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A Very Wadsworth February

It’s 2017.  And before too long we’ll be on the second month of the year… (Crazy, right?)  February is typically characterized here in Connecticut by dark, early mornings punctuated with hot coffee, vehicles encrusted with layers of cloudy bits of former snow and salt, and not-so-slimming multi-layered woolens and fleeces to ward of the chill so as to not turn into a living icicle. (OK, maybe that last one is just me…)

 

In any case, I think most people would like a reason to shrug off the proverbial (or actual) layers and come to a 2017 Valentines Dinner Finalbeautiful place in the middle of winter.  Luckily, there will be two opportunities to make the Wadsworth Mansion that oasis destination.

 

First, get gussied up with your sweetheart and prepare to cut a rug!  The Friends of the Long Hill Estate are hosting a Valentine’s Dance, the proceeds of which will go to support the Friends and their mission.  You may show up as yourselves for cocktails and dinner, but by the time the dance music starts be ready to channel your inner Freds and Gingers!  Tickets can be purchased HERE and are limited, so don’t miss out.  February 11th at the Mansion is going to be a helluva hootenanny — I should know, I’ll be there…

 

For those planning weddings — or thinking wedding planning could be in the near future — come check out Mansion-in-winter opportunity number two: The Wadsworth Mansion 2017 wedding show flyerv2Wedding Show.  From 11am to 3pm on the last Sunday of February, the house will be full of yummy smells, friendly faces, and wedding experts of every niche.  We’ve got a complete list of those you’ll meet HERE.  You can try some tasty nibbles as you grill the caterers (pun intended) on their specialties.  You can check out photographers’ images and see if your personalities mesh.  You can stop and smell the roses, or ask the florists what other flowers they like for a June ceremony.  Best of all, you’ll be able to shop some of the most talented vendors in weddings all at once and without being inundated by those extraneous or, um, unbecoming companies that tend to turn up at big bridal expos.

 

Come and see us at one of these two public events and get your February Mansion on!  We’d love to see you darken our door…

 

 

Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional.  When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.

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Featured Wedding: Megan and Brett April 23, 2016

Megan and Brett’s adoration for one another was clear from the beginning.  It radiated through them and extended out from each family member, friend, and guest.  Their ceremony at our tennis pavilion was filled with joy and heart, accentuated by the lovely, warm April sunshine that could very well have been generated by those gathered there.  Pale, dusty pinks and vintage, creamy whites made for romantically inspired details.  Even classically passionate characters (and their books) designated dinner table assignments.  From beginning to end this wedding seemed to be the storybook day that Megan and Brett envisioned.

Photography:  Christina Corneau Photography
Catering:  David Alan Catering
Flowers:  Just For You Floral Design
Ceremony Music:  Millenium Music
DJ:  AudioMediaSolutions
Cake:  A Little Imagination Cakes
Transportation:  New Britain Transportation
Accommodations:  Inn at Middletown

 

 

 

Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional.  When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.

 

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Focus Is Future (or, How Weddings Are Governed by The Law of Attraction)

I’m not much of a New Age philosphy kind of gal.  Not that I have anything against it, really, it’s just not my particular cup of tea.  But the longer I’m around weddings and the planning stages that precede them, the more I’m convinced that the Law of Attraction is a thing.

For the uninformed, good old Wikipedia defines the Law of Attraction as such:

“…the idea that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life.  This belief is based upon the idea that people and their thoughts are both made from “pure energy”, and the belief that like energy attracts like energy.”

I can’t necessarily speak to the second part, but the first bit about the outcome of experiences being reflective of the energy put into them is a very real occurrence.  And while I think it’s generally true throughout life, it is of course magnified under the glass of a major milestone event like a wedding.

0398To wit:

A recent bride of the Wadsworth Mansion was the essence of relaxed.  Her planning was thoughtfully arranged and specific, but even as we met to go over details a few days before her wedding she seemed to be in a lovely bubble of equal parts calmness, happiness, and reality.  She was very aware that unforeseen things could happen, but she trusted her vendors to do what they were hired to do and keep her day running smoothly.  Lo and behold — her wedding was a breeze, full of life and joy, and not a thing went wrong!  Within a week of her celebration she had written us to to say that her dream wedding had come true and she couldn’t have been more thrilled.  Hooray!

On the other hand, I can recall an occasion that had a marriage ceremony and reception that felt nothing like a celebration.  Try as the bride and groom might for smooth, easy sailing, their families seemed determined to encounter disaster.  I met them for a rehearsal a day or so before the wedding, and even then I could feel a cloud of negativity hanging just overhead; by the time the big day arrived, the cloud had fully descended into a terrible fog of malcontent and cantankerousness.  Although the bride and groom left that night seeming peacefully light, their family’s negativity would soon find them and everyone else involved in the event, re-coloring the entire picture in sad, gloomy hues.  It’s so unfortunate when a murky, merciless attitude prevents others from having the time of their lives.

These two examples are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reaping what you sow in the garden of weddings.  It’s amazing how we can predict with quite a bit of accuracy the general outcome of an event based on the process leading up to it.  But we can.

And you can, too.  As you plan your wedding, or vacation, or birthday party, or whatever, take a step back and do some honest self-assessment.  If your outlook is positive — even if it’s realistic — your road should be relatively smooth and happy.  If your attitude needs some adjustment, now is the time to find (or create) that silver lining before the negativity gets out of control.  And if the negative influence isn’t you, find a way to redirect, reduce, or remove that person from the process.

 

Happy planning!
Natalie

 

Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional.  When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.

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Top 10 Wadsworth Mansion Questions Answered

While weekends at the Mansion are filled with celebrations, events, and parties — especially during wedding season — the weekdays are equally as busy, if a little quieter.  During any given span of seven days you can find us fielding phone calls, corresponding via email, giving private wedding tours, meeting with future brides & grooms, and hosting public historic tours.  As you might imagine, all those interactions inevitably beget questions (not that we mind — it very obviously comes with the spectacular territory).

So, as a duty to the internet masses, we’re sharing!  Without further ado and in no particular order, here are the top 10 most frequently asked Wadsworth Mansion questions:

 

  1.  When was it built?
    Starting in 1900, the grounds were planted and landscaped to transform them from pastures into the woodlands that are seen today, but the foundation stone for the Mansion wasn’t laid until 1908.  Building LHD13p-front_view_dirt_1913 1continued until 1911.
  2. Who lived here?
    Col. Clarence Wadsworth and his family built this house to use as a residence in the spring and fall seasons (they divided their time among 5 other houses scattered across North America).  The Colonel died in 1941, and after 6 years of maintaining it, the family sold the Estate to the Roman Catholic nuns of Our Lady of the Cenacle.  After 40 years of using it as a retreat center (and adding to the house and subdividing the land), a developer purchased the house and remaining grounds from the nuns in 1986.  It changed hands among developers a time or two before bankruptcy left it under the ownership of a bank.  The bank failed to adequately secure the premises, so by the late 1980s vagrants, vandals, and homeless people took advantage and “moved in.”  Around 1994, the then-dwellers of the Mansion scattered away as the City of Middletown began the process of refurbishing the house and land.
    Currently, although sometimes we Mansion Ladies are here so often and keep such hours that we feel like we live here, we do not; the Mansion has been a business property for 16 years now.
  3. Can I come in?
    In a word, maybe.
    The Mansion is open for regular business hours from 9:30am to 5:30pm Monday through Thursday during wedding season (Fridays, too, if there is no event).  We especially welcome the public to visit us on Wednesdays from 2pm-4pm when we have free, historic docent tours.
    The grounds are parklands and open to the public from sun up to sun down on weekdays, and any weekend days that have no event.
    Private events — like weddings — mean that the Mansion and grounds are closed to the public.  The trails (hidden in the woods) remain open during these events.  We put out signs to denote when we’re having a private event, so you don’t have to dust off the old mind-reading skills!
    If you’re ever in doubt, feel free to call or email to ask.
  4. Do you have accommodations?
    Sadly, no.  (I’d be first in line for one of the rooms if we did…)  What were once the family rooms upstairs are now offices and look nothing like they would’ve back in the family or nun (or vandal) years.  Nearby hotels can provide comfy beds and amenities for anyone traveling here from far away.
  5. What’s your availability for weddings?
    Although this is a specific inquiry that changes almost every day, here’s the general answer.
    Saturdays during wedding season — May through November — are the first dates that book in a given year.  We only host one event per day, so the more flexible you can be with your date (Fridays, Sundays, other months, off-season), the better your options will be.  That being said, our availability changes daily or even hourly, so it’s best to just call or email.
  6. Who owns the Mansion?
    Although we Mansion Ladies are the key holders, none of us are the owners of the Mansion.  The City of Middletown purchased the Estate in 1994, however an organization called the Long Hill Estate Authority was created to be the governing body of the house and grounds.
  7. How much land is here?
    Today the grounds cover a healthy 103 acres; by contrast, the original reach of the Estate was 600 acres.
  8. Do you allow tents?
    We do, and there are several tent companies with tents of various shapes, sizes, bells, & whistles.  Most of the time hosts choose to tent the terrace, which is a quick enough set up and break down to be done for a single event.  Tents on the vista (our large expanse of grass behind the Mansion) are a larger undertaking, many of which take a full day to put up and a full day to take down which would require a 3 day rental of the Mansion.  There is one company with a large tent that can be erected and dismantled in the time frame of several hours, the hiring of which would enable the host to only rent the Mansion for one day.  As always, we are very happy to discuss how all of this works in fuller detail if you’re interested.
  9. Can my dog be in my wedding?
    Yes!  We love dogs, and as long as your furry friend is house broken and well-behaved then we are happy to welcome him or her to the Mansion to be a part of your big day.
  10. Do you only do weddings?
    Although weddings take up the majority of our schedule for most of the year, we are thrilled to host a variety of different events — from corporate daytime functions to evening gala soirees, epic sweet 16 parties to cocktail style holiday gatherings.  If you think the Wadsworth Mansion might be a good fit for your event, please don’t hesitate to inquire.

 

Natalie Newman Locke, the Event Supervisor and a Wadsworth Mansion bride herself, is a seasoned wedding & production professional.  When not creatively writing, photographing weddings, or acting as social media guru, she enjoys sampling wedding cake.

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