Katie and Zach met their senior year of high school at a scholarship weekend for Boston College. Katie’s older brother, Ben, hosted Zach during the five day program where Katie found herself spending every possible moment coming up with excuses to tag along. After an immediate connect the couple decided to make their relationship official before parting ways at the end of the event. Although they both were eager to go home and tell their loved ones their news, they knew that they were going to have a challenge due to the distance between them. Even though this hurdle could have made any other teenage couple break up, the couple decided to make the most of it by Katie flying to Boston to attend Zach’s prom and Zach meeting her ENTIRE family after only one month!
The couple continued to date all throughout college and eventually decided to tie the knot in Tampa to be closer to Katie’s parents’ home. Since guests were coming in from all across the country, Katie and Zach decided to throw a big party immediately following the rehearsal dinner the night before. This allowed the attendees an additional opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones!
Following the traditional theme of their wedding day, Katie and her bridesmaids decided to get ready at her parents’ house while Zach and his groomsmen got dressed at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. The two traveled separately to Sacred Heart Catholic Church where they chose to see each other for the first time during an hour long Catholic Ceremony at 11:00 AM. Similar to Katie’s parents’ wedding, Event Design dressed up the church pews with white satin bows and designed Katie’s bouquet completely out of gardenias (which is what her mother had as well!)
After exchanging vows, the couple shuttled guests from Sacred Heart Catholic Church to the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay for the cocktail hour. During this time Katie and Zach were able to take photographs with each other and their families. Although they ended up missing the majority of their cocktail hour, the couple had the opportunity to be alone together and reflect on the morning’s events.
After the all of the sentimental moments, Katie and Zach were ready to party! The reception took place in the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay’s ballroom. Upon entering the space, all 400 of the couple’s guests were blown away by centerpieces in varying heights as well as the one on the couple’s head/family table that was made of only white roses. Along with the custom made arrangements, the tables were finished off with Event Design’s lace overlays, gold chargers, table numbers, and chiavari chairs!
Immediately following their meal, the couple had their first dance on a cherry rose dance floor with a GOBO projection of their initials displayed across. Eventually the day became even livelier when the wedding party did the classic New Orleans Umbrella Dance and Katie was able to throw away her complimentary toss bouquet (because how could she give up her real one?!)
Floral, Chairs, Uplighting, & Decor: Event Design | Ceremony Venue: Sacred Heart Catholic Church | Reception Venue: Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay | Photography: Your Story By Us | Videography: Life’s Highlights | Makeup: Michele Renee The Studio | Cake: Hands On Sweets | Wedding Dress: Cici’s Bridal | DJ: Eric w/ Grant Hemmond and Associates