Tampa Wedding at Florida Aquarium by Horn Photography and Design

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Growing up in Florida I have always been fascinated with sea life.  So when I found out about a wedding that was held at the Florida Aquarium I was instantly excited.  Alec and Lauren exchanged vows in front of 150 guests and surrounded by many species of sea life, including fish, sharks, (University of Florida) Gators (both the bride and groom went to UF) and even a penguin participated in the festivities…how cool is that!  So grab your snorkel gear and take a trip under the sea courtesy of Horn Photography and Design.

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Tell us how you met…
In college, there was a bar that played a certain kind of dance music every Saturday night. I would always go with my friends and he would always go with his. We caught each others eyes for weeks until one night he finally came over the dance with me. While we were dancing he turned to the side and started getting another girl’s number. I walked away (obviously) and he came after me. by the time he found me i was dancing with someone else. He started dancing around me and my friends and that was that. Another weekend i was dancing with my friends and I was pushed into him. We started dancing and kept dancing all night. At the end of the night he got my number and we parted. The next afternoon he texted me and asked me on a date. In the middle of the date he told me he was sorry he was being so quiet but he was very nervous because he really liked me. We have been together ever sense.

Now for the proposal… details!
I am in a sorority and we have a tradition called a candlelight. Basically whenever someone gets a promise ring, a lavalier (when a fraternity brother gives you a charm with his letters) or engaged they don’t tell anyone and place and candle on the president’s bed. The president will then announce at dinner that there is a candlelight and everyone will get in a big circle in the living room. The lights are turned off and the candle is lit and passed around. When it gets to the person who got it, they blow it out. One time around means she got a lavalier . Two times around means she got a promise ring. Three times around means she got engaged. Alec had set this up with my friends so when it came around a third time he stepped out from the foyer and blew it out. It was legitimately the most surprised I had ever been in my life, and I am hard to surprise.

Can you give us an overview of the event?
We decided to have our wedding at the aquarium because it was something different. We like to be unique so when we discovered the Florida Aquarium held weddings it was the perfect place.

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Was there a specific theme or style?
We wanted to have a nautical feel without being to themey.
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What inspired the theme or style?
We have nautical decor in our home and a lot of inspiration for cute nautical touches. It just made the most sense.
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What were your playful twists that made the event unique?
We had a photobooth that was probably the most popular part of the wedding. Really the venue itself was a cool twist. During cocktail hour, our guests were able to explore all of the exhibits. There was really no opportunity for anyone to get bored. The most important thing to us was that everyone had a really great time.

What was the most memorable moment?
The reception itself was so memorable. To just stand in the middle of everyone dancing and having such a great time was the best.

Tell us about your wedding gown and what your bridal party wore.
I wanted all of my girls to wear dresses that fit their bodies. My friends and sisters come in every shape and size. I also wanted them to be able to pick a dress that they could potentially wear in the future, just so they can at least get their money’s worth. The color was one that I was told would look best in front of the tanks, and it is also one of my favorites.

I originally wanted a poofy dress. When I tried one on I felt like a doofus. I wanted something simple and plain and I tried on several and wasn’t feeling it. My mom grabbed a dress I wasn’t crazy about on the hanger and asked me just to try it. I put it on and that was it. Mother’s do know best.

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Tell us about the food and desserts.
We had a sit down dinner that our guests had pre-ordered their meals. Our cake was a cupcake cake, which was delicious. The groom’s cake was a gator coming out of the water which looked incredible. We both went to UF and are huge Gator fans. The bride’s mom set up a surprise candy bar, because the bride has a big sweet tooth.
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What kind of energy did your entertainment give the guests?
DJ RJ Vida was the absolute best DJ we could have ever worked with. We asked him to start with traditional music that everyone likes and slowly transition into dance music as the night went on. Once the party got going, it was amazing! Everyone was dancing and having a blast. Months later we still hear about how much fun everyone had.

If there was one thing you could change, what would it be?
We would have made it longer! It went by way too fast.

What was the best wedding advice you received?
We both agree the best advice was to try to sit back and enjoy the wedding because it goes by so quickly you won’t even realize what happened.

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Wedding Professionals
Venue:  The Florida Aquarium | Florals:  Bay Bouquet Floral Studio | Photographer:  Horn Photography and Design | Videography:  In Motion Video Productions | Hair and Make-up:  Destiny & Light | Entertainment:  DJ RJ Vida | Desserts:  Sweetie’s Delights Bakery

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