Guide to Westchester Country Club Wedding in Rye, NY

Guide to Westchester Country Club Wedding in Rye, NY

WESTCHESTER COUNTRY CLUB WEDDING

Located just outside of Manhattan in the town of Rye, New York, Westchester Country Club is one of the most sought after locations for your wedding day celebration. With a 100 year history, the Westchester Country Club has been a fixture in the Rye, NY community and is considered one of the premier country clubs in Westchester County, New York. 

A Westchester Country Club Wedding is a sumptous and elegant event that is sure to impress. Italian villa style architecture, cathedral ceilings, grand chandeliers, outdoor terraces, and, of course, one of the area’s top rated golf courses, Westerchester Country Club is in a class by itself. 

HISTORY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTRY CLUB

John McEntee Bowman was born and raised in Toronto and came to New York when he was seventeen. From his first job as a groomer in a stable, John worked his way up to eventually own the Biltmore hotel group – one of the most exclusive and largest hotel chains in the world at that time.

Mr. Bowman’s vision for Westchester CC was to create the sportsman’s paradise close to Manhattan. He went on to purchase land in both Harrison and Rye, New York for his flagship hotel project, the Westchester Biltmore.

Construction of the eight-story hotel began in the summer of 1919. A mere 3 years later on May 15, 1922 John McEntee Bowman formally opened the Westchester-Biltmore Country Club to an initial membership of 1,500. 

The Westchester Country Club was (and still is) revered for its architecture, its membership, and its years of serving the local Westchester community. 

WESTCHESTER COUNTRY CLUB GETTING READY ACCOMMODATIONS

The club has over 40 hotel rooms to accommodate your getting ready preparations. From standard rooms to deluxe suites, the club has several options to comfortably accommodate your bridal party.

WESTCHESTER COUNTRY CLUB RECEPTION LOCATIONS

Biltmore Room

The Biltmore is the main ballroom for wedding receptions at Westchester Country Club and features soaring arched ceilings, beautiful crystal chandeliers, and a terrace that opens out onto the club’s Terrazzo and Bandshell area. The Biltmore Room can accommodate up to 250 with a Dance Floor. There is a minimum number of 200 Guests on Saturday Night May – October.

Westchester Room

With its stunning floor to ceiling windows, exquisite drapery, wooden columns, and golf course views, the Westchester Room is a perfectly warm and intimate setting for smaller events. The Westchester Room accommodates up to 170 with a Dance Floor. 

Bandshell Terazzo

The outdoor bandshell and terrazzo were tailor made for grand events. Allowing for over 750 people outdoors, the terrazzo is an open air space that is a blank canvas for your wedding day vision.

WESTCHESTER COUNTRY CLUB CEREMONY AND COCKTAIL LOCATIONS

Wedding ceremonies can be held inside the club in either the Westchester or the Biltmore ballrooms depending on your guest list size. Outdoor ceremonies are held in the club’s terrazzo off the Biltmore Room. For cocktail hour, you can have your pick of the club’s main front lobby area or outside on the terraces off the Biltmore or Westchester ballrooms.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT WESTCHESTER COUNTRY CLUB AS A PHOTOGRAPHER

Weddings at Weschester Country Club feel like an elegant, swanky, cosmopolitan affair. The old school architecture of the club – both inside and out – just drips with that old New York society vibe. As a photographer, I love when a space has a unique and palpable feel to it. As grand as they are, the ballrooms at Westchester Country Club really give off a warm and intimate feel and outside, the club’s terraces and porticos provide a nice mix of open air and covered nooks for photographs. And, of course, the golf course serves as a lovely backdrop for outdoor photos. 

WHY YOU’LL LOVE WESTCHESTER COUNTRY CLUB FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY

The main reason why couples choose to marry at Westchester Country Club is because they (and/or their family) are members and they likely spent their childhood summers at the club. There’s a sentimental allure to country club weddings. Like coming full circle. Marrying in the same space you first learned to swim or swing a golf club. Running through the halls of the club playing hide and seek with your friends. It’s a wonderful way to have one foot in your past while having one in your future. 

Plus Westchester Country Club is stunningly beautiful! Who wouldn’t want to marry in such a gorgeous place with a storied history. 

WESTCHESTER COUNTRY CLUB WEDDING PHOTOS

Julia and Daniel’s Wedding at Westchester Country Club in Rye, NY. 

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Rosecliff Mansion Wedding Newport, RI

Rosecliff Mansion Wedding Newport, RI

ROSECLIFF MANSION WEDDING

A wedding at Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, RI is a Gilded Age dream. Originally commissioned by Nevada silver heiress, Theresa Fair Oelrichs (Tessie to her friends), Rosecliff was designed by architect Stanford White who modeled Rosecliff after the Grand Trianon, the garden retreat of French kings at Versailles.

Completed in 1902, Rosecliff quickly became the social hotspot for East Coast elite. Mrs. Oelrichs was famous for her lavish parties that featured a who’s who of society including the Astors, Vanderbilts (her Newport neighbors), and the famous magician, Harry Houdini.

Rosecliff is, not surprisingly, a stunning example of the architecture of the time. The white glazed terra-cotta exterior gives the mansion a pristine, gleaming appearance that really ‘pops’ the mansion out from its plush, manicured grounds. 

The inside is what you would expect from a Gilded Age Newport Mansion – grand, opulent, decadent, luxurious. With its soaring ceilings, heart-shaped grand staircase, and the largest ballroom on Bellevue Avenue (aka Mansion Row), it’s no wonder that Rosecliff has been featured in several Hollywood films over the years. Most notably, the Great Gatsby, True Lies, and Amistad.

Despite it’s lush grandeur, Rosecliff has a warm and inviting vibe making you and your guests feel right at home. 

HISTORY OF ROSECLIFF MANSION

Rosecliff’s position as the soical hotspot of the day was, unfortunately, rather short-lived. Tessie’s husband, Hermann passed away a few short years after construction was completed. Tessie continued to live in Rosecliff until her passing in 1920. Her son Hermann inherited the property until its sale in 1941.

By 1942, the home had fallen into decay.  The result of being left unoccupied and not properly winterized, the pipes burst on the second floor flooding the home. The grand Rococo-style staircase was a giant, frozen waterfall and the ballroom ceiling cracked and caved.

Fortunately, Rosecliff’s history would take a turn for the better. In 1947, Mr. and Mrs. J Edgar Monroe purchased the home and occupied the mansion each summer for 20 years until ultimately donating it to the Preservation Society of Newport County along with a large trust fund to preserve the home. 

ROSECLIFF MANSION WEDDING CEREMONY, COCKTAIL, AND RECEPTION LOCATIONS

Wedding ceremonies are held outside on the back lawn. Dramatically set on the shores of the Atlantic and flanked on both side by Newport’s stately mansions, the back lawn is a dream-like spot to exchange your vows. You’ll enjoy the same feeling mingling with your guests and sipping on your signature cocktails on the back terrace. Receptions are held in the grand ballroom which comfortably accommodates up to 180 guests for dinner and dancing. The Salon, adjacent to the Ballroom, provides additional dinner seating for 90 guests. The Salon can also be utilized as a ceremony space (with a capacity of 130) in the event of rain.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT ROSECLIFF MANSION AS A PHOTOGRAPHER

My mother collected antiques. And when she added new pieces, she would always tell me the story behind each one. That’s what I love about Rosecliff – the story. I love the idea of being in a home that’s had occupants and guests dating back to the early 1900’s. Being there is like being a part of history.

I’m also inspired by beauty and Rosecliff, with it’s period architecture and stunning setting, is a feast for my senses. 

My favorite aspect of the home though is the intimate setting inside. I really enjoy photographing weddings that place an emphasis on spending time with friends and family. And Rosecliff’s warm, cozy setting really fosters a sense of closeness and togetherness.

WHY YOU’LL LOVE ROSECLIFF MANSION FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY

If you envision a historic mansion setting for your wedding day, then Rosecliff Mansion is hands down your ideal venue. With its historic architecture, dramatic setting, and intimate interior, Rosecliff is dream fantasy wedding come true. 

Aside from Rosecliff itself, getting married in Newport, RI is an experience. Newport has long been a fun-filled summer destination. From it’s storied history to the Newport Jazz Fest to it’s own ATP Tour Tournament to a miriad of annual sailing events, Newport, RI draws a steady stream of tourists and vacationers a like. 

It’s a perfect spot for a destination wedding!  

FAQ

Can you get married at Rosecliff?

  • Fortunately, yes! You can have your wedding at Rosecliff Mansion. 

How much does it cost to get married at Rosecliff Mansion?

How much is Rosecliff mansion worth?

  • Rosecliff was originally built in 1902 for $2.5 Million. Today it’s worth over $70 Million.

What movies were filmed in the Rosecliff mansion?

  • The Great Gatsby, True Lies, 27 Dresses, and Amistad.

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Guide to Stone Acres Farm Wedding Venue Stonington, CT

Guide to Stone Acres Farm Wedding Venue Stonington, CT

Located in the historic coastal town of Stonington, CT, Stone Acres Farm is a beautiful and bucolic setting for your wedding ceremony and reception. The Farm’s manor house, historic gardens, and rolling meadows offer an elegant and rustic setting for your big day.

Stone Acres Farm is a versatile venue that can host intimate indoor gatherings as small as 20 or outdoor tented celebrations for up to 250. The 65-acre property has a variety of locations to accommodate the various aspects of your day. Have your ceremony in the formal garden, enjoy cocktail hour on the front lawn of the manor house, sneak away for some photos amongst the boxwoods and rolling meadows, and, of course, dine and dance the night away under a beautiful celebration tent. 

HISTORY OF STONE ACRES FARM

Stone Acres Farm has a long and storied history. Originally a dairy farm, the property has been in continual operation since before the Revolutionary War. The ornamental gardens and greenhouses date back to the early 19th century. The gazebo, fish pond, and rose arbors located in the formal garden were first built in the late 1800s. The Manor House, originally built by prominent local physician, Dr. Charles Phelps in 1765, remains a remarkable example of late federal period Victorian architecture with many original architectural details still intact. 

A wedding at Stone Acres Farm is truly an historic event!

STONE ACRES FARM GETTING READY ACCOMMODATIONS

The Manor House at Stone Acres has rooms available for both the bride and groom’s getting ready preparations. The bride and her bridesmaids are typically upstairs in the bridal suite for hair and makeup and getting dressed. The rooms are spacious and have plenty of natural light. The groom and his groomsmen are usually downstairs on the main floor of the house. The parlor room, situated just inside the front entrance of the house, is the primary space for the guys to put on their finishing touches. Like the upstairs rooms, the main floor of the house has large windows and lots of natural light. 

STONE ACRES FARM WEDDING CEREMONY, COCKTAIL, AND RECEPTION LOCATIONS

Stone Acres Farms feels like three separate venues in one. It’s one of the few outdoor venues where each portion of your day takes place in different and distinct area … all within close proximity. The rose garden, enclosed by the farm’s famous boxwood hedges, has a warm, secluded, and elegant vibe. The front lawn of the Manor House is the ideal spot for an open air cocktail hour (with a shaded area should the summer temperatures prove to be a bit warm). The reception tent area, adjacent to the garden and front of the manor house, is nestled amongst the meadows of the farm and is framed by the property’s stone walls and tree line. 

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT STONE ACRES FARM AS A PHOTOGRAPHER

An old historic manor house, a romantic rose garden, wide open fields, rustic stone walls, and a tent reception. I mean, come on! What’s not to like! Seriously though, I love the variety that Stone Acres Farm offers. An abundance of architectural details and natural window light inside and plenty of spaces for photographs outside, there are so many options for us photographers to take advantage of. I also love the freedom of movement you have throughout the grounds. Photographers love open spaces and Stone Acres Farm has a ton of it. 

WHY YOU’LL LOVE STONE ACRES FARM FOR YOUR WEDDING DAY

If you envision a rustic outdoor setting for your wedding day, then Stone Acres Farms just might be your ideal venue. With its historic architecture, open spaces, and secluded nooks and crannies, Stone Acres Farms has a space to match all the feelings you’ll have throughout your day. Want a roomy but cozy vibe while you’re getting ready? The Manor House fits the bill. Want an intimate and romantic space to say “I Do”? Look no further than the rose garden. Want to mix and mingle with your guests while you sip a cocktail? The front lawn of the house is perfect. How about some romantic sunset portraits? The open field next to the tent gets bathed in late day sun. Wanna let your hair down and show off your dance moves? That’s what the tent is for! Stone Acres Farm truly has it all!

STONE ACRES FARM WEDDING COST

According to Here Comes the Guide, site rental starts at $13,500. Rental includes white garden chairs, tables, and an on-site events coordinator, Sperry celebration tent, power, basic lighting, and restroom trailer. Additional design items, including the catering tent, dance floor and upgraded lighting packages can be coordinated through the Stone Acres staff. Couples will be responsible for catering, music, photography, flowers, decor, any other vendor couples want to include in their wedding day.

To get pricing information, please contact Stone Acres Farms through their website.

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A Guide to Box House Hotel Weddings in Brooklyn, NY

A Guide to Box House Hotel Weddings in Brooklyn, NY

Box House Hotel weddings in Brooklyn, NY are a city lover’s dream! Located just off the East River in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood, the Box House Hotel is a boutique hotel offering a unique mix of old-school Brooklyn with a modern, hip vibe. 

Originally a door and window factory, the Box House was completely reimagined and renovated. During the remodeling process, the Box House had four stories added on allowing guests the option to experience a modern hotel stay or a historic loft-like experience complete with industrial factory details and high ceilings.

With it’s hardwood floors, soaring ceilings, antique furniture, and, local Brooklyn artist, Kip Jacobs, commissioned paintings, the decor throughout the hotel is eclectic, bright, and fun while maintaining a decidedly warm and homey feeling. 

And, saving the best for last, the rooftop of the Box House has beautiful 360 degree views of the Manhattan skyline. Who wouldn’t want to say “I Do” at the Box House Hotel!? 

What I Love about Box House Hotel Weddings as a Photographer

As a wedding photographer in Fairfield, CT, I love to photograph weddings in/around the five boroughs. As a former upper east sider, a regular dose of city life keeps me sane 🙂 And Brooklyn is fast becoming my new favorite destination for weddings. There are so many cool hotels and venue spaces in Brookyln!

I really enjoy having some variety when I photograph and the Box House Hotel has a bunch of different nooks and crannies to take advantage of. The lobby is gorgeous and the rooms are super hip with tons of natural window light. Outside the hotel, you can stroll around the local streets for an urban, city-style shoot and take advantage of the hotels’ vintage Yellow Checker Taxi Cab that’s parked right out front. 

And, of course, you simply can’t beat the Box House Hotels’ rooftop space! Whether you have your ceremony and reception on the rooftop, or just your reception, you and your guests will simply be wowed by the views. It’s a breathtaking spot and a photographer’s dream!

Box House Hotel Wedding Ceremony and Reception Locations

The Box House has a few venue options for your wedding.

  • Meeting Space 206 35 guests seated
  • Lobby Restaurant: 50 seated guests; 100 standing guests
  • Rooftop: 220 seated guests (with a band); 250 seated guests (with a DJ)
  • Penthouse: 20 guests seated; 35 standing guests

The Rooftop space is, obviously, the hotel’s feature wedding space. In a word, it’s stunning. You get the best of all worlds on the rooftop – open air, city views, and that undeniable Brooklyn vibe. It’s even cooler in the evening with the glow of the city lights and the sounds of the city streets below. 

Why you’ll love the Box House Hotel for Your Wedding Day

Who wouldn’t want to get married on a rooftop in Brooklyn, NY!? Seriously! If you’re a city-girl or city-guy and have a vision for a New York style wedding then Box House is definitely a contender. From a photographer’s perspective, Box House offers ample space for your ceremony and reception, an open-air, al fresco setting, and gorgeous city views. All of which make for some picture-perfect backdrops for photos!

Box House Hotel Wedding FAQ

Box House Hotel Reviews

There are over 100 Reviews on The Knot and Wedding Wire for the Box House Hotel.Check these out to see what real couples had to say about their wedding experience at the Box House Hotel. 

Box House Hotel Wedding Packages

According to Here Comes the Guide, weddings at the Box House Hotel can range between $25k – $80k depending on your guest count and the package you choose. For a more accurate estimate, contact the Box House Hotel Events or email directly at events@theboxhousehotel.com

What is Included The Venue Fee for Rooftop Weddings?

According to the Box House Hotel Events website. The venue fee includes the following: Setup & breakdown of the space, retractable roof awning, Heating & Air conditioning, Security, Glass sliding windows, Various tables, Chairs, Flatware, Glassware, White linens, Intimate string lighting, Coat check, Candles, Vintage checker cab, Menu printing, Full service planning and coordination.

Is There Parking Available On Site? 

There is ample street parking at Box House Hotel for guests. On weekends there are no alternate side of the street parking regulations. Valet can also be provided at an additional cost.

What additional services do you provide for weddings?
Per Box House Events, the following services are provided: All food, beverage, event staff, planner, day of coordination, and a
tasting of food and beverage options are provided by the BHH.

What are the Coordinator’s duties?
Per Box House Events, Planners/Coordinators are responsible for: Point person for anything involving the venue and the wedding, Floor plan consultation and design, Generates a detailed timeline for the event, Coordinates a tasting of food & beverage options, Facilitate all meetings and walkthroughs with outside vendors, such as DJ, band, photographer, videographer, florist, etc., Finalizes all logistics relating to the wedding, Execute a detailed schedule for your wedding ceremony and reception, Organize floorplan, Inform your vendors where everything will be placed and provide them a detailed timeline of events, Ensures that linens, décor, flowers, etc. are setup according to your
specifications.

Are there any additional costs aside from the food & beverage costs and the venue fee?
Per Box House, in addition to our Venue and Food and Beverage costs, there is a 22% administration fee and 8.875% NY state sales tax.

Additional FAQ’s

Box House Hotel Events has an extensive list of FAQ’s on their website. You can also download a copy right here – Box House Hotel FAQ (opens PDF)

Box House Hotel Wedding Photos

Eva and Nico’s Wedding at Box house Hotel. Second shooting for Beth Zink Photography.

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Guide to the New Haven Lawn Club Wedding Venue

Guide to the New Haven Lawn Club Wedding Venue

New Haven Lawn Club weddings in New Haven, CT, are in a stately, Georgian-style mansion with a rich history. Originally founded in 1891 by a group of prominent New Haven families, the club has evolved from its early days as a ‘lawn tennis’ club into what is now a full service country club and event facility catering to its members and the public for events and functions. 

Designed by the local New Haven Architectural Firm, Douglas Orr and Associates, New Haven Lawn Club’s aesthetics are reminiscent of the gilded age styling of its time and offer a tranquil setting for your big day. Not only is it stunning with its exterior brick facade, manicured gardens and its interior art deco decor throughout, but it’s also convenient for guests due to its close proximity to New Haven’s hotels, museums, and, of course, Yale University. 

Everything in this article is written based on information from the venue itself, and my 15 years of experience as a Connecticut wedding photographer.

Table of Contents

 

What I Love About New Haven Lawn Club Weddings as a Photographer

New Haven Lawn Club in New Haven, CT really stands out as a venue that’s both super convenient and impressively beautiful with an understated elegance. Located on Whitney Avenue, and just a short walk from Yale’s Peabody Museum, I like to think of the Lawn Club as a hidden gem right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of downtown New Haven. 

From a photography standpoint, it’s a dream. The front lawn and the entryway portico offer a stunning backdrop for portraits. Inside, the club has a rich interior with marble floors throughout and floor to ceiling windows that make for some very dramatic lighting. The main ballroom features a gorgeous vaulted ceiling and period chandeliers that really put a unique stamp on the space. Despite its grandeur, New Haven Lawn Club offers a warm and intimate setting for anyone wanting a wedding that feels both grand and relaxed.

Why You’ll Love This Venue

According to guest reviews, The New Haven Lawn Club is a hit. Couples, guests, and industry vendors (myself included), not only rave about the space, but the Lawn Club Fine Catering team as well. Christine, The Director of Weddings at the Club, is hands-down one of the top wedding coordinators in the state, Adam, the Executive Chef is as talented as they come, and the management and staff treat your event like you’re sitting down to a gourmet meal at a 5-star restaurant.

New Haven Lawn Club Wedding Ceremony and Reception Locations

The Ballroom

With a capacity of 200 guests (with a dancefloor), The Ballroom is the Club’s original social gathering room. It’s a magnificent space with hardwood floors, a 25-foot barrel-vaulted ceiling decorated with star accents, floor-to-ceiling windows, a large wood-burning fireplace with a period-style mantle to ceiling mirror, four Austrian Art Deco crystal chandeliers, crystal wall sconces, a built-in stage, and a terrace overlooking the tennis courts. I’ve been photographing weddings in Connecticut for over 15 years and I can tell you from experience, The Ballroom is an absolutely gorgeous space for your ceremony and reception.

The Main Dining Room

The Club’s original member’s dining room, a bright room with two wood-burning fireplaces, three spectacular Waterford crystal chandeliers, regency columns with benches framing the dining area, a black and ochre checkered terrazzo floor, floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the tennis courts, and doors that open out onto a terrace overlooking the tennis courts. Perfect for pre-dinner cocktail receptions and smaller wedding ceremonies. Capacity – standing 250; Seated 110. 

Included Amenities for Weddings at New Haven Lawn Club

At New Haven Lawn Club, you’ll have the chosen ceremony and reception spaces all to yourself in the evening. They’ve got you covered with on-site tables, chairs, and furnishings, so you won’t have to sweat the small stuff. There are on-site dressing rooms for your hair and makeup. The bride and her bridesmaids are typically in The Lounge and the groom and his groomsmen are usually in the Lower Card Room. 

Estimated Wedding Costs at New Haven Lawn Club

According to Wedding Spot, the site fee is $3,000 for a reception and includes 5 hours of event time excluding set up and clean up time. The ceremony fee is $2,000. Additional hours can be arranged for a fee of $950/hr. For more information, contact the New Haven Lawn Club on their catering website.

New Haven Lawn Club Wedding FAQ’s

New Haven Lawn Club Reviews

There are over 80 5-Star Reviews on The Knot for New Haven Lawn ClubAnd over 100 5-Star Reviews on Wedding Wire for New Haven Lawn Club.

New Haven Lawn Club Wedding Packages

According to Wedding Spot, wedding receptions with 50 guests at New Haven Lawn Club start at STARTING AT $17,975

Is There Parking On Site? 

Yes. There is ample parking at New Haven Lawn Club for guests. Buses are permitted.

What Is the Backup Plan for Rain?

Ceremonies are held inside the main ballroom so there is no need for a backup plan should it rain on your wedding day. 

Can You Do a Sparkler Exit at New Haven Lawn Club?

Yes, you can! See the photos below.  

New Haven Lawn Club Wedding Photos

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My Favorite Locations for CT Engagement Photography

My Favorite Locations for CT Engagement Photography

As a CT engagement photographer for over 15 years, I’ve been all over the state of Connecticut for engagement sessions. And I can tell you from experience, Connecticut literally has something for everyone when it comes to finding the perfect location for your engagement session. Nature preserves, beaches, mansions, college campuses, breweries, wineries, lively downtown centers. There’s no shortage of options when it comes to planning your CT engagement session

In this article, I’ll highlight my personal favorite CT engagement locations as well as some unique ideas for your engagement session. 

 

 

Table of contents

how to choose a location for your ct engagement session

I tell all my couples to think of their engagement session as a fun ‘date night’ where you just happen to have a photographer along for the ride. Choose a location that has some sentimental value and/or a place you’d be excited to hang out in with your partner. Bonus points for including some kind of activity – a picnic, a wine tasting, beer flights, etc. Being engaged (no pun intended) with each other helps to minimize the presence of the camera and results in more natural, candid photos. 

On to the list!

where to take engagement photos in connecticut

1. ct state parks

CT has over 200 state parks that are open to the public. Hiking trails, wooded preserves, open fields, beach front – there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes. 

Harkness Memorial

One of the most popular spots for engagement photos, Harkness Memorial Park is in a class all by itself. It boasts the historic Eolia Mansion as its main attraction, the mansions’ carriage house, a massive lawn that stretches to the shores of the Long Island Sound, and, of course, a beach. While it may be one of the most popular engagement locations in CT, it never feels crowded. Might have something to do with the fact that it’s over 300 acres! There’s always a secluded spot for photos as Harkness.

Address: 275 Great Neck Rd, Waterford, CT 06385

Topsmead State Forest

Built in 1925, Topsmead was home to Miss Edith Morton Chase, daughter of Henry Sabin Chase, the first President of Chase Brass and Copper Company in Waterbury and the reason why Waterbury is known as the Brass City. Tucked away off the beaten path just outside of Litchfield Town Center, Topsmead feels like a secluded English countryside inn and its hilltop perch offers an the perfect vantage point to take in the estate’s fields and country views. 

Address: Buell Road Litchfield, CT

Rocky Neck State Park

Located on Long Island Sound in the town of Niantic, Rocky Neck is over 700 acres of pristine beach and park grounds situated between a salt marsh and tidal river. The park’s varied terrain offers something for everyone. 

Address: 244 W Main St, Niantic, CT 06357

Silver Sands State Park

Silver Sands State Park is a lovely area that’s great for a relaxing stroll by the sea. You’ll find a picturesque 1.5-mile boardwalk that runs along the coastline and a well-maintained beach, marsh, and grassland to explore. It’s perfect to visit year-round. 

Address: 1 Silver Sands Pkwy, Milford, CT 06460

Hammonasset State Park

With a two-mile sandy stretch of beach, a bustling campground, and serene nature preserve, Connecticut’s largest shoreline park offers prime real estate for swimming, surfcasting, strolling the boardwalk, or just soaking in the rays and sweeping views of the Long Island Sound. 

Address: 1288 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT 06443

Sherwood Island State Park

Connecticut’s first state park is still one of its finest. Located on the state’s picturesque shoreline, the park is a popular destination to swim in Long Island Sound, play a round of disc golf, fly a model airplane, collect seashells along the mile-long beach

Address: Sherwood Island Connector, Westport, CT 06880

Lighthouse Point

Known for its lighthouse (hence the name) and carousel, Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven features a soft sandy beachfront, astretch of rocky shoreline, miles of walking trails, and an observation deck that overlooks downtown New Haven. Owned and operated by the city of New Haven, there are parking fees to access the park. 

Address: 2 Lighthouse Rd, New Haven, CT 06512

 

2. ct mansions and estates

Most town municipalities and/or historic societies throughout the state of Connecticut own and maintain the local mansions and estates. Often located in park-like settings, these buildings are not only accessible but are frequented daily by local residents. With stunning architecture, ample grounds, and recreational options, these historic buildings are a great option for an engagement session.

Waveny House

Constructed in 1912 for the Lewis Lapham family, Waveny House sits on three hundred acres of manicured grounds in the hamlet of New Canaan, Connecticut. This historic Tudor mansion is an architectural masterpiece, boasting endless views of the immaculate Waveny Park, beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces, flagstone walkways, a charming Walled Garden and fish pond. Waveny House makes for a stunning backdrop for your engagement session .

Address: 677 South Ave, New Canaan, CT 06840

Gallaher Mansion

Built in 1930 by industrialist/inventor Edward Beach Gallaher, this lovely limestone Tudor Revival mansion is styled with carvings, stained-glass windows, and walnut-paneled rooms. It includes a large flagstone terrace and adjacent gardens that make it a perfect location for an outdoor engagement session.

Address: 300 Grumman Ave, Norwalk, CT 06851

Branford House / UCONN Avery Point Campus

Branford House is a historic mansion located on the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point Campus in Groton, CT. Built in 1902 for Morton Freeman Plant, a local financier and philanthropist, as his summer home, Branford House is one of the premier mansion wedding venues in CT. But you don’t have to get married at Branford House to have your engagement session here! Avery Point Campus and the grounds of the Branford House are open to the public. 

Address: 1084 Shennecossett Road Groton, Connecticut 06340

3. CT Colleges and universities

While Steely Dan famously wrote that they were “never going back to my old school”, I’ve had plenty of couples return to their alma mater’s campuses for their engagement sessions. Campuses are great choices for engagement sessions because they offer beautiful aesthetics and strong sentimental connections. Having your session at your alma mater is a great way to tell your story. 

Yale University

There are so many locations to choose from at Yale when it comes to your engagement session. A few of my personal favorites – Beinecke Library, Schwarzman Center Courtyard, the Institute of Architecture and Art (pictured above), the Old Campus quad, and or course a bunch of cool cafes and coffee shops in and around New Haven. 

Address: New Haven, CT

Fairfield University

The main campus is beautiful, but my favorite location at Fairfield is Bellarmine Hall and its the surrounding grounds. More private and secluded than main campus, you’ll feel like you have the whole place to yourself! And after your session, you can enjoy a stroll through downtown Fairfield. Maybe even venture over to Jennings Beach. 

Address: 1073 N Benson Rd, Fairfield, CT 06824

Sacred Heart University

Address: 5151 Park Ave, Fairfield, CT 06825

University of Connecticut

Address: 2100 Hillside Road Storrs, CT 06269

Trinity College

Address: 300 Summit St, Hartford, CT 06106 

Connecticut College 

Address: 270 Mohegan Ave Pkwy, New London, CT 06320

Wesleyan University

Address: 45 Wyllys Ave, Middletown, CT 06459

Quinnipiac University

Address: 275 Mt Carmel Ave, Hamden, CT 06518

4. CT Vineyards and Wineries

Cork dorks unite! What better place to have your engagement session than one of CT’s own wineries? Enjoy a tasting, walk amongst the vines, or just sit outside and enjoy the sun while you sip some wine. CT has some absolutely stunning vineyards and wineries throughout the state. 

Jonathan Edwards Winery

Located in North Stonington, CT, Jonathan Edwards is situated on 20 acres of vineyards and features rolling hills, stone walls, and farm country views. The winery offers a warm, cozy, rustic atmosphere, perfect for relaxing and unwinding. 

Address: 74 Chester Maine Road, North Stonington, CT 06359

Saltwater Farms Vineyard

With it’s sleek, modern airport hangar exterior, Saltwater Farms is arguably the most distinctive winery in the state. But don’t let’s it’s modern flair fool you, Saltwater Farms offers a relaxing and welcoming vibe. Located near the Wequetequock river, an inlet for Little Narragansett Bay, Saltwater Farms has a decidedly coastal feel.

Address: 349 Elm St, Stonington, CT 06378

Check out CT Wine for an extensive list of the state’s wineries and vineyards.

Bishop’s Orchards Winery – 1355 Boston Post Road, Guilford, CT 06437

Chamard Vineyards – 115 Cow Hill Road, Clinton, CT 06413

Gouveia Vineyards – 1339 Whirlwind Hill Road, Wallingford, CT 06492

Hawk Ridge Winery – 28 Plungis Road, Watertown, CT 06795

Hopkins Vineyard – 25 Hopkins Road, Warren, CT 06777

Kingdom of the Hawk Vineyard – 113 Pendleton Hill Road, North Stonington, CT

Stonington Vineyards – 523 Taugwonk Road Stonington, CT 06378

6. ct breweries

Having your engagement session at a brewery is a great option! Breweries are fun, laidback, and lively and usually have some sort of games to play (cornhole anyone!) to keep yourselves active. If you are thinking of doing your session (or part of your session) at a brewery, I would suggest picking one that has ample space outside or has some open space nearby or is in a downtown area (like New Haven). 

CT Breweries

According to the CT Brewers Guild, there are 120 breweries in the state of Connecticut. So, there’s plenty to choose from – https://www.connecticut.beer/ctbreweries

Two of my personal favorites …

BAR New Haven

BAR (as the locals call it) is a modern industrial brewery and restaurant. Great beer, great pizza (I mean it is New Haven after all!), and features an open air dining area that has views onto the historic streets of downtown New Haven. BAR is a great option to take a break and refuel during your session or as a last stop to end your session.

Newsylum Brewing

Most engaged couples don’t live in Newtown or the Connecticut suburbs for that matter, but I list Newsylum here as an example of the perfect brewery for an engagement session. Newsylum is located in Newtown’s Fairfield Hills complex which is a park-like setting that has walking trails and tons of open space and fields. An ideal spot to have your hops and your photo ops!

 

6. Nightlife and Hotspots

Is an urban setting more your vibe? Connecticut has plenty of hot spots if you are looking for some night life to have a ‘night on the town’ type engagement session. 

New Haven

With a Rich history, vibrant culture, and excellent food scene, New Haven has a lot going for itself. It’s also a great choice for your engagement session because of all the variety it offers – New Haven Green, Art Murals, Bars and Restaurants, and, of course Yale University. 

Fairfield

Perhaps the ‘quietest’ on the list, Fairfield is a great option for your engagement session. One of the more walkable city centers in the state, you can stroll up and down Fairfield’s main street, duck in and out of its cafes and bars, visit its historic homes, and enjoy a sunset walk on Jennings Beach. 

Stamford

Stamford has a lot to offer! Personally, I love the new Stamford Village (2021) along the downtown waterfront. Home to The Wheel, Cisco Brewers, and a killer rooftop, the village and it’s surrounding area makes for a fun and lively area for your engagement session. 

South Norwalk (SONO)

SONO has long been known as a hip enclave in downtown Norwalk, CT. Not surprisingly, this area is known for it’s lively nightlife scene thanks to a plethora of bars and restaurants in close proximity to one another. My personal favorite is the industrial vibe and cobblestone streets of the Ironworks Building just off Washington St.

Hartford

Don’t sleep on our state’s capital city! It’s hard to beat the combination of a stroll down Pratt Street, a walk through Bushnell Park, and a stop at Trumbull Kitchen to catch your breath.  You could even do a winter engagement session when Bushnell has it’s annual ice skating rink during Winterfest. 

West Hartford

West Hartford has long been known for it’s thriving nightlife scene and with the addition of Blue Back Square in 2008 it’s become the soughtafter hot spot in the area. Chocfull of restaurants and bars, you’ll have no shortage of options. Add in a visit to the West Hartford’s famouse Elizabeth Park and you have the makings of a dream engagement session. 

 

7. Destinations and Getaways

Wanna get away? Connecticut has several destinations for the perfect little getaway setting for your engagement session.

Litchfield, CT

Located in the Northwest corner of Connecticut, the Litchfield Hills has served as a bucolic country retreat for over a century. Towns like Kent, Cornwall, Morris, Bethlehem, and Litchfield offer an enticing mix of cafes and restaurants as well as wide open farmland and nature preserves. The ideal mix for a weekend escape. 

Mystic, CT

Mystic, CT is a tried and true standby for a tourists and locals alike. Learn a little about Connecticut’s seafaring history in Mystic Seaport, take in all the aquatic sea life at Mystic Aquarium, and grab a bite in Mystic’s famous downtown village. And make sure you save room for dessert at Drawbridge Ice Cream!   

Essex, CT

Located on the CT River and home to the Essex Steam Train and Connecticut River Museum, Essex is a charming historic town with a relaxing atmosphere. Stroll the main street, take in the water views from Main Street park, and grab some refreshments at the historic Griswold Inn. And if you are up for a truly unique experience, make a dinner reservation on the Stream Train.  

Stonington, CT

If you’re looking for a quaint, quiet, and historic escape, Stonington just might the perfect fit. Downtown Stonington, known as Stonington Borough is lined with 18th and 19th century homes, cozy restaurants and pubs, and, has its own beach area (Dubois Beach). And, perhaps, its best feature is its close proximity to two of the best wineries in the state – Saltwater Farms Vineyard in Stonington and Jonathan Edwards Vineyard in North Stonington.  

 

CT Engagement Photos

 

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