turns out great and very us. The ladies dresses were black with no specifications besides that they either found it in their closet or needed it in their closet. Groomsmen wore multicolored vest and bow ties to match while the ladies had a handcrafted silver and copper enameled necklace with their initial (made by me). Chris designed the engagement ring an the wedding bands we designed together and I hand fabricated. The engagement ring was made by a small jeweler here in Tampa. 

The ceremony was simple and personal with my father as the officiant, nieces as flower girls and personal vows. This was the most memorable part of the day for both of us. I recommend couples to spend time planning  the ceremony so that if everything else is a blur at least they remember the details of the moment they say “I do” 

Tables were color coated with a centerpiece of live orchids (we are growers and could not bear the thought of cut flowers) and handmade illuminated photo centerpieces. Each group of frames were pictures of the people at the table. In addition we printed up a food and guest menu on the back of the postcard wedding invitations. The guest menu included a personal message to each guest about our relationship with them. The wine glasses at each table were personally selected by Chris and I at local thrift stores. We figured it would be fun and quirky, like us and that we could spend the money at a local consignment store that donates money to charity instead of pay the same price to rent the glasses. The great thing is we took them right back for resale to the consignment stores after the wedding. An awesome way to reuse and recycle! 

Music was done by a friend and guests had a great time picking from the play lists as the night went on. Cake was from Publix- key lime pie tarts and a 1/2 sheet cakes. I would highly recommend checking out local groceries for cakes, you can save A LOT of money and get the same, if not a better product. Our food was buffet style and Caribbean style. We hired servers and a bartender and we were VERY happy with the taste of the food as well as the service. We had those caterers working form the second they set foot on the property until the very last dish was clean and they did a fantastic job! Very professional, very personal and very delicious- you cant go wrong!

Another piece of advice is to spend some time looking at photographers that may not have a really big name or a really big portfolio that also comes with a big price tag! We choose Jenny based on a mutual friends recommendation and i would have paid 3X the price for the job she did! You can find talent if you spend some time looking and making sure it is a good match. 

Photography | JenLynn Photography

Venue | Villa Del Lago

Rentals | Coast to Coast

Caterer | Catering by Saffron

Cake | Publix

Jewelry | King Jewelry and Lorrie Mason Metal Designs (the bride)