Wadsworth Mansion Wedding

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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How much does it cost to get married at the Mansion — Part 1

As the Executive Director of the Wadsworth Mansion and twenty six years of hosting weddings, I have watched couples navigate the complexity of wedding planning.  At least once a day a bride will ask us, ‘How much does it cost to get married at the Mansion?’ The short answer is to quote our rental rates of $5,500 for a Friday/Sunday wedding and $6,000 for a Saturday wedding, but in reality what the bride really wants to know is how we compare to our competition and whether a Wadsworth Mansion wedding is affordable.  The response to that question is much more complex because we offer our couples the opportunity to select from a list of caterers that vary in price point and style.  In this blog post I hope to enlighten the couple who has never planned an event before.

 

Location:  The Mansion

The Mansion rental rates are based on the day of the week, $5,500 for a Friday or Sunday, and $6,000 for a Saturday.  No tax is applied to the rental rate.  If you wish to purchase extra time, it is $750/hour.   [Always needed for Indian Weddings] If you hire a caterer from our Approved List no extra fees are assessed.  Couples do have to purchase Liquor Liability Insurance and that generally runs about $135.  There is no fee for having your ceremony here, or using our ceremony chairs.  If your rehearsal transpires during our work day there is no fee for a rehearsal.

If you were creating a budget the amount allocated for the Wadsworth Mansion should be $6,135 dollars for a Saturday wedding [$5,635 for a Friday/Sunday].

 

Food and Beverage:

Your food and beverage costs depend on how many people you are having at your wedding and what you are eating.  When a caterer presents a proposal there is a food cost and a staffing cost.  Some of our caterers, to make it easy, will just quote a per person cost, but when quoting, they have always calculated the two components.    Some caterers will present a food cost and a labor cost.  When figuring out what the bottom line is for food and beverage always ask if and where the service charge is added.  Service charges can run up to 22% for the higher end caterers. Sometimes it is applied just to the food component, sometimes to the whole package. Tax is 6.35% in Connecticut.

 

Don’t be embarrassed to say that you have a budgeted amount for food and beverage.  If you are on a budget, the way to save money is to select a menu with lower food costs.  [Don’t ask for filet mignon, lobster tails, and a sushi bar.]  Don’t be embarrassed when a caterer presents a proposal to ask if there are ways to save money.  Substitutions can always be made.  It is not necessarily cheaper to have food stations rather than a plated dinner as the caterer has to supply enough food for all the guests to sample everything and keep the stations presentable throughout the serving period.  Staffing is not something you can negotiate.

 

Some caterers will include linens and place settings in their proposals. Some own their own linens and place settings, others will make arrangements for rentals.  Generally if linens and place settings are included the price per person is lower than if the caterer has to procure those items through a rental company.

When selecting a caterer it isn’t just about money; it is about value. There generally is a reason why things cost more. Here are some questions to ask a caterer to understand the value of the proposal:

  • How experienced are your wait staff?
  • What do they wear?
  • Is someone assigned to attend the bride and groom?
  • Is there someone greeting guests at the door?
  • Is all the food made in house?
  • How are your stations presented?
  • What isn’t included? [If you have never been in the business, you won’t recognize what isn’t included so ask.]

 

All the caterers on our Approved Catering list are good.  We wouldn’t let a caterer work here who isn’t doesn’t provide good food and service.  They represent different price points and styles.  For planning purposes we have a caterer that begins $85.00 plus tax.  This fee includes food, staffing, full open bar, linens and place settings.  They would say that on an average their clients spend $100 pp plus tax.  Their high end is $150 pp. [short rib/sea bass/sushi bar served under a tent in the back lawn].

For budgeting purposes you must budget at least $90.00 per person for food and beverage. [This is all inclusive:  food, beverage, bar, linens, place settings, service, tax and service charge.] It is more realistic to start at $110 per person when creating your budget.

In my next blog I’ll write about flowers, music, and photography, as there is more to a wedding than just the venue and a delicious meal.  When finished I’ll share my niece’s budget as she is getting married here in August.

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NEWLYWED QUICK 10: Becca & Kate

Spouses     Becca and Kate

Wedding Date     August 12, 2016

 

  1.  Number of venues considered  3 (Wadsworth – always our #1, Eolia Mansion, Branford House)
  2.  Number of guests  180
  3.  3 adjectives to describe your dress/attire  Classic, romantic, elegant
    Repairs or dry cleaning post-wedding?  both dresses cleaned and preserved for our future daughters to choose from
  4.  First look?  Yes! On the front steps with our bridesmaids peeking out
  5.  Goldilocks your party: too much, not enough, just right  Just right
  6.  Ceremony location  Back lawn [vista]
  7.  Most surprising thing  How seamlessly everything happened. There was no stress as the night went on, only killer dance moves.
  8.  Standout memory  Both of our dads’ toasts – there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd
  9.  Honeymoon when/where?  2 days after the wedding to Riviera Maya, Mexico
  10.  Would you change anything?  Pray to the temperature gods sooner for a slightly cooler day 🙂 (it was the 2nd hottest day of 2016!!!

 

|| Catering:  David Alan Hospitality Group || Photography:  George Brooks || Flowers:  Terri Krisavage Wedding & Event Florals || Ceremony Music:  Mike Carnaroli || Music:  DJ Derek Egerman || Officiant: Sara Anderson || Hotel:  Inn at Middletown || Transportation:  Gateway 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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NEWLYWED QUICK 10: Alicia & Dan

Spouses   Alicia and Dan

Wedding Date   September 25, 2016

  1.  Number of venues you considered   3
  2.  Number of guests   120
  3.  3 adjectives to describe your dress/attire   Classy, Elegant, Timeless
    Repairs or dry cleaning post-wedding?   Yes – had to have my dress cleaned (one of my girlfriends dropped her vodka cranberry on the bottom of my dress on the dance floor – whoops!)
  4.  First look?   YES!!
  5.  Goldilocks your party – too much, not enough, just right   Just right – the weather (literally the best day of 2016), the company, the food, and the party was perfect in every way.
  6.  Ceremony location   The grass behind the mansion [vista]
  7.  Most surprising thing   Arriving to see a tent covering the patio AND how you all were able to get it down before my guests arrived.
  8.  Standout memory   3 people trying to crash my wedding and venue to pictures for an Indian magazine!
  9.  Honeymoon when/where?   June 2017/Bermuda (no Zika!)
  10.  Would you change anything?   I wish we had more time (although I still don’t think it would’ve been enough).  Other than that, not a thing – I wish I could relive that day over and over.

|| Catering: David Alan Catering || Photography: TAB Photographic || Flowers:  Green Dahlia Florist || Music: Audio Media Solutions || Hotel: Courtyard Hartford Cromwell ||

 

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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NEWLYWED QUICK 10: Victoria & Adolph

Spouses   Victoria and Adolph

Wedding Date   August 19, 2016

  1.  Day of the week you married   Friday
  2.  Time you woke up   8am
  3.  Wouldn’t have made it to the wedding day without   The help of everyone! My bridal party, the staff at the mansion, and our vendors.
  4.  Ceremony location   The Wadsworth Mansion [vista]
  5.  Processional music   Going to California by Led Zeppelin (instrumental)
  6.  Most surprising thing   How quickly the day/night went by
  7.  Standout memory  The music and dancing! It was so much fun!
  8.  Would you change anything?   Probably would not have done the photo booth, as it didn’t get used as much, and was an extra cost.
  9.  Wedding favors?   Starbucks Via coffee packets and Lake Champlain chocolates from Burlington, VT (where we got engaged).
  10.  3 adjectives to describe the night’s end   Euphoric, loved, joyous.

|| Catering: Aqua Turf Club Catering || Photography: Tony Spinelli || Music: Lights Camera DJs || Cake: NoRa Cupcake || Videography: First Light Studios || Hotel: Inn at Middletown || Officiate: Christie Christensen ||

 

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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NEWLYWED QUICK 10: Megan & Brett

It’s time for another installment of our newest blog series — The Wadsworth Mansion Quick 10 Quiz — in which a recently married couple answers a series of rapid fire questions recalling their wedding day.  Game for the challenge were a pair who are just beyond their first anniversary, and who chose to respond individually which resulted in some cute and very “married” differences in memories…  In addition to answering the quiz, they provided us with their favorite photo from their big day.  See the responses and photo below:

 

Spouses  Brett & Megan

Photo by Christina Corneau

Wedding Date  April 4, 2016

1.  Length of engagement
Brett: 10 months.
Megan: It was 9 months  : )

2.  3 adjectives to describe wedding vision
Brett: Small, fancy and fun.
Megan: Book-related, antique and large. Guess whose came true…  ; )

3.  Most challenging vendor to find/hire
Brett: There wasn’t one.
Megan: Actually, hiring our ceremony musicians was the most difficult. It took some effort to find someone and then we had to find new musicians just a few weeks before the wedding! It ended up being completely worth the hassle.
     How close to wedding hired?
Megan: 3 weeks Before.

4.  Ceremony location
Both: Wadsworth Tennis Pavilion.

5.  Most surprising thing 
Brett: The weather – it was high 70s and sunny in April.
Megan: Not being stressed. Everyone thought I would be a nervous wreck but I was the most relaxed I’d ever been. My best friend was genuinely shocked at my demeanor!

6.  Standout memory
Brett: Again, the weather! It was amazing. Plus, it ended up getting so hot during the ceremony that I thought Megan might pass out  : )
Megan: All of the dancing. I had so much fun dancing all night.

7.  Would you change anything?
Brett: No.
Megan: I wish I would have stopped to take it in more. I was so happy and excited all day that I never had a calm second to just look around.

8.  Wedding hashtag?
Both: #BrettandmegansayIdo

9.  Guests couldn’t stop talking about…
Brett: All of it.
Megan: How similar to my parent’s wedding it was in terms of how much fun they had.

10.  Advice for future couples in 125 characters or fewer
Brett: Don’t stress and have fun.
Megan: Make a list beforehand of all of the things you want to experience… dancing with the kids, a funny picture with your cousins… that way you won’t forget to do anything as it will be in the forefront of your mind.

 

 

|| Photography: Christina Corneau Photography || Catering: David Alan Hospitality Group || Flowers: Just For You Floral Design Studio || Ceremony Music: Millennium Music || Reception Music: Audio Media Solutions || Cake: A Little Imagination Cakes || Accommodations: Inn at Middletown || Transportation: New Britain Transportation ||

 

 

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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NEWLYWED QUICK 10: Kassondra and Ian

Here at the Mansion we really strive to get to know our couples — how they approach the world and how that translates into their perfect wedding day.  But after the cake is gone and the music stops and the guests go home… and a little time passes… we can’t help but wonder what actually soaked in from the wedding whirlwind for our recently-marrieds.  So, we’ve devised the Wadsworth Mansion Newlywed Quick 10 Quiz as a fun little way of checking in.

Without further ado, here is the inaugural Wadsworth Mansion couple to take this happy, little jaunt down memory lane:

 

Spouses   Kassondra and Ian

Wedding Date   September 16, 2016

  1.  Wedding colors   Navy blue, gray, blush with a pop of yellow from the sunflowers
  2.  Everything was planned by   The bride and groom, but mostly the groom!!
  3.  Favorite detail   The BEAUTIFUL weather combined with the gorgeous flowers and landscape that the mansion provided
  4.  Ceremony location   Tennis Pavilion
  5.  Most surprising thing   They weren’t kidding—it goes by fast!
  6.  Standout memory   When we ran out into the lawn before the end of the reception, took a deep breath, and turned around to soak in the evening. We watched our family and friends dancing under the stars and took in how beautiful the mansion looked with the backdrop of the colorful lights. We could not believe that it was almost over, but we were so grateful!
  7.  Would you change anything?  Not one thing—it was perfect!
  8.  1st dance song   L.O.V.E. by Nat King Cole
  9.  3 adjectives to describe your shoes   lace, comfortable, affordable
     How long did they last?   I still wear my wedding shoes!
  10.  Best thing you ate   Kassondra says, “Penne ala Vodka,”  Ian says, “cookies and milk dessert”

 

|| Catering: Aqua Turf Club Catering || Photography: Live Lovely Photography || Music: DJ Flip || Cake: Take the Cake || Transportation: Premier Limo || Videography: Forever and A Day || Hotel: Residence Inn Rocky Hill || Rentals: CT Rental Center || Flowers: Price Chopper || Officiate: Rev. Gary Deinstadt ||

 

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: Haleigh and Ethan, October 16, 2016

It was quite an autumn Wadsworth day for quite an autumn Wadsworth wedding…  Accented with watery blues & lilacs, dusty blushes & pinks, and earthy cranberries & pomegranates, the tasteful details gave the event a rich, romantic feel well-suited to the Mansion in this season.  Haleigh and Ethan’s celebration was teeming with excitement and revelry for their sizable guest list, beginning with the signing of the ketubah under a tent on the terrace.  Immediately commencing was a traditional Jewish ceremony by the Tennis Pavilion trellis, followed by an evening full of happy cocktailing, dining, and dancing.  Below is the team of carefully selected vendors that contributed to the success of this momentous occasion and made it happen beautifully:

 

Event Planning and Design: Creative Concepts by Lisa
Photographer: Kelsey Combe Photography
Catering: David Alan Hospitality Group
Kosher Catering: Abel Caterers
Tent Rentals: CT Rental
Officiate:  Rabbi David Small
Florist: Sharon Elizabeth’s
Hair and Make-Up: A Touch of Color Make-Up By Sharyn Scully
DJ/Music:  Hank Lane/MTM Events
Furniture:  Gather and Lounge
Lighting:  Shindig Lighting
Hotel:  Inn at Middletown
Transportation:  Gateway Limousine
Bridal Boutique:  Mika Inatome
Men’s Tuxedo:   Generation Tux  Online
Invitations:  Blacker and Kooby

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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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PureWow Names Wadsworth Mansion Most Gorgeous Venue in CT!

National digital publication PureWow has made it officially official:  The Wadsworth Mansion is the Most Gorgeous Wedding Venue in Connecticut.  And, really, who are we to argue?  Editors whittled down their list to highlight just one venue from each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.

“Featuring 100 acres of beautiful Beaux Arts style, this estate is the former summer home of Colonel Clarence S. Wadsworth.  It’s also the best spot for a quintessential — and totally private — New England wedding.  (Yep, you can splurge on a horse-drawn carriage.)”

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While we can’t disagree with the accolade, this write up and photo are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg of just how lovely weddings are here.  If you’d like to see all the historic beauty in person, a private tour is but a click or call away.

See what kind of company we keep in the full article: The Most Gorgeous Wedding Venue in Every State.

 

Dedicated to “Elevate the Everyday,” PureWow reports daily on ideas for “making your life more interesting, beautiful, and manageable.”  Get their well-known, discerning guidance on all things lifestyle by signing up for curated emails or by visiting them directly at purewow.com.

 

 

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: Dahlia and Zachary – October 3, 2015

Back in early October of 2015, Dahlia & Zachary vowed to love one another in a meaningful ceremony on our terrace overlooking the vista.  The hydrangeas were in full fall effect – a deep, moody mauve, which offset the wedding colors perfectly – as friends and family gathered to help celebrate the occasion.  Our dance floor got a workout from this lively group and we’re sure all that were gathered there are still talking about the festivities.

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Photography:  Luke Wayne Photography
Catering:  David Alan Hospitality Group
Flowers:  Scott’s Flowers Inc.
Officiant:  Ramona Espinoza
Music:  DJ Michael Simonetta
Photo Booth:  SlowMo Party Events
Videography:  NST Pictures

 

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See how Dahlia & Zachary’s wedding was captured by NST Pictures HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

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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