Advice for brides

Love is Essential – Planning a Wedding Show Safely

It’s here again! Our wedding show! Needless to say, we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to host it this year with everything going on. But after long conversations and a (very) successful wedding season, we took a step back and said to ourselves, “Okay, how do we make this work?”

The fact is that even if everyone had access to the vaccine last month, we’d still likely be following precautions for our bridal show. However, we knew that we could do things safely as long as we followed some key points.

Photo by: Henry + Mac

 

Spacing and Timing

The first thing we considered was spacing out vendors within the mansion and outside of it. With that in mind, we made sure to have a tent on the

terrace to give everyone more room outdoors and also invited less of our vendors. This was a hard decision, because we love everyone we work with. However, we had to remember the space we had to work with this year.

With spacing in mind, we realized that timing would be important. We couldn’t have everyone come at once to tour the space and meet with vendors. Instead, we decided to have guests pick time slots to attend. That way, we can space couples out appropriately and make sure that not too many people are in the mansion at once.

Photo by: Tyron M. Jemison

One Way Flow of Traffic

We also wanted to make sure that each couple has enough space when they speak with each vendor. We decided to create a one-way flow of foot traffic through the mansion to help with that. That way, there’s enough space between couples and vendors. We want to make sure that couples feel comfortable and confident as they meet with the amazing people who will potentially help with their wedding.

Masks and Sanitation

Masks aren’t going away any time soon, so it was a no brainer to make sure that everyone who comes to the bridal show needs a mask before they enter. To remind everyone to keep their hands clean, we’re also putting out hand sanitizers.

 

Overall, we’re very happy with how our wedding show is shaping up, and very excited for it this weekend! We’re confident that our wedding show will not just be safe, but will also be an amazing experience for anyone who wants to get married at the Wadsworth Mansion.

At the end of the day, it’s all about creativity, design, and the determination to make things safe and fun for our couples. After all, love is essential. We’ll see you all soon!

~Catie

P.S. If you want tickets, you can still grab yours here.

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Tips and Tricks for Planning Your Wedding During Covid

Planning your wedding can be difficult during the best of times. During Covid, it can be even harder if you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, we’re here to help guide you through this process and give you a few tips when it comes to your very special day.

Talk with Your Venue and Vendors

Photo by: Henry + Mac

When you’re planning your wedding, you’ll definitely want to chat with your venue and your other vendors, such as your caterer. Your venue will know capacity limits, and your caterer will be up to date with how to handle food safely. This will let you know how many people you can invite, how you can seat them, and other details that you may not normally think about. If in doubt: ask! Your vendors want to make sure you have an amazing day, so feel free to discuss ideas. Not only that, but your vendors have handled other weddings during this time, and may have ideas that you may not have thought of!

Go with the Flow

Covid guidelines are changing week to week as more people get the vaccine. This means that it’s

Photo by: Katie Salerno Photography

more important than ever to go with the flow. With that in mind, it’s good to work with your vendors to create multiple plans depending on where things are with reopening. Always assume that guidelines won’t ease, but plan for them if they do. That way, you’ll be happy with your wedding no matter what!

When it comes to Covid, we’re all just doing our best depending on what the current guidelines are. Just because something needs to change doesn’t meant that your wedding is going to be any less wonderful. Discussing different options and going with the flow will make you a lot less stressed.

Time to Get Creative

When planning your wedding, consider how you can include certain guidelines in a fun way! This past season, we saw couples include customized masks for their guests for their wedding. We also saw sanitation stations that included scented hand sanitizers for each

Photo by: StopGoLove

of the guests. Think of how you can include safety measures in a beautiful and elegant way for your wedding. Like I mentioned above, you can always ask your vendors.

There are so many things that are shifting right now, but that’s okay. Your team is there to make sure that your big day goes smoothly. At the end of the day, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you’re going to have a wonderful wedding no matter what.  

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Take a Seat: Managing Seating During Covid

Photo by: Rachel Girouard

Figuring out who should sit where during your wedding is a challenge at the best of times. I remember spending hours figuring out how to group my family members and friends for my own wedding, and wondering whether I should switch this person for that person. With Covid-19, designing seating arrangements turns into a whole new challenge – though for a completely different reason. Fortunately, we’re here to help you figure it out.

Spacing it Out During COVID

When you’re designing your seating chart, there’s a few things to keep in mind. You’ll need some extra space for tables, since they all have to be spaced apart appropriately (about 6 feet). You’ll also want to consider which of your guests are family members and seat them together. The goal is to seat people who regularly see each other or are part of the same household. That way, they’re comfortable eating together. As more people become vaccinated, you can also seat vaccinated groups together at larger tables. You can also seat vaccinated guests with unvaccinated guests, as long as they’re part of the same cohort.

Keep in mind that to save more space for a dance floor, it’s fine to have both small and large tables mixed together for smaller and larger pods of guests.

Keeping Guests Comfortable

When you seat your guests, consider where they’ll be most comfortable. Do you think they will prefer dining inside or outside? Don’t be afraid to ask

Photo by: Derek Halkett Photography

your guests who they’re most comfortable sitting next to and where they would prefer to sit. In addition, don’t be afraid to seat some of your guests inside. There is plenty of space in our ballrooms to spread out, and guests may be more comfortable if they have more room indoors than they would be all in one location outside.

Be Flexible with Seating

If you decide on a larger guest count for later in the season, then don’t be afraid to seat some of your guests inside and some of them outdoors. Fortunately, we’re no strangers when it comes to having guests dine in multiple rooms (in fact, that’s how

Photo by: Melanie Ruth Photography

weddings normally are here during a “regular” year). Dinner typically lasts an hour, and then your guests are back together again for dancing and enjoying the outdoors. Not only that, but our beautiful double doors in each of our ballrooms lead right out to the terrace, creating a free-flowing space that connects together via the outdoors.

You Got This

At the end of the day, your guests are coming together to be there for an important moment in your life. No matter where they sit, they’re sure to have a wonderful time sharing in your special day. And as always, if you need help we’re there for you.

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2020 Weddings: Love During Covid

In the wedding industry, we keep hearing the same thing over and over again when we chat with couples: “I don’t want a Covid wedding.” It’s understandable. After all, the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way that we function in our daily lives.

However, after working (almost all) of the weddings of 2020, I feel like labeling weddings as “Covid weddings” is a misnomer. Sure, we had to work within certain guidelines and implement safety precautions, but the fact is that 2020 weddings at the mansion were amazing. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the weddings in 2020 were somehow even more special, because they were done during a time when so many people had their lives upturned. I watched our couples come together in such a wonderful way, creating magical moments amidst the pandemic.

Photo by: Mel B Photography

With that in mind, I think it’s important to let our 2021 couples know that weddings here at the mansion will always be wonderful, no matter the circumstances. I also think it’s worth taking a look back at some of our 2020 weddings to see exactly what they were like.

Outdoor Weddings

We embraced outdoor weddings in 2020 by erecting a gorgeous Sperry Tent that kept the breezy feel of our vista but still provided shelter from sun and rain. There were yard games, outdoor lounge furniture, cigar bars, and more. Guests dined beneath the tent and danced the night away on the terrace. These weddings were, without a doubt, stunning.

I often say that we’re fortunate as a venue. We have over 100 acres of grounds to work with, which

means that we have the space to set up tents and outdoor areas for guests. Fortunately, our gardens cooperated with us this past season, and the flowers were absolutely stunning during our outdoor weddings.

Embracing Intimacy

Of course, 2020 was the year of more intimate weddings. Smaller guest counts meant that couples could actually talk with everyone during their big

Henry + Mac

day. From my experience, a lot of these weddings seemed more personal and customized to the couples. They would add special touches that they wouldn’t normally be able to include with a larger guest count. As an example, one couple had a neon sign that they customized and hung above their sweetheart table.

Personally, I enjoyed these smaller weddings. I felt like couples were less overwhelmed during their big day because of it.

Going with the Flow

This is normally the case no matter the year, but I found that 2020 couples that went with the flow and

Photo by: Derek Halkett Photography

listened to their vendors were the ones that had the best weddings. Vendors have a lot of experience when it comes to events, and know all of the policies that need to be followed for Covid. This means that they also know what works and what doesn’t.

In 2020, this was more true than ever. We partnered with caterers who worked with us to create truly amazing weddings during the pandemic. They came up with creative ways to make sure food was safely served, and I helped create was to unobtrusively add touches that kept guests safe, such as sanitization stations and mask tables.

With that in mind, I always recommend that you listen to your vendors if they make suggestions. After all, you’re hiring them for a reason. Trust them to create your perfect day.

 

As we launch into the 2021 wedding season, I can’t help but be excited. Last year was a challenge, but it was also

Photo by: Amber Jones Photography

one of the most amazing wedding seasons I’ve had at the mansion to date. I can only hope that this year will be just as wonderful.

Remember, you’re not going to have a “Covid wedding.” You’re going to have a beautiful mansion wedding. And all of us here at the mansion will be there to help you every step of the way.

See you soon!

~Catie

 

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A Love Note to the COVID 19 Bride & Groom

To my dear brides and grooms,

 

This was certainly unexpected, wasn’t it?  It’s likely you’ve been planning your celebration for 12, 18, even 24 months and in all of your plans and details, I doubt a worldwide pandemic crossed your mind as a possible interruption on your way to the big day. And yet here we are – living through an historic moment in time that has forced us, all of us, to pause and wait -wait for this to pass, wait for the virus to slow down, wait for the world to begin healing.  But this waiting isn’t easy, is it?  It not easy when you’ve chosen a color palette that perfectly fits the inspo board you’ve meticulously put together, when you have a gorgeous wedding dress ready to be worn, when your  floral arrangements are designed and your invitations have gone out (or are about to go out). Everything you’ve spent months dreaming of is now suddenly on hold.  This is so hard, I know, but it will be okay.

 

Photo: Candace Elizabeth Photography

I want to assure you of a few things.  First and foremost, in a time when everyone is feeling isolated, and separated, you are not alone in this.  The wedding industry is a big, creative, and supportive community that is in the business of helping a dream come together.  We know there are so many moving parts to planning a wedding, with a network of vendors, and timelines – negotiating the logistics of contingency plans can seem overwhelming.  But one thing we excel at is making it work.  If you are one of our 2020 brides or grooms, you’ve already heard from us and know we are very actively watching the current climate of this COVID 19 crisis and how it may possibly affect your wedding.  We’ve also kept in touch with many of our preferred vendors to make sure we’re on the same page.  Even if you’re not planning a wedding with us, know that there are so many vendors out there who are bending over backwards to be available to their clients.  Trust the professionals to provide you with the guidance you need in all of this.

 

The next assurance is something my mother taught me, and her mother taught her, and is a valuable mantra I use all the time: this too, shall pass. As a society, we look for immediate answers and expect timelines with finite start and end dates, so this current situation with all of the unknowns is a new and challenging territory for many.  Add to that the emotional and financial investment of planning a wedding, and you may be feeling like the world is spinning off its axis. It’s not fair, and it’s frustrating, but it will not last forever. In fact, we’re already starting to hear that our social distancing efforts are working and we are successfully “flattening the curve”.  There is an end, and we’ll all be stronger from this journey and more appreciative of each other’s sacrifices along the way.

 

My final assurance is that I promise we will gather again, and we’ll  celebrate love, and family, and togetherness and it will be all the sweeter after this extended separation. If your wedding is this year, or you’ve had to reschedule to 2021, there is a whole tribe of people – from family, to friends, to vendors who can’t wait for the time when we’re all able to come together to celebrate your love and commitment.  There is a light at the end of this, friend. Keep hanging on. We’ll get through this together.

 

Sending social distance hugs and love,

Jessica

Director of Events


For those of you who have been forced to move your date because of COVID-19, I have some reassuring facts for you:

● 96% of couples say they are not canceling their weddings
● Among those postponing their weddings, 65% are moving their
receptions to a later date in 2020.
● The rest of respondents who are postponing said that they are shifting to
2021 (18%) or are still deciding (17%).
● Roughly 40% of those postponing their weddings are planning to get
legally married prior to their rescheduled receptions.

(The Knot COVID Impact Study)

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Your First Look at the Wadsworth Mansion

I get this question all of the time from both brides and grooms: Where should we have our first look? Are any spots better than others at the mansion?

The truth of the matter is that there’s no wrong answer. The mansion and its grounds are gorgeous all year round. However, I do think it’s important that our couples take a moment to decide what location on the grounds or inside the mansion that they love the most. Do they want to take advantage of the elegant stairway inside, or take to the outdoors where they can find blooming flowers? With that in mind, I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures of our couples during their first looks. Hopefully, this will help inspire some of our future couples and help them decide where they want to share some of their very special moments together!

The Carriage Drive

Photo: Derek Halkett Photography

I absolutely love the old carriage drive, which was the original path up to the mansion. These days, it’s lined with gorgeous trees and framed by a mossy, stone wall. During the autumn, this area is awash in fall foliage. During spring and summer, it’s abundantly green. It’s the perfect place for any couple that wants to feature nature as part of their first look. Here, Stephanie and Jimmy share a moment together right after their first look during their June wedding.

Photo by: Elizabeth Grant Photography

The Front of the Mansion

What better way to celebrate a mansion wedding than to have it as the backdrop for your first look? The front of the mansion is timeless, and can make for truly elegant pictures. Our couples love doing “the dip” shot in front, and I love how many of our couples use our cedars and drive to help frame the perfect picture. Here, Kendall and James share a kiss immediately after their first look in front of the mansion. The moment was truly magical.

The Cedar Trees

Photo by: Mobile Video and Photography

An elegant line of cedar trees can be found adjacent to our sweeping vista, providing shade and natural beauty for our couples. These trees are green all year round, which makes them perfect for a first look during the winter or early spring for couples. They help frame couples during their first look, and the trees can give couples a sense of seclusion and intimacy. Here, Cassandra is just moments away from surprising her husband-to-be, Joseph, during their May wedding.

The Vista

Where do I even start with the Vista? There are so many amazing places here! In the summer, the hydrangeas make for a gorgeous backdrop for any photos. The sweeping lawn itself is also an

Photo by: Spagnolo Wedding Photography

amazing space for photos, whether couples decide to use the back of the mansion as their backdrop or the opposite end of the vista. Rennie and Jonathan decided to use the back of their mansion as their backdrop for their first look this past June.

The Tennis Pavilion

My favorite season for the tennis pavilion is during late June and through the summer, since that’s when the roses are in bloom. These winding vines, filled with color, are perfect for couples who are looking for a floral backdrop during their first look.

The Stairway

Within the mansion is a royal blue carpeted stairway that leads upward toward the bridal suite. Since it turns slightly, this stairway can create some

Photo by: Jennifer Lynn Photography

absolutely gorgeous shots for your first look. It’s the perfect spot if you’re worried about rain, or want to take advantage of having the mansion for the day! Here, Emily stands at the top of the stairs as Jesse waits below. I absolutely loved working with this couple, and everyone pulled together to help make their special day happen!

No matter where you decide to have your first look, it’s sure to be spectacular. This is a moment for you and your future spouse to take a moment together and see one another before your ceremony without the rest of your guests. I hope this helps our future couples decide where they would like their first look to be, and which location best fits their personalities!

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Inspiration for Your Wedding Day – Styled Shoots

This past year, I saw some absolutely amazing weddings at the mansion. There were elegant, outdoor garden parties, Gatsby galas, and so much more. While I’ve seen a lot of weddings at the mansion, though, I’ve also seen some amazing styled shoots, which show exactly what can be done at the Wadsworth. While looking through some of the photos the other day, I couldn’t help but think that these would make for some fabulous inspiration for our couples for the upcoming wedding season. That’s why I’ve included some pictures below of some of our amazing styled shoots at the mansion to give our couples some ideas of exactly what’s possible at this gorgeous venue. I hope this helps them get some inspiration for their special days!

James Bond-Inspired Wedding

If you want more of an elegant feel to your wedding, then this James Bond-inspired wedding shoot is just for you! Lisa from Creative Concepts by Lisa designed this gorgeous wedding concept this past autumn, which was featured in The Connecticut Bride. During the shoot, I fell in love with the outdoor ceremony location among the cedar trees. The gorgeous chandeliers and flowers transformed the area into something truly special. Add that on top of the sleek car, stunning table arrangement, and gorgeous cake, and I was immediately transported into a James Bond film.

Vendor participants:

The Connecticut Bride, Creative Concepts By Lisa, Wadsworth Mansion, Tiny Human Photography, The Wedding Embassy, KOKO Floral Design, CT Wedding Group, Vivid Events, PEAK Event Services, Jessica’s Beauty Bar, Lovely Cakes LLC, Bespoke Designs LLC, Carrie Whelan Designs, @wnddmge, Whitney Ceramicoli and Yavuz Usluca

Boho Wedding

If you’re looking for a wedding that’s more earthy and chic, then a Boho wedding may be right up your alley! We had a Boho-inspired wedding shoot at the mansion in 2019. With a cigar bar, stunning florals, and an outdoor lounge, it was the perfect way to showcase what can be done with a few extra accessories and decorations. Personally, I loved the cigar bar and the fact that they included their dog in the photoshoot. That giant puppy was so sweet!

Vendor Participants: Michelle Wade Photography, Aced Events, Wilder Road Studio, Together LLC, Earth Blossoms Flowers, Phillips Designs, Coastal Gourmet, But a Dream Cakes, Everthine Bridal, JT Ghamo, Painted by Jenny, Renared Beauty, Bourbon Time, Correlation Productions, @jmaule646, @jennykbee

Celestial Wedding

Photo By: Rob Skinner Photography

Photo By: Rob Skinner Photography

Why not lean into a celestial-themed wedding when you can dance beneath the stars on the mansion’s terrace? This November shoot was stunning, and imagined a wedding where stars, moons, and crystals played an integral part in the décor. I loved how this shoot use different shades of blue and gold to create a dreamy atmosphere.

Vendor Participants: 

Whimsy & Lace, Sage Hill Florals, Hilary Harrison, Joanna Adler, Whitney Palmer, Simply Chic Jewelry, The Crushed Crystal, Melissa Garcia, Pope’s Pastries, Devon Allard, Cari Bowerstock, Harli Rasid, Carl DiFederico

Wildflower Wedding

With the natural splendor of the Wadsworth Mansion, it’s no wonder that Wildflower Events decided to welcome the outdoors inside. They used stunning florals in their photoshoot to create an experience where, indoor or out, the guests could experience nature. I especially loved the lounge area they set up; couches in the mansion always look amazing!

Vendor Participants: 

Wildflower Events + Design, Hudson Botanica, Keli Photography, Upstyle, Lina Gavrilyuk

 

Spring Garden Wedding

Photo by: Kelly Pomeroy

If you’re looking for a wedding that embraces the beauty of spring, then look no further than this styled shoot by Brehant Creations. Using purple and yellow as their colors, they created a truly magical experience. As I watched them set up their tables, flower arch, and more, I couldn’t but help be reminded of such classics as The Secret Garden and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This particular shoot welcomed the outdoors inside, and created a feeling of whimsy with their floral design.

Photo by: Kelly Pomeroy

Vendor Participants:

Brehant Creations, The Gardenist, Resurge Beauty Bar, Transcendent Makeup, Snassy Crafter, Whole Weddings, Refined Rentals, Custom Cakes by Sarah, Petals & Plates, Quiet Corner Cookies, Katie Bartel’s Jewelry, Julie Allen Bridals, Kimberly George Art, Soul Crafted Letter, Over The Moon Bridal, Generation Tux, Melinda Sundberg, @cadddydaddy, @jhsundberg, @the_nixie_pixie

These photoshoots were absolutely amazing to watch, and the pictures were stunning! In my personal opinion, they’re the perfect way to show how a concept can work at the mansion. If you’re planning on getting married at the mansion and see something you love from one of these shoots, don’t hesitate to tell us and we can put you in contact with the people behind them!

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Using Space at the Wadsworth Mansion

The Wadsworth Mansion isn’t your typical wedding venue. It’s a Beaux Arts style mansion that transports you back to an era of elegance and high society, with sprawling gardens and gorgeous views. While working here during the past season, I’ve seen all sorts of ways that the mansion can be used during a wedding—from creating a lounge in one of the ballrooms, to dining al fresco on the terrace to having a cocktail hour by the tennis pavilion outside.

When I tour couples at the mansion, I’ve noticed it’s often hard for them to decide how exactly they want the flow of their wedding to go. With this in mind, I’ve decided to write about all of the different ways the mansion can be set up during your big day. It may seem like a lot, but the team here is great at suggesting different options for the flow of your big day.

Without further ado, here are some different ways that I’ve seen the mansion used for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dining, and dancing.

Ceremony

Photography: Ammarhea Photo

When deciding where your ceremony is going to be at the mansion, I recommend that you look at the season, foliage, and weather. After all, we have some stunning grounds and indoor spaces; you might as well make good use of them!

Photography: Vicky and Erik Photography

When flowers bloom and when foliage begins to turn varies year to year. However, this past year, I got a great sense of when to expect flowers to bloom on the grounds. In May, the dogwoods, cherry blossoms and magnolias begin to flower. In late May and early June, our pink rhododendrons being to bloom and in mid June, the roses by the tennis pavilion begin to flower (it’s honestly stunning—and were some of my favorite flowers to see). In August, the hydrangeas begin to bloom with full, white blossoms. In September and October, the hydrangeas turn a dusky rose color that then changes to full pink in later autumn. It’s hard to say when the autumn foliage really begins to pop each year, but late September and early October is usually a safe bet. That’s when you’ll get some spectacular background color behind the tennis pavilion and on the drive on the way up to the mansion.

Photography: Kris Rae Photo

Of course, there’s also winter to consider; in that case, you may want to consider a heated tent on the terrace for your ceremony, or using the east or west ballroom. If you have a small guest list, you can also conduct your ceremony in the Loggia against the gorgeous windows!

It’s ultimately up to you when it comes to where your ceremony will be. You can have it on the vista, next to the tennis pavilion, on the terrace, in one of the ballrooms, amidst our cedar trees, or even in the Loggia!

Cocktail Hour

Photographer: Alicia Ann Photography

Cocktail hour is a great time to mix and mingle with your guests while enjoying libations and hors d’oeuvres after your ceremony. At the mansion, I’ve seen that having the cocktail hour near the ceremony location allows guests to easily transition from one space to another to enjoy that part of the event. As an example, if you choose to have your ceremony on the vista, you may then choose to have your cocktail hour by the tennis pavilion amidst the roses. A more popular choice is on the terrace or in the mansion, or both!

There are a lot of options for cocktail hour at the mansion. You can also use the Loggia, terrace, one of the ballrooms, or the rose garden near the tennis pavilion.

Dining

Photography: Melanie Ruth Photography

Photography: Melanie Ruth Photography

There are a few different options for dining at the mansion. Both of the ballrooms are gorgeous and you can choose to do a sweetheart table in either of them. You may also choose to have a long, elegant head table in the Loggia! If you want to do something very special, you may instead choose to have your guests dine outside on the terrace. If you’re planning this set-up, I recommend getting a tent (just in case!).

Dancing

Most couples decide to have dancing on the terrace, and I don’t blame them. It’s absolutely amazing to dance under the night sky in the evening. This past year, some couples added bistro lights for a more romantic feel, or uplighting that switched colors during songs to create more of a fun vibe.

Photography: Brooke Brady Photography

Photography: Derek Halkett Photography

There are also a few other locations for dancing inside the mansion. Some couples opt to use the dance floor in the Loggia when it’s either too hot or too cold inside (yes, the mansion has both AC and heating), and some even rent a dance floor and decide to use one of the ballrooms.

 

There are a lot of ways the Wadsworth Mansion can be used during your wedding. Just this past year, I’ve seen couples include a photobooth, a memory room, and more! I’ve seen dinner take place outside, in the ballrooms, and in the Loggia. I’ve seen dancing happen both inside and outside. There are so many ways that you can personalize the mansion during your big day. I’m sure that as I continue to oversee weddings in this amazing, historic space, I’ll learn of even more creative ways that couples decide to use it for their weddings.

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Customize Your Wedding at the Wadsworth Mansion!

Sam Coba Photography

When I first began working here in April, I had no idea that I would learn so much and meet so many amazing couples in such a short amount of time. During my time here, I’ve noticed something that I, and the couples love about the mansion: It can be customized to each couples’ personality. Each wedding at the estate is unique as each couple adds their own, personal touch to their big day. Just this year, I’ve seen a Gatsby-themed wedding, an autumn-themed wedding, dance performances and more! With a full wedding season at the mansion under my belt, I realize that the mansion is a gorgeous, blank canvas for couples to create their ideal wedding.  However, I also know that creating your ideal wedding can be overwhelming without a little bit of inspiration to help. That’s why today I want to take a closer look at some of the things that past couples have done to help inspire future couples for their own weddings.

Your Ceremony

Lindsay Vigue Photography

If you’re considering a ceremony on site, then you want to consider what “look” you want for your big day. If it’s a nice day, you can conduct your ceremony by the tennis pavilion outside, or against the roses in that same area (the blooms are normally stunning in June!). You may instead decide to tie the knot on the sweeping vista, or beneath the cedar trees to take advantage of natural shade for your guests; in fact, we recently had a photoshoot with Connecticut Bride that shows how absolutely gorgeous a ceremony beneath those trees can be. I’ve also seen couples opt to have their ceremony on the terrace, using the gorgeous backdrop of the mansion for some stunning wedding photos. With a smaller number of guests, it’s also possible to use one of the ballrooms to have an indoor wedding, or even use the Loggia inside. If your ceremony includes a baraat, many couples use the sweeping drive up to the house for the ceremonial procession.

Your Reception

Brooke Brady Photography

What you decide to do for your reception depends a lot on your personal style. Do you want to do a cocktail reception with games outside on the vista and terrace? Do you want to do a formal, seated dinner? Do you want to do interactive stations where food is prepared as your guests watch? I’ve seen every one of these ideas happen at the mansion, and more. During warmer months, I’ve even seen couples dining al fresco on the terrace beneath a tent. One of my favorite things that I’ve seen done at the mansion was a s’mores station, where guests could toast their own marshmallows before sandwiching them between chocolate and graham crackers. There’s something about an interactive food station that really enhances a wedding.

Your Party

After dinner and cocktails, it’s time to party! Many of our couples transform the terrace into their dance floor, and I’ve seen

Brooke Brady Photography

it turn into a truly memorable space with a bit of lighting.  This year, AMS DJ Lighting and Photobooth added some romantic bistro lighting for several weddings (you can see it for yourself in the picture!). I’ve also seen multicolored uplighting that creates a club vibe and gets the party going. With that said, not every couple necessarily wants to focus on dancing.   This year, one couple turned the Loggia into a lounge with games, and I’ve seen other instances of guests choosing to socialize instead of dance. Whatever you decide to do, your party is sure to turn heads!

The Extras

Perceptions Photography

I absolutely love some of the “extras” that couples bring to the mansion to enhance their special day. Just this year, I watched a cigar-rolling demonstration, complete with cigars to enjoy on the terrace (I love cigars, and had the at my own wedding!). I also saw some amazing photobooths with themed props, and I even watched a bride enter in a horse and carriage before taking her walk down the aisle. One of my favorite things that I saw this season were a few performers dressed as flappers and handing out glasses of champagne. One of them even wore a “champagne dress,” which was a huge hit! While you don’t need any extras for your special day, they add a little extra something to enhance your experience during your wedding.

 

No matter what you decide to do for your wedding, you’re sure to have a fabulous day. The mansion gives you a beautiful canvas to work with, and I’d be more than happy to show you what’s possible for your special day.

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Tips for Keeping Organized While Planning Your Wedding!

You’ve recently gotten engaged and you know you want a wedding to remember. You have some idea of the décor that you want, have looked into which venues would be best, and want to keep everything organized. Unfortunately, the organization is harder than you expected and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed.

I know I felt like I had gotten in over my head when I was planning my own wedding two years ago. I felt like I wasn’t prepared as I scrolled through Pinterest and wedding websites. As the date drew closer, I felt more nervous—not about marrying the person I loved, but instead about planning my own wedding.

Photographer: Derek Halkett

 

During this time, I got the best piece of advice I could have gotten from one of my best friends: Don’t panic. You just need to take things one step at a time. With that piece of advice and a few more, I had an amazing wedding that my friends and family still talk about to this day.

Now with a bit more experience under my belt and having learned from my own wedding, here are a few tips for keeping your cool when planning your wedding.

Book Your Venue First

One of the most important things to do is to book your venue first. Not only will this determine how many guests you can have at your wedding, but will also determine what sort of decorations you can have, and which caterers are available to you. Each venue is different, and each has its own policies. Not only that, but booking your venue means that you’ll have a solid date to work from for invitations and other plans. Keep in mind that if you plan to book at the gorgeous Wadsworth Mansion, keep the season in mind! We have different flowers and foliage depending on the season, and each gives a different feel for your wedding.

Avoid Getting Bogged Down in Details

While you may have what you think is the perfect time line for your big day, or an idea of what your centerpieces need to look like, remember to not get bogged down in the details. Fine details can help enhance your wedding, but don’t stress too much over them. At the end of the day, the big picture is what matters. I remember being worried about the color of the napkins at my own wedding. In the end, no one notices the napkins. Instead, they remember and enjoy the overall experience of the day. At the Wadsworth Mansion in particular, you’ll have a stunning backdrop for your wedding no matter what. Even if you can’t find the exact centerpieces you want, it’s okay; you’ll still have a beautiful wedding.

Make a Plan…And Stick To It

At the beginning of the planning process, you’ll want to make a list of things that you need to take care of and deadlines for each of these items. This may include things like booking a venue, finding a florist and deciding on your floral arrangements, picking a caterer and deciding the menu, and more. While making your plan, keep in mind that the people you hire and book are there to help give you advice and guide you through the process. If you wind up booking at the Wadsworth, we’ll give you planning tools and resources to work with to help with the process!

Communication is Key!

Remember to communicate throughout the planning process, especially with your caterer and venue. While your vendors have likely planned many weddings in the past, it’s important to communicate what you want for your own wedding. Not only will this allow your vendors to let you know what is and isn’t possible, but will make the week up to your wedding and your wedding day run a lot more smoothly! Make sure to also remember to communicate with your bridal party and family about date, timing, and schedule; that way, they’ll know where to be and when!

Most Importantly, Relax

There is no event or wedding out there that runs perfect. There will always be snags or hang ups that you don’t expect. But don’t worry! At the end of the day, you’re going to have a beautiful wedding with friends and family while confirming your vows with someone you love. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and take a few, deep breaths; you’re going to have a great wedding.

 

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