Wadsworth Mansion

“Light the Mansion Blue” for our Local Heroes

The Long Hill Estate Authority and the Mansion’s Executive Director, Megan Bush, wanted to acknowledge those who have been serving on the front lines for our community in a special way.  Megan invited Middlesex Health, who has been a Presenting Sponsor of our concert series for the past several years, along with representatives of the Middletown Police Department, and Mayor Ben Florsheim to the Mansion as we lit the Mansion blue to honor our local first responders.

We at the Wadsworth Mansion are proud to be community resource for the people of Middletown and surrounding areas for the past twenty years and are happy to provide all who visit a beautiful retreat from the hustle of every day life.  During these uncertain times, we know many have found our trails and grounds to be a safe refuge for social distancing. “Light the Mansion Blue” was our way to say thank you to the local heroes on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We would like to thank Mike Teirney at Audio Media Solutions for his uplighting and projector, and Brian Ambrose Photography for capturing the evening.

Light the Mansion Blue – Photo by Brian Ambrose, Lights by AMS

Mayor Ben Florsheim, Middletown PD, Middlesex Health, Members of the Long Hill Estate Authority, and Wadsworth Mansion Staff

 

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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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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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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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LeAnne and Geoffrey – a Whimsical June Celebration

As we approach the beginning of fall, we wanted to take a moment to reflect back on a fabulous summer of wedding celebrations.  One wedding that really stood out for us was LeAnne and Geoffrey who were married on the last weekend in June.  LeAnne and her mother were both very involved in the planning process and were eager to utilize all the spaces both inside and out that the Mansion provided.  The decision was to host a cocktail style reception so that guests were able to roam different areas of the Mansion while a delectable selection of food prepared by David Alan Hospitality was offered.  The ceremony was held on our gand Vista, with cocktail hour following in our Tennis Pavilion.  Guest were able to enjoy drinks and passed appetizers while surrounded by our blooming rose trellis.  The party then moved up to the terrace for formalities as guests continued their feast while meandering the indoors Loggia and Ballrooms.  One touch we especially love was the creative approach of hanging fairy lights from our elm trees that frame the terrace. It provided a whimsical background while guests toasted the bride and groom.

We hope you enjoy a peek into what was a fabulous day!

Vendors included:

Alicia Ann Photography – Photos

David Alan Hospitality  – Catering

Green Dahlia Florist – Flowers

The Heartbeat Band – Music

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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: 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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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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