Wadsworth Mansion | Wadsworth Mansion Ceremony
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Wadsworth Mansion Ceremony

On Uniqueness

MichelleGirardPhotography189-(ZF-7163-86976-1-001) Here at the Wadsworth Mansion, uniqueness is our delight.  Each event is it’s own celebration, standing solo on our calendar for that day and befitting the design of the host’s individual vision.  Our mansion and grounds are merely a (beautiful) blank slate, leaving any and all details  — food, decor, flowers, floor plan, and more — up to the thrower of said party.

When my husband and I were married here almost one year ago, we loved that we weren’t forced into hiring a specific DJ or caterer or florist; the absolute last thing we wanted was a “wedding factory,” where we would just be shoehorned into a pre-set model like afterthoughts and hurried through our wedding to make way for the next one.  The a la carte manner in which the Mansion goes about it’s events allowed our big day to actually reflected us as a couple.  We had the wedding we intended from top to bottom (which, incidentally, you can get a taste of here, just scroll down a bit).

And since then, now that I am employed by the Mansion, I have seen many more weddings and parties here and none are alike.  Even among weddings with similar teams of vendors, the celebrations are unique representations of the hosts.

And all that freedom of choice isn’t for everyone.  I certainly give tours where our historic mansion and it’s one-of-a-kind, symmetrical footprint throws people off.  It does take some creativity to think outside of the same old, single ballroom box.  And that’s okay — coloring outside the lines is great for some and uncomfortable for others.  Plenty of people like to stick to safe, tried-and-true ways of doing things because the enormity of hosting a big event can be stressful enough.

But I can promise that if you’re willing to be intrepid in your party throwing you will reap so much more than if you copy the majority just to stick to the norm.  I recently overheard a comment by a guest at an event (who was late, and purposefully hanging back): “…if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all.”  Yikes.  To be honest, the host didn’t deserve such an assessment at all. However, if that’s the general perspective you’re up against, wouldn’t you want to blow that thought out of the water?

Don’t worry so much about how everyone else did it, or does it, or will do it.  What makes these things so special and noteworthy is how personal they are.

Be uniquely you and your wedding will be extraordinary.

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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Featured Wedding: Michelle and David, August 22, 2015

We just loved all the color and life Michelle, David, and their loved ones brought to the mansion — from the heartfelt ceremony on the vista through cocktails and toasts on the terrace, and on to the festive dining and dancing that rounded out the day.  There were hints of teal and deep cerulean punctuating the bright pops of pink, orange, and yellow of all their personality-filled details.  They even had a one-of-a-kind half moon seat for their photo booth! The effusive, infectious merriment of David & Michelle’s nuptials seemed to echo through the mansion long after they had driven off into the night.

Photography:  Sebastian Photography
Catering:  CT Wedding Group
Flowers:  Green Dahlia Florist
Ceremony Music:  Heather Sommerlad
DJ:  Powerstation Events
Videography:  Brendan Plake
Cake:  Imagine That Cake
Food Truck:  Vecchitto’s Italian Ice
Transportation:  Dattco
Accommodations:  Inn at Middletown

 

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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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The Devil’s In The Details (or, Tips For Planning The Best Event Ever)

Coming from the latin word for flat, the word plan is a much-used root word defined as:  a scheme or method of acting, doing, proceeding, making, etc., developed in advance.

Some people have a natural knack for masterminding things while others… well, not so much.  If you fall into the latter category, don’t fret — you’re not doomed to having a less-than stunning party.  The key is creating a detailed plan, which will become the foundation of your event.  So get out your Excel spreadsheet or Eventbrite‘s event planning software or regular old pen and paper because the first thing you should do is…

  1. Write it down.  There is a lot to keep track of — vendors, guests, timelines, budgets, shopping lists, etc. etc.  You won’t be able to keep it all straight in your brain, so don’t even try.  Professional party planners keep detailed notes, and so should you.
  2. Create a total budget. (and put aside an emergency reserve.)  Set these as early in the process as possible.  Beautiful weddings can be thoughtfully designed on any budget, but blindly spending is a good way to add unnecessary stress to the process.  Use the reserve as your safety net or to add extra finishing details in the day or so before the event.  Or save it for the next big thing!
  3. Dream up a vision.  Close your eyes and put yourself at your venue, say, The Wadsworth Mansion.  Imagine the portico’s stately columns rising to the sky, imagine the late afternoon sunlight streaming through the loggia windows, imagine the long expanse of our lush, green vista framed by rows of cedar trees stretching from the terrace… Now pick an adjective or two that describes the atmosphere you’d like to create here for your guests.  Keep your ideal atmosphere in mind as you select vendors and decide on details throughout the planning process.
  4. Photograph & label everything.  If you want your details to look cohesive and reflect your vision, do a test run; when your mock-up looks to your liking, put your smart phone to work and snap some pictures.  Label liberally — what is obvious to you may not be so clear to vendors during set up. This will save precious time on the day-of, earning you extra moments to deal with any last-minute hiccups.
  5. Communicate.  Save the surprises for your guests. Talk to your vendors. Make sure everyone on your team is on the same page. A quick phone call to confirm plans or specific details the day before can be the subtle difference between seamlessly smooth and stressful disaster.
  6. Walk in your guests shoes.  From arrival through any activities to the exit, step your way through from a guest’s perspective, which will help with 2 things: assessing if you’ve overlooked any details and making sure your festivities are fluid. If you throw a party for yourself and invite people, that’s exactly what it will feel like to your guests. If, however, you keep the invitee’s experience at the forefront of your planning, the likelihood of “Best Event Ever” status exponentially rises.

Photo by: Alicia Ann Photographers

Stay tuned for future editions of posts on event planning…  In the meantime share comments, experiences, thoughts, and questions below in our comments section.

 

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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Featured Wedding: Vivian and Jonathan, June 27th

This is one of those weddings that proves regardless of the weather, a Wadsworth Mansion event always comes together beautifully. Viviane and Jonathan had an international love story which took them on adventures all over the world so naturally, they incorporated this theme into their day. From the luggage tags as escort cards and favors to the cupcake/ dessert table that was set up with vintage suitcases, there were perfect touches all around that celebrated where they’ve travelled to the place they said “I Do”!

The ceremony took place in the East Ballroom but the rain held off long enough for the couple to take some amazing photos in our tree line at the back of the mansion. Congratulations to Viviane and Jonathan!  May your life take you on many amazing adventures together!

 

Caterer: Gourmet Galley

Photographer : Robert Norman Photography

Planner/ Coordinator: Always and Forever

Cupcakes: A Little Imagination Cakes

Flowers: Sharon Elizabeth

Band: Charisma

Tent: CT Rental

Hair/Makeup: Simply Gorgeous by Erin

 

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Bliss Celebrations Magazine Feature

Gorgeous BLISS Feature!

We were recently featured in the newest issue of Bliss Celebrations magazine! We are so happy to have such wonderful representation. To see the full article you can go toBliss our feature is on pg 181. We hope it inspires you!

To see the rest of the images from their wedding look at our blog post from 8-5-14 it features Linnea and Joey!

 

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Featured Wedding: Kara and Kevin 10/19/14

One of the great things about a Wadsworth Mansion wedding is that no two are the same.  Kara and Kevin were such a fun, colorful couple with great ideas and little personal touches that transformed this mansion into the perfect setting for their day.  A lego Coast Guard ship as a nod to their connection of the Coast Guard with a rubber duck bride a groom that what greeted guests as they arrived. Vibrant hues of blue and purple were used all over the mansion to bring Karas flair of color into our neutral interior. A wonderful time was had by all as the happy couple were surrounded by friends and loved ones. We are so happy that they decided to share the day with us!

 

 

Photography – The Pros

Flowers – Perfect Princess Events

Cake – Castle City Cakes

Music/DJ – Lights, Camera, DJ

Catering – Pavilion

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Featured Wedding: Larissa and Martin 8/30/14

Larissa and Martin were destined to have an awesome wedding.  When you take into account that the weather that day was perfect, that Larissa thought out every minute detail, and the couple brought the most fun group of people to celebrate – things fell into place flawlessly.  Lets start with the details.  The gray, coral, and gold accents complimented this late summer wedding with that perfect pop of color to our lush green surroundings. A delicious tower of cupcakes and initialed heart shaped cookies at every place setting were unforgettable sweet treats for the guests and the little touches Larissa put here and there all over the mansion, that turned a grand historic mansion into her big historic home for the day.  Take a look at the love, laughter, and fun captured by J. Fiereck Photography.  Congratulations to Larissa and Martin!  We were so happy to host your wedding at the mansion and wish you a lifetime of happiness!

 

Photography: J.Fiereck Photography

Caterer: Grand Gourmet Catering

Florist: Sharon Elizabeth Florists

Cupcakes: Sweet Cupcasions

DJ: Music in Motion

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Featured Wedding – Jenn and Bryce 7/19/14

On this dreary day, we thought it’d be nice to inject a little sunlight into your afternoon by revisiting a beautiful Spring wedding this past year.  Jenn and Bryce were highschool sweethearts and were so excited to start their lives together.  It was a beautiful day in July when Jenn and Bryce’s family gathered to celebrate their “I Do’s”.  Jen got ready at her mothers house and arrived at the mansion for their ceremony on the vista.  We loved that they included their dog into the photos (we here at the mansion are big dog fans) and even appointed a “dog sitter” who took care of its transportation and care during the wedding.  Jenns color palette of coral and gray beautifully complemented the lush greens of the mansion in July.  We are glad the day was beautifully captured by Perceptions Photography for you all to see!  Enjoy a little peek into a day of laughter, joy, family and friends, and happily ever after!

 

 

Photos – Perceptions Photography

Florist – Green Dahlia  

Music/DJ – Entertainment Unlimited

Photobooth – Photobooth Planet

Catering – CT Wedding Group

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Featured Wedding: Lisa and Kevin 8/23/14

Lisa and Kevin had a beautiful and incredibly fun wedding at the mansion in late August.  They were very meticulous in their planning and it really paid off as every detail from the three decorated cakes, to the tennis pavilion where they transformed their ceremony space with a curtain of hanging flowers and crystals (designed by the talented Sharon Elizabeth Florist), to the tent that was beautifully strung with lights.  It was just stunning!  Lisa and Kevin were such a unified couple when planning their wedding; they worked together to create a celebration that perfectly reflected who they were.  The entire day was beautifully captured by Kris Rae Photography and we particularly liked how he captured Lisa and Kevins “first look” in the trees on the east side of the vista.  Take a look at the photos to see what we mean 🙂

On another note, Lisa had the most adorable ring bearer who not only shined throughout the day with the biggest smiles but kept up with the grown-ups with his dance moves!  He was so much fun, that we had to include a few photos of him as well.

Congratulations to the happy couple and thank you for hosting your wedding with us!  We were honored to be part of your special day!

Photographer: Kris Rae Photography

Florist: Sharon Elizabeth 

Caterer: Gourmet Galley

DJ and Production: Powerstation

Cake: Erica Obrien

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Featured Wedding: Dana and Anthony 7/27/14

Dana and Anthony exchanged vows in our Tennis Pavilion on a beautiful Sunday in late July.  It was a wonderful, colorful wedding celebrated by a fantastic group of family and friends.  We loved the vibrant colors Dana chose that really showcased how the neutral white of the mansion and the lush greens of our sprawling vista compliments whatever color palate a bride selects.  Congratulations to Dana and Anthony on the beginning of a beautiful life together!  Thank you for sharing your special day with us.  We wish you all the best.

 


 

  • Photography: Jennifer Higham Photography
  • Caterer: Aquaturf
  • Cake: J Cakes
  • Flowers: Jacob Moss Designs
  • DJ: Local Motion
  • Ceremony Music: Wildwind Group
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