Discover the Magic of Weddings at Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial Park

5/30/2024

An Intimate Wedding Venue in Connecticut

Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial Park is one of Connecticut’s most enchanting wedding venues, offering a perfect blend of historical charm and natural beauty. Tucked away along the Connecticut shoreline, this stunning estate has everything you could desire, with stunning waterfront views, lush gardens, meticulously maintained grounds, and views of Long Island Sound, it is an idyllic backdrop for any celebration.

I’ve had the privilege of capturing weddings from spring to fall at Eolia Mansion, and I’ve witnessed the unique beauty each season brings to this enchanting venue. Whether it’s the blooming flowers of spring, the vibrant greenery of summer, or the rich hues of autumn, every wedding at Eolia is special in its own way. Eolia Mansion and grounds made the perfect venue spot for Kristin and Tim who fell in love with the intimacy and charm of the venue. With friends and family that were coming from both near and far – Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial Park provided the perfect spot for guests to enjoy the intimacy of Connecticut’s lands and scenery while celebrating two humans that are very much loved.

The Tale of Love Begun by Fate

Tim and Kristin’s love story is one for the ages. On a gloomy October morning, Tim was heading to Minneapolis for work, feeling the usual dread of an early flight. As he walked down the airplane aisle, he noticed a beautiful woman seated a few rows back and couldn’t help but think, “Imagine if she were sitting next to me.”

Fate intervened when the same woman, Kristin, ended up in the window seat beside Tim due to a seating mix-up. Despite initial nerves, Tim struck up a conversation. Just as they started talking, Kristin realized she was in the wrong seat again. 

The following are words from Tim: “After a few moments of small talk and panic the unthinkable happens… this beautiful mystery woman realizes that she is in the wrong seat. Again…NOOOOOO! I’m devastated. She begins to leave. Then, as she starts to stand up, the older gentleman sitting next to me steps in and motions for her to sit back down. He says “Why don’t you stay there, we’ll just have that person sit where you were supposed to be sitting so you don’t have to move again” I look back and forth between this mystery woman and this strange old man, my fate balanced on the knife edge of uncertainty. Incredibly, the beautiful mystery woman agrees and sits back down. I remember to breathe as the old man leaned in to whisper in my ear “See what I did there?” He gives me a little shove with his elbow, proving that despite his age, he remembers what it is like to be young.”

Encouraged by this unexpected ally, Tim seized the moment and eventually asked Kristin out for lunch. She agreed, and what started as a chance encounter on an airplane high in the sky, led to a beautiful relationship, culminating in Tim’s proposal in an alpine meadow in the Sierra Nevada mountains years later. 

The Morning of Elegance and Anticipation

Kristin began her day surrounded by her closest friends at a local Airbnb, where they enjoyed a relaxing morning of hair and makeup. The excitement built as Kristin slipped into her dress in the bridal suite of Eolia Mansion. This intimate setting, with its elegant rooms and soft lighting, was the perfect place for her to prepare for the unforgettable day ahead. Tim and his wedding party got dressed at a local hotel, enjoying a bus ride over all together as they made their way to the first look festivities. An important aspect for Kristin and Tim was making sure to celebrate all of cocktail hour with friends + family, choosing the intimacy of spending time together before the ceremony and day begun, allowing for all formal portraits to be completed prior to their celebrations.

An Intimate First Look

The first look took place in the mansion’s serene sunken side garden, bursting with blooming flowers and lush greenery. The mansion provided a stunning backdrop, enhancing the intimate feel of the moment. Kristin and Tim, known for their shared laughter and joy, found immense happiness in this quiet, personal time together before the festivities began. They walked the tranquil grounds, absorbing the beauty and serenity of the surroundings, away from the bustling preparations inside the mansion.

A Ceremony by the Sea

The ceremony, one of the most important aspects of their day, was held near the beach, allowing guests to explore the expansive and picturesque grounds of Harkness Memorial Park. A bagpipe welcomed guests as they strolled along Harkness Park’s path to find their seat looking out over the ocean. The ocean breeze and the sound of waves created a magical ambiance as Tim and Kristin exchanged their vows in front of family and friends.

Cocktail Hour and Stunning Views

As the ceremony concluded, guests were invited to enjoy cocktail hour in the side gardens and on the back patio of Eolia Mansion. The grand views of Long Island Sound, bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun, provided a breathtaking backdrop for mingling and photo opportunities. A Thyme to Cook, an award winning, full service catering company also provided a day of planner, ensured that everything flowed seamlessly, allowing guests to relax and enjoy the moment. Kristin + Tim wanted great food, a great atmosphere, and the perfect location for friends to enjoy. As I looked out over their day unfolding, each of these three things could not be more apparent. 

Wedding Details at Eolia Mansion

Kristin and Tim showcased a beautiful color palette of muted soft greens, white, cream, and pale pink, seamlessly blending with the venue’s natural beauty. The flowers played a significant role in enhancing the elegant and timeless feel of their day.

For the ceremony and cocktail hour outside, they chose a vibrant wildflower chandelier, adding to the lively and joyous atmosphere. These flowers complemented the lush gardens and stunning views of Long Island Sound, creating a harmonious connection with the natural surroundings.

Inside, for the dining rooms, the couple opted for soft and elegant floral arrangements that aligned with their classic vision, allowing the mansion to speak for itself. As the sun slowly started, the warm glow illuminated the mansion’s cozy rooms, adorned with fireplaces, tall windows, and soft candlelight. The versatility of the venue and choices made by Kristin and Tim created a unique feel to each part of their day.

Elegant Toasts and Dancing

The back patio served as the perfect spot for heartfelt toasts and the couple’s first dance. The speeches, another highlight of the day, brought laughter, tears, and a deep sense of connection among the guests. Following the toasts, an intimate dinner was served inside the mansion. The cozy rooms, adorned with fireplaces, tall windows, and soft candlelight, created an inviting and romantic atmosphere for the evening’s meal.

Sneaking away for Golden Hour Fun

Kristin and Tim chose to take a walk around the mansion during golden hour – to steal some quiet minutes alone taking in their day together.

A Night of Celebration

The night continued with dancing and great music, exactly what Tim and Kristin had envisioned for their celebration. Despite having 130 guests, the intimacy of Eolia Mansion’s grounds made the day feel personal and special. The combination of great people, beautiful music, and the elegant, timeless setting created an unforgettable experience for everyone involved.

Why Eolia Mansion is Perfect for Your Wedding

Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial Park offers a unique blend of historical elegance and natural beauty, making it an ideal venue for couples seeking a timeless and intimate wedding. From the stunning gardens to the panoramic views of Long Island Sound, this venue provides a picturesque backdrop for every moment of your special day. The versatile spaces, both indoors and outdoors, allow for a seamless flow of events, ensuring that every aspect of your wedding is perfectly executed.

By choosing Eolia Mansion, you not only get a beautiful location but also an unforgettable experience that blends history, romance, and natural beauty, just as Tim and Kristin did on their perfect summer day.

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