CT Reception Venue

A Look Back at 2021 Weddings

Eric and Vin’s beautiful outdoor reception beneath a Sperry tent. Photo by: Elizabeth Grant Photography Planner: Creative Concepts by Lisa

Happy New Year, everyone! What a year it was. It was our busiest wedding season to date, and we’re only looking forward to more fabulous weddings as we jump into 2022. As we do, though, we want to take a look back at all of the amazing couples from this past year, while also noting some of the challenges we faced.

The Rise of the Outdoor Wedding

In 2020, almost all of our weddings were completely outdoors. We were well-prepared when in 2021 many of our couples decided to continue the trend. We had several receptions that took place under a tent on the terrace (just take a look at this gorgeous reception for Eric and Vin in June).

However, we also had couples that decided to use the outdoors in a whole new way. Terry-Ann and Michael dined

Terry-Ann and Michael’s stunning July reception took place on the vista.
Photo by: Karina Mekel

on the vista during their July wedding with about 100 guests. We even had one couple dine in our rose garden with bistro lights strung entirely across. Overall, we had some absolutely fabulous outdoor weddings in 2021. We expect the trend to partially continue as we gear up for 2022.

Customization is King

Many of our couples delayed their 2020 weddings to 2021. This meant that they had a lot more time to customize their wedding and save up for extras. In 2021, a lot of our couples decided to make their weddings their own in some fantastic ways. We saw couples celebrate with fireworks, choose to incorporate cultural aspects on each side to signify their families coming together, and create some

Kristina and Yoni had an amazing wedding that brought their families together during a rainy day in July.
Photo by: Kindred Photography
Planner: Brittany Taylor

truly spectacular moments among family and friends.

Thursday is the New Friday

Not surprisingly, many of our couples in 2020 decided to hold out for a large celebration in 2021. This meant our 2021 dates quickly disappeared. However, we found that many of our 2021 couples embraced the mantra

Michelle and Michael’s intimate Thursday wedding in August was absolutely gorgeous.
Photo by: Samantha Melanson Photography
www.samanthamelanson.com

of “Thursday is the new Friday.” We had quite a few Thursday and Monday weddings this year, and the celebrations weren’t any less fantastic. We expect to see this continue into 2022, and already have some Thursday celebrations on our books.

As we shift from 2021 to 2022, we’re looking forward to an absolutely amazing wedding season. We had an insanely busy year in 2021. However, it’s made us think of how to do things better, and how to create an even more memorable experience for our couples who decide to get married at the mansion.

Here’s to all of our 2021 couples and to our future couples. We’re so happy that you chose the mansion for your very special day, and we can’t wait to hear what awaits you in the future.

0
0

How to Plan a Winter Wedding

Photo by: Stella Blue Photography

At the Wadsworth Mansion, we’re known for our grounds. We have stunning trees, manicured lawns, and some gorgeous views. It’s not surprising that many of our couples use the outdoors to the fullest during spring, summer, and fall weddings. However, we are in New England, which means that winter brings freezing temperatures with it. Even with the cold, though, you can create a truly magical winter wonderland wedding by following a few tips.

Katie and Chris share a kiss after their ceremony in the West Ballroom during their December 2021 wedding.
Photo by: Chike Photography

Keep Things Intimate

While you can absolutely hope for the best weather (as I write this, it’s 60 degrees in December), you may just wind up with snow, ice, or a mixture of both. Fortunately, the mansion looks absolutely magical in the snow (don’t believe me? Check out the picture to the right). However, it does mean that you’ll want to try keep most things inside. If you keep your guest count to 100 or less, you have a lot more options to do just that. You can seat 100 guests in one of the ballrooms for dining, and then use the other ballroom for your ceremony, cocktail hour, or even just as a lounge area. If you have 50 guests or less, you can even do your ceremony in the Loggia, and use the two other ballrooms however you like!

Consider a Tent

If you’re worried about rain or cold weather, you may want to consider getting a clear top tent. Tents with clear tops act like miniature greenhouses, absorbing sunlight and heat during the day and keeping the space warmer than the outside air. When the temperatures drop, you’ll still want to get some tent heaters to keep things warmer. Our advice is to use a tent for ceremony and cocktail hour while the sun is still up. When the sun sets it will still be cold beneath the tent even with heaters, so you’ll still want to potentially plan to have dining and dancing indoors.

Photo by: Lynne Reznick Photography

Remember the Time

Design + Plan @wildflowereventsdesign
Photography @keliphotography
Venue @thewadsworthmansion
Florals @leslieleefloraldesign
Bridal Boutique @wildbloombridal
Mobile Bar @corkandcraftct
Stationary @cat_wilcox
Hair+Makeup @upstyle.co
Table Pieces @borrowedblu
Linen @bbjlinen
Models @biancamatira @hahnzy94

As winter approaches, there are less and less hours of daylight. As you plan your timeline, make sure to check when the sun sets and plan around that. You’ll want to be sure you have enough daylight for pictures and while your ceremony can be held after nightfall, you may want to consider holding it at sunset just to get some pictures of your ceremony done while the sun is still up. Believe me when I say that your photographer will thank you for it.

 

Having a winter wedding can be a truly amazing and beautiful experience. There’s something magical about a snow-covered landscape, or having a roaring fire in one of the fireplaces that family and friends can gather around. At the end of the day, your wedding is going to be amazing, but remember that these tips can make it even better.

0
0

How to Have an Amazing Wedding – Don’t Stress

We get it. Your wedding can be stressful. There are flowers to choose, menus to pick, and family to appease when you’re getting married. Sometimes, it may feel overwhelming. Other times, it may feel like nothing will ever be truly perfect. However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to have a truly amazing day.

Remember it’s Your Day

Sometimes, we see family members or friends may want to change things about your big day. It can feel like you’re being pulled in all directions as they all give their opinions. However, it’s your day. Make sure to choose things that celebrate you and the person you love. Sometimes, it’s important to remember that it’s your day and while it’s fine for family and friends to have opinions, what is and isn’t at your wedding is ultimately your choice.

Don’t Sweat the Small Things

Some details may seem all-important at your wedding – the way the napkins are placed, what glasses are being used, and how the flowers are

Photo By: Elizabeth Grant Photography

arranged. At the end of the day, though, these small details aren’t what your guests remember. Instead, they remember celebrating your special day with food, drinks, and fun. When it comes to the décor and other small items, don’t worry if things aren’t exactly as you imagined. Your guests won’t be able to tell the difference, and you’re still going to have a great day. Instead, focus on what’s most important: sharing your special day with your family and friends and having a good time.

Trust Your Vendors

While we’re on the topic of small things shifting around, remember to trust your vendors. You chose them for their knowledge, abilities, and experience in the industry. With that in mind, they may suggest other ways than what you imagined to bring your vision to reality. When it comes to their suggestions, make sure to listen. There’s a reason they’re making these suggestions, and it’s

Photo by: Samantha Melanson Photography http://www.samanthamelanson.com/

usually with your and your guests’ experience in mind. On the day of your wedding, trust them to do their jobs. After all, it’s why you hired them in the first place.

 

The most important thing to remember about your wedding is that you should go with the flow. Don’t worry about the small things and instead just focus on having fun during your special day. You’ll be a lot less stressed and also will be able to focus on the important part of the day: celebrating your union with the person you love.

0
0

Embrace Your Creativity at the Wadsworth Mansion

While 2020 was a year that most of us in the industry considered a challenge, it did cause us to innovate. In fact, it made both our clients and us re-examine ways to do events at the Wadsworth Mansion. As we look back on our 2021 season, we can’t help but notice how many innovations have been made when it comes to events and weddings here. One thing is for sure. We’re excited to see what else our clients can come up with in the future.

Using Outdoor Space in New Ways

Photo by: Amy Anaiz Photo

One of the most notable ways we’ve seen people innovate is in the way they’ve used our outdoor space. In the past, dining in our rose garden would have been something unimaginable. However, we’ve not only had tented events in that space, but also open-air weddings with bistro lights strung completely across the wide area to make it into a truly magical location. We’ve also seen couples create amazing spaces beneath tents on the terrace, and even had one couple dine in the open air on the vista beneath canopies.

Let the Fun Continue

Photo by: Joanna Fisher

We’ve seen more fun add-ons this year at our events than in any other year. There have been cigar bars, lounge areas, yard games, fireworks, photobooths, food trucks, s’mores stations, coffee bars, live oil painters, and more. Not only do these things help elevate your guests’ experience, but also are just fun ways to create a truly memorable night.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to have any of these add-ons for a wedding. If you are considering doing something extra to your wedding, though, consider what sort of add-on both you and your guests would like. Are you big ice cream fans? Is there a particular food truck you love? Do you enjoy your wines and would you like to have a wine tasting station at your wedding? Pick one thing that you love to help create a truly amazing experience.

Ask the Experts

At this point, we have a lot of experience when it comes to designing a truly unique event at the Wadsworth Mansion. If you have an idea, ask us about it. We’ve likely seen it before and can make suggestions on how best to implement it for your big day! Not only that, but we can let you know the challenges of a particular idea, or tell you what you need to keep in mind when it comes to creating your dream day. We’re here to help you, so reach out!

 

We want you to embrace your creativity at the Wadsworth Mansion, and we’re here to show you what’s possible. Think outside the box, and don’t be afraid to ask us about what sort of things you can do at the mansion. We’re always happy to help you create your dream day.

0
1

Love is Essential – Planning a Wedding Show Safely

It’s here again! Our wedding show! Needless to say, we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to host it this year with everything going on. But after long conversations and a (very) successful wedding season, we took a step back and said to ourselves, “Okay, how do we make this work?”

The fact is that even if everyone had access to the vaccine last month, we’d still likely be following precautions for our bridal show. However, we knew that we could do things safely as long as we followed some key points.

Photo by: Henry + Mac

 

Spacing and Timing

The first thing we considered was spacing out vendors within the mansion and outside of it. With that in mind, we made sure to have a tent on the

terrace to give everyone more room outdoors and also invited less of our vendors. This was a hard decision, because we love everyone we work with. However, we had to remember the space we had to work with this year.

With spacing in mind, we realized that timing would be important. We couldn’t have everyone come at once to tour the space and meet with vendors. Instead, we decided to have guests pick time slots to attend. That way, we can space couples out appropriately and make sure that not too many people are in the mansion at once.

Photo by: Tyron M. Jemison

One Way Flow of Traffic

We also wanted to make sure that each couple has enough space when they speak with each vendor. We decided to create a one-way flow of foot traffic through the mansion to help with that. That way, there’s enough space between couples and vendors. We want to make sure that couples feel comfortable and confident as they meet with the amazing people who will potentially help with their wedding.

Masks and Sanitation

Masks aren’t going away any time soon, so it was a no brainer to make sure that everyone who comes to the bridal show needs a mask before they enter. To remind everyone to keep their hands clean, we’re also putting out hand sanitizers.

 

Overall, we’re very happy with how our wedding show is shaping up, and very excited for it this weekend! We’re confident that our wedding show will not just be safe, but will also be an amazing experience for anyone who wants to get married at the Wadsworth Mansion.

At the end of the day, it’s all about creativity, design, and the determination to make things safe and fun for our couples. After all, love is essential. We’ll see you all soon!

~Catie

P.S. If you want tickets, you can still grab yours here.

0
1

Tips and Tricks for Planning Your Wedding During Covid

Planning your wedding can be difficult during the best of times. During Covid, it can be even harder if you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, we’re here to help guide you through this process and give you a few tips when it comes to your very special day.

Talk with Your Venue and Vendors

Photo by: Henry + Mac

When you’re planning your wedding, you’ll definitely want to chat with your venue and your other vendors, such as your caterer. Your venue will know capacity limits, and your caterer will be up to date with how to handle food safely. This will let you know how many people you can invite, how you can seat them, and other details that you may not normally think about. If in doubt: ask! Your vendors want to make sure you have an amazing day, so feel free to discuss ideas. Not only that, but your vendors have handled other weddings during this time, and may have ideas that you may not have thought of!

Go with the Flow

Covid guidelines are changing week to week as more people get the vaccine. This means that it’s

Photo by: Katie Salerno Photography

more important than ever to go with the flow. With that in mind, it’s good to work with your vendors to create multiple plans depending on where things are with reopening. Always assume that guidelines won’t ease, but plan for them if they do. That way, you’ll be happy with your wedding no matter what!

When it comes to Covid, we’re all just doing our best depending on what the current guidelines are. Just because something needs to change doesn’t meant that your wedding is going to be any less wonderful. Discussing different options and going with the flow will make you a lot less stressed.

Time to Get Creative

When planning your wedding, consider how you can include certain guidelines in a fun way! This past season, we saw couples include customized masks for their guests for their wedding. We also saw sanitation stations that included scented hand sanitizers for each

Photo by: StopGoLove

of the guests. Think of how you can include safety measures in a beautiful and elegant way for your wedding. Like I mentioned above, you can always ask your vendors.

There are so many things that are shifting right now, but that’s okay. Your team is there to make sure that your big day goes smoothly. At the end of the day, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you’re going to have a wonderful wedding no matter what.  

0
0

Take a Seat: Managing Seating During Covid

Photo by: Rachel Girouard

Figuring out who should sit where during your wedding is a challenge at the best of times. I remember spending hours figuring out how to group my family members and friends for my own wedding, and wondering whether I should switch this person for that person. With Covid-19, designing seating arrangements turns into a whole new challenge – though for a completely different reason. Fortunately, we’re here to help you figure it out.

Spacing it Out During COVID

When you’re designing your seating chart, there’s a few things to keep in mind. You’ll need some extra space for tables, since they all have to be spaced apart appropriately (about 6 feet). You’ll also want to consider which of your guests are family members and seat them together. The goal is to seat people who regularly see each other or are part of the same household. That way, they’re comfortable eating together. As more people become vaccinated, you can also seat vaccinated groups together at larger tables. You can also seat vaccinated guests with unvaccinated guests, as long as they’re part of the same cohort.

Keep in mind that to save more space for a dance floor, it’s fine to have both small and large tables mixed together for smaller and larger pods of guests.

Keeping Guests Comfortable

When you seat your guests, consider where they’ll be most comfortable. Do you think they will prefer dining inside or outside? Don’t be afraid to ask

Photo by: Derek Halkett Photography

your guests who they’re most comfortable sitting next to and where they would prefer to sit. In addition, don’t be afraid to seat some of your guests inside. There is plenty of space in our ballrooms to spread out, and guests may be more comfortable if they have more room indoors than they would be all in one location outside.

Be Flexible with Seating

If you decide on a larger guest count for later in the season, then don’t be afraid to seat some of your guests inside and some of them outdoors. Fortunately, we’re no strangers when it comes to having guests dine in multiple rooms (in fact, that’s how

Photo by: Melanie Ruth Photography

weddings normally are here during a “regular” year). Dinner typically lasts an hour, and then your guests are back together again for dancing and enjoying the outdoors. Not only that, but our beautiful double doors in each of our ballrooms lead right out to the terrace, creating a free-flowing space that connects together via the outdoors.

You Got This

At the end of the day, your guests are coming together to be there for an important moment in your life. No matter where they sit, they’re sure to have a wonderful time sharing in your special day. And as always, if you need help we’re there for you.

0
0

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)

0
1

Stephanie and Jimmy – An Elegant Summer Wedding

Photo by: Derek Halkett Photography

As we spring into the new wedding season, we love reflecting on past weddings and one that stands out is Stephanie and Jimmy’s wedding at the Wadsworth Mansion last June! Their wedding included gorgeous outdoor lighting, a classic car, an outdoor ceremony, a stunning head table, and tons of fun during the reception. Both Stephanie and Jimmy were so excited during their wedding, and their enthusiasm and love for one another made this day something to remember.

One of my favorite parts of their wedding were their introductions. Their bridesmaids and groomsmen each incorporated props and turned the procession into a show for the guests! They were such a great group to work with, and I absolutely loved their sense of fun and being there during their special day.

Now, you can see Stephanie and Jimmy’s wedding for yourself! Shutter and Sound Films put out an absolutely gorgeous film of their wedding day. I love how you can see the flow of their wedding, while also seeing some of the beautiful locations around the mansion!

Stephanie & Jimmy || Wadsworth Mansion Wedding Highlight Video from Shutter And Sound Films on Vimeo.

 

Videographer: Shutter and Sound Films

Photographer: David Halkett Photography

Caterer: David Alan Hospitality Group

Florist: The Green Petal

Music: Michael Martone Music

Ceremony Music: Ariana Strings

Makeup and Hair: Simply Gorgeous by Erin Infantino

Suit: Men’s Wearhouse

0
0

Inspiration for Your Wedding Day – Styled Shoots

This past year, I saw some absolutely amazing weddings at the mansion. There were elegant, outdoor garden parties, Gatsby galas, and so much more. While I’ve seen a lot of weddings at the mansion, though, I’ve also seen some amazing styled shoots, which show exactly what can be done at the Wadsworth. While looking through some of the photos the other day, I couldn’t help but think that these would make for some fabulous inspiration for our couples for the upcoming wedding season. That’s why I’ve included some pictures below of some of our amazing styled shoots at the mansion to give our couples some ideas of exactly what’s possible at this gorgeous venue. I hope this helps them get some inspiration for their special days!

James Bond-Inspired Wedding

If you want more of an elegant feel to your wedding, then this James Bond-inspired wedding shoot is just for you! Lisa from Creative Concepts by Lisa designed this gorgeous wedding concept this past autumn, which was featured in The Connecticut Bride. During the shoot, I fell in love with the outdoor ceremony location among the cedar trees. The gorgeous chandeliers and flowers transformed the area into something truly special. Add that on top of the sleek car, stunning table arrangement, and gorgeous cake, and I was immediately transported into a James Bond film.

Vendor participants:

The Connecticut Bride, Creative Concepts By Lisa, Wadsworth Mansion, Tiny Human Photography, The Wedding Embassy, KOKO Floral Design, CT Wedding Group, Vivid Events, PEAK Event Services, Jessica’s Beauty Bar, Lovely Cakes LLC, Bespoke Designs LLC, Carrie Whelan Designs, @wnddmge, Whitney Ceramicoli and Yavuz Usluca

Boho Wedding

If you’re looking for a wedding that’s more earthy and chic, then a Boho wedding may be right up your alley! We had a Boho-inspired wedding shoot at the mansion in 2019. With a cigar bar, stunning florals, and an outdoor lounge, it was the perfect way to showcase what can be done with a few extra accessories and decorations. Personally, I loved the cigar bar and the fact that they included their dog in the photoshoot. That giant puppy was so sweet!

Vendor Participants: Michelle Wade Photography, Aced Events, Wilder Road Studio, Together LLC, Earth Blossoms Flowers, Phillips Designs, Coastal Gourmet, But a Dream Cakes, Everthine Bridal, JT Ghamo, Painted by Jenny, Renared Beauty, Bourbon Time, Correlation Productions, @jmaule646, @jennykbee

Celestial Wedding

Photo By: Rob Skinner Photography

Photo By: Rob Skinner Photography

Why not lean into a celestial-themed wedding when you can dance beneath the stars on the mansion’s terrace? This November shoot was stunning, and imagined a wedding where stars, moons, and crystals played an integral part in the décor. I loved how this shoot use different shades of blue and gold to create a dreamy atmosphere.

Vendor Participants: 

Whimsy & Lace, Sage Hill Florals, Hilary Harrison, Joanna Adler, Whitney Palmer, Simply Chic Jewelry, The Crushed Crystal, Melissa Garcia, Pope’s Pastries, Devon Allard, Cari Bowerstock, Harli Rasid, Carl DiFederico

Wildflower Wedding

With the natural splendor of the Wadsworth Mansion, it’s no wonder that Wildflower Events decided to welcome the outdoors inside. They used stunning florals in their photoshoot to create an experience where, indoor or out, the guests could experience nature. I especially loved the lounge area they set up; couches in the mansion always look amazing!

Vendor Participants: 

Wildflower Events + Design, Hudson Botanica, Keli Photography, Upstyle, Lina Gavrilyuk

 

Spring Garden Wedding

Photo by: Kelly Pomeroy

If you’re looking for a wedding that embraces the beauty of spring, then look no further than this styled shoot by Brehant Creations. Using purple and yellow as their colors, they created a truly magical experience. As I watched them set up their tables, flower arch, and more, I couldn’t but help be reminded of such classics as The Secret Garden and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This particular shoot welcomed the outdoors inside, and created a feeling of whimsy with their floral design.

Photo by: Kelly Pomeroy

Vendor Participants:

Brehant Creations, The Gardenist, Resurge Beauty Bar, Transcendent Makeup, Snassy Crafter, Whole Weddings, Refined Rentals, Custom Cakes by Sarah, Petals & Plates, Quiet Corner Cookies, Katie Bartel’s Jewelry, Julie Allen Bridals, Kimberly George Art, Soul Crafted Letter, Over The Moon Bridal, Generation Tux, Melinda Sundberg, @cadddydaddy, @jhsundberg, @the_nixie_pixie

These photoshoots were absolutely amazing to watch, and the pictures were stunning! In my personal opinion, they’re the perfect way to show how a concept can work at the mansion. If you’re planning on getting married at the mansion and see something you love from one of these shoots, don’t hesitate to tell us and we can put you in contact with the people behind them!

0
0