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Fort De Soto Park

tbt* staff
Published May 11, 2005

At Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County, you can pick your backdrop.

There's the fort, plus piers into the gulf and bay and a beach with a view of the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

Depending on the scope of the wedding, you may have to apply for a special event permit with the Pinellas County Parks and Recreation Department and pay a fee. You will need to do that if you want seating and a caterer, for example. If the event will be an officiant, you and your partner and not much else, you probably won't need to do that.

An advance notice of 60 days is helpful because of what could be involved with getting a permit.

Call the department at 727 464-3347 for specifics for Fort De Soto and any other county-run park; get some basics at

The couple: Deanna Rodriguez, 27, born in Miami and moved to St. Petersburg when she was 3, and Chris Sedivy, 31, a St. Petersburg native.

The wedding date and place: Tentatively June 2006 in Costa Rica, where Deanna's family is from. If Costa Rica doesn't work, somewhere around here on a beach.

The work front: She designs corporate training programs. He is an account executive for the wholesale mortgage division of New South Federal Savings Bank.

How they met: Chris: "I did her mortgage." Deanna: "A family friend was an owner of Buccaneer Mortgage in St. Petersburg, and he set us up, put (Chris) on my file. (Laughs) So he had already scoped out my financials." Chris: "Credit was good. Financials were strong ... "

The engagement date: Dec. 23, 2004.

Biggest wedding planning headache so far: Deanna: "Probably getting started."

Among the reasons why: The couple are also starting a kite surfing company, N Search of Wind & Waves; their Web site is

The easy part of planning: The type of wedding they want. They describe themselves as very casual people who love water and the outdoors, so they agree that their wedding will reflect that.

Biggest wedding day fear: Deanna: "I'm a big control freak. (It'll be) very hard not to have a whistle and a megaphone telling people what to do and where to go." Chris: "It'll be fine. She worries."

Imagining the married life: Deanna: "We've been together three years; we've talked about a lot of stuff. ... Chris does all the cooking. I clean well."

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