Tampa Bay Watch, in my opinion, is one of the best venues in Tampa Bay for wedding photography and video. It is a wildlife restoration and education center amidst a scenic estuary in southern Pinellas County. As a photographer we love contrast, this venue provides with great options even when the sun is bright. The rich green grass comes right up to a large body of water, which you can see in the aerial shots on this video. We also love the nautical blue color of the 2 buildings on property, which tends to make your wedding colors pop!
The room where the bride gets ready is spacious and has a nice nautical mural on the wall which makes a great background for pre-ceremony pictures. For the formals after the wedding we like to utilize the grassy area with the big oak trees in the background, which it is still bright outside. During sunset we then like to take the bride and groom on the pier for some spectacular water shots, when the lighting from the sun has softened.
The reception is on the 2nd floor of the main building which has bamboo flooring. We ended up moving the DJ to the wrap around open-air balcony where the guests enjoy the dancing with the breeze from the Bay.
Imagine finding out 28 hours before your wedding that you have to change your venue? This is what happened to Eleni & Ronald Akers. When you think of all the planning that goes into a wedding and to find out that you have to change a venue can be disasterous for a bride. Thanks to some quick work of the cordinator, Beth from flaweless occasions and the fliexibility of the Westin Harbour Island, the wedding of Eleni & Ronald was still a success. Ironically, Eleni & Ronald had met at Jackson's on Harbour Island, so perhaps it was a divine appointment that there wedding ended up being at the Westin Harbor Island.
We Started off the day with the bride getting ready at the Marriott Waterside. For a bride having to deal with what Eleni had to deal with in the day leading up to the wedding, she was pretty chilled. Joe our photographer and myself rode with the bridal party for the short 1/4 mile drive over the bridge to the Westin Harbor Island.
The ceremony took place in the beautiful atrium of the Westin Harbor Island, perfect for a wedding in the warmer months. With the lighting it feels like you are outside, yet in the comfort of a air conditioned room.
After the ceremony, the bridal party celebrated inside a party bus as we headed toward University of Tampa for pictures. The party bus was a great idea, allowing the bridal party to let loose, after all the stress of the ceremony and the issues the day before. The driving mistakenly took us to Ybor City, but that was completely ok, because it just gaved the bridal party more time getting down in the party bus.
After the pictures at University of Tampa we headed by to the Westin Harbour Island, where Kevin our DJ from Celebrations of Tampa Bay entertained the guests til the end of the evening.
Joe and I took the bride in the courtyard area on the south side of the Westin. The outdoor night lighting here, along with our low light lense, really produced some nice warm intimate shots of the bride and groom.
The evening ended with a Sparkler Exit which we shot both by drone and ground level cameras.
The Powel Crosley Estate built in 1929 has a vintage, yet tropical atmosphere. This poplular Sarasota wedding venue is located near the Ringling Museum, on the border of Bradenton and Sarasota. The mansion has a "Mediterranean Revival" style architecture that gives so many opportunites for great wedding photography. It is seemingly right out of a fairy tale. Some great areas for photos are, the balcony, the lawn, the front of the house, banyon trees, the circular ship room, the steps in the courtyard, and ofcoarse the sunsets on the lawn are stunning. We like to do the family and bridal party photos right after the ceremony in the front of the house, because 1). this area is in the shade and 2) it is always away from the guests, so theres less interruptions. If having a wedding at Powel Crosley, always allow plenty of time for photos, so that you get your money's worth at this beautiful estate. As a photography we like to allow for more time here, than most wedding venues, because of the different areas around the mansion for photos.
For a bride its also great, because it needs very little decoration. The views of the bay are breathtaking. There is also a beautiful bridal room compete with chandelier and elegant windows, where the bridesmaids can get ready in. Jordan, the bride in this videos, shows out to use these windows for great photography. There two stories of this estate make it convenient for a bridal party getting ready. The groomsmen get ready in a 2nd floor room near the ship room, and the bridesmaids in the bridal room on the first floor on the other end of the building. Also just outside the bridal room on the north side of the building is a "castle like" wooden door with a circular archway overhead, always a must for wedding photos.
In the last 4 months we have shot 4 weddings here, and each of them have been in a different location. 1.The Courtyard 2. The Lawn, near the water. 3. Infront of the Pavilion. 4. Inside the Pavilion. See our Sarasota Videographers place for highlights from all of these locations at the Powel Crosley Mansion. celebrationsoftampabay.com/wedding-videographers-sarasota/
In this video we used a drone for the 3rd time at Powel Crosley, however on this one we did more ground level flying to see more up close the beautiful area of this wedding venue. Another thing that is always nice at the Powel Crosley is, I can also use the drone for the reception and dancing as well being outside in the courtyard.
The St Pete Beach Community Center is located on the northern end of St Pete Beach near Treasure Island. This is a perfect venue who wants the water scenery of a beach wedding, yet does not want to deal with the sand. At the St Pete Beach Community Center there are no issues with parking, the ceremony is in the courtyard in front of the intracoastal waterway. There are so many great backgrounds for wedding photography. On this particular wedding it rained about 5 minutes after the ceremony so it limited what we were able to do outdoors. At the end of the evening we took the bride and groom out for some great intimate shots using the lights from the Cory Causeway Bridge.
We used 5 cameras on this wedding, 1 traditional video camera, 2 DSLRs, and 2 Go Pros and a drone. We mounted a go pro at the top of the arch which just gives such a great angle of the cereony, showing the family in background behind the bride and groom. Also like putting a camera on the balcony which shoots to the side of the ceremony, provides a great angle for processional and recessional.
We started at the Sheraton Riverwalk which is so nice now with the new section of the Riverwalk opened now. We captured the Limos arriving at the church with the drone to get some unique shot of the newly remodeled front of Sacred Hear Catholic Church.
Sacred Heart is such a beautiful church to shoot in, however, can be very challenging with the restrictions. For this reason it is absolutely essential to have very skilled Photographers and videographers who know Sacred Heart. We had 5 cameras set up for this wedding, but one of the cameras we could not get to during the ceremony due to the restrictions, which is the camera that would have shown the grooms face during the vows.
After the ceremony we took the bride and groom to the University of Tampa which is always great to shoot at with the variety of backgrounds. The Victorian architecture of the University of Tampa provides some nice elegant wedding photography. We than walk across the rich green grass with plenty of vegetation and tall Palm Trees, which provided great contrast for pictures and video. There is great water scenery along the Hillsborough River, and now even the Kennedy Street Drawbridge looks great in the background now that all the graffiti has been cleaned up.
With the Sheraton Riverwalk being so close to UT, we were able to fly the drone from UT to the Sheraton over the Kennedy Stree Drawbridge. At the Sheraton we had more great water scenery where we did sunset pictures.
Michael with Grant Hemond and Asscociates provided the entertainment for the guests. Hes one of the better DJs in Tampa, always a pleasure working with him. Reception was in the large 4,600 square foot waterfont ballroom of the Sheraton. The evening ended with the sparkler ext at the Sheraton as our drone shows the beautiful night lights of Downtown Tampa and the Riverwalk area.