Weddings at the Powel Crosley Estate
Nestled amidst the coastal beauty of Sarasota, Florida, the Powel Crosley Estate stands as a timeless wedding venue that perfectly encompasses the culture and history of Sarasota. As a wedding photographer, I can say this venue is truly one of the most magical, rich in history buildings in our city. It’s an honor to be part of the history of the Powel Crosley Estate by photographing the beginning of forever for so many of my couples!
In this blog post, we’ll explore the allure of the Powel Crosley Estate as a truly unique wedding venue, weaving together its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and it’s promise of unforgettable wedding day memories.
A Glimpse into Powel Crosley Estate’s History
Before booking the Powel Crosley Estate, I always encourage my couples to understand the history of the Powel Crosley Estate, because this building is so full of stories to tell. The beauty of marrying at the Powel Crosley Estate is that you too become part of the history that is so dear to Sarasota. Originally built in the 1920s by Powel Crosley himself, a pioneer in broadcasting and automotive industries, this Mediterranean Revival mansion is a unique blend of grandeur and intimacy.
After Powel Crosley’s dabbling in technology in the early 1900s, he turned his attention towards real estate where in 1929 the Powel Crosley Estate was finished. Powel Crosley prided himself on the Mediterranean architecture of the Powel Crosley Estate, while also including modern luxuries such as a swimming pool and a yacht basin to keep his yacht safe when he wasn’t cruising the Sarasota Bay.
While Powel Crosley was a wealthy man with many accomplishments in life, he recalled that the home truly was built for his beautiful wife, Gwendolyn. If you are lucky enough to marry in the Powel Crosley, you will most likely find yourself putting your wedding dress on in Gwendolyn’s room. More on this room below.
While eventually the Powel Crosley Estate became owned by Sarasota County, who still owns it to this day, the estate had multiple private owners after Powel Crosley’s passing in 1961. The last private owner before the estate was acquired by Sarasota County was my beautiful friend Cat Pennenga’s grandparents. Cat spent her early childhood running around the grounds of the Powel Crosley Estate and married her husband there in 2009. Cat tragically passed away in June 2023, but every time I see the Powel Crosley I am reminded of her beautiful legacy. One of the many legacies this building holds for those of us who grew up here in Sarasota and love it so much.
The Enchanting Grounds on a Wedding Day
Imagine exchanging your vows under the shade of majestic banyan trees, with the gentle whisper of the bay in the background. The Powel Crosley Estate’s sprawling gardens, bay views, and historical architecture are sure to wow your guests as they arrive to witness your “I do’s”.
The 1st and 2nd Floor Guest Suites
When it comes to getting ready there are two separate guest suites, one on the 1st floor and the other on the 2nd floor, where the bride and groom typically hang out with their wedding parties. Downstairs in the mansion there is a room for the bride and her bridesmaids, while upstairs is a room for the groom and his groomsmen. In addition to these areas, there is Gwendolyn’s room and the ship room which I will share more detail on below.
As I mentioned above, Gwendolyn’s room was Powel Crosley’s wife’s room and is available for use on your wedding day for an additional fee. I always encourage my couples to rent this room as it’s architecture and the natural light in this room make for a truly ideal location for “getting ready” photos, putting on your wedding dress, and even the intimate sharing of vows if you would like. Gwendolyn’s room is only available to rent for 45 minutes, so I always work with my couples to decide when exactly we can make the best use of the time on their wedding day.
The Ship Room
Another location that is popular for getting ready at the Powel Crosley Estate is the ship room. Often times while the ladies get ready in Gwendolyn’s room, the guys head to the ship room for a more masculine backdrop. This room is open for use on the wedding day, they just ask no drinks or food be carried into this room, which is an easy rule to follow.
The Wedding Ceremony Spaces
For your ceremony, there are four locations couples typically opt for – at the back of the mansion by the Bay for a coastal backdrop, on the estate’s patio with guests facing the estate, at the pavilion by the bay, and inside of the estate. My personal favorite is the bay backdrop, as it allows for some coastal breeze while still being outdoors. However, all of the locations for ceremonies at the Powel Crosley are lovely.
The Wedding Reception Spaces
When it comes to your reception space, if you have a smaller guest list you may be able to fit into the foyer of the Powel Crosley Estate, which gives you the benefit of air conditioning. I will say this space gets tight, so I really only recommend this if you have 50 or less guests.
The reception space most Powel Crosley Estate couples opt for is the back of the estate, which boasts beautiful bay views and the bay breeze, as well as twinkle lights and puts your guests directly next to the dance floor, which is the back patio of the estate. If you’re marrying in the wet months (which here in Sarasota is June to September) you will want to have a reception tent booked and ready in case of inclement weather. For those hot months you might also opt to have a sided tent with air conditioning.
An Ideal Venue for Your Wedding Day
What sets the Powel Crosley Estate apart is its ability to host small gatherings, as well as larger events, while still feeling intimate. Unlike larger venues, this estate offers a cozy ambiance that allows couples to truly connect with their guests. While the venue’s capacity is up to 300 guests, the Powel Crosley Estate has multiple locations for both your ceremony and reception ensuring that both small and large gatherings are comfortable.
The estate’s various event spaces provide flexibility, whether you envision an outdoor ceremony overlooking the water or an indoor reception adorned with vintage glamour. As a wedding photographer, I find that this intimacy lends itself to capturing genuine emotions and candid interactions, resulting in a beautiful and authentic wedding gallery. No matter what locations you choose for your wedding ceremony and reception, the interplay of natural light with the estate’s architectural details will create an ever-changing canvas for photography.
Your Story in a Place Frozen in Time
In the heart of Sarasota’s history and nature, the Powel Crosley Estate stands as a haven where love stories unfold against a backdrop of timeless beauty. As a wedding photographer, I find endless inspiration in the estate’s elegance, and I’m committed to weaving your love story into its tapestry. Your journey towards forever begins here, where history, love, and photography converge to create memories that will last a lifetime.
For more information about pricing, availability, and reserving the Powel Crosley Estate for your wedding day, check out the Powel Crosley Estate website here.
Are you ready to be a part of history at the Powel Crosley Estate? Contact me to discuss how we can make your dream wedding a reality.
Contact me for more information about photography at the Powel Crosley Estate