Bari and Jimmy tied the knot in a unique interfaith outdoor museum #wedding and celebrated their marriage in a lively reception at the Ybor City Museum Garden in Tampa.
Bride’s Name: Bari
Groom’s Name: Jimmy
Venue: Ybor City Museum Garden
Wedding Date: February 4, 2017
Bridal Gown Designer: Theia; purchased from Your Dream Bridal in Massachusetts
Florist: 2Birds Events
Photographer: Finny Hill Photography
Videographer: Brandon Kari Productions
Cake: Mini Doughnut Factory
Wedding Coordinator: Coral & Vine Event Design
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Adrianna Papell, Aidan Mattox, J Kara, & Alex Evenings
Honeymoon: We’ll be traveling to Portugal and Spain in December 2017…couldn’t go right after the wedding because of tax season, and we wanted something else to look forward to once the wedding fun was over!
My husband and I got married at a little known Tampa venue this past February. In our opinion, The Ybor City Museum Garden is underutilized and underrated, which is a shame because it’s quite literally picture perfect, versatile, affordable, and a coveted, historic state landmark. Ybor City was founded in the 1880s and was populated by thousands of immigrants, mainly from Cuba, Spain, and Italy. It’s been known as an extremely unique and successful city since its inception and is probably best known for the hundreds of millions of cigars that were rolled annually in the factories. Downtown Tampa and its surrounding historic neighborhoods, like Ybor, have been successfully revived over some time, and we hang out there pretty often these days. There are breweries, pirate-themed bars, authentic deviled crab, the BEST paella around, live music, drag queens, cigars…what more could you want?
Prior to getting engaged, we basically became professional wedding guests, attending 13 together in three years…so when we finally got engaged, we were more than ready for it to be our turn. When we started planning, we were having trouble finding local venues to accommodate our needs (interfaith wedding with close to 300 people invited) that weren’t completely overdone or ridiculously expensive, so when we came across a wedding at the Garden one night after dinner (right under our noses—about 10 minutes from our house) we were very surprised and very hopeful. We made a phone call, had a site visit, and booked it within one weekend; it was one of the best decisions made regarding our wedding.
My husband and I are each one of four siblings (I’m a twin, at that), and we’re both passionate, loud, and fun-loving (dubbed the lives of the party by our friends and family), so it wasn’t a surprise to anyone in our closest circles that we wanted a wedding that was big, FUN, and DIFFERENT than anything we’d experienced before. The Ybor City Museum Garden was equal parts unique, romantic, and practical, essentially enabling us to create that exact vibe. The majority of the elements of our wedding were that of a classic garden affair, but it was dotted with eclectic and quirky details, industrial cityscapes, and a WILD dance party at the reception. We just wanted to put our own twist on the classic ideas we loved.
What were your favorite or most memorable aspects of your wedding day?
My favorite aspects of our wedding include the caricature artists we hired instead of a photo booth or related takeaway…our guests absolutely loved it; including our dogs in our first look with the help of a special pet photographer (portion of proceeds benefited local animal rescues); the linen used to cover the top of our Chuppah…it was my maternal grandmother’s; the Rabbi…because she’s my cousin :); trading wedding cake for mini doughnuts…Jimmy & I built the doughnut wall we used to display them; the 12-piece band we splurged on…who played light jazz during the cocktail hour and Fetty Wap during the reception; going full romantic glam for my bridal look but changing into ASOS high top sneakers after the ceremony; dedicating my bouquet to my mom instead of throwing it, since I’m the last of the four sisters to get hitched; and finally, the surprise Star Wars themed sendoff I planned for my self-proclaimed nerdy husband, complete with a visit from Yoda himself.
Do you have any advice for future brides?
As far as advice to brides planning their own weddings, I’d say DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF (which I wish I would have done less of), go with your gut instincts, and don’t do things just to please other people like in-laws, other vendors, etc. For those having big weddings, I highly recommend having a welcome party after the rehearsal dinner the night before (where all guests are invited—you don’t have to pay for anything, and there doesn’t need to be a host…you can just tell them where you’ll be hanging out after) in order to get some of the schmoozing out of the way so you are able to ENJOY more of your actual wedding reception and spend less time doing the formalities of going table to table. I also recommend you pick a few nights per week to NOT do anything wedding-planning related to take some mental breaks as you go through the process. ?
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