This Garden-Inspired Rooftop Wedding Took Place on a Sunny Morning in Tampa
Nishea and Anthony met when they both joined Greek organizations at Florida A&M University in 2011—the Zeta Phi Beta sorority and the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, respectively. But it wasn't until four years later when the couple, who had always been just friends, reconnected after college and realized they had feelings for each other.
Several years later, they were on a family trip to Disney World when Anthony asked Nishea to join him for a walk and some "alone time." After a private horse-drawn carriage ride, says Nishea, "We stopped by a park bench surrounded by flowers and sat down to reflect on life, and before I knew it, he was down on one knee! I was floored and before I knew it, I was crying uncontrollably. It was our moment—just us—and it was perfect."
About a year later, on April 12, 2019, they said "I do" in front of 50 guests at a garden-themed brunch wedding at Rooftop 220 in Tampa, Florida. "It was the perfect venue, because we were able to have an intimate wedding with an outdoor aspect," says Nishea. "The view was amazing!" Dramatic floral arrangements turned the space into an urban oasis, while a lavish menu and stunning views gave the couple plenty of return on their venue investment. Their best advice? "Really consider whether something is worth going over budget for," says the couple. "Also, when last-minute things don't go as planned, roll with it and know that in the end, everything will work out."
A Trio of Rings
Anthony proposed with a round solitaire diamond in a slim, simple band, and Nishea added extra sparkle to her set with a wedding band of channel-set diamonds for everyday wear. Anthony’s classic bevel-edge wedding band got a modern upgrade in black tungsten carbide (all three rings came from Kay).
An Unexpected Dress
After trying on 20 different gowns—or more—Nishea surprised herself by falling for a fitted champagne-colored lace gown that flared out at her knees from The Bridal Gallery in Orlando. "I wanted to incorporate lace, but I didn't anticipate having a full lace dress," she says. "I loved how form-fitting it was, and how comfortable. The color, the pattern, and the fit were exactly what I was looking for."
Love and Joy
The venue's rooftop location offered a sunny spot for portraits of the couple and their family before and after the ceremony. "The setting was very intimate," says Nishea. "We were surrounded by people we loved, and that loved us, and there were plenty of laughs to go around. It was perfect."
Nishea and Anthony took full advantage of the outdoor space by incorporating stunning floral arrangements from 2 Birds Events to create an oasis on the city roof deck. "It was very elegant and organic, so it had a bit of a nature feel," she says. "I wanted to incorporate as much nature as possible with a garden [atmosphere] because those elements are soothing and relaxing."
Blooms and Beauties
Nishea's maid of honor, her best friend, wore a claret-colored gown from The Bridal Gallery. "I love everything wine and darker colors," says Nishea. "Our colors were navy blue, marsala wine, dusty rose, and sandstone—I wanted to balance it with the dusty rose and sandstone." The unstructured bouquets and the bride's floral crown added to the garden theme.
Coming Up Roses
A bouquet of deep red roses complemented by bright foliage and pale cream blooms marked a seat of honor at the ceremony.
Eyes on Each Other
Nishea and Anthony posed for their first look portraits before the 10 a.m. ceremony. "We were both excited and laughing," says Nishea. "He looked very handsome and he thought I looked very beautiful. We were both smiling from ear to ear and couldn't wait until 'I do'!" For Anthony, the portraits were a prelude to his favorite moment of the day: "Seeing her come down the aisle"—escorted by her father.
Saying "I Do"
Reverend Michael DeArruda officiated the contemporary Christian ceremony, which included scripture readings and traditional vows. For Nishea, the highlight was the couple's first introduction as Mr. and Mrs. Huston: "It was an amazing rush knowing we were husband and wife, and an 'Oh my God, we did it!' moment."
Sign of the Times
A wooden welcome sign draped with leaves greeted guests before the outdoor cocktail hour, where soft jazz, a steady flow of mimosas, and a buffet of muffins and pastries previewed the brunch that followed.
Floral arrangements throughout the event included dusty miller, silver dollar eucalyptus, hanging pepperberry, menta roses, delphinium, scabiosa, thistle, and quicksand roses. Two large arrangements on acrylic columns flanked the sweetheart table at the head of the U-shaped layout.
Garlands and Gold
Aqua chairs contrasted with white linens at the guest tables, which were decorated with a 19-foot-long garland of greens that wove around gold-edged terrariums and mixed mercury glass votives.
Tinier centerpieces, comprised of single, pale roses surrounded by eucalyptus, pieris buds, and other blooms, reinforced the couple's color palette.
Mauve shantung napkins created a bright background for white plates and gleaming flatware. There were personal touches at each place setting: a thank-you note from the couple and a jar of tomato-pepper jam made by the bride's mother, who owns the Jacksonville-based food truck Southern Twang.
A Memorable Day
Though Nishea and Anthony both say they were surprised by how much work—and money—goes into planning even a small wedding, they agree the end result was worth it—something they reflected on as they took their seats at their sweetheart table during the reception. "[It was] better than we could have ever imagined because of the intimacy of the wedding, the family and friends who shared in our special day, and the beautiful floral arrangements," they say.
On the Menu
The buffet brunch included a lineup of elevated mid-morning classics from caterer Good Food: spinach, goat cheese, and tomato frittata; scrambled egg and hash brown casserole; grilled steak; white cheddar cheese grits; pasta with asparagus and cherry tomatoes; chicken and waffles with pecan-maple butter; and cream cheese-stuffed French toast.
Nishea and Anthony shared their first dance, to John Legend's "You and I" before each sharing a parent dance: Anthony and his mother chose "How Sweet It Is" by James Taylor, while Nishea and her father twirled to "Wind Beneath my Wings."
The duo's semi-naked cake from The Artistic Whisk had a jagged gold-leaf accent on each tier, while fresh floral accents added color; the gold terrarium stand coordinated with the tabletop décor. Flavors included key lime-blueberry and mango-passion fruit.
Photography, Shelby Glynn Photography
Location, Rooftop 220
Day-of Coordination, TMR Event Planning
Catering, Good Food Events and Catering
Flowers, 2 Birds Events
Officiant, Michael DeArruda
Cake, The Artistic Whisk
Music and lighting, DJ Tamik
Bride's gown and Bridesmaids' dresses, Bridal Gallery of Orlando
Bride's shoes, Steve Madden
Hair, Krystina Callahan
Makeup, Milan Walker
Groom's suit, Accessories, and Groomsmen's attire, Men's Wearhouse
Favors, Southern Twang