Think coastal, think sparkly, think utterly gorgeous.
That’s Amanda and David’s day. These two wanted a casual beach look and a formal black-tie feel so they mixed the two together, and you know what? It just works! When you’re contemplating a theme for your wedding you should never feel restricted by the ‘should’s or what’s perceived to be the done thing. Anything goes as long as it’s 100% you…
Amanda grew up in a small beach town and had always dreamed of a wedding on the seafront, but once she’d set her sights upon a statement wedding gown (and when I say ‘statement’ I mean a vision of sophisticated sparkle with a generous dose of modern frou frou) she took that dream, added in sequins and a ball gown, and turned a casual beach wedding into a super chic formal beach affair.
It’s all just so fabulous and full of shimmery, sparkly fun — there are golden flamingoes, a chuppah at sunset, sparkly Kate Spade KEDS, glittery tablecloths and a gourmet popcorn bar!
And if you’re looking for sparkly bridesmaid’s dress inspiration then Amanda’s choice of gown for her girls will definitely give you a touch of the green eyed monster…
On a different note, I must also mention that Amanda carried the most beautiful memory locket in her bouquet to honour her father who tragically passed away in 2013. This is the most touching and creative idea for carrying the memory of a loved one down the aisle — you must take a look.
Finally, don’t miss Amanda’s ‘How We Met’ story below. Her and David met online on JDate and she describes it all so wonderfully. Amanda and David are one of several JDate couples I’ve had the pleasure of featuring on the blog (I love hearing the myriad of different ways of how couples meet so I always ask them!)
How we met
David’s dad had first created his JDate account in hope that he would meet a nice Jewish girl. After comical dates on other dating sites, he gave JDate a shot and sent me a brief message. My mum was very convincing of the fact that I should try online dating, and even bought me a few books about the subject that she had pre-read, highlighted and sticky tabbed. I created a profile on JDate (while living in Alabama) since I was in the process of moving back to Florida and knew quite a few sorority sisters that met their husbands on the site.
Little did I know that I would be living less than a mile away from my future husband, and we didn’t even know it. On October 3, 2014 we met in person and had our first real date. A date that started as a quick lunch while my car was in the shop, turned into an all day adventure on the lake and lasting until dinner. After our lunch at Panera discussing our education and work history, we went out on a nearby lake on David’s jet-ski. When David was pulling the ski back on the trailer, I caught a glance of him in the rear-view mirror, at that moment I knew that I could see myself marrying David. I also believe in signs and how the universe communicates its message to you. When we were in David’s car I glanced at the Jeep dashboard and it said “Since 1941,” this struck me as such a coincidence- my dad was born in 1941 and had an antique car with the license plate “It’s a 41.” My dad had passed away in 2013 from a quick diagnosis of cancer. I knew this was his way of telling me, he’s something special. We instantly clicked and knew that this was the real deal. I called my mum early the next morning and told her “he’s perfect, I know I’m going to marry him.” Little did I know, David had called his parents and told them the same thing.
Our connection grew quickly and easily turning into love. JDate connected two people that were meant to be together when they otherwise never would have crossed paths. On February 15, 2015 David planned a brunch to gather our families together. After brunch on a clear blue sky day, David proposed with a gorgeous ring inside a box of chocolates. He even made sure my nails were painted that day, an important detail that he took note of.
A Florida wedding at Sandpearl Resort
We got married at the Sandpearl Resort. Being native Floridians, we knew that we wanted a beach venue but not necessarily in the sand. The Sandpearl has a beautiful green lawn steps from the sand so that our guests could keep their shoes on but still listen to the Gulf waters in the background.
The venue is also located directly across from David’s parents apartment, where he proposed on the balcony a year earlier.
Sandpearl Resort also provided all our catering and every morsel was truly phenomenal. The entire dinner course was so scrumptious, it just melted in your mouth.
A formal beach wedding
Our theme was a formal beach affair (black-tie optional). We wanted the focus of the wedding to be a celebration of our love for each other and Florida itself. Our wedding colours were chosen to reflect the colours of the evening sunset on the beach and natural elements found along the seashore; emerald, mint, coral and accents of gold.
Planning the wedding
I was a very hands-on bride and did most of the planning myself and with my mother-in-law and mum, but we did use a planner Artistry Designs Group in the months leading up to the event. She helped confirm the day of details and also helped conceptualize the vision for our ballroom reception and the floral decor.
When I began planning our Jewish wedding I searched for resources that would help guide me in this endeavour. Surprisingly there were not many resources that existed for Jewish brides. I was so happy to stumble upon Smashing The Glass and would get lost in the articles and real wedding features. Being a Jewish bride that converted to Judaism during my engagement, I knew I had a lot to learn and wanted to ensure that everything was done in the right manner.
I wanted the invitation design to set the tone for the wedding. Something classic and elegant that was more than just a tangible piece of paper. Calligraphed addresses by Calligraphia by Melissa added that extra special touch, rather than just mailing them out pre-labeled.
Hair + Make-up
I didn’t want to look too overdone or not like myself. My glam-squad from Michele Renee The Studio came out in full-force to beautify my family and bridal party. I chose to wear my hair half-up as up-do’s just aren’t a natural look for me. I wanted to feel beautiful with natural looking waves rather than fussing with bobby pins for the night. For makeup I added lashes and chose a bold lip.
A Hayley Paige ‘WOW’ wedding dress
My dress was from the most adorable wedding gown boutique in Tampa, Florida (The White Magnolia Bridal Collection Tampa) and the designer was Hayley Paige. After months of scrolling through Instagram and looking on Pinterest I had an idea of what I was looking for. I didn’t want anything “too bridal” or similar to any of my friends dresses, and I was looking for a wow factor.
I had saved the picture of “the dress” on my phone knowing that I wanted to at least try it on. Once I put on my dress, our casual beach wedding soon turned into a black-tie optional event. I did not want to take it off and I think my family realised it was “the one” as soon as I came out of the dressing room.
My custom veil was from Sara Gabriel and I chose it for it’s simplicity and complimentary rhinestone and pearl design that matched the detail of my dress. My earrings and veil were from The White Magnolia Bridal Collection Tampa as well.
Two pairs of sparkly Kate Spade Shoes
I’m a true beach girl that is more comfortable barefoot or in sandals than in heels. I searched for something with a bit of sparkle and found these amazing Kate Spade heels. They weren’t too high and were closed-toe pumps which was different than the usual scrappy or peep-toe heels that I had seen. On the wedding day, I made a quick decision to choose comfort over look and wore my reception shoes the entire day! My Kate Spade shimmery silver Keds hid perfectly under my dress and the best part, my feet weren’t killing me at the end of the night… and no one knew that I was wearing sneakers the entire night.
I had six bridesmaids ranging from best friends from high-school and college to my sorority sisters. They wore a long ivory Nordstrom dress with gold, silver and rose gold sequins, and a modest side slit . I loved the glamour that it added to our photos.
My sorority sister and friend, Lauryn helped create custom signs that were displayed throughout our wedding venue to welcome, direct and thank our guests. They were so creative and created with such thought and talent. One of my most memorable moments was revealing my wedding dress to my bridal party. It was one of the biggest secrets that I had to keep and I was so excited to see their faces when I came downstairs.
The handsome groom
David chose a black Ralph Lauren suit and at our first-look I was so overwhelmed with how handsome he looked. I gave David a gold engraved money clip that my mother had given to my father on their wedding day. It was something special that I could pass on to David and it made our first-look even more emotional.
We wanted simple yet elegant chuppah, and for the people in it to be the centre of attention. Our white draped chuppah glowed as the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico and was illuminated with soft amber lighting.
Our ceremony was held on a Saturday evening after the Sabbath. We waited for the stars to rise in the sky as our guests enjoyed a cocktail hour prior to our ceremony. During our Ketubah signing family and close friends gathered together to listen to blessings from our Rabbi and witness the signing of our marriage contract. We chose a laser-cut Ketubah that reflected a tropical theme from Ketubah.com. During our ceremony, our Rabbis David Weizman and Danielle Upbin who are husband and wife left everyone with chills as their captivating voices were so raw and filled with joy for our special occasion.
Of course not having my dad there to walk me down the aisle made the day more emotional and raw but I began my morning with a walk by myself along the beach and was able to feel at peace knowing that he was watching from above.
Music for the ceremony
For our ceremony we had a modern electric violinist that entertained our guests during our cocktail hour and then leading into our ceremony. For our processional we played instrumental versions: Over the Rainbow and All of Me and our recessional was Marry Me. For our first dance as husband and wife, we chose Bob Marley’s Is this Love.
My goal was to not have any roses or “traditional” flowers. I wanted a tropical feel with unique flowers. Pincushion proteas played a large role in the bouquet and were dyed coral to compliment our wedding colors. Monsterra leaves also added that tropical elegance that I was looking for. Lilies added a fragrant accent to fill the reception room as-well.
Our fabulous photographer…
About 12 years ago I met my wedding photographer, Donna Von Bruening, and had always joked that one day she would capture my wedding day. Donna was at the time the International President of my sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, and I was about to start my sophomore year of college. Throughout the years I followed her work and loved that her photography style was more journalistic than posed and staged. She captures the raw emotion and love of the day instead of recreating wedding photos over and over.
We did decide to have a videographer after much deliberation about whether it was a necessary addition to the day, I am so glad that we did! Rad Red Creative is a husband and wife team based in the Tampa area. I love that they are edgy and innovative with their work and use added elements like drone footage to highlight the venue location. The flow of their videos isn’t the “typical” wedding style but adds a fresh take at a film that you will want to watch multiple times.
A gold and white wedding cake
Our cake was designed by Chantilly Cakes who has a partnership with our resort. We chose different flavors for each of the four tiers and combined gold and white color elements for the cake. Pinterest helped inspire our design choice.
We chose a club style DJ that could play background music during dinner and start the party during the reception. We had a live saxophonist that came in after dinner to start the party and play along with the DJ. (Breezin’ Entertainment).
A mother and daughter first dance
My mum and I used to dance together around the house when I was a little girl. My parents always joked that I was born in the wrong century since I loved Oldies music. We had a mother and daughter first dance to I Can’t Help Myself This was such a fun and emotional moment for the both of us since my father passed away three years ago. We tried to keep the music up-beat rather than an emotional slow song.
A gourmet popcorn bar + custom cookie favours
Realising that most favours get left behind or thrown out (really – who wants a picture of a couple?), we decided to go with edible favours. We had a gourmet popcorn bar from iPop Gourmet Popcorn that was such a hit and custom cookie favours created by Alessi Bakery in the shape of the state of Florida with a heart over our venue location in complimenting colours.advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Advice to brides and grooms currently planning their wedding
Focus on your day and what is important to you. If something really stands out that you want to play a big role, express that to the vendor or your coordinator. Things may not go 100% all the time but be grateful for the love and support that surrounds you on your wedding day. For me, taking an hour of “me” time in a bubble bath on the wedding day allowed me time to rest and relax before the day escaped away. We also took time after the ceremony to enjoy a glass of champagne together privately and soak in the fact that we were married – I’m so happy that we did this and were able to have a few minutes together before greeting all of our guests.
Focus on your day and what is important to you. If something really stands out that you want to play a big role, express that to the vendor or your coordinator. Things may not go 100% all the time but be grateful for the love and support that surrounds you on your wedding day. For me, taking an hour of “me” time in a bubble bath on the wedding day allowed me time to rest and relax before the day escaped away. We also took time after the ceremony to enjoy a glass of champagne together privately and soak in the fact that we were married- I’m so happy that we did this and were able to have a few minutes together before greeting all of our guests.
Amanda & David’s little white book
Photographer — Donna Von Bruening
Videographer – Rad Red Creative
Wedding Coordinator, Florals & Decor — Artistry Designs Group
Venue + Catering — Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach
Bride’s Dress + Jewellery — Hayley Paige from The White Magnolia Bridal Collection Tampa
Bride’s Shoes – Kate Spade
Bride’s Veil – Sara Gabriel
Groom’s Attire — Ralph Lauren
Bridesmaids — Nordstrom
Hair and Makeup – Michele Renee The Studio
DJ, Violinist & Saxophonist – Breezin’ Entertainment
Outdoor Lighting – Nature Coast Entertainment Services
Cake – Chantilly Cakes
Invitations – Inviting Business
Calligraphy – Calligraphia by Melissa
Rentals – Photo Booth & Heart Light – Boone’s Professional Events
Sparkly Table Numbers – Rented from Glitz Events
Popcorn Bar – iPop Gourmet Popcorn
Cookie Favours – Alessi Bakery
Mazel Pouch – Jennifer Raichman
Ketubah – Ketubah.com
Officiant — Rabbis David Weizman and Danielle Upbin, Congregation Beth Shalom