Wadsworth Mansion Wedding

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.

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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.

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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.

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2020 Weddings: Love During Covid

In the wedding industry, we keep hearing the same thing over and over again when we chat with couples: “I don’t want a Covid wedding.” It’s understandable. After all, the Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way that we function in our daily lives.

However, after working (almost all) of the weddings of 2020, I feel like labeling weddings as “Covid weddings” is a misnomer. Sure, we had to work within certain guidelines and implement safety precautions, but the fact is that 2020 weddings at the mansion were amazing. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the weddings in 2020 were somehow even more special, because they were done during a time when so many people had their lives upturned. I watched our couples come together in such a wonderful way, creating magical moments amidst the pandemic.

Photo by: Mel B Photography

With that in mind, I think it’s important to let our 2021 couples know that weddings here at the mansion will always be wonderful, no matter the circumstances. I also think it’s worth taking a look back at some of our 2020 weddings to see exactly what they were like.

Outdoor Weddings

We embraced outdoor weddings in 2020 by erecting a gorgeous Sperry Tent that kept the breezy feel of our vista but still provided shelter from sun and rain. There were yard games, outdoor lounge furniture, cigar bars, and more. Guests dined beneath the tent and danced the night away on the terrace. These weddings were, without a doubt, stunning.

I often say that we’re fortunate as a venue. We have over 100 acres of grounds to work with, which

means that we have the space to set up tents and outdoor areas for guests. Fortunately, our gardens cooperated with us this past season, and the flowers were absolutely stunning during our outdoor weddings.

Embracing Intimacy

Of course, 2020 was the year of more intimate weddings. Smaller guest counts meant that couples could actually talk with everyone during their big

Henry + Mac

day. From my experience, a lot of these weddings seemed more personal and customized to the couples. They would add special touches that they wouldn’t normally be able to include with a larger guest count. As an example, one couple had a neon sign that they customized and hung above their sweetheart table.

Personally, I enjoyed these smaller weddings. I felt like couples were less overwhelmed during their big day because of it.

Going with the Flow

This is normally the case no matter the year, but I found that 2020 couples that went with the flow and

Photo by: Derek Halkett Photography

listened to their vendors were the ones that had the best weddings. Vendors have a lot of experience when it comes to events, and know all of the policies that need to be followed for Covid. This means that they also know what works and what doesn’t.

In 2020, this was more true than ever. We partnered with caterers who worked with us to create truly amazing weddings during the pandemic. They came up with creative ways to make sure food was safely served, and I helped create was to unobtrusively add touches that kept guests safe, such as sanitization stations and mask tables.

With that in mind, I always recommend that you listen to your vendors if they make suggestions. After all, you’re hiring them for a reason. Trust them to create your perfect day.

 

As we launch into the 2021 wedding season, I can’t help but be excited. Last year was a challenge, but it was also

Photo by: Amber Jones Photography

one of the most amazing wedding seasons I’ve had at the mansion to date. I can only hope that this year will be just as wonderful.

Remember, you’re not going to have a “Covid wedding.” You’re going to have a beautiful mansion wedding. And all of us here at the mansion will be there to help you every step of the way.

See you soon!

~Catie

 

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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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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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The Wedding Experience at the Wadsworth

Your wedding is a special day. It’s a time when you can gather with your friends and family to share a truly wonderful moment in your life. However, weddings aren’t just a way to share your life; they’re also an experience.

More and more often, brides and grooms come to the Wadsworth Mansion looking for a truly unique experience. They want their wedding to stand out from the others, and want to bring in elements that take their wedding from simply being an event to becoming an amazing and memorable time that both they and their guests can enjoy.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at the types of elements and experiences that some of our brides and grooms have brought in to their weddings.

Cigar and Whiskey Bar

Most people know that whiskey pairs well with cigars, but fewer people know how both pair well with a wedding. Cigar and whiskey bars are rising in popularity, offering a place for guests to relax and speak casually while enjoying fine drinks and cigars. At the Wadsworth, couples will have an outdoor cigar station set up on the terrace so that guests can enjoy the gorgeous scenery with a drink in hand.

Photo Booth

Want to give your guests an immersive experience for their wedding favors? Look no further than a photo booth. This attraction can be set to have different backgrounds while giving your guests something to do during the reception, and something to take home with them to remember the amazing event. Ask the Wadsworth Mansion staff about how a photo booth can make their day memorable!

Lawn Games

The Wadsworth Mansion has a gorgeous expanse of grounds, so what could be more perfect on a nice day than a set of lawn games? Corn hole, ladder toss, and croquet are all great additions for a wedding focused on fun for both adults and kids.

Dance Instructors

The Wadsworth Mansion has a unique set-up, providing a central dance floor and two separate dining rooms. However, this layout can work hugely to your advantage at a wedding. Either of the dining rooms can be set up to provide entertainment for guests, including dance instructors who can give your guests the gift of some new slick moves on the dance floor.

Helicopter Entrance

Brides and grooms enter their wedding in a lot of different ways. Some are preceded by flower girls, others wind up dancing down the aisle to provide entertainment for their guests. Imagine, however, arriving in a helicopter as a grand entrance. Now only is the entrance entertaining for your guests to watch, but it’s sure to make an impression on either the bride or groom!

 

Whether you decide to bring in pool tables for your guests to play on, a mixologist to prepare custom and show-stopping cocktails, or a professional troupe of circus performers as entertainment, the Wadsworth Mansion is here to make your vision a reality. The layout of the mansion leaves room to create areas with different forms of entertainment as your friends and family gather together for a truly memorable experience.

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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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