You’re Engaged! Now What?

You’re Engaged! Now What?

You’re engaged! Now what? 

It’s that time again! The start of a new year – Hello 2022! – and the beginning of a new wedding planning season. Did you know that 7 out of the 10 most popular days to propose take place in the month of December accounting for over 19% of all proposals!? That’s A LOT of bending knees! 

Since a significant amount of proposals take place during the holiday season, it stands to reason that those same couples are just now coming out of the starting gates for their planning – whether a 2022 wedding OR a 2023 wedding.

So, to all the couples reading this …. Congratulations on your engagement! You’re likely feeling all kinds of emotions and maybe a little overwhelmed by the wedding planning ahead of you, as well as the huge, exciting change about to take place in your life. There’s nothing wrong with being a little nervous—in fact, it’s totally normal! It can be daunting to know where to begin once you’ve said yes (or popped the question yourself), so we put together this little guide to help you take things step by step.

1. Celebrate!

Take advantage of all that excitement and start calling your peeps! Notice I said “call”. This is a monumental moment in your life and shouldn’t be relegated to a few lines of text. Call your parents, call your siblings, call your friends. Let those closest to you revel in this moment with you. You’ll likely be asked about a date or even where you are thinking of having your wedding day. To minimize the stress levels at this early juncture, we recommend responding with … “You know – we really aren’t sure yet. We’re just enjoying this moment right now. We’ll start our planning really soon and make sure you have all the details (obvi)!” This helps to ward off any potentially tense conversations about planning and any potential ‘opinions’ about the planning process as well … you know what I mean 😉

2. Take a deep breath

Before you start putting lists together or asking your friends for ideas, take a breath and enjoy this time. You will have PLENTY of time to plan, but only a short time to be engaged. Take advantage of it. Take a weekend get-away somewhere, make a reservation at your fave restaurant, or maybe just stay in with a nice dinner for two and a bottle of wine. Whatever you do, be present and enjoy this time.

3. Have your engagement ring insured

Maybe not the first ‘to do’ on people’s list, but make sure you get your engagement ring insured. It’s always a good idea to get your engagement ring insured, just in case it gets lost or stolen at any point in the future. Insurance is the only way to replace your ring without having to pay for an entirely new one, so you should definitely take the time to make sure your precious new piece of jewelry is covered. The peace of mind you will have is priceless.

4. Your wedding day vision and selecting your date

Naturally, the first question people will ask you after your engagement is When’s the big day? Since selecting your wedding date will dictate every planning decision thereafter, there’s a lot riding on it. To make choosing a wedding date a little easier, we suggest you determine what kind of wedding you want first. We call this your wedding day vision. Do you want a bright, colorful, outdoor summer wedding? A cozy, indoor fall wedding? Big guest list? Small guest list? Somewhere in between? Are you thinking of something more formal? Or maybe a little less formal? Once you have your vision set, your date will be easier to choose because you’ve narrowed it down to a setting and a season/time of year. 

6. Securing your wedding venue

Okay. You have a couple of dates in mind – now comes the fun part, choosing your wedding venue! You know the saying “Location, location, location”, right? Well, it’s true for weddings as well. Your wedding venue is the cornerstone of your wedding day vision and will likely be the first decision you make in your planning process. It’s also the one vendor with the least amount of flexibility – there are only so many wedding venues available and most venues can only accommodate one wedding per day. So, choose your venue wisely, early, and quickly! Even if you decide to have a private home wedding, rental companies are in high demand (e.g. tents, tables, chairs, linens, etc.) so you’ll want to reach out to them as quickly as possible. 

Once you have your wedding venue and your date reserved, THEN you can start to move down the rest of your wedding vendor list.

7. Selecting your wedding vendors

This is where the proverbial “rubber meets the road”. You could be looking a hiring over 10 different vendors for your day – Venue, Getting Ready Hotel, Planner, Day of Coordinator, Cake, Photographer, Videographer, Caterer, Florist, DJ/Band, Formal Rental, Church, Officiant, Transportation, Hair Stylist, Make-Up Artist, and any other vendor that you might be interested in hiring like dance lessons or a cigar rolling station at your reception or maybe a Food Truck or Pizza Delivery for late-night munchies for your guests. The point is that there are quite a few vendors that you’ll be considering for your big day. 

So, what is the most efficient way to search for, interview, and ultimately hire your vendors? 

There are a few ways to go about this …

  1. Google
  2. Knot/Wedding Wire
  3. Referrals from other vendors
  4. Referrals from your friends/family

Google

I like to call this the ‘at your fingertips’ option. Why? Well, Google is readily available to you right at your fingertips. So, in that respect, it’s a good option because you’ll get a list of vendors right away to start reaching out to. The downside to Google is that your results will largely depend on how up to date each vendor is with their SEO and, if I’m being honest, not all wedding vendor professionals are well-versed in search engine optimization nor do they have the time, as mostly sole proprietors, to keep up with the volume of content required to rank well on Google. So, bottom line, you’ll get a lot of options, but those options may not represent the whole market.

Knot/Wedding Wire

The Knot/Wedding Wire have been the market leader in online wedding vendor advertising for over a decade. The plus side of using the Knot/Wedding Wire is that you’ll have no shortage of listings to research. It’s also nice that you can tailor your search by vendor category and by your geographical location (similar to Google) and read real reviews by real customers. The downside is that there are a TON of vendors listed on Knot/Wedding Wire and sifting through the volume can be overwhelming. Plus, while the reviews can be helpful, should really rely on the opinions of someone you’ve never met?

Referrals

My personal favorite … and what I recommend to all engaged couples. Why take a stranger’s word over a trusted friend’s? Or a trusted vendor that you’re already hired? Referrals (i.e. word of mouth) are hands-down the best and most efficient way to secure your wedding vendors. You don’t have to wade through a bunch of google pages or Knot listings. Instead, you get a targeted, short-list of vendors to contact that have already been vetted by someone that shares similar style and interests as you do. 

Which one is better, you ask? A referral from a friend or from another wedding vendor? I like both for different reasons. A referral from a trusted friend is great b/c you get their unadulterated opinion of their first hand experience being a client of that vendor. That’s priceless. A referral from another wedding vendor that you’re already hired (your venue’s preferred vendor list or a referral from your bridal gown shop or from your planner) is also gold because as industry-insiders we have worked with a lot of different vendors across all different categories and can provide our personal recommendations based on experience.

8. The importance of priority setting

As the Rolling Stones so eloquently said “You can’t always get what you want, but, if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” As you begin your planning, it’s very important to determine what your priority areas/vendors are. Is having an amazing band at your reception a ‘must have’? Do you want the top of the line wedding gown? Do you want only the best wedding photographer to capture your wedding day? Knowing (and reminding yourselves) what is most important to you and where you want to prioritize your budget will help when it comes time to choose between competing wants or wishes in the planning process.

9. Pace yourselves and stick to your vision

Wedding planning is a marathon and not a sprint. Decision making can be stressful. If things get too much, then take a step back and do something fun to take your minds off of planning. It’s also important to stick to your vision for your wedding day. Remember, this is your wedding day. I can tell your from experience, the quickest way to wedding planning purgatory, is to try and please everybody around you and their opinions/ideas. Yes, of course, you want your friends and your family and your guests to have a good time at your wedding, but don’t let someone else push you to do something you don’t want. Stick to your guns!

10. Photography last forever

And lastly, a little shameless plug. The flowers wilt, the food gets eaten … so does the cake …, the music ends, and the dress goes into storage. All you have left of your one momentous day is your photographs. With the right photographer, you will have the power to relive your wedding day again and again. So, make sure you hire the very best photographer you can! We like to think we are pretty easy to work with and that our work isn’t half bad either. If you’d like to have a chat with us about photographing your wedding, send us an email at info@jefflundstromphotography.com or fill out our Contact form.

Happy Planning 🙂

Wedding Photography Ideas // Getting Ready Photos

Wedding Photography Ideas // Getting Ready Photos

 

When couples think of the getting ready portion of their day, they think of getting their hair and makeup done, spending some quality time hanging out, sipping on a cocktail (or two), and, of course, getting dressed for the big day!

And, not surprisingly, that’s pretty much how it goes.

But there a few ideas that I’ve seen couples do over the years that can really add a little something extra special on your wedding day.

Letters

One of the easiest and more sentimental gestures you can make to each other on your wedding day is to write each other letters and read them while you’re getting ready. It always results in some tears (both guys and girls!) and that makes for some really special moments to photograph.

Gifts

Exchanging gifts is another great idea for getting ready. Like hand-written letters, gifts are a great way to express your feelings to one another before walking down the aisle. And, like letters, gifts usually end up tugging on the heart-strings a little bit. Something that us photographers love to capture!

Barber Club

Girls have the salon, guys have the Barber Club! Barber Clubs are great because not only can you get a clean shave and a fresh cut, but you can also hang out with your boys and play a little pool before your big day (betting optional!). If you are thinking of doing a barber club for your getting ready outing, check out Kennedy’s with locations throughout Connecticut. (photo courtesy of second shooter extraordinaire, Seshu Badrinath)

Cards

Who doesn’t love a good game of cards!? Not an unusual thing mind you. I mean guys have had their poker nights for years, but you don’t see it on wedding day that often. Pro Tip – It’s always nice to have some spirits and cigars on hand to help really bring home that casino feel. Just don’t overdo it – you want to be at your best for your nuptials … and your bridal portraits 🙂

Parents

Some of the best moments I’ve photographed on wedding day have been when mom and dad pay a visit to the bride while she’s getting ready. And, not surprisingly, it’s a very emotional moment. Of course, it’s a big day for the couple, but it’s also a big day for the parents. Seeing your little baby in a wedding dress!? Yea, get the tissues ready!

Scrapbook

Arguably one of the best ideas I’ve seen for a getting ready gift was for Holly’s wedding when her bridesmaids all pitched in and created a memory book for her of all their memories over the years together. Even I got a little choked up watching Holly flip through the pages. PSA to all you bridesmaids – If you are looking for a truly unique and special gift to your BFF on wedding day, make a scrapbook. Not only will you make the bride happy, you’ll make her photographer happy too 🙂

Put some (or all!) of these ideas to use on your wedding day. You’ll have some amazing photo ops and some even more amazing, heartfelt memories to cherish from your big day!

Happy planning, everyone!

 

Wedding Planning Tips // Cocktail Hour Guaranteed

Wedding Planning Tips // Cocktail Hour Guaranteed

Cheers! Couples deserve to enjoy their cocktail hour.

Take back your cocktail hour!

I see couples miss their cocktail hour all the time. It’s become an acceptable practice to have your bridal and family photographs during one of the more enjoyable portions of your wedding day.

It makes me sad.

Why? Because couples put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into planning their wedding and they end up missing out on the very fun that they planned in the first place!

What’s the point of having a cocktail hour if you are stuck taking photos during it? Isn’t the whole point of cocktail hour to mingle with your guests and celebrate your wedding with those near and dear to you?

I think so!

Bride: “I couldn’t agree more Jeff! But how do I plan my wedding day so we can actually be at our cocktail hour?”

So glad you asked! Here are a few ways to arrange your wedding day schedule to make sure that you attend your cocktail hour.

Early Afternoon Ceremony

The best way to ensure that you get to partake in your cocktail hour is to have an earlier afternoon ceremony, like 2:00pm or 3:00pm. Cocktail hours traditionally start around 5:00pm or 6:00pm so an earlier ceremony time would give you enough time for family photos, bridal party photos, and, of course, bride and groom photos.

I personally recommend about 90 minutes for family, bridal party, and bride and groom photos. That can vary depending on the size of your family and your bridal party, but that’s a pretty good rule of thumb.

Just make sure to budget in extra time for travel, if your ceremony and reception locations are different. You don’t want to be stuck in traffic while everyone is sipping on your signature cocktail!

First Look with family photos before the ceremony

If you want to sip mai-tai’s with your BFF’s and you have an evening ceremony, like 5:00pm or later, then you should definitely consider a First Look with bridal party and family photos before your ceremony.

This allows you to get all your photos out of the way before the ceremony which frees you up to enjoy those mai-tai’s!

If you are not familiar with what a First Look is, it’s pretty simple. You set a location (either your getting ready hotel or your reception venue), you place the groom in said location, and then you have the bride walk up behind him real ninja-quiet like and tap him on the shoulder. BOOM! First Look!

As a photographer, I love First Looks. They are great because of all the nervous energy and anticipation. It makes for some really authentic candid moments between the bride and groom.

As a couple, First Looks are great because, not only do you get some amazing images, but you also get to relax after your ceremony because there is no mad dash to squeeze in a bunch of bridal party and family photos – they’re already done!

Traditional Wedding Day Timeline

If you are not into the First Look idea and you are having an evening ceremony and you are determined to knock back a Negroni or two during cocktail hour, then be prepared to only make the tail-end of your cocktail hour, if everything runs on time.

Here’s why …

Let’s say your ceremony is at 5:00pm and your cocktail hour is 6:00pm with your reception entrance scheduled for 7:00pm. The average wedding ceremony is about 20 minutes. I’m talking average. There are exceptions, of course. Add in another 10 minutes for some well wishers and a quick glass of bubbly after your ceremony and you are looking at an hour and a half before you are announced for your entrance.

Remember above when I said you’ll need about 90 minutes for family, bridal party, and bride and groom photos? Yeah … that brings you right up to your reception entrance.

Can you cut a little time off the 90 minutes? Sure. If you have a small bridal party and you don’t have a ton of family, but still you are probably looking at a having maybe 15 minutes before your reception. And let me tell ya, after all those photos, you’re probably going to want to chill in your bridal suite to catch your breath before your grand entrance!

So, take it from someone who’s photographed 10 years of weddings – if you want to make your cocktail hour either have an early ceremony or do a First Look.

Feel free to sound off in the comments – I read ‘em all.

If you know anyone who’s planning a wedding and think this post may be helpful, click SHARE ON FACEBOOK or email them the link!

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Wedding Photography Tips // How many hours of photography do we need?

Wedding Photography Tips // How many hours of photography do we need?

The much anticipated cake cutting ritual..

How many hours of photography do we need?

How long will you need your wedding photographer with you on wedding day? I get asked this question quite a bit. Makes sense, right? I mean chances are you’ve never planned a wedding before so naturally this question is on your mind.

The best way to answer this is to consider the following 3 questions …

  1. What time is your ceremony?
  2. Do you want photos of your getting ready preparation?
  3. Do you want photos of your entire reception?

What Time is Your Ceremony?

Your ceremony time is the #1 driving factor for how long you will need your wedding photographer with you on wedding day because once we start, we shoot continuously until we go home for the day. My couples almost always have me arrive to photograph their getting ready preparation and have me stay through to the end of the reception. I like to arrive about 3 to 3 1/2 hours before the bride has to leave for the ceremony. During that time, I photograph both the bride’s details (dress, flowers, shoes, etc.), the candid moments between her and her bridesmaids, a few bridal portraits, and your first look (if you are doing one). If your ceremony is at 5:00pm and you need to leave at 4:30pm for the ceremony, then I’ll arrive about 1:00pm.  If your reception goes until 11:00pm then that’s 10 hours of wedding day coverage. Check out the timeline below.

Timeline schedule for 5:00pm Ceremony:

1:00pm – 4:30pm Getting Ready (& First Look, if applicable)

5:00pm – 5:30pm Ceremony

5:30pm – 6:30pm Cocktail Hour/Photographs

6:30pm – 11:00pm Reception

Now if your ceremony is earlier, like say 2:00pm, then you will need me to start earlier. Let’s assume (again) you want me through to the end of the evening, 11:00pm, like the timeline above. That would be about 13 hours of photography on your wedding day. Adds up quickly, doesn’t it!

Timeline schedule for 2:00pm Ceremony:

10:00am – 1:30pm Getting Ready (& First Look, if applicable)

2:00pm – 2:30pm Ceremony

2:30pm – 5:00pm Photographs (maybe even a well-deserved break for the bride and groom!)

5:30pm – 6:30pm Cocktail Hour

6:30pm – 11:00pm Reception

Do we want ‘All Day’ Coverage?

So, as you can see, your ceremony time will largely dictate how much coverage you will need on your wedding day. There are, however, two more considerations that will impact the number of hours you need. Do you want all your getting ready prep photographed ? And do you want all of your reception photographed ? If you only want your getting ready photographed from the time you are done with your hair and makeup and ready to get your dress on then that can cut out about 2 hours of photography. So, using the timelines above, I would arrive about 1 1/2 before you need to leave for your ceremony, 3:00pm for the 5:00pm ceremony start which would be a total of 8 hours and 12:00pm for the 2:00pm ceremony start which would be a total of 11 hours.

You could also choose to not photograph the entire reception. Personally, this is the best place to cut hours. Why? Because dancing photos tend to be repetitive whereas if you cut some of your getting ready you’d miss out on photos of your details and those great candid moments between you and your bridesmaids. With that said, I would recommend that you keep me at least through your cake cutting.

Let’s assume that cake cutting is at 8:30pm for both schedules above. That is the same two hours that we shaved off from your getting ready prep in the above example, so my arrival time would be 1:00pm and 10:00am respectively, but with a 9:00pm departure (I suggest a 30min buffer in the event things run late). So that would be 8 hours for the 5:00pm ceremony timeline (1:00pm to 9:00pm) and 11 hours for the 2:00pm ceremony timeline (10:00am to 9:00pm).

So, How much time do we need?

Based on these schedules, you are looking at a range of 8 to 13 hours of wedding photography depending on your ceremony start time and depending on how long you want your photographer with you on wedding day. Some couples want ‘all day’ coverage from getting ready to the end of the reception. Some couples prefer to send the photographer home in the middle of the reception after cake cutting.

There is no right or wrong answer. It depends on what you want for your wedding day. Your timeline may even be shorter than the examples I used above. I have photographed smaller, more intimate weddings that required only about 6 hours of coverage. There are plenty of options at your disposal.

That’s the advantage of a photographer that has an A La Carte pricing system (like I use) as opposed to a Package system. I believe flexibility is important and you should be able to choose the products and services you want and not be forced into a one-size-fits-all package. You can visit my Pricing Page here.

I hope I was able to shed some light on the number of hours of wedding photography that you will need. If you have any questions for me, sound off in the comments and/or send me an email – info@jefflundstromphotography.com. If you think this post would be helpful for a bride and groom that you know, then please click SHARE ON FACEBOOK to spread the love or just email them the link.

 

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Unique Wedding Venues in CT | CT Wedding Photographer

Unique Wedding Venues in CT | CT Wedding Photographer

Photo of outdoor wedding in Jamaica Jeff Lundstrom PhotographyIn this series, I’ve featured rustic venues, barn venues, and venues on the water. This post features a few of my all time favorite venues in CT. These venues don’t fit neatly into a traditional category. I just call them unique. They aren’t country. They aren’t coastal. And they certainly aren’t traditional. But they sure are one of a kind!

I love when couples think outside the box. That may be a trite expression, but it really is true. Anyone can get married in a traditional wedding hall. It takes a really adventurous soul to strike out on their own and choose a non-traditional venue. I admire that spirit. That boldness. That’s what inspired me to write this series of posts. To celebrate couples that break from the norm and follow their own path. And to celebrate the places that they choose to marry in.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at my favorite unique wedding venues in Connecticut.

Photo of Rock Hall. A unique wedding venue located in Colebrook, CT

Rock Hall

The brain child of famed architect Addison Mizner, Rock Hall is hands down the coolest wedding venue I’ve ever been inside of. It’s also the coolest hotel I’ve been inside of (yes, you can actually stay here!). Built in 1912, Rock Hall has seen plenty of history. So much so it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 23 acre estate is quietly nestled in the town of Colebrook, CT in the beautiful Litchfield Hills in northwest Connecticut. As you can probably guess, the interior is as stunning as its exterior with gorgeous wood paneling, soaring ceilings, and a fireplace that you can stand inside of. And if you over did it a little at your reception, you can recuperate poolside surrounded by nothing but blue skies and leafy green foliage. If you are looking for a one of kind wedding venue, then Rock Hall is it.

Photo of Gallaher Mansion. A unique wedding venue in Norwalk, CT

Gallaher Mansion

Like Rock Hall, Gallaher Mansion has also seen its share of history. Built in 1930 by Edward Gallaher, Gallaher Mansion was designed in a Tudor Revival style complete with carvings, stained-glass windows and walnut paneled rooms.  A huge flagstone terrace and adjacent gardens make it the perfect venue for an outdoor ceremony and reception. And not to be outdone, the property features a great lawn that makes for a uniquely dramatic backdrop for your wedding.

Photo of Keller Tavern. A unique wedding venue in Ridgefield, CT

Keeler Tavern

In keeping with the history theme, Keeler Tavern is another unique and historic venue in Ridgefield, CT. Like Rock Hall and Gallaher, Keeler Tavern has quite the history. It’s been a farmhouse, a tavern, a stagecoach stop, a post office, a hotel, a home to noted architect Cass Gilbert, and now a museum and wedding venue. It’s no surprise that Keeler is listed on the National Register of Historic Places too! Keeler Tavern is truly one of my favorite venues. I love it’s history and charm and I especially love it’s gorgeous garden. Arguably the best wedding ceremony location in the state!

Photo of Fox Hill Inn. A unique wedding venue in Brookfield, CT

Fox Hill Inn

Some may argue putting Fox Hill Inn on a list of unique wedding venues in CT, but I couldn’t disagree more! Fox Hill is truly unique in my mind. You feel like you are in someone’s home at Fox Hill. It’s a beautiful old southern mansion style home that’s full of character and charm. The foyer boasts a dramatic sweeping staircase, the sunken bar room features a cozy fireplace, the main ball room intimately accommodates your guests, and the back garden is ideal for an outdoor ceremony. I would recommend Fox Hill Inn to anyone looking for a unique experience.

A photo of a tented wedding reception in Essex, CTYour Home

Shhh, I’ve got a secret for ya. Wanna know the only venue SO unique that it’s literally impossible to duplicate anywhere!? You guessed it … Your Home! I love home weddings (aka backyard, private estate, private residence weddings). Whatever you want to call it, a wedding at your home is simply a joy to experience. Surrounded by family and friends and your own history, a home wedding is as intimate and sentimental as you can get. I applaud couples for hosting their own weddings. It may require a little more planning and effort, but it’s SO worth it!

 

Know anyone who could use a little wedding inspiration? Just click SHARE ON FACEBOOK to share the love!

CT Wedding Venues on the Water

CT Wedding Venues on the Water

A bride and groom enter their water side wedding reception from their boat in Essex, CT

CT Wedding Venues on the Water

Connecticut has a wonderfully diverse landscape. From its historic cities to its rolling country hills to its vast and furtive farmland to its glistening shores, Connecticut has something for everyone. Especially when it comes to planning a wedding!

In my last two posts, I focused on country themed wedding venues. In this post, I am highlighting a number of water-side wedding venues from the banks of the Connecticut River to the shores of the Long Island Sound to the historic Mystic Seaport. If you are a water lover, your are going to love these venues.

Let’s get to the venues shall we!

Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial

The Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial is one of the top Waterford, CT wedding venues.

Eolia Mansion weddings are something special. Built in 1906, the mansion sits on a 200+ acre property along the Connecticut shoreline. In keeping with the architectural trends of the Gilded Age era, Eolia Mansion is  reminiscent of the famed Breakers mansion in Newport, RI. The famous H-patterned floor plan features a central living foyer with two separate wings on either side. The back patio of the mansion opens out onto a perfectly manicured lawn that expands right to the shore of the Long Island Sound. The gardens of the estate, though, arguably steal the show and make for lots of romantic, outdoor photo opportunities. You’ll think you’ve stepped back in time celebrating your wedding at Eolia Mansion.

Inn at Longshore wedding ceremony photo of a bride and groom with the water in the background taken by jeff lundstrom photography

 

The Inn at Longshore

The Inn at Longshore is a Westport, CT wedding venue.

For an outdoor wedding on the water in Connecticut, it doesn’t get much better than The Inn at Longshore. Situated right on the shores of the Long Island Sound, the Inn is wildly popular with today’s brides and grooms, but it’s history is what makes it a Connecticut icon. Since 1890, the Inn has hosted the likes of the Roosevelts, the Rockefellers, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and even Marilyn Monroe. So, if you decide to have your wedding at The Inn at Longshore, you’ll be in some pretty good company.

Photo of CT wedding venue on the beach in CT Jacky Durell Pavilion Fairfield, CT

 

Jacky Durrell Pavilion

Jacky Durrell Pavilion is a wedding venue in Fairfield, CT.

If a beach wedding is your thing, Jacky Durrell Pavilion just may be your perfect venue. Personally, I love Jacky Durrell. I love it for it’s laid-back, casual vibe. I love it for its family friendly feel. And I love it for it’s beach front. It feels like a summer share house in the Hamptons. The kind of place where everyone is welcome and there’s always a party! Not a bad place for wedding either!

Want to see a real Jacky Durrell Wedding? Check out Amanda and Mike’s Jacky Durrell Pavilion Wedding

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Penfield Pavilion

Penfield Pavilion is a wedding venue in Fairfield, CT.

Penfield Pavilion is another beach front wedding venue option that is just down the Fairfield Beach from Jacky Durrell. It’s a newer, larger venue that was completely renovated after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It features an updated, more modern interior that is a blank canvas for you to design your wedding reception. Since it’s just down the beach from Jacky Durrell, Penfield enjoys the same expansive beach front which is perfect for sunset photos on the beach!

Madison Beach Hotel photo of a wedding ceremony on the beach in madison ct taken by jeff lundstrom photography

 

Madison Beach Hotel

Madison Beach Hotel is one of the best Madison, CT wedding venues.

Looking for ocean-side luxury for your wedding? Madison Beach Hotel is that resort-like spot you’ve been longing to getaway to. Located in Madison, CT (hence the name), the hotel is tucked away off the main road and only steps away from the waves of the Long Island Sound. It’s such a pristine beach front location that you’ll feel like you packed your bags and flew off to a destination wedding. A local destination wedding!

 

photo of an outdoor ceremony on the CT River at Saint Clements Castle in Portland, CT

 

Saint Clements Castle

Saint Clements Castle is one of the best Portland, CT wedding venues.

It may not be on the coast, but Saint Clements Castle has some of the most breathtaking views of the Connecticut River. You have your choice of saying “I Do” in a gorgeous replica English garden or on a dramatic hillside overlooking the Connecticut River. Built in 1898, the architecture of Saint Clements was influenced by the French Tudor style and borrows some of its features from the most famous of French Chateaux (Château de Langeais was the inspiration for its medieval style Art Gallery). You will literally feel like a princess on the grounds of Saint Clements Castle.

ct vineyard wedding salt water farm vineyard

 

Saltwater Farms Vineyard

Saltwater Farms Vineyard is among the best Stonington, CT wedding venues and one of the few vineyards in CT that sits on the shores of the Long Island Sound.

Love the water? Love wine? Then Saltwater Farms just may be your ideal wedding venue. At Saltwater Farms you get the romance of a vineyard coupled with some of Connecticut’s freshest sea breezes. What bride and groom wouldn’t love that!? Located on the tidal marshes of the Wequetequock Cove at the mouth of Little Narragannsett Bay, Saltwater Farms is a truly unique venue. Originally an airplane hangar back in 1930, Saltwater Farms Vineyard was masterfully (and lovingly) transformed into a sleek, modern structure that you see today. But it still maintains it’s iconic hangar-like facade. A symbol that lives on to this day on the label of each bottle of wine that Saltwater Farms produces. A wedding at Saltwater Farms is truly something special.

So, if you are looking to say I Do with a water view, then look no further than the venues listed above.

GET IN TOUCH!

Do you want to spend your wedding day celebrating with your friends and family?

Then you’ve come to the right place!