By Stephanie Gonzalez
Kristen Treni and Bradley Santer
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
May 14, 2011
Kristen Treni and Bradley Santer – from New York and Australia, respectively – met while auditioning for roles in High School Musical – On Ice (he scored the role of Troy Bolton, and she played Sharpay Evans) in April 2006. After nearly three years of long-distance romance, Bradley popped the question, and the two began planning their theatrical nuptials at Ringling Museum all the way from Australia.
What attracted you to Bradley the most?
His confidence, intelligence, and the way he makes me feel secure about anything and everything. And, of course, the most important--he makes me laugh. Our humor complements one another's.
How did he propose?
Bradley proposed while we were visiting some of our closest friends in Vancouver. He had a knee injury from skating, which forced him to leave our tour. We hadn’t seen each other in four months, so we took a night away from the group and had a romantic dinner on the harbor. This was when he proposed–“Willyoumarryme?” was what spilled out in one word. I guess he was nervous!
My mom moved to Florida in 2005. When I was home, before relocating to Sydney, she suggested I take a look at the Ringling Museum before I left. Sarasota is a beautiful location by itself, but when we took the day to visit the museum, it was an instantaneous decision. The venue is like a fairy tale. It has class, charm and I instantly saw the vision of perfection it could create as our backdrop. It felt original and extraordinary! Brad, on the other hand, didn’t see the venue in person until the week of the wedding--but he was blown away.
What was the planning process like?
It was a bit crazy, as we began organizing everything from Australia. Although my mom lives in Sarasota, she only knew so much about planning a wedding there, so we hired a planner--Maria Brady from Choreographed Events. We did everything with Maria's guidance, from choosing vendors to choosing bachelor/bachelorette party venues. And the planning process was made even more difficult with a show I was cast for in Amsterdam--Holland’s Skating With The Stars. So we were coordinating between Florida, the Netherlands and Sydney, where we were also planning a reception in Australia the month after our American wedding. So Brad and I spent the three months before our wedding apart yet again.
Were there any personal touches to your wedding?
Plenty! We wanted to put on a bit of a show for our guests, so we choreographed our wedding party entrances to You’ve Got The Love by Candi Staton. We also wanted to showcase our friends' talents: two of them wrote and sang songs during our ceremony, accompanied by our live musicians, Intermezzo Trio. We also incorporated our venue with one of our parting gifts–novelty Ringling Bros. graham crackers boxes.
One of our friends was the "flower boy," with a tophat full of rose petals he threw as he came skipping down the aisle. Then there were the candid speeches given by my "man of honor" and Brad's best man and the choreographed numbers from shows the skaters performed during our reception. Plus, with our bridal party entrances it was like a stage production finale call. All the details we incorporated into the day, the characters that were involved, the setting and the decor we chose were what made the whole event come to life in a theatrical way.
Tell us a little about your vendors.
All of our vendors were first class, from the food and drinks by Treviso to the flowers from the florists at Tiger Lily, who met our requests with stunning customized candlestick arrangements, to the detailed cake mimicking my dress and hairpiece design from Cakes By Ron. We couldn’t have been happier! Having what we’d envisioned all come together and become a reality on the day was overwhelming.
What will you remember most about your wedding?
It rained all morning that day. Torrential rain. So when we had to go with our Plan B, I thought the day would be ruined. But about 30 minutes before the ceremony began, the sky went from dark to light. The sun shining down on all the wet made everything sparkle, and Plan B looked even more spectacular than Plan A.
Any tips for future brides and grooms?
It all happens too fast. There is so much that goes into the "perfect" day. Don’t forget to soak it all in--get wrapped up in every moment because it’s all for you and love of your life!