Sarah and Justin felt that a nautical theme would best suit their personalities. Justin is in the Navy, and Sarah grew up in Florida. She loves the beach and used beach colors as inspiration for the wedding colors and decorations. Navy blue, white, silver, and pale pink accents bloomed around the room. “I chose these colors because they just go great together,” bride Sarah shares, “and they were easy to incorporate with our simple look.”
Since they had family coming in from all over the US, even as far away as Sweden, they chose to hold the wedding close to home at The Regent in Brandon, FL. They wanted the focus to be on the family enjoying this special occasion with them. They kept everything simple, from the food to the cake to the decorations. “We didn’t have to worry about something because we weren’t used to it, or didn’t know what was going to happen,” Sarah relates.
“What made our wedding unique was the fact that it was very personal,” Sarah reminisces, “We said our own vows, our centerpieces had pictures of us, and every little detail was catered to the fact that it was real. [Since we had so much family coming into town to attend our wedding], we tried to make the most out of our time together, rather than make it just about us. Even though it was our day, we still wanted to enjoy…just having everyone there. We have a lifetime for ourselves!
“The thing that was most important to us was capturing all of the family,” Sarah explains, “We really wanted to have some pictures where everyone was included, since we don’t know when we’ll see them again. We wanted a wedding that made us feel comfortable, so that we could enjoy ourselves with all of our guests.”
They felt so comfortable at their wedding because it truly reflected their personalities. Nothing was over-the-top, yet it had a simple elegance that everyone could enjoy and just be themselves.
Justin proposed to me on Christmas day. A lot of his family was visiting from out of town, so we were going to have a huge dinner at his mom’s house. His cousins were coming, and he had not yet bought a gift for them, so he sent a few of us to the store buy them Visa gift cards. When we arrived at Walgreens, bought the gift cards, but for some reason, we didn’t leave the store.
They dragged me around the store to get butter and other little things, and I was thinking, “Why are we still here?” Then they decided that they wanted ice cream, and since Justin’s aunt is allergic to gluten, she can only have specific types of ice cream. So we found the ice cream brand that she could have, but they didn’t have the flavor she likes. We bought the rest of the stuff we picked up, and then went across the street to CVS to see if they had the ice cream. It felt like we’d been away for about an hour before leaving to go back home.
They opened the garage to park the car, and I got out to go to the front door, but it was locked. So i tried to go in through the garage, and his aunt said, “No, you have to go in through the front door!” I told her, “But it’s locked!” So I went back to the front door, and while I’m waiting I peek in to look, but all the lights are off.
Then I saw Justin in his uniform, and I immediately knew what was happening, so I just started crying. Then he opened the door, and I just lost it! Tears were streaming down my face. He walked me into the house and I saw that all of the pictures that his mom had of their family had been replaced with pictures of us! The song “Differences” by Ginuwine was playing. He walked me to the middle of the living room and started talking to me.
At this point, I don’t remember what exactly what he said, but I remember that it was cute and it made me cry even more! He then finally popped the question, and of course, I said, “Yes!!!” Then, all of his family, and to my surprise, my family, came out of hiding from behind doors, curtains, and the patio. They had all been watching and I had no idea. At that moment, Justin tried to put the ring on me, and since my ring came with a matching wedding band, he almost put that one on as well. I stopped him before he managed to get the wedding band on. After that, we all had dinner, and talked forever!
Most Memorable Moments
The most memorable moment was the first look photos that we took. I was really nervous before, and it was great because my husband didn’t know what to expect! Also, our first dance, which was to the song “Differences” by Ginuwine, since this song was playing when he proposed to me.
How We Chose Our Wedding Photographer
When we first met Marilyn…she had so much energy and passion that we knew we wanted to use her for our wedding. It was like we had already hired her! She knew so much, and she wanted to make everything great.
Since we already knew what we wanted, that made it easy for her to come up with a proposal. There were a lots of options that we could add on at any point.
For us, a wedding photographer was about having someone who could feed off of our style and create photos and moments to help us remember our big day. We also wanted someone who was familiar with our venue, so we could be certain of what we had to do on our special day to get all of the shots we wanted.
We hired Castorina Photography because we felt as though they had the right vision, knowledge of us, and of our venue to capture photos that we would be excited about — and that definitely happened!
Advice to Future Brides
My advice to you is, if you are looking into hiring Castorina Photography, just know that she is very knowledgeable. If you like her style of photos, then that’s all that matters. You can trust her to handle everything, and come out with photos that you will always cherish.
Venue: The Regent | Photographer: Castorina Photography & Films | Florist: Hannah’s Floral & Events | Caterer: 3 C’s Catering | Rentals: The Regent | Cake: Petite Madelyn’s Bakery | DJ: Big Beats Entertainment | Officiant: Pastor Miguel Salas | Invitations: Vistaprint | Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal | Bridesmaid Dress: David’s Bridal | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Florida and Colorado wedding photography and cinematic wedding video:
Castorina Photography and Films is a St. Petersburg Florida and Steamboat Springs Colorado, on location studio. Our wedding photography and cinematography clients enjoy a relaxed environment where they can be themselves as we do our best to relieve any stress from the wedding day. We have also serviced clients in Cancun Mexico, Venice, Rome, Tuscany and other areas of Italy, Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, Steamboat Springs, Keystone, Silverthorne Colorado and many other locations in the United States.
Castorina Photography and Films offers on location photography and cinematic wedding films for wedding, portrait, family, engagement, and Bridal sessions.