I am having some of the same questions/issues as you are. My fiance and I are getting married in October of 2010 and have been trying to secure a venue for the reception but keep hitting roadblocks. His mom works for the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and has been a huge help. I originally wanted to get married and have the reception at the Ca'd'zan at the Ringling Museum, however, it seems to be more of a hassle to do it someplace other than a hotel because you have to hire caterers, bartenders, etc...it just seems like with so many different vendors, it's easier to drop the ball or forget something. With the hotel option, they set up everything for you. We are flying down the last weekend of August to look around and see what we like best. At this point, I'm probably going to stick to looking for a hotel. As far as weather, I've been told that November and May are the best months weather wise. It's not too hot and hurricane season is basically over. The beginning of October is a little iffy but it gets better as the month goes on. Keep in touch, I would love to hear what you decide on...maybe I can get some ideas from you. It's so hard to plan a wedding when you are hours away (I am in DC). Good Luck!!
I LOVE Ringling, that was one of my options too! I definitly think having a place coordinate it all would be nice but we do have over a year to plan so I am not ruling out any place becuase of that just yet, plus you have his mom there if you needed help! Sometimes I dont like the all inclusive becuase it includes cake too and I kind of want to be able to pick that out. are you going to use a dj or band? i would LOVE to find an awesome band!!!
Hello ladies...as a bride that lives in Sarasota, may I offer a bit of advice. If you intend on booking Crosley, book NOW. I am getting married April 24, 2010 and when I contacted them over three months ago, they were booked solid for the month of April. There really aren't very many "nice" venues to choose from in the Sarasota area, so they tend to book up quickly. You may be interested in the Phillipi Mansion as well. It cost's roughly the same to rent as the Crosley, but it does include tables and chairs, which the other mansions do not.
Regarding weather, April and November are the best months for outdoor weddings. There is little rain and it isn't hot and humid (most days). I would stay away from May...this month is generally when "the rainy season" starts for us. I made the mistake of scheduling my engagement photo session for the second week in May, and don't you know, after months of no rain, it poured!
Boy are you right about things booking up gast!!!!!!!!! Crosley is booked for Oct/Nov/Dec EVERY saturday. ugggggggg I dont want to push it to spring of 2011 because its soooo far away!! It looks like we will have 150 people so the Philli would be too small. Contacting all the hotels now wish me luck!
Good luck in your search! The only hotels around here that have a ballroom suitable for a wedding are the Sarasota Hyatt Regency, Lido Beach Resort, and The Ritz-Carlton. All of which may be rather pricey. If you are looking to do things for a little less, may I suggest looking into a Country Club, such as Lakewood Ranch Country Club. I booked Stoneybrook Golf and Country Club, which is a great facility and will hold 180 people, but they don't really have a place for a ceremony.
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