The Wadsworth Mansion isn’t your typical wedding venue. It’s a Beaux Arts style mansion that transports you back to an era of elegance and high society, with sprawling gardens and gorgeous views. While working here during the past season, I’ve seen all sorts of ways that the mansion can be used during a wedding—from creating a lounge in one of the ballrooms, to dining al fresco on the terrace to having a cocktail hour by the tennis pavilion outside.
When I tour couples at the mansion, I’ve noticed it’s often hard for them to decide how exactly they want the flow of their wedding to go. With this in mind, I’ve decided to write about all of the different ways the mansion can be set up during your big day. It may seem like a lot, but the team here is great at suggesting different options for the flow of your big day.
Without further ado, here are some different ways that I’ve seen the mansion used for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dining, and dancing.
When deciding where your ceremony is going to be at the mansion, I recommend that you look at the season, foliage, and weather. After all, we have some stunning grounds and indoor spaces; you might as well make good use of them!
When flowers bloom and when foliage begins to turn varies year to year. However, this past year, I got a great sense of when to expect flowers to bloom on the grounds. In May, the dogwoods, cherry blossoms and magnolias begin to flower. In late May and early June, our pink rhododendrons being to bloom and in mid June, the roses by the tennis pavilion begin to flower (it’s honestly stunning—and were some of my favorite flowers to see). In August, the hydrangeas begin to bloom with full, white blossoms. In September and October, the hydrangeas turn a dusky rose color that then changes to full pink in later autumn. It’s hard to say when the autumn foliage really begins to pop each year, but late September and early October is usually a safe bet. That’s when you’ll get some spectacular background color behind the tennis pavilion and on the drive on the way up to the mansion.
Of course, there’s also winter to consider; in that case, you may want to consider a heated tent on the terrace for your ceremony, or using the east or west ballroom. If you have a small guest list, you can also conduct your ceremony in the Loggia against the gorgeous windows!
It’s ultimately up to you when it comes to where your ceremony will be. You can have it on the vista, next to the tennis pavilion, on the terrace, in one of the ballrooms, amidst our cedar trees, or even in the Loggia!
Cocktail hour is a great time to mix and mingle with your guests while enjoying libations and hors d’oeuvres after your ceremony. At the mansion, I’ve seen that having the cocktail hour near the ceremony location allows guests to easily transition from one space to another to enjoy that part of the event. As an example, if you choose to have your ceremony on the vista, you may then choose to have your cocktail hour by the tennis pavilion amidst the roses. A more popular choice is on the terrace or in the mansion, or both!
There are a lot of options for cocktail hour at the mansion. You can also use the Loggia, terrace, one of the ballrooms, or the rose garden near the tennis pavilion.
There are a few different options for dining at the mansion. Both of the ballrooms are gorgeous and you can choose to do a sweetheart table in either of them. You may also choose to have a long, elegant head table in the Loggia! If you want to do something very special, you may instead choose to have your guests dine outside on the terrace. If you’re planning this set-up, I recommend getting a tent (just in case!).
Most couples decide to have dancing on the terrace, and I don’t blame them. It’s absolutely amazing to dance under the night sky in the evening. This past year, some couples added bistro lights for a more romantic feel, or uplighting that switched colors during songs to create more of a fun vibe.
There are also a few other locations for dancing inside the mansion. Some couples opt to use the dance floor in the Loggia when it’s either too hot or too cold inside (yes, the mansion has both AC and heating), and some even rent a dance floor and decide to use one of the ballrooms.
There are a lot of ways the Wadsworth Mansion can be used during your wedding. Just this past year, I’ve seen couples include a photobooth, a memory room, and more! I’ve seen dinner take place outside, in the ballrooms, and in the Loggia. I’ve seen dancing happen both inside and outside. There are so many ways that you can personalize the mansion during your big day. I’m sure that as I continue to oversee weddings in this amazing, historic space, I’ll learn of even more creative ways that couples decide to use it for their weddings.