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Ca' d'Zan Mansion, Sarasota, Florida
Once the winter home of circus impresario John Ringling (the name means "John's House" in Venetian dialect), this 1920s Venetian-Gothic-style villa was the romantically crumbling backdrop for the 1998 film "Great Expectations." Today, fully restored, it’s a museum and a scene-stealing wedding site, where you can tie the knot on the bay-front terrace.
If Ca' d'Zan has captured your imagination (and really, how could it not?), enlist these local ideas to infuse your celebration with fun.
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Spain hits the Sunshine State at Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant, a lively place with great paellas. For a party that's "buenisimo," rent the Flamenco Lounge, which has a stage for toasts and performances.
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Score unique finds at Sarasota Architectural Salvage -- think vintage bottles you can fill with flowers or an antique table for an escort card display. Everything's for sale, but they're happy to rent items, too.
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Ca' d'Zan requires that groups clear out by 11 p.m. Since the night is still young, reserve the nearby Ritz-Carlton's Ca' d'Zan Lounge to keep the good times rolling. With rooms from $209, the hotel is also a swell place to stay.