mote marine wedding
Mote Marine Aquarium Reception
A photo of a couple at The Ringling Museum newly Married
The Ringling Museum

Dreamy Places To Get Married In Sarasota

Thinking about tying the knot or renewing your vows in Sarasota? Check out these venues to wed your special someone.

January 17, 2023

Ever imagine getting married on white-sand beaches against a backdrop of crystal-blue waters? How about nuptials in tropical botanical gardens or gliding across the glistening Gulf aboard a sailboat? Whether you plan to get hitched with your toes in the sand, renew your vows inside an elegant, historic mansion or celebrate an engagement with Florida sea life inside an aquarium, Sarasota is a magically romantic destination to say "I do."

With standout wedding planning teams and local professionals at your fingertips, including Suncoast Wedding & Event Leaders and Complete Weddings & Events, Sarasota County's many picture-perfect venues and local event caterers are just the beginning for you and your love story.

Wedding Venues

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

Dive into marriage at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium on City Island, where guests depart from the ordinary with spectacular marine life exhibits including sting ray and sea turtle touch pools, manatees, otters, fishes of all shapes and sizes, and more. Couples can celebrate their love among the sea creatures with cocktails at "the reef," have dinner among the sharks at the high-tech shark tank and even throw a luau at Mote's tiki hut.

Selby Gardens' Historic Spanish Point

The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens & Historic Spanish Point campuses will entrance you and your guests with a lush, landscaped waterfront setting, historical charm and scents of blooming botanicals. Combined, Selby's two campuses in Downtown Sarasota and Osprey offer 45 acres of bayfront sanctuaries, native nature and regional history. The Garden is divided into two rental sections, which include ceremony, cocktail hour and reception areas with bayside views. Walking down the aisle surrounded by colorful orchids and bromeliads is truly a botany lover's dream come true. 

For catering, Michael's on East Catering is Selby Garden's exclusive culinary partner. Michael's on East operates the cuisine out of both campuses' cafes and caters all special events and private functions on the Gardens' grounds, as well as the waterfront ballroom Michael's on the Bay. 

The Ringling Courtyard

One of the most iconic and identifiable landmarks of Sarasota remains The Ringling Museum, with its 66-acre estate of John and Mable Ringling. The grounds includes its magnificent Courtyard, along with the marble structure of the Ca' dZan. Designed in the Venetian Gothic style, this dazzling palatial mansion perfectly captures the splendor and romance of Italy the Ringlings so loved. In addition, Ringling's Bayfront Gardens is as awe-inspiring as any work of art, courting couples in a majestic greenscape of florals and statues. 

The Museum's Ca' d'Zan Mansion

Bar service must be provided by The Ringling’s premise partner, Culinary Creations by Metz, but food service and catering can be booked through outside vendors registered with The Ringling. 

Bay Preserve Private Terrace

The Bay Preserve is a private waterfront oasis, community park and preserve in Osprey. Dotted with mangrove islands, Florida oaks and wildlife make it a true hidden gem. The venue includes a performance pavilion, dock, private bayfront terrace, a boathouse with an observation deck, a Great Lawn and the 1931 Burrows-Matson House. This unique historic property is a quiet and quaint place to have your wedding or private party with an Old Florida feel. 

Van Wezel's Grand Foyer

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall brings the drama with its iconic purple building, newly renovated Roskamp Auditorium and picturesque bayfront scenery for events large and small. Its opulent Grand Foyer seats 35-350 and opens on the Terrace and Bayfront Lawn, which can accommodate an additional 1,500. Some of the biggest musicians, artists and comedians have performed on the stage of this renowned theater, and duos becoming one can feel the star-studded ambiance of the Van Wezel. 

Mattison's Catering

Catering can be provided by the venue's resident caterer or another caterer of your choice. Some more local caterers to check out include Grillsmith, Peak Performance Catering, Tableseide Catering, Mattison’s Catering Company, Morton’s Gourmet Market and Gecko’s Hospitality Group.

Beach Ceremonies

Siesta Key Beach Ceremony

Florida Gulf Beach Weddings helps officiate, coordinate, take photographs and organize elegant ceremonies. With a niche of 2-100 guests, make your dream of having a wedding vow renewal on Siesta Key, Turtle Beach or Lido Beach a reality! The family business partners with local hotels, restaurants, florists, venues, photographers, caterers and Wedding Vendors to offer a unique one-stop-shop for your destination wedding needs.  

Permits through Sarasota County Parks & Recreation are strongly recommended for beachside weddings. This ensures the space you want for your special day. Call 941-861-5000 to book.

Wedding Resources

Need more assistance with planning your big day? Or someone else's? Check out our complete Wedding Guide to Sarasota! 

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