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Elegant Connecticut Wedding at the Eolia Mansion

Weddings like this beauty captured by Joanna Fisher Photography are so incredibly perfect they will casually stroll arm in arm with Father Time and always be stylish. It’s a rare and lovely thing when that happens, but when it does, we are simply besides ourselves with anticipation to share it with all of you. Take a peek here.


From Joanna Fisher PhotographyJillian and Tulio’s love is contagious. From the moment we had our first consultation (and ended up talking Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings for about three hours over coffee), I felt like they were my old friends. Being able to photograph and capture their love was just the icing on the cake!

On the day of the wedding, Jillian and her maids arrived at the stunning Eolia Mansion at Harkness State Park and were whisked upstairs into the historical mansion guest room which served as the bridal suite. Sunlight filtered through the antique lace curtains, showering over Jillian’s stunning gown. The flowers arrived and filled the room with perfume just as the bridesmaids were finishing getting into their gowns. Shades of spring green were complimented by blush and ivory blooms, and the suite bustled with anticipation and energy. Jillian dressed in front of an age-old boudoir mirror, helped by her maids and her mother. Even as she stood still, helped into her shoes and buttoned and laced into her gown, she was stunning.

Outside under the pergola, Tullio waited patiently with his groomsmen, glancing up at the shaded windows of the mansion every once in a while, hoping that he might catch a glimpse of the woman he was about to marry. Rain had been predicted for that afternoon, but the sun was shining brightly through the vines and onto the ceremony – short, sweet, and joyfully tearful.

Following the couples’ vows, and first kiss, guests were ushered under the hand painted stone archways for cocktail hour, while Jillian and Tullio took their time for their portraits. They had informed me early on that they wanted only a few small groups photographed – that they wanted the focus and the majority of our time spent together, capturing their love.

We walked the length of the pergola, through the English Gardens, past hundred year old gates overlooking the ocean. Every photograph was effortlessly stunning. Their love shone through in each and every image.

When the sun began to set, the couple joined their guests under the tent, and danced the night away, breaking only to share toasts with friends and family, and to cut the cake that they baked themselves at the groom’s family-owned bakery.

This couples love – and their day – was picture perfect.

Photography: Joanna Fisher Photography | Floral Design: Forget Me Not | Cake: Milani Bakery | Ceremony Venue: Eolia Mansion | Catering: Culinary Concerts: Chris Bracken | DJ: Vinny Valentino | Makeup + Hair: Beauty Bar

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Connecticut Wedding at Eolia Mansion from Katie Stoops Photography

We have Katie Stoops to thank for sending us this beauty this morning, and let me just say, it’s worthy of a big thank you. I would squeeze her if I could. It’s elegance meets garden party – complete with pretty as can be florals from Hana Floral Design and perfectly appropriate invites from Rifle Paper Co.- and I do believe that all results in my new favorite type of fête. Top it off with a couple that couldn’t be more excited to say I do, and a Bride that literally took her Groom’s breath away as she walked down the aisle – and you have a wedding we couldn’t be more excited to share. It’s perfection from top to bottom, and you can see so much more right here.

From Katie Stoops PhotographyMarget and Seth were married at the Eolia Mansion in Harkness State Park in Connecticut. This place is just magical. It rained and rained, but I think it only emphasized the romance between these two. The moment you meet Marget and Seth, you wish they were your best  friends. They are so welcoming and completely in love; there is no doubt that they were meant for one another.

From the Bride… We were married in a garden that I played in as a child, and we drew inspiration from the lush greens of Harkness’s natural beauty by choosing simple design elements only decorated with florals. Seth and I feel so blessed by the family and friends in our lives, and we wanted our wedding to feel inclusive and convivial. Our siblings stood with us under the chuppah, and our best friends were our bridal party. In memory of departed loved ones, we read excerpts from letters Seth’s grandparents wrote as a young couple during WWII. We wanted the words of our wedding day to be personal and meaningful, so we asked our reader and seven blessers to choose readings that spoke to them. We asked family friends to serve as our justice of the peace and to deliver the wedding homily, and we honored our heritage by incorporating Methodist and Jewish traditions into the ceremony. For the mansion reception, we filled the bookshelves with novels written by friends and Seth’s clients. Many decor elements were handcrafted by me and a special bridesmaid. We chose long tables with seasonal food served family-style in order to encourage conversation, and it was such a joy to see friends from opposing parts of the world finding common ground. Finally, we wanted to really celebrate the expansive joy we felt, and our DJ was amazing, bringing the whole party onto the dance floor!

Wedding Photography: Katie Stoops Photography / Wedding Venue: Eolia Mansion in Waterford, Connecticut / Floral Design: Hana Floral Design / Catering: A Thyme to Cook / Wedding Invitations: Rifle Paper Co. / Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza / Hair + Makeup: Jennie Fresa ~ Makeup & Skincare Boutiquerie / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Their Choice / Groom’s Suit: Black Fleece by Brooks Brothers / Cinematography: McKenzie Miller Films

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Waterford, Connecticut Wedding by Maggie Conley Photography

A sure fire combo for a lovely fete: one scrumptious Vera Wang, loads of garden-esque blooms by Hana Floral Design and a classic venue like Eolia Mansion. When these things come together for a day of Marrying, it’s like the perfect storm of wedding gorgeousness. And the only thing that could possibly make this day better is having every memorable second captured by Maggie Conley Photography. See the whole pretty affair right here!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the bride…Ted and I met our senior year at Connecticut College when our housing lottery placed me in a dorm, on a floor with many of the senior boys.  I was away from all my close girlfriends and decided to make the best of my situation and befriend the raucous boys on my floor.  As fate would have it, Ted and I instantly hit it off.  We began dating soon after and upon graduating, moved to New York City together.  Ted proposed last summer on a midnight stroll in Paris.  It was magical.

From the moment we began setting out planning our wedding, the only certain thing we knew was that our venue had to be Eolia.  It was so “us.”  Throughout college, we always went to the beach there during the spring months with our friends and had always admired the gardens and the mansion.  Once we locked in the date for our wedding (one week after Ted took the Bar Exam!!), the rest seamlessly fell in to place.  I set my heart on having a whimsical “Secret Garden” wedding.  I wanted flowers everywhere! My mother-in-law began collecting hobnail vases for the centerpieces as well as vintage flower frogs to be used to hold the table numbers (which were scanned copies of vintage flower prints).  Yumiko executed my vision perfectly.  I couldn’t have asked for anything more perfect than what she and her “pink ladies” created.  Originally, when we first met, I had wanted sunset colors and lots of pink, but halfway through the planning I became worried it was becoming “too pink” (if there can be such a thing!). I stumbled upon my lavender Ferragamo shoes during a shopping spree at Bloomingdales and immediately decided to include lots of lavender and purple accents into the flower arrangements.  I chose the white bridesmaid dresses after seeing another Style Me Pretty bride use them at her wedding.  I fell in love with how clean and crisp the look was.  Many people questioned me with this pick but then once Pippa Middleton wore a white dress to her sister’s wedding it all became okay with everyone!

Our wedding was so personal and so full of love.  We wanted it to be our families and close friends who have been with us from the beginning. My cousin is an Episcopalian priest and he officiated the ceremony.  Both Ted and I couldn’t stop smiling.  From our first look in the garden, to playing lawn games with our guests, to being introduced as husband and wife, to singing and dancing the night away- it couldn’t have been more spectacular.  We couldn’t have done it without our beyond fabulous vendors who worked tirelessly on making our wedding possible.  We found many of our vendors through Style Me Pretty and they were the epitome of professionalism and style, a huge thank you to all of them.

Location: Eolia Mansion / Photography: Maggie Conley Photography / Flowers: Hana Floral Design / Caterer: A Thyme to Cook / DJ: Power Posse Productions (860-572-7322) / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Thread / Flower Girl Dresses: Jacadi / Bride’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo / Hair and Makeup: Red Door Spa

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Waterford Wedding by Tony Spinelli Photography

This morning I am going to ask you to sit back, settle in, and enjoy traditional elegance at its finest via all the fabulous photos from Tony Spinelli Photography. This level of prettiness needs your full attention! With florals by the amazingly talented Hana Floral Design and the gorgeous reception venue that is Eolia Mansion at Harkness Park – it just doesn’t get prettier than this, and there is even more to see in the full gallery of images!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride…Our vision was “simple elegance.”  We wanted to achieve a balance of traditional and modern, classic and unique – a wedding that would be memorable and timeless.  For our ceremony we chose a beautiful, white steeple congregational church in Connecticut:  the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. This classic New England church was incorporated in 1665 and is as rich in beauty as it is in tradition.  Our reception venue, Eolia Mansion, was the summer home of the Harkness family beginning in 1907 and is now part of Harkness State Park.  The Gatsby-like setting on Long Island Sound includes ocean views, sprawling lawns, hidden gardens and admiring fountains.  Guests enjoyed cocktails and dancing under the tented terrace and dinner in candlelit rooms throughout the estate.

While the beautiful location set the tone of the wedding, the details added the charm and character.  Every decision was made with the “simple elegance” vision in mind.  Classic hydrangeas in soft colors of pale pink, green and white were used for the centerpieces and to decorate the Mansion’s mantles alongside floating candles.  A clean and elegant bouquet of white hydrangeas, garden and spray roses and ranunculus flowers created a tailored and classic bridal bouquet.  Guests were welcomed to the reception with handcrafted pink paisley place cards tied with sage ribbon and the traditional guest book was replaced by small note cards on which guests could leave marriage well-wishes.  These items, along with calligraphy bride and groom chair signs, were designed and created by artists and craftsmen discovered on Etsy. Pale pink cards were tucked into the napkins of each place setting which listed the charitable donations made to non-profit organizations in honor of our guests.

The wedding celebration was truly everything we hoped it would be and the planning was a labor of love – worth every appointment, every blog search and all the time spent researching and working with talented vendors.  As a young girl I often dreamed of a truly special wedding day.  I am touched today to say that our wedding was worthy of that young girl’s wish and a day that we are more than proud to remember as the first of our marriage.

Wedding Photography: Tony Spinelli Photography / Floral Design: Hana Floral Design / Event Design: Cloud Nine Catering / Ceremony Location: First Congregational Church of Old Lyme / Reception Location: Eolia Mansion at Harkness Park / Wedding Dress: Mariella Creations

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Classic Connecticut Wedding by Raw Photo Design

It is Wednesday and our submissions box is overflowing (not that we’re complaining!) which means there is a whole lot of wedding eye candy headed your way as we clear things out. It is a total win win. If you completely fall in love with a wedding, don’t forget to click on the gallery to see every nook and cranny of it.

So, without further ado, we are going to jump right into our first pretty number. Captured by Raw Photo Design, it is the complete epitome of a classic New England wedding right down to that candle clad fireplace. Total perfection if you ask us and so worth a visit to the gallery.

there is more where these lovely images came from in the gallery!

I love a theme. My mother and Aunt are clones of Martha Stewart and say that I too have the “theme gene.” I really wanted a wedding with a vintage elegance feel, that felt like a dinner party more than a wedding. We decided to keep the wedding small with only about 80 guests, half of that Johnny’s large family! I wanted a unique venue that really captured the elegance of a bygone era. As soon as I saw Eolia Mansion at Harkness Park I knew it was the perfect spot with its stunning English gardens. I did a ton of DIY projects on a fairly small budget and was inspired by so many beautiful weddings on Style Me Pretty. I searched high and low and found beautiful mercury glass vases for the niches which helped bring in the vintage charm. I created a moss covered M for my new monogram and used inexpensive silver frames to frame old photos of close family members. Ribbon draped moss wreaths on the glass double doors went to match the moss tray carrying the calligraphy escort cards.

I chose to use peaches to accent the beauty of the blush in the flowers. Johnny and I actually picked them at a nearby orchard the morning of our wedding! The peaches were so fresh and summery; they were even used in the chicken dish that was served with fresh basil and peaches. The gorgeous bouquets and the table centerpieces were done by Yumiko at Hana Floral Design while I created the extra garden rose pieces in silver mint julep cups for the ceremony and reception. All the décor really came together better than I could have hoped on the day!

Johnny and I met in a hostel in Cinque Terre, Italy the summer of 2006. I had been living in Spain and he was stationed with the US Army in Germany and we randomly booked the same hostel for weekend trips with our friends. We kept in touch and started dating a year later when he moved back to the East Coast. After 6 months of dating, Johnny decided to move to New Zealand and asked me to join him. When we moved home a year later, without jobs or a home, he surprised me with a proposal on the beach in Maine. It was perfect!

Photography: Raw Photo Design / Dress: Priscilla of Boston from White Dress by the Shore / Shoes: J.Crew / Florist: Hana Floral Design, Yumiko Fletcher / Ceremony and Reception Location: Eolia Mansion Harkness State Park Waterford, CT

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