We love unique wedding locations in a place you would least expect it. Kara and Pete’s Florida wedding took place at the Ca’ d’Zan Mansion and it’s pink architecture and art filled halls won our hearts immediately. And we so wish we could have been at that dance party!
Photography by Christy Cassano-Meyer.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Be selfish. Dance as much as you want at your wedding.
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? I wore my mother’s jewelry—an antique emerald necklace with matching earrings.
Kara’s bouquet filled with corals and creams popped so well against the Ca’ d’Zan Manison’s beautiful backdrop.
Kara and Pete shared a first look in the grounds’ beautiful gardens. The incredible pink architecture and romantic sculptures is perfectly fitting for the special moment.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The Great Gatsby, Rose & John Ringling, and elements from nature.
“I grew up visiting and playing around the grounds of the Ringling Estate and I followed the renovations of the Ca’ d’Zan following the filming of the movie Great Expectations. While visiting for the holidays, I brought Pete to explore the grounds. They reminded us of our first big trip together to Italy. We joked that we should get married here and then later it happened!”
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? We found these beautiful vintage fans for guests at the ceremony.
What was your ceremony music? Brass! Pete and I both share a love of brass instruments and dancing so we wanted our ceremony music to be bold and fill the grounds with sentiment and fun. We found a brass quartet that included a trumpet, trombone, alto and tenor sax player who played popular songs from the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. I walked down the aisle to ‘Stardust’. Our recessional music was a brass rendition of Beyonce’s ‘Love on Top’.
Your ceremony in three words. Sentimental, playful, jazzy
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? We sought out advice from Pete’s family. There are several lutheran pastors in his family. We asked Pete’s sister-in-law to officiate because she was the first member of his family to get to know me and welcome me. It was important to us to honor our guests, family and community that would be gathering from all corners of the country. Jeni helped us identify the tone for the ceremony, narrow in on a biblical reading and create the structure for the program.
What were your ceremony readings? An excerpt by Lao Tzu & Song of Solomon 8:6-7
What were your vows like? We wrote our own but shared them with each other the night before the ceremony.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? The wedding sermon delivered by Jeni. It was rich with meaning, texture and several inside pokes that our close friends and family would recognize. She wove in our readings to her message and personalized her words in such a beautiful way. Here’s an excerpt, “Peter and Kara, your lives, wild and precious, are headed further into great adventure. The maps of your lives have been dog-eared and well-worn; ripped out of books and thrust into hiking packs. That is to say, you have been places. And you are going places. But today we rejoice in this moment and we mark this point on the map of your lives. We are so very glad to be a part of your journey. We’ll cheer you on, walk with you, laugh with you, cry with you, and behold your many and glorious tomorrows. May God bless you and keep you. We love you. Amen.”
“Don’t get lost in the details. They can take up the most time in the planning process and often, you won’t even notice them because you are having so much fun at your wedding. Delegate, delegate, delegate and remember to laugh when something (inevitably) goes wrong.”
Did you have a signature cocktail? Yes, we served our personal spin on the Gin Gimlet.
Kara and Pete had a personalized book at their welcome table, sharing with their guests the story of how they met and fell in love. Such a great idea!
How would you describe your reception? Glamorous, Great Gatsby, dancing.
crispy shaved burrata & sliced prosciutto atop a ruskin vine ripened tomato with grilled leeks and balsamic syrup / gluten free specialty bread / individual rosemary skewered filets with homemade steak sauce drizzled over trumpet mushrooms // pan seared sea scallops with brown butter sage / restaurant style mashed potatoes / grilled grouper with warm mango chutney / warm tuscan roasted vegetables
A wedding reception with a photobooth and a plethora of silly props—what’s not to love?
What was your first dance song? First dance: “You are the Best Thing”
Father/daughter: “Never Can Tell” by Chuck Berry. Think twist competition from Pulp Fiction.
Mother/son: “How sweet it is (to be loved by you)”
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Creme Brûlée and a dessert bar.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? Dancing to our amazing band, None Other. We didn’t have to pick out music because they could read the audience and transition seamlessly into the next song. It turned out to be really hot at our reception but most everyone danced the night away.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? We would have choreographed our first dance. We were so busy in the months before the wedding that we kept putting it off.