Tropical centerpiece Dulce Events

A rehearsal dinner or a welcome party is a great way to kick off the wedding weekend. Alexis and Brad chose the beautiful Pier 22 Restaurant in Bradenton, Florida, to welcome their closest friends and family.

Bradenton is a city on the beautiful Manatee river just south of Tampa. It is home to a thriving arts and cultural scene, amazing shopping, and tons of restaurants. Bradenton is also known for its beautiful beaches and parks, and is a popular tourist destination for visitors from around the world. It’s just a few minutes from Anna Maria Island, another popular travel destination.

The restaurant’s location has an interesting history of its own. The original pier was built in 1878. In 1928, the pier building was erected and the design was modeled after the luxurious Mediterranean villas found in France, Spain, and Italy. Over many decades, the two-story Memorial Pier served a variety of functions, both public and private. The large second floor with riverfront views was the social scene for dances and events (currently the elegant PIER 22 Ballroom) until the mid-1940s; the ground floor was once used as a warehouse for freight from steamers going in and out of Tampa. It was the first home of the South Florida Museum. Additionally, the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce resided here for 34 years along with Manatee County’s first radio station which began broadcasting in 1946.

We traveled to Bradenton to transform the space for Alexis and Brad and their families. We created a Havana Nights themed dinner party, playing into the Spanish architecture and Old-Florida vibes of the property. A rehearsal dinner is a great time to create an aesthetic that is completely different from what guests will see at the wedding. This is the time to play with color, themes, fun decor and favors. The guest list is usually a little smaller for a rehearsal dinner, so there’s often more room for creativity.

For this event we wanted a relaxed atmosphere where the family could get to know each other in a less formal setting. The theme was a perfect ice-breaker!

Guests were greeted with a cigar bar, Fedora hats, and seagrass fans. Vintage signs of Mojitos and Havana Cuba set the tone for the night. Guests were able to order their own Mojitos or drink of choice upon arrival.

The tables were set with sea grass chargers and palm leaf napkins with woven napkin rings. Centerpieces of palms, monstera leaves, white orchids, and bright ginger flowers were set on crisp, white linens. Personalized shells were added as a little keepsake for guests.

The personalized menu offered guests a choice of salmon, chicken penne pasta, or New York strip steak, with desserts to follow. The crème brulée and banana bread pudding (the groom’s favorite) were a delight.

The ‘Better Together” backdrop was a fun photospot for Alexis and Brad to get some pictures with family and friends.

Water-front dining paired with family and friends was the perfect recipe for the start of Alexis and Brad’s amazing wedding weekend. We were so glad to be a part of this!

Planning, Design, Rentals: Dulce Events | Venue: Pier 22 | Specialty Linens: Over The Top

Dulce Events is based in North Florida and offers full planning, design, and rentals for weddings and events of all kinds. We create beautiful events all over Florida and Georgia and will travel to your destination! Contact us for availability.

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