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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.

0398 To 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 1 continued 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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Featured Wedding: Maddie and Will, May 30, 2015

If a couple was ever genuinely relaxed and effortlessly happy, it was Will and Maddie on their wedding day.  These two let their personalities seep through every detail and moment, making for a one-of-a-kind celebration to remember.  The bright blues and hot pinks matched the vibrancy in the air itself.  Guests enjoyed photo booth shenanigans, celebratory cigars, and party music provided by band GQ and The Lady.  The energy from this night just leaps from the photographs.  We wouldn’t be surprised one bit if Maddie and Will’s guests are still thrilling from the sheer fun of this wedding…

 

Photography:  Zac Wolf Photography
Catering:  Riverhouse Catering
Flowers:  Azalea Floral Design
Band:  GQ and The Lady
Photo Booth:  The Danger Booth
Rentals:  Party Rental Ltd.
Accommodations:  The Farmington Inn

 

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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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For Your Consideration

You’re so excited.  The question was popped, the answer was yes, and now you’re on the whirlwind ride that we call engagement.

You’re overwhelmed.  Opinions from all angles are swirling around as you start to climb the mountain of decision-making known as wedding planning.

You’re resolute.  You know exactly what you want your big day to be like, and all you need is for everything to be perfectly as you designed.

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However you’re approaching your matrimonial celebration, allow me to let you in on a little trade secret.  Your vendors — those you hire for the goods and services associated with your event (florist, photographer, cake baker, etc.) — are human beings.  I know, I know — it sounds obvious, right?  But you’d be flabbergasted at the countless, true stories that would provide substantial evidence to support how often that fact is forgotten.

That’s not to say that all brides, grooms, or their families behave in ways that seem dismissive of the lives of their trusted vendors (far from it), but it happens often enough that I have to wonder how many people outside of the event business are aware of the way their words or actions come across.

For example, I recently heard about a wedding vendor who had an extremely ill child, which set this vendor back on the designated timeline, although not to any real detriment of the services provided; the couple demanded a full refund, and when the vendor gave the very good reason for the slight scheduling setback, the couple’s reaction was not one of compassion but, “that’s not our problem.”

True story.

Not all such tales are quite as horrifyingly unfeeling.  Most could be characterized as simply inconsiderate.

Another story I’ve heard goes like this:  one of the vendors of an upcoming wedding had a parent pass away, to which the mother of the bride responded, “well you’re still going to be doing this wedding, right?!”  The implications being, of course, that vendors aren’t allowed to deal with their own lives like the rest of the world, and that they’re somehow in danger of forgetting their work obligations.

Regardless of what life throws their way, all that anyone hired to shoot your video or plan your day or arrange your flowers wants to do is put forth their best work.  Their name is on it.  It will represent them in the future.  They will do everything in their power to give you everything designated in their agreement with you, and then some.  I also don’t know of any vendors worth their salt who would enter into a contract if they weren’t able to fulfill it to the best of their abilities, no matter what’s going on.

The most classic case of ignorant behavior towards hard-working vendors is — you guessed it — pregnancy.  A female vendor “with child” can expect (no pun intended) to be on the receiving end of countless comments relating her gestation once the bump is no longer hide-able.  And, yes, I know vendors who will go to great lengths to hide their pregnancy for as long as possible for this very reason.  Some comments are intended to be jokey, while others are just downright impertinent and rude.  In any case, it’s clear that the old common sense rule of “think before you speak” is woefully absent from the minds of many.

Not too long ago there was a vendor that I know who told me that instead of being congratulated on her soon-to-be motherhood, a family member of a wedding in May said, with actual concern, “It won’t affect the wedding will it?”  Her due date was in January.

The all-too-real stories happen all-too-often.

So please consider, through your excitement, stress, and determination leading up to (and on) your big day, giving some consideration to the people you hire to help you have the event of your dreams.  A little thoughtfulness can go a long way.

As the saying goes: remember that your pants go on one leg at a time just like everybody else’s.

Or, less colloquially, abide by the Golden Rule and all will be well.

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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