During their junior year of high school, John Kennedy asked Caroline Huerta to the homecoming dance. “I was a drama geek and he was on the football team,” remembers Caroline of their early days. “When I walked into the drama studio one morning, I was greeted by his football jersey draped over my seat with a note that read, ‘Will you go to homecoming with me? If yes, please wear my jersey today. If not, throw it away, I don’t want it anymore.’ Dramatic, but it worked… On the dance floor, we shared our first kiss and the rest is history!” 

Years later, John proposed to Caroline on a rooftop terrace overlooking the Manhattan skyline as melodies from violins filled the air. “Through mascara-smeared tears, I said yes… It was perfection,” shares the bride. Though the pair lives in New York City, they decided to host their wedding in St. Petersburg, Florida, nearby the majority of their family and friends. 

“We wanted our wedding to be timeless and elegant,” muses Caroline of their desired wedding style. “John proposed to me with stunning white roses, and I immediately knew that I wanted a white wedding.” To further their vision, the groom wore a white dinner jacket and attire from The Black Tux and Brooks Brothers, bridesmaids donned white dresses by Amsale from Bella Bridesmaids, and all of the florals showcased a crisp vanilla color palette with fresh greenery. 

When making decisions for the day, the bride relied heavily on her mother, who planned and coordinated every single detail; however, they hired Gather ‘Round Events & Décor to manage the event and make sure everything went smoothly. To introduce loved ones to the wedding theme, elegant invitations by KT Janes showcased gold script, calligraphy by Kirby Wilson, a gilt envelope liner, and a golden wax seal on crisp white stationery. 

“All our guests gasped ‘wow!’ in unison as John dipped me and we began our first dance together as husband and wife.”

On the day of the church wedding ceremony, the bride was stunning in an embellished gown by Martina Liana from Kleinfeld Bridal in New York as she walked down the aisle. For a unique wedding favor offered at the ceremony, Caroline and John provided their guests with a custom handkerchief. “Instead of handing out plain white handkerchiefs, we decided to personalize each one,” confirms the bride. “We each compiled our favorite passages from the Bible, poems, quotes from influential figures in history, as well as song lyrics from musicals I have performed in… We delicately draped them over each chair in the church as a gift for our guests.” 

Following the traditional ceremony, all of the greenery and florals were repurposed for the reception at a striking ballroom at The Vinoy Renaissance. Friends and family found their seating assignments on a seating chart in a gold frame accented with a garland of verdure. They took their seats atop golden chairs surrounding tables dressed with white linens and tableware from A Chair Affair. Centerpieces by Botanica Design showcased two designs: the first displayed white flowers in a large golden vase, and the second featured flowers in a short gilt vessel accented with candles. 

As the newlyweds made their grand entrance into the ballroom and stepped into the center of the dance floor, four sparkler fountains by Spark Wedding Events created a wow-factor before Phase5 Band played the couple’s first dance song – “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. “All our guests gasped ‘wow!’ in unison as John dipped me and we began our first dance together as husband and wife,” notes Caroline. In addition to a stylish lounge area, a flower wall covered in white roses by Flower Walls of Tampa was decorated with a gold sign reading “The Kennedys” to provide a backdrop for photos. “It was definitely a crowd-pleaser!” adds the bride. 

Following a sit-down dinner service, the newlyweds cut into a traditional five-tier wedding cake designed by Hands On Sweets, accented with fresh roses in white and light pink tones that draped down the side. “It was a marble cake filled with chocolate ganache and white chocolate mousse frosted in Italian buttercream,” shares the bride of the confection, which was displayed on the stage in the ballroom so everyone could view the cake cutting. “It was as delicious as it was beautiful!” 

When asked what their best wedding advice would be for couples, Caroline shares the same advice they received and made sure to follow: “Remember to enjoy yourself during your wedding day. Don’t get caught up worrying about if things are running smoothly behind the scenes. Just be present with your partner and enjoy all the love from your family and friends,” she says. “We made sure to fully live in the moment and revel in the fact that we were finally married. We couldn’t stop smiling the entire night! Everything was perfect.”