What a pretty wedding we have for you today! Carissa and Patrick were married at the Ringling Museum, and let's just say, there was nary a clown car in site. Rather it was an event that lived up to the grandness and elegance of the venue (captured beautifully by Justin DeMutlis Photography), but with the intimacy of a couple who was really enjoying their day.

And the classic detailing! From Patrick's tux, to the ruffles on Carissa's train (perfect for dancing), to the simple elegance of their cake, each element matched the grandeur of the space. It looks like it was a truly gorgeous day.

Carissa and Patrick were kind enough to send over a ton of details about their day with lots of excellent advice for those of you in the planning stages. Make sure to check them out after the photos!

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Carissa and Patrick's Thoughts:
Did your wedding location and date hold a special significance for you?
We wanted to get married in a place that was romantic and had a lot of history. After visiting many locations, we realized that we wanted a unique venue, and not the typical hotel ballroom. We stumbled upon the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art on our way home one weekend. Before we even set foot on the property, we knew that this was where we want to get married. We loved the renaissance sculptures, and unique history behind the property. In the past, John and Mable Ringling would allow the public to get married in their rose garden. It was their way of sharing their love of marriage. We chose to have our wedding in the Ringling Courtyard outside, and were so excited to offer our guests the opportunity after the wedding to go into the art museum.

When choosing our wedding date we knew we wanted it to be on the 5th. The 5th is significant to us for many reasons: we went on our first date, Patrick proposed, we had our engagement party, and lastly we were married on March 5th, 2011.

Tell us about the details of the day.
We had about a year to plan our wedding. There were certain details about the wedding that were very important to us including the food, music, and photography. First, we wanted to make sure that we maintained a high quality of food and service for our guests. Since the Ringling Museum doesn't have a kitchen available, it was important for us to book a cater that had a portable kitchen that would allow them to cook the food on site instead of preparing it ahead of time. We liked how our cater had the servers take our guests' orders that night, and our guests were extremely impressed with the quality of the food. Also, we wanted to have a band that would be able to entertain a wide variety of audiences. We've seen our band perform at many local venues and knew that they would be a perfect fit for our wedding.

Finding an amazing photographer to capture such an important day was crucial for us. Once we saw Justin's photography we knew we had to have him as our wedding photographer.  Justin captures moments unlike the other photographers we had seen prior to meeting with him.  Another plus was that Justin was familiar with the wedding location.

Since the Ringling Museum is owned and operated by the state of Florida, there are many rules that we had to follow. Therefore, it was important to us to hire a wedding planner who had done weddings there and was familiar with the property and its rules and regulations. Hiring Justin Demuttis and Anna Pohl (wedding planner), were two of the best decisions we had made for our wedding, and my recommendation to other couples getting married.

Lastly, we wanted to set the tone of our wedding through our wedding invitations. Hedi at Stationary Loft helped us to create one of kind invitations that were modern and classy with purple, gold, and fuchsia accents. We found it extremely helpful to have Hedi also create our wedding programs.

How was the wedding day?
On the day of the wedding, the weather was gorgeous. It was a perfect Spring Florida weather. Carissa got ready with her bridesmaid at the Ritz Carlton and Patrick got ready with his groomsmen at the Hyatt Regency. One of the most important options for us was to do a pre-formal photo session/ first look prior to our ceremony. We wanted to capture many of the incredible locations on the Ringling campus (the mansion next to the Sarasota Bay, banyan trees, rose garden). During the first look, our photographers instructed Patrick to stand in front of the mansion while I walked up to him. It was such a surreal moment; we had our entire wedding party cheering on in the background. It was a perfect moment to start of a perfect evening.

Our ceremony started at 6:15 PM in the Ringling Courtyard, right before the sunset.  We got married under a chuppah that Carissa's dad build, and this was one of the most incredible structures we have seen. Rabbi Arthur Baseman and Den Chinsonboon were amazing officiants. Their words were both beautiful and meaningful.  Rabbi Baseman was also able to manage to get a few laughs from our guests.  Even today, many of our guests are still talking about how amazing Rabbi Baseman was.  Throughout the night, our wedding coordinator, Anna, was amazing.  She would always make sure that we, along with the guests were taken care of.  We had such a fabulous time at our wedding.  The music and food were amazing; everyone was dancing and having a good time. Before we realized, it was 11:30 and the last song was ending.  Yet, it was difficult to tell that this was the end as the dance floor was still filled with people.

Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding?
For our guests staying at hotels, we created our own gift baskets that matched our wedding colors of purple and fuchsia. Inside we wanted to make sure that our guests were informed of all activities, maps of Sarasota, chocolate M&M's with our faces/names, bottled water with our names, and additional items (toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss).  We would definitely recommend making a gift basket to other brides and grooms as a way to welcome and thank your guests for taking the time to come to your event.  Also, hire vendors early, hire an experienced wedding planner, and definitely take advantage of the pre-formal/first look.

Any final thoughts?
It has been more than a month since our wedding has past.  We still find ourselves in many occasions talking about the fun we had that night and looking at the amazing photos that Justin took.  It will be very difficult for us to choose for our photo book.  We wish that we can go back to that day and experience it again, but we are extremely excited to share the next chapter of our lives together! To brides and grooms getting married, make sure to take a moment during the wedding and enjoy!
Vendors:
Location: John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Photographer: Justin Demutiis Photography
Officiant: Rabbi Arthur Baseman
Wedding Planner: Anna Pohl
Groom's Attire: Nordstrom / Saks Fifth Avenue
Wedding Gown: Pronovias
Rings: Tacori/ Tiffany & Co.
Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade
Band: The Knot (managed by Dennis Bailey Management Company)
Stationary: Stationary Loft
Flowers: Suncoast Florist
Cake: A Slice of Heaven
Catering/ Event Design: Milans Catering and Sarasota Wedding Gallery

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