Advice for brides

Bridesmaid Proposal Ideas

Allison poses with her bridesmaids in front of the mansion.
Photo by: Jewel Photo

You’ve just gotten engaged and know exactly who you’re going to ask to be your bridesmaids. The problem is, you’re not exactly sure how to ask. While there is no wrong way to ask someone to be your bridesmaid, we’ve taken the opportunity to give you some of our favorite ways of asking!

Drinks with Friends

This one takes a bit of preparation. First, you’ll need to order a few customized glasses that say “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” on the side, or get crafty and make them yourself! Then, invite your bridesmaids for a fun night out at your favorite local bar or for an enjoyable evening at your home. Once they’ve gotten there, pour a round of drinks in the customized glasses before serving them. It’s a great way to have a fun night, while also giving your bridesmaids a keepsake to take home with them.

Movie Night

Grab a copy of “Bridesmaids” and invite your own potential bridesmaids to come to a movie night! Pop some popcorn, grab some snacks, and enjoy. Once you’ve watched the movie, ask them to be your own bridesmaids. Alternatively, you can send them each a copy of the movie to enjoy with the simple question of “Will you be my bridesmaid?”

Delectable Delight

You can always send your bridesmaids a sweet treat along with a sweet message! Ask your bridesmaids by sending chocolates, macarons, or other delectable sweets to their homes with your burning question. They’re sure to love the food, and will likely love being your bridesmaids, too!

Adventure and Fun

Take a trip with your bridesmaids to a fun location! You’ll want to set up a spot beforehand where you put a piece of paper or small sign that asks the question, “Will you be my bridesmaids?” Once both you and they get to the spot, you’ll likely get some great reactions from each of them!

Simple and Sweet

If you and your bridesmaids live far away from one another, a great way to propose is with a simple card that expresses your personality. Whether you decide on a card that’s fun, sweet, lighthearted, or funny, your bridesmaids are sure to enjoy receiving it in the mail.

 

No matter how you ask your bridesmaids, they’re sure to appreciate that you asked them to be part of your very special day!

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Your Wedding at the Wadsworth Mansion

Photographer: Joanna Fisher

The Wadsworth Mansion is a truly elegant location, with a sweeping drive through woods and flowers that eventually leads to the steps of a remarkable mansion. Once inside, beautiful floors and high ceilings lift your eyes toward the curved windows and French doors that lead out onto a stunning terrace and green lawn and gardens. To the left and the right are the ballrooms with chandeliers and ornate mantles above working gas fireplaces.

With that said, many brides and grooms at the mansion tend to ask the same questions about how to plan their celebration. That’s exactly why we’ve assembled a list of some of the most commonly asked questions, and their answers.

I’m afraid it’s going to rain during my wedding! Should I get a tent?

If you’re going to get a tent, then we recommend that you get one over the terrace! This provides an extra covered area for your guests, but also keeps them from needing to walk in heels through wet grass. With that said, the mansion itself is expansive, so it’s very easy to move all wedding celebrations indoors.

What do you usually use the terrace for?

The terrace is a great location for having a cocktail hour, drinks, and dancing! If you want to add some extra fun to your wedding, you can also include games on the nearby lawn. It’s a great location for mingling and enjoying the outdoors.

Do you have an in-house caterer?

We do not have an in-house caterer. However, that is what makes the Wadsworth such a great location for customization! We have a list of amazing caterers that you can choose from that allow you to have a menu that’s truly unique to your wedding.

What are other weddings like here?

This is perhaps the hardest question we’ve been asked, because each wedding at the Wadsworth is so personalized to the couple that celebrates at the mansion. We’ve had weddings that involve a helicopter entrance, weddings that have fireworks, weddings that include yard games, weddings that include entertainment, and so much more. What are other weddings like here? They’re unique and reflect the couple that celebrates their big day. If there’s something you really want to do at your wedding, odds are you can at the Wadsworth.

 

If you’re looking to have your wedding at the Wadsworth, then don’t hesitate to reach out and share your vision! Not only will we help you bring it to life, but we also may have recommendations on how best to use this amazing space.

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Remember Your Wedding Party at the Wadsworth

Photo by: Ashley Therese Photography

You’ve just gotten engaged and you’ve set the location and date for your wedding. You’re excited, nervous, and looking forward to the big day. You’ve set up a wedding website to help your guests get acquainted with the location and menu, but haven’t yet set up anything more than that.

A wedding is a big event, and friends and family usually drive or fly in from across the country to share in a bride or groom’s special day. Many times, guests may arrive in the area early and turn it into a small vacation. This is why it’s often nice to provide a list of things to do in the area on your wedding website.

However, we know that not all brides or grooms have the time to compile a list and look through which areas are worth visiting and which aren’t. That’s exactly why we’ve compiled some of our favorite places near the Wadsworth Mansion for you and your guests to visit as you approach your wedding day.

Hubbard Park and Castle Craig

If you’re looking for a fun walk or hike for the whole family, visiting Hubbard Park is a great place to go on a nice day! With paved walking trails and hiking trails for the more adventurous, Hubbard Park provides stunning views amid trees, lakes, and rivers over its 1,800 acres. Remember to pack a picnic for lunch!

The Library Wine Bar and Gouveia Vineyards, Wallingford

Just 30 minutes away from Middletown is the small town of Wallingford. That’s where you’ll find the historic Wallingford town library, which has been restored and transformed into a beautiful restaurant and wine bar. Be prepared to dress up a bit for this location, and remember that on Wednesdays the wine bar offers discounts on bottles to share! Take a trip just outside of Wallingford, and you can go to the source of these excellent vintages. Gouveia Vineyards is a beautiful location, and often has events that include live music and more!

General Mansfield House

If you’re looking for something to do indoors, then a visit to General Mansfield House may be just the ticket. Built in 1817, the historical house acts as a small museum with art exhibits and Civil War artifacts. Since it’s right in the heart of Middletown, you can then go to one of the many restaurants along main street to enjoy a bite to eat afterward!

Essex Steam Train and Gillet Castle

In the quaint town of Essex you can find the old Essex steam train, a gorgeous train that still takes passengers along the Connecticut River. There are several different tours available, including one that serves you dinner and one that allows you to get off the train and take a cruise on a riverboat! In addition, you can choose to take the train to a ferry and disembark to explore Gillet Castle. The historic house has a beautiful interior and sprawling hiking trails around it.

Stubborn Beauty Brewing Company

If you’re looking for a casual place to enjoy a few beers with friends, then Stubborn Beauty Brewing Company is just for you. This brewing company is located in Middletown and has regular events that include comedy shows and book club nights! Get a flight of beers, or pick one to enjoy. And remember that just down the hall in the same complex is another cidery and another brewery! Visit all three for a wonderful afternoon.

Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park

If you have an adventurous streak and are looking for something active to do during the late spring or summer, then Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park is perfect! Enjoy rock climbing, zip lining, swimming, and more at this popular attraction. Be prepared to spend the entire day here, because you’re sure to not want to leave!

 

In addition to all of these amazing locations, we also encourage you to explore Middletown and check out all of the amazing restaurants in the area! There is a lot of great food to taste, as well as some amazing shopping in town!

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NEWLYWED Quick 10: Rich and Kate – July 27th, 2018

  1. Wedding colors: Gold, Blush Pink, Green.
  2. Everything was planned by: Kate (her mom) and Rich.
  3. Favorite detail: Balloons tied to the white chairs on the back lawn.
  4. Ceremony location: St. Paul’s Church – Glastonbury.
  5. Most surprising thing: It started pouring right as our reception ended (weather held up!).
  6. Standout memory:  Rich – Kate walking down the aisle.   Kate – standing on the juliet balcony with my new husband and looking down on cocktail hour with our loved ones and friends.
  7. Would you change anything? Not at all!
  8. 1st dance song: Perfect (acoustic) – Ed Sheeran.
  9. 3 adjectives to describe your shoes: Rich – Black Tuxedo Shoe.   Kate – Suede; summery, and feminine.  Did you wear your shoes all night? Almost made it the whole night!
  10. Best thing you ate: Passed Apps – We can’t even pick a favorite!

 

Catering: David Alan Hospitality Group Photography: Joanna Fisher Photography Flowers: Eddy Farm CT  DJ: Lights Camera DJs Hotel: Courtyard Marriott Cromwell  Limo: Premier Limo

 

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Plans for a rainy day

Every bride envisions beautiful weather for her wedding day, but the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Rain doesn’t have to ruin a wedding day—unless you are planning on tying the knot in an open field or on a beach. There are many ways to prepare for rain on your wedding day and make the best of an uncontrollable situation.

It’s best to create a rain plan ahead of time so you know exactly what you are going to do if inclement weather is forecasted. Not only does the plan avoid last minute decisions, it will reduce your pre-wedding anxieties because a plan is in place ready to be executed.  Here are some solutions to consider when creating a rain plan:

It may be possible to delay the ceremony for a few minutes if there is just a passing shower. Once the rain passes, the fresh dew on the grass and the wet air may create a translucent fog perfect for intimate photographs.  You might even get lucky with the appearance of a rainbow! Waiting for the rain to stop allows you to continue with your original planned ceremony site. You don’t have to change a single detail, you may just need to rehearse you vows for another thirty minutes!

 

 

Walking in wet grass can ruin shoes and even ruin long dresses.   Changing your ceremony site to the terrace can alleviate those problems.  With the lovely view of the vista as a backdrop and a beautiful floral arch as the focal point, everything will be intimate and beautiful. With the white resin chairs and a unique aisle runner to show off your style, no one will know that you moved your location.

 

 

Tenting the terrace is always an option if your heart is set on an outside ceremony.  You get the outdoor ambiance without worrying about getting wet. The tent is a beautiful accessory for a rainy day as it allows for an outdoor ceremony, cocktails and dancing, even in inclement weather.  Arrangements for tents must be made in advance. It is best to call rental companies to determine what lead time they need and what their cancellation policies are if you decide you don’t need the tent.

 

 

There are times when the only alternative is to move the ceremony indoors. One of the ballrooms can be utilized as the ceremony space for your wedding day. With the mantle and fireplace as your back drop or a gorgeous arch if you desire, everything will come together seamlessly. You may have up to 120 chairs for designated seating for special guests. The rest of your guests will stand around and watch the ceremony unfold before their eyes.  Saying “I do.” In the loggia is also an option.  The center doors can be opened and guests will still be able to view the vista.

 

 

A fun way to incorporate rain on your wedding day is to utilize umbrellas in your photos.  Coordinate the colors of the umbrellas to match  your shoes or your bridesmaid dresses.  Your pictures will look unique and the colors will match the rest of the bridal party.

Rain doesn’t have to ruin your wedding day.  Your family and friends have come to celebrate your special day, and they will be watching your smiles and not the clouds.

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NEWLYWED QUICK 10: Susan & Christopher

Spouses   Susan & Christopher

Wedding Date   June 24, 2016

 

  1.  Length of engagement:  11 months, 20 days
  2.  3 adjectives to describe wedding vision:  classy, elegant, unique
  3.  Most challenging vendor to find/hire:  cocktail hour music
     How close to wedding were they hired? 2 months before
  4. Ceremony location:  our church, St. Mary Star of the Sea in Unionville, CT
  5. Most surprising thing:  How quickly the day went…what a blur!
  6. Standout memory:  our first dance
  7. Would you change anything?  Chris: I would have invited more people.  Sue: I would have organized our picture taking time better and had people show up for the reception a little later.
  8. Wedding hashtag?  not really, kind of #chrisandsuesayido
  9. Guests couldn’t stop talking about:  how beautiful and breathtaking the venue was
  10. Advice for future couples in 125 characters or fewer:  Make sure you take time to consciously enjoy the day and take it all in. It goes SO quickly and you will remember very little. Enjoy yourself, relax, and don’t sweat the small stuff!

|| Catering:  David Alan Hospitality Group || Photography:  Val McCormick Photography || Flowers:  It’s So Ranunculus || Ceremony Music:  Bronwyn Burns Violin Studio || Music:  Alpha Waves DJs || Hotel:  Radisson Hotel Cromwell || Transportation:  Liberty Limousine ||

 

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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An Ode to Marriage

When sitting down at my keyboard to tap out blog entries, I typically focus on thoughts to consider during planning, what brides and grooms should expect, and words of wisdom about the actual day one becomes wed.  Usually it’s about the new, the excitement, the blissful blur.  Today, however, I feel compelled to discuss something else: what it’s like once the tuxes are returned, the lashes come off, and you’re, well, married.

It takes a little while for the newlywed shine to start to show some wear, but it does.  And life starts to happen again in ways that somehow take a back seat during the engagement phase.  Job stuff.  Family drama.  Bills.  The reality of gaining a lawfully wedded life partner is that it doesn’t stay in that pinnacle moment, rather roller coastering up and down and constantly evolving.  It’s really about how the two of you get from day to day successfully, working as a team.

It isn’t always easy…and sometimes it’s just plain hard.  But in the end, the love you share and life you are constantly building (and rebuilding) together is worth it.

 

Full disclosure – today is my anniversary.  Two years ago I stood on the vista behind the Wadsworth Mansion and vowed to my husband that I’d be in it with him through good times and sad times, easy moments and difficult ones.  And as much of a fairy tale as it was (seriously, it was – watch the preview HERE), we don’t live in a movie or the slow motion stop-time of our wedding day.  In fact, we’ve experienced the gamut of life in the span of a year: laughing until our sides ache with old friends over dinner, supporting each other through major parental illnesses, singing along to the radio at the top of our lungs during road trips, feeling helpless from the losses of multiple pregnancies.  Through the highs and lows, I wouldn’t trade my chosen person for anything in the world.

 

Wedding vows are a serious thing, not to be taken lightly.  You might think that with all of the weddings I witness and am a part of that by now I’d be jaded or unaffected by them.  But it’s just the opposite.  Maybe it’s because I, too, made such life-changing promises here in this place, and I know first-hand what it feels like to say those words with these stately, grand surroundings…  I’m truly moved, though – often – and hearing others pledge their souls and eternal love to one another is an amazing reminder to me of my own vows, and how I can be a better partner to my best partner.

Today’s wedding has been no exception – perhaps it rang even truer because they will share our anniversary date and the same, special venue.  As dinner proceeds and I hear the sounds of celebration and happiness ringing through the house, I’m feeling nostalgic for my own wedding.  So much life has happened since then…  But that’s what marrying is all about – declaring that you’ll go through everything that life has in store hand-in-hand and doubly strong.

May your anniversaries be happy and centering.  May your marriages be long and hardy.  May your loves be nurturing and giving.

 

Happy Planning!
Natalie

 

P.S.  Happy Anniversary, Tom – I love you beyond measure…

 

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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Raindrops on Roses

Once upon a time, a certain effervescent nun went spinning through the Alps teaching a gaggle of children to sing about their “Favorite Things.”  Although I can completely understand the positive-in-the-face-of-anything attitude of The Sound of Music‘s Maria Von Trapp, most of the people I encounter here at the Wadsworth Mansion are more on board with finding the happiness in “girls in white dresses” than with finding positivity in the first phrase of the song [see blog title].

In all the wedding tours my colleagues or I have given to potential brides and grooms, I can absolutely, 100% guarantee the following phrase of five words has never and will never be uttered:

“I really hope it rains.”

Sure.  Of course.  Naturally.

However, weather-related reasoning is, nonetheless, at the apex of wedding date selection.  Practically all brides and grooms are somewhere along the spectrum between “concerned” and “apoplectic” when considering what kind of day mother nature might have in store for their grand event.  Even the most easy-going couples understand that weather contingencies are an important part of envisioning the big day.

And I totally get it.  As our wedding day neared, my husband and I weren’t exactly jazzed about potentially having to enact our rain plan.  We loved the look of the Wadsworth Mansion’s open air terrace which leads to the expansive vista, and a tent would’ve altered that vision; still, we reviewed all the options and were prepared to pull the trigger had the extended forecast looked iffy enough.  In the end we lucked out with an absolutely gorgeous day… but we also understood it was just that: luck.  Although its easy to say in hindsight, I truly believe that I wouldn’t have let a little inclement weather ruin my day.  I mean, it was the day I married my best friend in the presence of our loved ones.  The rest was just icing on the cake (or the cherry on top, or gravy, or whatever idiom you fancy).

Not all brides and grooms are so accepting of the idea of a potential “weather event,” however.  In fact, I’d say most can be borderline irrational when considering that their date might not be clear and cloudless.  At least half the inquiries of last week alone involved poring over our availability calendar trying to deduce which of the remaining dates will be the perfect combination of not-too-hot, not-too-cold, and rain-free.

Comb through the almanac, find a weather statistician, consult your local psychic; not a soul in the world will be able to predict the forecast with any kind of accuracy so far in advance.  Believe me, I wish I could.  My pay grade would be much, much higher…

So what’s a weather-worrier to do?  Select a date, make a plan…then let it go.  Stressing about the weather is wasted energy.  There are plenty of other things that could benefit from repeated consideration (like if you selected a seamstress who has ample experience altering beaded-fabric, or which guests you can task with babysitting Great Uncle Morty during dinner).  Focus on the things you can control and roll with the things you can’t.

And if that’s easier said than done, then there’s only one thing left to try: singing until you feel better.  Julie Andrews would be so proud.

 

Happy Planning!
Natalie

[A noted field expert (me) prescribes the old standard “Come Rain or Come Shine,” performed here by Ray Charles, although many great versions are out there.  Bring on the car and shower singing.]

 

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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Frock It To Me

Whether you’ve been dreading or dreaming of it, the time comes in any engagement when you have to answer the age-old question:  What to wear?  Considering that the obvious answer is “something” –– unless of course you’re on a nude beach somewhere (disclaimer: The Wadsworth Mansion has no beach, nude or otherwise) — you’ll want to think through a few things before deciding on the dress, the tux, bridal party attire, or dress code.

 

 

1.  How you want your wedding to feel.  You’ll be referring back to this one all the time.  It is the key to your wedding seeming cohesive.  Your big event should be a reflection of both of you on your best day   ever.  Decide what that looks like.  Season and location are a big part of this; long, lacy sleeves feel a little imprudent on the shore in August, n’est pas?  Once you select a venue and date, which should help guide your vision, you still may want to think of a few adjectives to fill out the daydream:  whimsical & bright, elegant & classic, modern & trendy, understated & unique, warm & casual…  Once you’ve given yourself a basic road map it’ll be much easier to say, “yes, I loved that sleek, barely-there satin number I saw on Pinterest, but y’know it just doesn’t fit with the wintry, happy, storybook vibe I’m going for.”

 

2.  How you plan to move your body throughout the day/night.  Despite the image you’ve conjured up from the picture-perfect, stock-still photos of gowns you’ve been drooling over since the fifth grade, you will be moving.  A lot.  You’ll be sitting, could be kneeling, oughta be dancing.  Select something that makes you feel like a million bucks and allows you to eat dinner!  Keep this in mind as you try things on, and then again as your fittings happen.  Jump up and down, bend over, put your arms over your head; having to tug/pull/adjust your wedding finery on the big day is a big no — your tailor’s job is to make you feel effortless regardless of action.
This rule also applies to shoes!  Make sure you can comfortably walk on any surface (and PRACTICE! Yes, you!!) so people are wondering over the vision that you are, not the over/under on when you’ll bite it or go barefoot.

 

2a.  How you want others to move their bodies throughout the day/night.  If you want your bridal party and guests to really cut loose on the dance floor, consider issuing them less restrictive attire and toning down the formality of the dress code.  If the effect you’re going for is a little more elegant than eccentric, remember that bending over to pick up a cornhole beanbag might not be the chicest (or easiest) cocktail activity.

 

3.  How individual you want the bridal party to look.  We are — thankfully — far from the era of matchy-matchy, one-note, prom-esque attendants.  Nowadays it’s acceptable to, y’know, be considerate of the people who’ve agreed to stand next to you and populate all those photographs.  Before placing the order on those shiny, cap-sleeved, mustard dresses and the matching vests and bow ties because they go with your fall scheme perfectly, think about the people who have to wear them.  Think of their body types, shades of skin, colors of hair… You want them to feel confident, right?  Maybe you like the look of similar dresses in complimentary hues. Maybe a patterned fabric in a bias cut will be the most flattering on everyone.  Maybe you want these dresses to actually be wearable more than once.  Even if you want them to be wearing the exact same thing from earrings to nail polish to shoes, you’ll still want to dedicate some time in deciding all those elements.  Do unto others…

 

4.  How you know your invitees.  Unless you’re some kind of royalty with a public ceremony (I’m looking at you, Prince Harry), chances are you’ll know all your guests.  (I mean, except for your fiancee’s Great Aunt Ermingarde who hasn’t left her neighborhood since the Nixon administration and is shockingly making the 3-state trek… although even she isn’t “a stranger.”)  But maybe you’re having a remote, intimate ceremony with just family, which probably invites less pomp and circumstance than a fete with 200 of your parents’ nearest and dearest.  Or, maybe you are having a grandly-scaled affair brimming with all your college buddies, which could make a “Creative Black Tie” dress code apropos.  At the end of the day, your guests will do their best to bedeck themselves according to the standard you set.  Just know the party you’re throwing, and for whom.  And if Great Aunt Ermingarde calls to ask, ” Just what do you mean by Cocktail attire,” she’s not nagging you, but only trying to answer that question:  What to wear?

 

5.  How you feel like you.  Remember when I said your wedding should represent you & your fiancee on your best day ever?  I couldn’t mean that more.  Even if you’re the poster child for the athleisure movement and this is your one chance to really gussy up, or even if you’re a Tuesday afternoon sequins person and you don’t know if there’s enough Swarovski in the world to out-do your everyday, there’s no reason that the fanciest or most refined version of that person can’t be present.  If your heart is set on being a princess for a day, do it — but be yourself.  If you want to wear a jaw-dropping red dress because white isn’t your thing, do it — because that’s you.  Don’t let your makeup artist, or your mother, or your own self-doubt talk you into wearing something that doesn’t make you feel like the ideal version of yourself.  Who cares if it’s different from what you imagined in high school?!  If, on your wedding day, you were to be asked the compulsory red carpet question, “Who are you wearing?” your answer should resoundingly be:  Me.

 

Now — go forth, shop well, be fabulous.

 

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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Mailbag #2 (Flower Power)

The Wadsworth Mansion Mailbag is back!  With all the wedding questions and concerns that we handle (I wish I had a nickel for each one), it only seems fair to share and spread the knowledge.  The following are just a few of our true inquiries from the not-too-distant past about all things floral:

 

Tiptoe Through the Tulips
Hello,
My daughter will be getting married there in August, and the flowers are a very important to me.  I know there is a garden on the property where ceremonies happen, which is where [Bride] will have hers.  What flowers will be in bloom then?  I recall you mentioned roses on the tour.  Are there others as well?  Please advise.

Hi [Mother of the Bride] —
Ceremonies in the Tennis Pavilion – where the little, white, columned building is bookended by rose trellises – are lovely, and that will be a perfect place for [Bride] to have hers, too.  The climbing roses there may have a few remaining stragglers in August, but usually the full rose effect is well gone by then.  Our other flowering plants are the giant hydrangeas, which should be white or turning white by August, and they flank the vista just off our terrace.  Since you envision a floral, garden-y atmosphere in the Tennis Pavilion, I have an idea which may work for you despite the season.  Previously we’ve had late summer and fall weddings where the florist has filled out one of the trellises with roses, other flowers, and greenery, with that serving as the ceremony backdrop.  Alternately or additionally, you could have an arbor or chuppah covered in flowers in front of the trellis.  I can point you in the direction of florists who have previously done these sorts of things here if that would be helpful.  Regardless of whether or not you choose to go with any of these options, your daughter’s wedding will most certainly be a beautiful event.

 

Build Me Up, Buttercup
Hey Natalie,
We’ve selected [Florist] to do our flowers, and we told them we want them to put some arrangements on the mantles in the ballrooms.  We’ll be nearby for a tasting next Wednesday.  Can we maybe come by sometime that afternoon to take measurements of the mantles for our florist?  It’ll be good to see the Mansion again, it’s been a little while since we’ve been by…

Hi [Bride] —
So great to hear you’ve picked such a fabulous florist; they were here several times last season, and knowing you and [Groom] I can see why you would select them.  Although you’re welcome to come by next Wednesday anytime before we close at 5:30, I have the mantle measurements to give you right now.  The East Ballroom’s is 9.5″ x 80″, the West Ballroom’s is slightly smaller at 9″ x 78″.  You’re also welcome to use the mantle in the Bar if you like, which is 7″ x 69″.  Some brides and grooms do fairly elaborate mantle decor, while many florists just use (or incorporate) bridesmaids’ bouquets on the mantles — I’ll be excited to see what you all come up with.

 

Orange Blossom Special
Hi again –
I meant to ask you on the phone about colors.  I really like lots of different flowers and want to do like a rainbow theme, but I don’t want it to look bad, lol!  What do other people do?  I just don’t want it to look boring and all the same.

Hi again, [Bride] —
You’ve got a lot going on with wedding planning, so having a little brain hiccup is completely normal!  Most importantly, you should select the flowers and colors that you like — it’s your big day and you should choose whatever makes you happy.  Having options is what it’s all about here at the Mansion 🙂  But since you asked: we’ve seen it all.  Blush, cream, yellow, orange, purple, red, 3 colors, 5 colors, all one color…  It’s completely up to you.  Flowers and decor are the perfect area to spice things up and really make your wedding your own.  If you want more specific guidance, let us know or ask your florist (remember, their name is on it so they will want to meet your expectations of simultaneously lovely and lively flowers).

 

Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Natalie,
Thank you so much for everything at the wedding!  It was the day of my dreams and I can’t believe it’s already over!  I did have a question, though.  [My florist] charged me extra afterwards, and when I asked her about it she said it was because the Mansion made her clean up more than she usually has to.  Can you give me some insight on this?  Everything else was absolutely perfect, so I just want to understand what’s going on.

Hi [Bride] —
You had such an amazing wedding (excellent DJ selection, by the way) and I’m so glad that it was everything you had envisioned!  I wish [the florist] hadn’t decided to tack on additional costs in the end, and I’m happy to explain our policy on flower clean up, and what specifically transpired with your florist.
Our contract states that if rose petals are used they must be picked up by the end of the rental, or the bride & groom will be charged.  We dislike having to deduct such costs from our couple’s security deposits, which is why we discuss our clean up policies and expectations with the florists ahead of time.  I spoke with [your florist] the day before your wedding and told her that it would be her responsibility to clean up any rose petals she scattered.  When she returned at night’s end to pick up her vases and votives, I had to reiterate to her that each vendor is held accountable for their items or debris from their services, and that she must clean up the petals so that a fee wouldn’t fall to you.  She did end up staying to clear the Vista of petals.  Perhaps other venues don’t require their vendors to follow up so thoroughly… but we feel every wedding deserves the Mansion and grounds in pristine condition.
Please let me know if you have any other questions or if I can shed any more light on the matter.  Your wedding was truly beautiful and excellent fun — your dance with your Dad was hysterical — and I can’t wait to relive it again through your photos.  Keep in touch!

 

 

If you have a question you’d like answered about weddings or events, post it in the comments section below.  Maybe we’ll feature it in a future Mailbag Blog!

 

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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