What is the best place in Connecticut to have your intimate wedding reception?  Do you like being near the water?  Harkness Park’s Eolia Mansion could be your ideal location.   The historic mansion on CT’s southeastern shoreline has consistently proven to be such an ideal romantic location for so many New England couples.  Below is Christine and Jim’s  account of their beautiful wedding day.  (You might want to take some pointers from these two)

Christine and Jim got married on location at Harkness Park’s outdoor amphitheater on what turned out to be a perfect August day.  8/5/2017

Do you think it is risky to have an outdoor ceremony in Connecticut in August?  Christine says, “I knew that planning an outdoor wedding was a gamble.  The weather forecast was predicting rain all week, and I was stressing out.  The morning of, I woke up and it was down pouring, there were threats of hail and thunderstorms all day.  As the morning went on, and we all stalked the weather channel, they were saying that it was going to end in the afternoon.  The unknown was what was stressful. Once we got to the venue, the clouds started to get lighter, and once I made the decision to have the ceremony outside, rain or shine, the sun came out right before the ceremony and it turned out to be a beautiful evening. I could not be happier that the sun came out on our day.”

Megan Mowel, Hair Stylist, Tracy and Co Salon   |    Vanessa Pergolizzi, Owner of VP Artistry by Vanessa

Dress by Sottero and Midgley by Maggie SotteroWhere was the dress purchased and what made the dress stand out as “THE ONE”?       Mariella Creations. It was beautifully beaded, was fitted, and made me feel “like a bride”.

Bride’s Shoes: Something Blue by Betsey Johnson

Christine describes her most vivid memory from the day.  “The first look was our favorite part.  I was so nervous as the day went on, and then when we saw each other for the first time that day, the stress melted away.  I also got to see his face when he saw me in my wedding dress and I will never forget it.”

Christine wrote: “We love the summer and wanted a romantic wedding at the shore. The date was also significant because it is close to my parent’s anniversary.” 

What part of the day do you wish you could do all over again and why?     Walking down the aisle. I was so nervous I was going to trip on my dress that I really didn’t look at Jim much.  I did look at my grandmother because I knew how happy she was going to be in that moment and I wanted to see that. 

“Our final (guest) count was 102.  Our original guest list was 120, but we were happy to have it lower.  We wanted an intimate event.  Close friends and family only.  We wanted it to feel like a celebration of us and our loved ones, and not have to worry about inviting people just because we knew them once, or had been close at one time.  It was tough trying to decide who we wanted to invite, but in the end, we stayed true to our vision, and we were very happy with our numbers. We were able to talk with every single person there and also have a lot of fun celebrating.”  Do you think you can stick to your guns and keep your guest count low to your core group of friends and family?

“I remember feeling so happy that we were finally getting married.  I remember the vows the most and how happy I was that we wrote our own. It made the ceremony really feel like our own and meaningful.” said Christine

Our officiant was Bridget Caviness

I love them all (the photos), but I mostly love seeing the photos where Jim and I are standing at the altar or walking up the aisle after we got married.  They show the genuine happiness that we felt.

As always, incredible floral design by Hana Floral

What regrets, (if any) do you have about the planning of your wedding and your decisions leading up to the day?         If I could have, I would have hired my wedding coordinator sooner! Lisa was an incredible help to me leading up to the day.

With regards to all the gorgeous wedding details, Christine explains; “I added some touches that made it my own.  I had painted a couple of beach scenes on small canvases of places we have been. I set up a memorial table to honor my father who had passed away.  Before the first dance, I decided to sing “At Last” to Jim which was really fun.  Lastly, the music choices we chose were all of our favorites and people were dancing all night. It was a blast and felt very “us” the entire time.”

There were a couple of funny moments from the night.  The toasts all had very funny moments that are evidenced by my laughter in the photos.  Jim’s best man was cut off with Jeopardy music during his speech which was planned by Jim and his friends. 

Ties: Express

Veils and Cufflinks exceeded every expectation I had.  From the engagement photos to the wedding, they were there with us with any questions and concerns and that made me feel comfortable. During the engagement shoot, Jerome made my husband feel comfortable which is impressive since he hates taking pictures.  During the wedding, Jerome and Jen made sure that they captured our wedding day in the most beautiful ways. – Christine

Where did you get your rings?           Michael’s Jewelers

Any advice to offer new couples who are planning their own wedding?     I would tell engaged couples to follow the vision that you want for your wedding. When you have the day how you want it, you will enjoy it more and look back without regrets.

DJ entertainment provided by Vivid Events

Looking back, the day was perfect to me. It was the happiest day of our lives and I’m so glad that Veils and Cufflinks captured that.

Who was your coordinator or designer, (if any)?      Lisa DiBenedetto, Owner, Nightingale Events

Where did you take your honeymoon? And how did you like it?      We went to Maui.  It was the most beautiful place we have ever been. There was so much to do, paddle boarding, hiking, snorkeling, but there were wonderful relaxing days by the water. Even though the flight was long, it was well worth it to honeymoon on such a beautiful island.

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