The Venue, The Vows, Somewhat Awake & Happy Faces

Lolo was only given a sneak peak of photos rom the photographer, so I’m holding back until I see what my choices are for sharing.

Can you believe that I only took a handful of pictures once the festivities began? I was really trying to live in all the moments, plus, I was a dancing fool.

The venue the kids chose was super cool; Oxford Exchange in downtown Tampa. It’s a historic building that is open daily for mixed use; a restaurant, book store, eyeglass store, gift store, champagne & coffee bar. They close the doors to the public at 5:30 and remove all the large pieces of furniture in the lounge/communal areas for events.

There are areas with checkered black/white floors, brick walls, old penny tiled floors, glass ceilings (atrium), wooden staircases, etc…it’s very historic feeling, but also has an industrial vibe which is what Lauren and Nathan loved.

They have offices upstairs with ancient wooden floors, gigantic heavy wooden doors and rustic brick walls. One side overlooks the University of Tampa, the other side of the street faces the Church Of Science and next door is a Kick Boxing club. A person has choices.

Since the venue wasn’t open to us until late, the ceremony was set for 7pm. (I warned everyone to have a damn snack since dinner won’t be until 8:45)

I’m prettier if my face is awake.

The late ceremony time didn’t mean that the ‘girls’ didn’t need to be at the venue earlier. Um, we had to be upstairs at the venue at 3pm for the photographer. I was thinking: Can I call this one in? It’s gonna be a long day.

The makeup/hair artist was at my hotel suite at 7:15 am since she needed to work on six of us and it was only she and her assistant. I’m the least ‘morning person’ I know, but I sacrificed myself instead of them going to Lauren and Nathan’s suite.

Linds was sweet enough to volunteer her face/hair first, but I still had to be awake and wouldn’t you know that Lauren showed up just before Linds anyway. She had a lot on her plate. What I wouldn’t have given to let my face sleep past 6am. I don’t know about you, but my face needs a good 4-6 hours AFTER I wake up before it’s really all.there.

I mentioned it last week, but here I go again:

I swear to Buddha, if I could turn back time, I would take myself out of the hair/makeup equation. I will get over it eventually, but I catch myself daily thinking, hey, you’re heading to Publix? Your hair looks BETTER RIGHT NOW than it did on your daughters wedding day. I’m like a dog with a bone.

Anyhoo, a few captures from before the ceremony.

{My great-nieces, Nathan’s Mom & Coach’s Mom. Coach’s Dad & Linds. Suz, Linds, & her bestie (my adopted daughter) Hailie}

I think Judy snapped this pic of Lindsay and I. Doesn’t my youngest baby look amazing? She was so giddy all day; so very happy for her sister and Nathan. When she walked up the aisle for the ceremony, she fist bumped Nathan.

I have ONE photo that the photographer captured overlooking the ceremony from the staircase and it’s swoon worthy.

Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography

Did you swoon?

They had a charismatic officiant who spent so much time with them prior; going over their love story and really learning about how they met, what obstacles they’ve already overcome, about their families etc…he was amazing. When he had them recite their vows, he said something along the lines of: You promise to be his best friend, confidant, lover, etc…

Coach nudged me right then with a bewildered face. WHAT? LOVER?!

I shrugged my shoulders as I also didn’t know what any of that meant.

We had a secret giggle.

That’s enough of that for today. I have to go clean my brain.


Your friend Suz who gave birth to lifelong virgins.

27 thoughts on “The Venue, The Vows, Somewhat Awake & Happy Faces

  1. This IS a gorgeous venue. So cool and pretty. Love the photos. Your dress is fabulous.

    I would’ve needed a nap if expected to be up early AND maintained my good humor late into the night.

    The officiant could have warned you: ‘EARMUFFS’ before talking lovers and such. Love that the officiant did such a great job getting to know them and their story.

    Thanks for sharing parts of this special day. Looking forward to more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sweet compliments. I really wish a nap would have been involved, but when your hair is done early in the day, there is no laying down. 😦
      Earmuffs. LOL!


  2. Bijoux

    Aww, yes, that was a great capture of the ceremony. I’m a clock fanatic, so I think the grandfather clock in the center is magnificent. You look beautiful, but I do understand about the hair.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely, lovely. The venue reminds me of one in Cleveland–Windows on the River–where my niece got married. Historic and pretty with a great view.

    Was there a Dress Code for the guests? Perfect palette in that overhead shot!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I saw the picture of the ceremony, I gasped. Stunning.
    Your youngest daughter is also stunning. I mentioned the bride in the last wedding post, now it’s time to talk about the maid of honor.
    I swear, TG, your daughters remind me in personality of mine. In terms of what I imagine they’ll be like when they’re older. Sigh.

    You looked radiant.
    This is all just so lovely. You did good, Mama and Dad. Now take a nap.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I adore my girls so much, as you do yours. They were a bit of ‘work’ when they were younger, but all my hard work has paid off because I have two amazing young women who I LOVE being with. I’m not ashamed to say they’re my favorites.

      Thank you for your compliment. I’m starting to not hate my look for the day already. See, it’s like childbirth, you forget so quickly.

      Well, maybe. Let’s see when the professional pictures arrive, shall we?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. nicoleboyhouse


    That is such a beautiful venue, it’s just gorgeous. I think you all looked so beautiful too. Gosh, I love the dresses you and your youngest have on!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beth Cotell

    Oh my goodness! Everything is definitely swoon worthy! And for what it’s worth, I think you look beautiful! Also, as a parent, in my mind my kids are also forever virgins. Unrealistic but it’s much easier that way!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. not only did i have a snack, i took a nap…so i could dance the night away with you!
    that swoonworthy picture is my favorite of the venue! and the officiant was amazing. we talked to him quite a while… i felt like he really knew them!


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