Kara and Brian

Clearwater, Florida

 

 

Photography | Lifelong Photography Studio | @lifelongphotographystudio

Venue | Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort

Event Planner | Confetti Events | @confettieventstampa

Floral Designer | Iza’s Flowers | @izasflowers

Gown Salon | Kathryn’s Bridal | @kathrynsbridal

Men’s Attire | Black Tie Formalwear | @blacktietuxes

Hair and Makeup | Lasting Luxe | @lastingluxe

Cake Designer | Chantilly Cakes

Ring Designer | Shane Co | @shanecompany

Brian and Kara’s story began in April 2014 when they randomly met while out during Cubs opening weekend in Wrigleyville. The icebreaker was a comment from Brian on Kara’s Yankees shirt. From that moment, the rest, as they say, is history. A couple weeks later they went on their first official date. After many travels, sporting events and concerts, Brian asked Kara to marry him on Christmas night, 2017. To celebrate the engagement, Brian booked a surprise trip to Nashville, Kara’s favorite place.

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette?

I (bride) am originally from Tampa, FL. I moved to Chicago, IL almost 14 years ago which is where I ended up meeting my husband. Chicago winters can be pretty brutal, so we both knew as soon as we got engaged that we wanted to be somewhere warm and beautiful. It just happened to work out that I was from Florida and the majority of my family still lives there. That is how we decided to have a beach wedding, to escape the cold. It was a destination wedding for the majority of the guests. The theme of our wedding was simple and elegant with a touch of rustic. I knew before we got engaged that I wanted our colors to be navy blue and blush pink.

 

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

I wanted simple and elegant floral decor with a touch of wooden rustic, greenery, and rose gold. The rustic theme showcased through the welcome sign, picture frames, place card holders, cake box, card box, cocktail signs, and table numbers. Our “naked” cake also had a rustic look to it. The rose gold theme showcased through the lettering of our signs within the wooden picture frames, guestbook, place cards, cake cutters, and bridesmaids shoes. The greenery showcased through our florals. The uplighting in the reception space was pink throughout to match the color theme.All of the wooden decor throughout the wedding besides our picture frames were DIY by my father and my uncle. My uncle owns a family sign shop, Keller Sign Inc. They spent three full weekends building each wooden piece of decor, and my uncle lettered everything himself.

 

What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

The main florals throughout the wedding consisted of white and blush pink hydrangeas, roses, and silver dollar greenery. We had two beautiful ceremony arch arrangements, beautiful greenery with floral on top of our welcome sign, which was all repurposed throughout our reception space. The florals played an essential part in the overall style of our wedding.

 

Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

Our personal touch to our wedding was our DJ. Brian and I both love to have a good time, and dance and our DJ exceeded our expectations. People continue to talk about the amazing dance party we had and how much fun our entire wedding weekend was. Another personal touch was our wedding koozie favors. Anyone who knows us knows that we always have a koozie around our drink when we are out. We also had sea salt taffy as one of our favors to bring out my Florida roots.

 

Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

I wanted a lace wedding dress with a unique back. My dress was lace and fit and flared with a sheer beaded back. I would say that my dress chose me. I wanted to incorporate our navy wedding colors somehow with my dress, so I decided to go with navy blue wedding shoes with jewels on the ankle straps. I did my best to match my hair piece with the shoe ankle straps. Because my dress had some pearl beading as well, I decided to go with simple pearl drop earrings and a pearl bracelet. As for Brian, he wore a navy suit with brown dress shoes and a white tie to match my dress. The bridesmaids all wore different long navy dresses with rose gold flats while the groomsmen wore the same navy suit and brown shoes as Brian with blush pink ties.

 

How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

Our story began in April 2014 when we randomly met while out during Cubs opening weekend in Wrigleyville. The icebreaker was a comment from Brian on my Yankees shirt. From that moment, the rest, as they say, is history. A couple of weeks later we went on our first official date. After many travel, sporting events, and concerts, Brian asked me to marry him on Christmas night, 2017. To celebrate the engagement, Brian booked a surprise trip to Nashville for the very next morning, my favorite place.

 

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

The most special moment of our wedding day was having all of our family and friends together in one place to help celebrate our special day with us.

 

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

Etsy will be your best friend. Spread out your purchases from the beginning, so you are not stuck paying massive amounts of money all at once when it comes to your decor. And, enjoy every moment of your engagement!