Caitlin and Mahir met in sixth grade, but never dated during middle school or high school despite Mahir’s affection for his classmate.
“He did give me a very sweet Valentine’s Day gift when we were 11 and I still have it to this day,” Caitlin reminisced.
Years later, while the pair were finishing college, they reconnected on Facebook.
“We would make weekend trips between Tampa and West Palm Beach to see each other,” the bride explained.
After three years of dating, Caitlin and Mahir celebrated their anniversary at Sea World, where Mahir proposed.
Green Downtown Tampa, FL Wedding
Since the couple had guests attending from both central and south Florida, Tampa was the perfect go-between. They chose downtown Tampa wedding venue the Florida Aquarium as they were frequent visitors of the unique reception space.
“While we were dating, many of our favorite places were right around the corner from where Mahir attended school. The Florida Aquarium was one of those places that we could go to every day and never run out of things to do,” Caitlin shared.
The Tampa bride didn’t want her decor to compete with the Aquarium’s natural beauty and chose neutral shades to complement the wedding venue’s background.
“I chose everything based on its simplicity. The colors were clover and white to add to the backdrop of the fish tank in the aquarium, but not blend in,” Caitlin explained.
And it was those unique surroundings that made an impression on the bride.
“The most memorable moment from the wedding was stepping out into the beautifully decorated ceremony room with the sharks and sea turtle as the backdrop and knowing that everything was perfect,” the bride reminisced. “We wanted people to leave there saying ‘Wow,’ and that’s exactly what happened.”
The most memorable moment from the wedding was stepping out into the beautifully decorated ceremony room with the sharks and sea turtle as the backdrop and knowing that everything was perfect. – The Bride
We chose the Florida Aquarium as our venue because of memories we had there. Everything was what I had dreamed of down to the last detail and no other venue could have provided that. The food was incredible. – The Bride
Now that the wedding is over my favorite part of holding our wedding there was the ambiance of the whole venue. We wanted people to leave there saying “WOW!” and that’s exactly what happened. – The Bride
What advice would you give to other Tampa Bay Brides who are holding an wedding at the Aquarium?
Book your vendors as early as possible. I started booking over a year in advance and I was able to do research on all of the vendors and choose my top picks.
Tampa Wedding Venue: Florida Aquarium
Tampa Wedding Photographer: Carrie Wildes Photography
Tampa Wedding DJ: DJ by CJ
Tampa Groomsmen Suits: Men’s Warehouse
Tampa Wedding Dress: Alfred Angelo
Tampa Wedding Hair & Makeup: Collective Creations
Anna Coats is a wedding blogger from Marry Me Tampa Bay which showcases local weddings in the Tampa Bay area. Her 11-11-11 St. Petersburg, FL wedding was featured on USA Today.