Mattie and Chris | A Tropical Beach Wedding on the Yacht Starship in Clearwater, Florida

A sandy beach. A gorgeous sunset. A luxurious yacht. Heart-melting vows. This romantic tropical wedding had it all. Mattie and Chris are the sweetest couple, and I loved capturing every magical moment for them.

Here’s their story

Me: How did you meet? 

Mattie: Chris and I met out one night in a town near St. Louis at a little hole-in-the-wall bar called Stan’s. We were both out with our siblings. He was out with his brother and I with my sister. Neither of us had planned on going to this particular bar at the beginning of the night, we just somehow ended up there. I was sitting on one side of the bar and he at the other. As I turned on my stool to talk to a friend, we locked eyes for half a second. And about 30 seconds later, I felt someone standing behind me. Lucky for me, it just happened to be my future husband. 

I had just signed my first travel nursing contract to Kansas City, MO and was going to be leaving for 3 months, but we exchanged numbers anyway. The moment he walked out the door I knew I had to talk to him again.

We started our relationship before I left for Kansas City, and it grew while I was there. We both knew pretty quickly that this was the real deal. 3 years and some change later, we TOGETHER embarked on the same adventure I had set out to do when I first met him. Tons of trips, thousands of moments and millions of laughs later, Chris Proposed to me on a sunset cruise in Hawaii. The moment was indescribable, and although I know it is just one of many, it was the greatest night of my life.

Me: Tell us about the proposal. 

Mattie: Chris and I got engaged in Oahu, Hawaii! We were there for a little more than a week visiting our friend who had recently moved there. There day started with hiking at Diamond Head, followed by beach time at Waikiki. We then had planned to go on a sunset cruise along Waikiki beach. Chris and his friend had somehow spoken to the captain and told them what Chris was planning to do. We cruised along the gorgeous Hawaii coastline for a half an hour or so, and then the boat went idle for a "photo-op" with Diamond Head in the background. Chris grabbed me for a picture and we walked to the back of the boat where he popped the question. 

Me: What's next on your calendar as a couple?

Mattie: Well, I am a traveling nurse, and I just finished my last three weeks of my contract here at home in St. Louis, MO. We are now prepping to go to my next assignment which is in Oahu, Hawaii! We will be there until at least December!

We are SO excited to go back to one of our favorite places ever which is 1.) Because we got engaged there, but 2.) because it is just so stunningly beautiful, we love the island vibe and are ready to live that lifestyle for a while and calm down after all the wedding chaos, and just the chaos that comes from moving or living different places throughout the year!

After Hawaii, we don’t really know what is in store for us, we are just kind of living in the moment and soaking in all the beauty that life has to offer right now!

Me: What was your wedding inspiration?

Mattie: My wedding day inspiration was most definitely tropical, partly because it was hosted in Florida, but also because of where we got engaged. I also wanted to keep decor simple because of the amazing venue and natural scenic backdrop.

Me: How did you choose your venue? 

Mattie: We really wanted our wedding venue to be different. We wanted something that would be unforgettable for our guests – and for us – and something that would be worth traveling for. We thought it poetic to get married on a boat since we were engaged on a boat. 

Me: Did any of your vendors go above and beyond for you? Tell us how!

Mattie: It is amazing how incredible our vendors were! ALL of them went above and beyond, and I feel so lucky because I picked them all from far away, with only phone and email communication!

First the venue itself at the Yacht Starship. INCREDIBLE!

Next, YOU GUYS! The photography and videography team were amazing! Taylor and Chris from the moment we spoke with you guys we knew we had made the BEST decision for our wedding day in putting photography and videography in your hands. We had the most fun with the team the day of, and the photos are AMAZING and came back so unbelievably fast! It was such an incredible joy and so much fun working with the team the day of, it felt like you all we just apart of the family.

Florist Fire! Hollllllyyy cow! They took the tons of photos and requests I sent them and turned them into the most perfect bouquets. I did NOT want to put my flowers down at all that day. They were 1000% everything I had imagine for the day and more. Plus, the tropical leaf garland that they made for the mast was AMAZING and so PERFECT!

The cake from Publixwas the best cake I have ever eaten: yellow cake with raspberry filling and buttercream icing. I could seriously eat it every day. 

Me: What were some of your favorite moments from your wedding day?

Mattie: A moment when my dad and I were standing there listening to the bridal party processional song, one of my favorites "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. The song is so beautiful and perfect for the setting, and my dad and I stood there in silence, looking out at the panoramic view with the evening sun over the calm waters surrounding us, the greenery, the sound of nature and the sky line in the background, I just stood there holding his hand, taking in the moment and what was around me. I couldn’t believe that this was my wedding, my day... it was too perfect in that moment. 

And of course, exchanging our vows! Our vows were such a special and most definitely a favorite moment for me. We decided to write out own vows, and as nervous as I was to do this, I knew that it would make our wedding ceremony just that much more special to us. 

Me: Describe a moment that made you laugh.

Mattie: Cutting the cake made me laugh, and the pictures are the best. I have SUCH big eyes because I did nottrust that he wasn’t going to smash my face with cake. I don’t think either one of us trusted the other – haha – but somehow we both ended up walking away clean!

Me: Funniest memory of the night?

Mattie: After we got off the yacht, a lot of the family wanted to go out, so we piled into cars and Ubers to drive down the block to a fun after party location. The car I was in was out of room, and everyone had left, so Chris volunteered himself to go into the trunk!! Imagine my mom’s reaction when they pulled in behind us, and the groom jumps out of the trunk.

Me: What are you most looking forward to as a married couple?

Mattie: I am just looking forward to having my best friend by my side to take on life with every day and to grow old with. We have such a lust for life, and I feel like together we are unstoppable.

Me: What advice would you give to future brides for their wedding day?

Mattie: Make it what you want. Don’t worry so much about what you are "supposed to do" or "tradition" and make the day exactly what you want it to be. Make sure you stop and take in the moments! It is such a long day, but it is your day! 

Andrea SurakComment