January 18, 2022
Carlina and Michael’s Don Cesar wedding in December was a fantastic way to end our wedding season.
Carlina and Michael first reached out to me to book our venue consulting service to guide them in finding the perfect wedding venue for their vision. They ultimately increased their package to full planning, and I am so happy they did. It was incredibly fun working with the two of them —they really trusted me to run with the design for the entire wedding in addition to managing their big day.
With family coming in from Chicago and Pittsburgh, Carlina and Michael wanted a venue where guests could come stay for the weekend and host everyone all in the same location. They also wanted to give guests the option to party all night long without having to end the night when the wedding ended.
We worked together to find their perfect venue, The Don CeSar. This historic hotel wedding venue in St Pete Beach, FL is also known as “The Pink Palace” for its bright pink walls. The venue’s historic ballroom consists of lavish chandeliers, a dark wood dance floor, and stunning detailed carpeting. The arched windows surrounding the room allow for a great deal of natural light which is always key for photography.
Carlina told me she was dreaming of a December wedding that embraced Christmas (without being Christmas-themed), with a swanky and fun vibe.
I began the design process by taking inspiration from the gorgeous, newly renovated Art Deco bar located at the Don Cesar and incorporating it into their wedding design.
This Art Deco theme can be found within their invitations as well as in the shape for the reception chairs and menu cards.
Carlina also wanted to give a nod to the fact that it was a December wedding by subtly embracing Christmas colors and tones which complimented the hotel’s holiday decor.
For the outdoor ceremony, we chose an all-white color palette to not compete with the hotel’s iconic pink color.
Their florist, 2 Birds Events, created a breathtaking floral arch of various white flowers and greenery that made for a perfect backdrop for the bride and groom. The staircase where the ceremony was held was also lined with striking florals to match the archway. To say they went above and beyond is an understatement.
The Grand Ballroom at the Don CeSar was breathtaking upon entering and represented our Art Deco and subtle holiday theme perfectly. The menus created by Samantha Meyer Studio were pre-set on each plate and placed in an elegant white charger with gold scalloped rims from Treasury Rentals. Resting on the edge of the plates were vibrant red napkins tied with a top knot.
Around the table I continued with gold metallic in the flatware, table numbers, candles, and vases. To complete the gorgeous table setting, we chose an exquisite textured white & gold linen by Nuage Design.
2 Birds Events created stunning flower arrangements for a portion of the tables with wintery tones of burgundy, green, and white. The second portion of the tables included red taper candles in gold candle sticks to add a little variety throughout the centerpieces. The Art Deco chairs were chosen to match the hotel’s bar, and they included a velvet emerald green seat cushion. It was a perfect match for the bride and groom’s velvet invitations as well as the emerald green cocktail table linens, tying the whole wedding design together.
During dinner, Carlina’s brother surprised everyone (including me!) with a song to welcome Michael into their family. It was such a sweet way to welcome a new family member while allowing guests to be included.
Guests were on their feet the entire night following dinner, only stopping to refill their drinks. To end the reception and salute Carlina and Michael one last time, we orchestrated a movie-worthy confetti blast during the last song.
The best part? Guests ended the night at the Don CeSar’s incredible Lobby Bar, the inspiration for the entire day. It felt like the perfect full-circle experience.
From the client:
It’s difficult to find the words of gratitude we have for Alexa and her team! We originally hired Alexa to help us with our venue search after looking tirelessly and not finding anything, she came along and put together a solid list of contenders and had so much knowledge about each venue to bring to the table.
We found the perfect venue and realized we didn’t want to keep planning unless Alexa was with us every step of the way.
My husband and I are complete opposites when it comes to taste but Alexa helped us prioritize what really mattered and found a perfect compromise for everything. My absolute favorite thing about Alexa was her intuition and excitement for our vision. I had about 1000 pictures of what I wanted but they were all so different. I’m pretty sure nothing I said actually made sense to anyone except Alexa. She took everything we wanted (despite it all being so opposite) and made it into the most beautiful day of our lives.
The wedding day went perfectly, and without a hitch thanks to the incredible team. Overall, if you’re looking for a planner that makes you feel understood, comfortable, and not absolutely insane while planning your wedding – Alexa is the most amazing wedding planner you could ever ask for.– Carlina, bride
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