Their Sarasota Wedding

Chris and Julie Sementa Tie the Knot at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

The two celebrated their day at the classic Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, then headed over to the Hyatt Regency Hotel for the reception.

By Felicity Warner September 29, 2016

Chris and Julie Sementa found themselves bonding over lunch after meeting through their same department at their jobs in Tampa. Julie, a statistician, and Chris, an analyst, immediately hit it off during their lunch dates at work, and the rest is history. Chris and Julie were married at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, then held their reception at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
 How did you meet your husband?

After completing graduate school, I accepted a job in Tampa as a statistician. Chris worked as an analyst in the same department. After a few invitations to lunch, we began to bond over our common interests and hobbies.
 What was the proposal like?

We went on our monthly date in December 2014, and Chris he completely surprised me when we returned home. He proposed as we walked into the backyard, and I immediately said yes! Soon after, my best friend (whom Chris had arranged flights for) came outside with our puppy; we were then joined by other close friends to celebrate.
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How did you go about choosing the venue(s)?

My mother lives in Sarasota and is familiar with the many beautiful venues in town. We visited a handful that would be able to accommodate our guests. We wanted the ceremony to be outside so our guests from the Northeast and Midwest could enjoy the February weather! We ultimately chose the gorgeous Marie Selby Botanical Gardens for our ceremony and the Hyatt Regency Sarasota for the reception. Both venues, as well as the staff and planners who made the day possible, were absolutely incredible!
There are a few photos of you reading a card while you're getting ready. Is there a story behind the card?

Chris and I wrote each other cards to read while getting ready. These cards helped to calm the pre-wedding nerves and remind each of us about how excited we were to get married. He wrote a very sweet letter about our relationship and our future together.
Do you have any favorite moments from your wedding that stand out to you?

Arriving at the aisle and seeing Chris at the end. I was so happy and excited that I walked very quickly, despite being instructed to walk slowly, to join him! Another moment I will never forget is the entrance into the reception--it was wonderful to be surrounded by so many family members and friends. We were so thankful to everyone for their support, in particular our parents, families and the members in our wedding party. We had a blast dancing - the band [Phase 5] kept the dance floor packed. Seeing our guests and loved ones have as much fun as we did was a great feeling.
What is your favorite thing about your husband?

Chris is constantly trying to better himself and be the best he can be. He impresses me everyday with his drive and integrity.
Photography: Villetto Photography / Wedding Ceremony Venue: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens / Wedding Reception Venue: Hyatt Regency Hotel / Wedding Dress: Rosa Clara from Brides Against Breast Cancer Sarasota / Hair & Make-Up: Lasting Luxe / Flowers: Tiger Lily Flowers / Wedding Cake: The Cake Zone / Videography: Brogen Productions / Wedding Coordinator: Marlene M. Hauck / Linens: Linens by the Sea / Band: Phase5
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