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The Best Wedding Venues in Connecticut

September 5, 2020

Weddings

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As a wedding photographer here in Connecticut, I get to visit and work in stunning venues all over the state! This is a roundup of some of my favorite CT wedding venues. From industrial chic, to boho outdoor locations, to classic romantic vibes, there is a perfect wedding venue out there for every couple. Are you starting your venue search? Find inspiration in the list below! 

Spicer Mansion – Mystic, CT

I absolutely love this gorgeous, historic mansion venue right in the heart of Mystic, Connecticut! The Spicer Mansion is the perfect place to host an intimate wedding, bridal shower, or rehearsal dinner. Everything is already immaculately decorated, and the staff is incredibly accommodating. The grounds and garden can host a tented outdoor celebration as well. It’s especially perfect for a winter wedding, since it is beautiful indoors year-round! You are also just minutes away from downtown Mystic (a perfect photo spot.) spicermansion.com

The Pavilion on Crystal Lake – Middletown, CT

So many of my couples have chosen The Pavilion on Crystal Lake for their wedding days, and it is easy to see why! The beautiful ceremony spot, surrounded by trees with a classic gazebo backdrop (and built in speakers: easy setup for your DJ!) is just part of the allure. The in-house coordinating team is FANTASTIC – I can’t recommend Kate highly enough – and the catering is always delicious. Giant charcuterie tables? Mac and cheese bar? Flambéd donut station? Custom ice cream sundaes? Yes please! The reception room has a loft area that is perfect for capturing dramatic first dance photos, and catching the sunset over the lake is truly a dream come true. ctweddinggroup.com/exclusive-venues/pavilion-crystal-lake

Branford House – Groton, CT 

Located on the UConn Avery Point campus, the Branford House is a stunning seaside mansion. With its elegant stone facade and wood-paneled great room, you will feel like royalty! I love when couples choose to have their first dance on the back patio overlooking the Long Island Sound. This venue can hold a lot of guests, and you have tons of options for where to set things up. How does a ceremony on the sloping lawn that leads down to the water sound? Or say your vows under the stone archway, or indoors by one of the 3 grand fireplaces! The Branford House is another venue that will create a beautiful backdrop no matter the season. (My favorite hidden secrets are the spiral staircase – perfect for sneaking away for romantic couples photos! – and the second floor balcony.) averypoint.uconn.edu/about/branford-house

The Heritage Hotel – Southbury, CT 

For couples looking for a location to celebrate with all of their friends and family, The Heritage Hotel & Conference Center in Southbury, CT is a great option. Their new vineyard is the perfect setting for a romantic spring, summer, or fall wedding here in Connecticut, and the large Timbers room has space for ALL of your guests – plus an epic dance party! Since it’s also a large hotel and conference center, this is a good choice for people with lots of guests traveling from out of town: everybody can stay right on the property and dance the night away. heritagesouthbury.com

Salem Woods on Gardner Lake – Salem, CT

This amazing lakeside venue is a former summer camp, and the lodge has been totally renovated into a stunning modern getaway (complete with a pool, boat dock, fire circle, and more!) I was so excited to plan and photograph the very first styled shoot held on the property to show off their amazing grounds. The gardens at Salem Woods feature a koi pond with a romantic bridge, a stone staircase with a bubbling waterfall, and plenty of wildflowers. They also have cabins that your guests can stay in, and the private, woodsy location in Salem, CT makes this wedding venue a true retreat. gardnerlakeevents.com

Styled Shoot Credits: Photographer: Allie Dearie Photography Florist & Rentals: Sage Hill Florals Venue: Salem Woods on Gardner Lake Gown: Julie Allen Bridals Hair: Blowouts by Abbe Makeup: Eye for Beauty Calligraphy: TS Calligraphy Cake: Alyssa’s Cakery Custom Chocolate: Noteworthy Chocolates Models: Samii @samii.hart & Greg Venue Host: Amazing Celebrations & Events Venue Representation: Promotonics Promotions

Hartford Flavor Co. – Hartford, CT

For the edgy couple who likes to do things a little bit differently, Hartford Flavor Co. in Hartford, CT is the perfect place to celebrate. A working liqueur distillery located in a former industrial mill turned artistic community, this venue is unique inside and out. They have an awesome tasting room with full bar – can you say “custom wedding cocktail”? Head outside for portraits in front of colorful street art. Their event space is right in the distillery room, providing an unforgettable backdrop that will wow your guests. hartfordflavor.com

Styled Shoot Credits: Photographer: Allie Dearie Photography Venue: Hartford Flavor Co. Florist: The Gardenist Rentals: Enchanting Moments Hair/Makeup: Simply Gorgeous By Erin Gown: Julie Allen Bridals Models: Nicole Apuzzo Cain & Liam Cain Video: Xluzive Planner: Brehant Creations

Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park – Waterford, CT 

And of course I couldn’t end my list of favorites without mentioning Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford CT! I live right around the corner from this gorgeous venue, and I truly feel spoiled that I get to wander the stunning gardens and grounds whenever I want. If you are looking for a venue with amazing photo locations galore, this is it! To name just a few: the classic columns and ivy of the Greek portico, the sandy beach and dunes, the stone amphitheatre overlooking the Sound, “that famous tree”, the four flower gardens, the golden meadows, and of course Eolia Mansion itself. After a ceremony anywhere on the estate, you and your guests can celebrate in a beautiful tent in the back courtyard, overlooking the lawn and the water beyond. Weddings are in high demand here, so book well in advance to have your dream wedding at Harkness! Eolia – The Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park

SPECIAL OFFER: If you are getting married at Eolia Mansion/Harkness Memorial State Park, contact me for a special discount on photography services! 

I hope this list has been a helpful starting point for your venue search! As a wedding photographer, and a bride-to-be planning a wedding myself, I know the vendor search can feel overwhelming. Whether you plan to elope with just the two of you, or celebrate with two hundred of your closest friends and family, you want to have someone there who can capture the genuine emotions and real, candid moments from every part of the day. I hope you’ll consider me as you look for your wedding photographer! And of course I am always happy to help with vendor recommendations. Happy planning! 

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