A wedding is a collection of people and stories that merge to create memories. In the fictional world, the best stories take place in settings that shape the mood of the moment and inform how the plot unfolds. Think of your favorite movies or TV shows and the environments they inhabit. Can you imagine Star Wars set in Cleveland instead of a galaxy far, far away? What would the Batman series be without Gotham’s injustices? Could Scandal be the same insane power hungry, political drama if set outside of DC?
This is all to say that a couple’s choice of venue is a key factor in the experience they and their guests will have when the wedding day finally arrives. Think of the venue as an integral character in your wedding day.
Over the past year we’ve found that private venue weddings, especially those held at private estates—places with historical and architectural significance—make for celebrations that are beautiful, intimate and unique. 'Tis the season to get engaged and with that in mind, we’ve created a list some of the best wedding venues in Florida to consider as you dream and plan for your special day. We’ll be updating this series so remember to check back in.
Cà d’ Zan: Built in the 1920s by John Ringling for his wife, Mabel, this opulent mansion on Sarasota bay was inspired by the Venetian Gothic styled palazzos in Venice, Italy. The 36,000 square foot estate which was designed by New York architect Dwight James Baum features manicured lawns and sits on the waterfront, making is a lovely choice for an elegant, outdoor wedding followed by a night of dancing under the stars.
Megan and Eric, enjoy the sunset shortly after their wedding at the Cà d' Zan.
Bella Collina: If you’re dreaming of a Tuscan setting for your wedding day then simply head to Orlando! The site offers several ceremony locations with indoor and outdoor options, some surrounded by panoramic views of nearby lakes and hills. You'll forget you're in Florida! The larger event spaces can accommodate up to 250 people.
The Powel Crosley Estate: In 1929, Powel Crosley, an entrepreneur who made a fortune in direct mail and radio broadcasting, built a Mediterranean style mansion along Sarasota bay in 1929 as a winter home for his wife, Gwendolyn. The 11,000 square foot home was named Seagate and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If you’re looking to create an indoor/outdoor celebration surrounded by waterfront views, Mediterranean architecture, and Old World elegance then the Powel Crosley Estate should be on your list.
Alison and Dom's beautiful Powel Crosley wedding left us longing to return there soon.
Oxford Exchange: Located across the University of Tampa, you’ll find this well-loved meeting, eating and shopping space. Originally built in 1891 as a stable for the Tampa Bay Hotel, the building has been carefully restored and is gorgeous marriage between classic and modern design. A glass conservatory and skylights draw in natural light and the mix of materials (Italian marble, wood and brick) create warm, well-worn texture. This is a dream space for designers and photographers!
Casa Lantana: This private home is nestled in a lush twelve acre property in Brandon. We’ve been fortunate to photograph several weddings and even a styled shoot here and the natural light on this property is incredible! The estate can transform into a variety of event looks or designs due to its mix of open space, a rustic barn and wooded areas. If you’re planning an intimate or mid-sized wedding, Casa Lantana is worth considering. To top it off, proprietress Giselle Hindley-Wales is organized as she is welcoming and gracious.
Trees draped in Spanish moss and a swing decorated with flowers. Aubree and Branden's Casa Lantana wedding was full of country-chic goodness.