Wadsworth Mansion

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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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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A Very Wadsworth February

It’s 2017.  And before too long we’ll be on the second month of the year… (Crazy, right?)  February is typically characterized here in Connecticut by dark, early mornings punctuated with hot coffee, vehicles encrusted with layers of cloudy bits of former snow and salt, and not-so-slimming multi-layered woolens and fleeces to ward of the chill so as to not turn into a living icicle. (OK, maybe that last one is just me…)

 

In any case, I think most people would like a reason to shrug off the proverbial (or actual) layers and come to a 2017 Valentines Dinner Finalbeautiful place in the middle of winter.  Luckily, there will be two opportunities to make the Wadsworth Mansion that oasis destination.

 

First, get gussied up with your sweetheart and prepare to cut a rug!  The Friends of the Long Hill Estate are hosting a Valentine’s Dance, the proceeds of which will go to support the Friends and their mission.  You may show up as yourselves for cocktails and dinner, but by the time the dance music starts be ready to channel your inner Freds and Gingers!  Tickets can be purchased HERE and are limited, so don’t miss out.  February 11th at the Mansion is going to be a helluva hootenanny — I should know, I’ll be there…

 

For those planning weddings — or thinking wedding planning could be in the near future — come check out Mansion-in-winter opportunity number two: The Wadsworth Mansion 2017 wedding show flyerv2Wedding Show.  From 11am to 3pm on the last Sunday of February, the house will be full of yummy smells, friendly faces, and wedding experts of every niche.  We’ve got a complete list of those you’ll meet HERE.  You can try some tasty nibbles as you grill the caterers (pun intended) on their specialties.  You can check out photographers’ images and see if your personalities mesh.  You can stop and smell the roses, or ask the florists what other flowers they like for a June ceremony.  Best of all, you’ll be able to shop some of the most talented vendors in weddings all at once and without being inundated by those extraneous or, um, unbecoming companies that tend to turn up at big bridal expos.

 

Come and see us at one of these two public events and get your February Mansion on!  We’d love to see you darken our door…

 

 

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: Megan and Brett April 23, 2016

Megan and Brett’s adoration for one another was clear from the beginning.  It radiated through them and extended out from each family member, friend, and guest.  Their ceremony at our tennis pavilion was filled with joy and heart, accentuated by the lovely, warm April sunshine that could very well have been generated by those gathered there.  Pale, dusty pinks and vintage, creamy whites made for romantically inspired details.  Even classically passionate characters (and their books) designated dinner table assignments.  From beginning to end this wedding seemed to be the storybook day that Megan and Brett envisioned.

Photography:  Christina Corneau Photography
Catering:  David Alan Catering
Flowers:  Just For You Floral Design
Ceremony Music:  Millenium Music
DJ:  AudioMediaSolutions
Cake:  A Little Imagination Cakes
Transportation:  New Britain Transportation
Accommodations:  Inn at Middletown

 

 

 

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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Top 10 Wadsworth Mansion Questions Answered

While weekends at the Mansion are filled with celebrations, events, and parties — especially during wedding season — the weekdays are equally as busy, if a little quieter.  During any given span of seven days you can find us fielding phone calls, corresponding via email, giving private wedding tours, meeting with future brides & grooms, and hosting public historic tours.  As you might imagine, all those interactions inevitably beget questions (not that we mind — it very obviously comes with the spectacular territory).

So, as a duty to the internet masses, we’re sharing!  Without further ado and in no particular order, here are the top 10 most frequently asked Wadsworth Mansion questions:

 

  1.  When was it built?
    Starting in 1900, the grounds were planted and landscaped to transform them from pastures into the woodlands that are seen today, but the foundation stone for the Mansion wasn’t laid until 1908.  Building LHD13p-front_view_dirt_1913 1continued until 1911.
  2. Who lived here?
    Col. Clarence Wadsworth and his family built this house to use as a residence in the spring and fall seasons (they divided their time among 5 other houses scattered across North America).  The Colonel died in 1941, and after 6 years of maintaining it, the family sold the Estate to the Roman Catholic nuns of Our Lady of the Cenacle.  After 40 years of using it as a retreat center (and adding to the house and subdividing the land), a developer purchased the house and remaining grounds from the nuns in 1986.  It changed hands among developers a time or two before bankruptcy left it under the ownership of a bank.  The bank failed to adequately secure the premises, so by the late 1980s vagrants, vandals, and homeless people took advantage and “moved in.”  Around 1994, the then-dwellers of the Mansion scattered away as the City of Middletown began the process of refurbishing the house and land.
    Currently, although sometimes we Mansion Ladies are here so often and keep such hours that we feel like we live here, we do not; the Mansion has been a business property for 16 years now.
  3. Can I come in?
    In a word, maybe.
    The Mansion is open for regular business hours from 9:30am to 5:30pm Monday through Thursday during wedding season (Fridays, too, if there is no event).  We especially welcome the public to visit us on Wednesdays from 2pm-4pm when we have free, historic docent tours.
    The grounds are parklands and open to the public from sun up to sun down on weekdays, and any weekend days that have no event.
    Private events — like weddings — mean that the Mansion and grounds are closed to the public.  The trails (hidden in the woods) remain open during these events.  We put out signs to denote when we’re having a private event, so you don’t have to dust off the old mind-reading skills!
    If you’re ever in doubt, feel free to call or email to ask.
  4. Do you have accommodations?
    Sadly, no.  (I’d be first in line for one of the rooms if we did…)  What were once the family rooms upstairs are now offices and look nothing like they would’ve back in the family or nun (or vandal) years.  Nearby hotels can provide comfy beds and amenities for anyone traveling here from far away.
  5. What’s your availability for weddings?
    Although this is a specific inquiry that changes almost every day, here’s the general answer.
    Saturdays during wedding season — May through November — are the first dates that book in a given year.  We only host one event per day, so the more flexible you can be with your date (Fridays, Sundays, other months, off-season), the better your options will be.  That being said, our availability changes daily or even hourly, so it’s best to just call or email.
  6. Who owns the Mansion?
    Although we Mansion Ladies are the key holders, none of us are the owners of the Mansion.  The City of Middletown purchased the Estate in 1994, however an organization called the Long Hill Estate Authority was created to be the governing body of the house and grounds.
  7. How much land is here?
    Today the grounds cover a healthy 103 acres; by contrast, the original reach of the Estate was 600 acres.
  8. Do you allow tents?
    We do, and there are several tent companies with tents of various shapes, sizes, bells, & whistles.  Most of the time hosts choose to tent the terrace, which is a quick enough set up and break down to be done for a single event.  Tents on the vista (our large expanse of grass behind the Mansion) are a larger undertaking, many of which take a full day to put up and a full day to take down which would require a 3 day rental of the Mansion.  There is one company with a large tent that can be erected and dismantled in the time frame of several hours, the hiring of which would enable the host to only rent the Mansion for one day.  As always, we are very happy to discuss how all of this works in fuller detail if you’re interested.
  9. Can my dog be in my wedding?
    Yes!  We love dogs, and as long as your furry friend is house broken and well-behaved then we are happy to welcome him or her to the Mansion to be a part of your big day.
  10. Do you only do weddings?
    Although weddings take up the majority of our schedule for most of the year, we are thrilled to host a variety of different events — from corporate daytime functions to evening gala soirees, epic sweet 16 parties to cocktail style holiday gatherings.  If you think the Wadsworth Mansion might be a good fit for your event, please don’t hesitate to inquire.

 

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: Maddie and Will, May 30, 2015

If a couple was ever genuinely relaxed and effortlessly happy, it was Will and Maddie on their wedding day.  These two let their personalities seep through every detail and moment, making for a one-of-a-kind celebration to remember.  The bright blues and hot pinks matched the vibrancy in the air itself.  Guests enjoyed photo booth shenanigans, celebratory cigars, and party music provided by band GQ and The Lady.  The energy from this night just leaps from the photographs.  We wouldn’t be surprised one bit if Maddie and Will’s guests are still thrilling from the sheer fun of this wedding…

 

Photography:  Zac Wolf Photography
Catering:  Riverhouse Catering
Flowers:  Azalea Floral Design
Band:  GQ and The Lady
Photo Booth:  The Danger Booth
Rentals:  Party Rental Ltd.
Accommodations:  The Farmington Inn

 

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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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Featured Wedding: Tom and Natalie, July 3, 2015

One year ago today, Tom and Natalie exchanged their vows in front of loved ones from near and far on a picture-perfect late afternoon on the vista.  Their infectious euphoria at becoming husband & wife rippled through each guest’s face, resonating in the notes played by the string quartet and wafting in the gentle breeze.  Invitees marveled at the elegantly blithe flourishes, accented by delicate yellows, brilliant blues, and stately golds.  The classic yet distinctive dressing highlighted the Mansion’s beauty, while also creating a tailor-made backdrop to the couple’s design.   From lawn games and photo booth fun to an exquisitely delicious cake, it seemed these two thought of everything to surprise and delight their friends and family.  With their first dance saved until after dinner, they momentarily broke away only to pull everyone out onto the terrace to join them, where the DJ held the dance floor in hypnotic jurisdiction for the rest of the evening.  If we didn’t know better, we’d swear they’re out there dancing still…  Happy First Anniversary to Natalie and Tom!

 

Photography:  Alicia Ann Photography
Catering:  David Alan Catering
Flowers:  Ruth L Flowers
Videography:  StopGoLove
DJ:  Scratch Weddings / Thomas Burns
Cake:  The Great American Cake by Julie Deffense
Photo Booth:  Marx Entertainment
Transportation:  Jolly Red Trolley
Accommodations:  Sheraton Hartford South

 

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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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