Taylor and Jonathan | The Rusty Pelican | Florida Wedding Photographer

Taylor and Jonathan | The Rusty Pelican | Florida Wedding Photographer

Chris and I had so much fun working with Taylor (great name by the way!) and Jonathan on their wedding day.  They had chosen The Rustic Pelican right here in scenic Tampa for their special day.  Taylor explained she had really wanted a wedding with garden inspiration imaging their vows taking place outside with a gazebo (Mother Nature changed those plans just a bit with the rain).  Both knew they wanted to be by the water, but didn’t really like the vibe of the traditional beach wedding.  The Rusty Pelican was perfect, as the venue is located right on the bay featuring beautiful waterfront views and an all-inclusive space so the inside could be kind of whimsical and fun. The rain didn’t put a damper AT ALL on this couple’s special day!

The couple had so many special personal touches woven in throughout their day.  All of the wood elements were created by the couple, which added to the a rustic whimsy to the day. They made the table numbers, a beautiful guestbook sign, DIY candle holders,  and even the round bark our cake was sitting on.  Jonathan remarked he loved looking around during the day and remembering the time they had spent making the pieces for their day.  

Remembering Taylor and Jonathan's Perfect Day

Taylor explained she had a few different styles of dress in mind before shopping and made three bridal salon appointments. At my first appointment, I showed my attendant a few ideas I had. She put one dress that was similar to a picture I showed her, although not my favorite of the three. After selecting around 8 dresses to try on, she saved the ones closest to the pictures for last. I ended up falling in love with the second to last one (the one that originally wasn’t my very favorite of the pictures) and purchased it that morning. We had to cancel my other appointments. I was so in love with my dress and want to wear it again and again!

Thank you to this amazing team who brought the day together!
PHOTO: Highlight Studios | VIDEO: Sara Hartle | WEDDING PLANNER: Day of Team at the Rusty Pelican | HAIR: Jessica Felicio | MAKEUP: Artistry by Arielle | WEDDING DRESS: The White Magnolia Tampa - Dress by WToo by Watters | VENUE: The Rusty Pelican | CATERER: The Rusty Pelican | CAKE: Katie Bacher | FLORIST: Bloomingdays | DJ: Frank Lebano & Co

Taylor: The morning of the wedding was exciting. I woke up too early, earlier than my alarm, obviously. The morning went very smooth and my bridesmaids and moms just had fun hanging out. Things started getting pretty busy and a little emotional the later the afternoon got and the more stressed for time we got. I enjoyed every moment hanging out with the bridesmaids but was very excited to finally see Jonathan at the altar.

Arielle Marlow with Artistry by Arielle was just a gem to work with and made myself and all of my bridesmaids (and the moms) feel so comfortable. Not to mention beautiful!

Jonathan: It didn’t seem like my wedding day. It was a weird feeling. I had my groomsmen meet me for brunch. We then got ready and hung out. Luckily, we had to hotel rooms connected, so it was a lot of fun. We were cracking up taking pictures together as a group. Of course, we had a few drinks, shared some laughs and then headed to the venue. It seemed like just another day until I saw the room full of people to watch Taylor and I say I do.

Taylor: When Jonathan and I met for our first touch, a lot of the stress of the morning melted away and we had a lot of fun during it.

Taylor: I really got teary-eyed when I started to walk down the aisle toward Jonathan, with Pachabel’s Canon playing in the background.  I was so excited!  I couldn’t wait to stand at the end with him!  when I was reading my vows to Jonathan. I loved our ceremony, as Jonathan and I worked together to write it.

Jonathan: Taylor’s vows were so emotional and heartwarming.  But I got a standing ovation when I read mine!

Jonathan: I didn’t cry all day, except when I did my dance with my mother.

The reception turned outrageously fun with these two as they partied and danced with all of their family and friends surrounding them.  The couple gave a special shout-out DJ Frank Labano for his talent in playing some very specific music and tracks to place throughout the whole event and keeping the party amazing the entire night!

Jonathan:  Smothering cake up my brides nose and then trying to catch a piece in my mouth had to be some of my funniest memories from the night. I don’t think I stopped laughing!

When and how did you get engaged?

Taylor: We met on March 24, 2010 as random dates for my sorority's grab-a-date function. I honestly thought Jonathan was a little weird at first, but he reached out to say thank you for taking him to the event. From there we talked a little here and there, and then all summer long until school started again in the fall, when we started dating.

Taylor explained one night six years later as she arrived home from a work trip, she drove up to the house and found a note on the outside of the door that read,  "Tomorrow will be six years since we met. Let's take a trip back in time, but you can leave your bags in the car for this one."

Taylor: At first I thought,  "Wow, I should have thought of something cute for the anniversary of the date we met." I walked into the house and saw rose petals and tea lights lining the floor with images and poem snippets from each year we dated. Around year three, I started to think something was up, but then also kept thinking,  "No, that's not what this is."

When I finally got to year six, I opened the door to find Jonathan standing there with more rose petals and tea lights. He read another poem he had written for that evening, (silly, as always) that ended with him getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him.

What’s next for you as a couple?

After our wedding, we waited to leave for our honeymoon so we could wind down and spend time with family and visit with those who traveled to celebrate with us.

Our honeymoon was in Saint Lucia; it was so beautiful and relaxing!

We made a lot of big changes at once this year between getting married, our honeymoon, relocating to Denver, CO, and starting new jobs! Whew!  Next up on our adventure list is visiting Barcelona in September :)

We are really looking forward to starting our family together. For most of our relationship, Jonathan traveled a lot for work, but now his job doesn’t require as much travel, so this will be a great opportunity for us to spend more quality time together, travel, and just enjoy being married!

Any advice you would share with couples as their wedding day approaches?

Taylor: Have fun! Don’t let the small things stress you out, because you won’t notice them during all the fun and exciting emotions you have during the whole day/night. Just enjoy your time, because it truly will fly by.

Jonathan: Don’t get drink too much the night before, put your personality into the wedding and invite fun friends.

And some special love for Highlight Studios from Taylor and Jonathan:  We LOVED that Highlight Studios visited the hotel and ceremony/reception site a few days before the wedding to scope it out and get a good feel of the location and general places to photograph. You and Christopher made everyone feel so comfortable, like we’ve all known each other forever!

Aww!  We feel the same way about you both!  We were excited to share your wedding with you, and wish you so much happiness on your new life togehter as husband and wife!