I often get asked by people what my favorite wedding venues in Connecticut are. I have a short list, and love them each for a variety of reasons, but high on the list is Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial park. So here is my wedding venue review for Eolia Mansion.
What I love most about Eolia is that it’s one of the few venues that has the architectural elements I love, as well as a stunning garden, beautiful dining rooms inside, and it’s on the water. Truly, there is no other wedding venue in Connecticut like it and for that reason alone it may top my list as the very best wedding venue in CT.
Eolia Mansion is fully of history and charm, but rather than feeling stuffy it has a welcoming vibe that wil make your wedding guests feel like they were invited to a chic and debonairre old English soirée. Really, it doesn’t get better than that.
My favorite area on site is the pergola area, set at the end of one of the sunken gardens. With its stunning masonry, tall pillars, beautiful archways, and carefully crafted stairs, it is the most popular place for outdoor ceremonies to take place. And what I love most about this part, in particular, is that even if it were to rain, your ceremony could still happen outdoors but setup up under the actual pergola rather than on the lawn portion. I can think of very few other wedding venues in CT that can offer this.
The sunken garden on the other side of the mansion is an absolutely lovely location for portraits. During warm months, the garden is lush with a variety of flowers and, wait for it, often butterflies! It’s one of my favorite places to do a first look or couple portraits.
The front of the mansion is a sight of its own and welcomes guests to what will inevitably be a classic and lovely affair. I feel like as the guests walk down the stone driveway, they can already tell that they will be attending a stunning wedding. It sets the tone for the day ahead, and I love that. Tip: set up a welcome drink station outside to add a special touch and make your guests feel welcomed immediately.
If time permits, we could always venture down toward the water for portraits. The rocky coastline of the Long Island sound, painted with boats passing by in the distance, makes you instantly feel like you are transported another place that is serene and calm.
Should the weather be unfavorable, the interior of Eolia Mansion offers plenty of spots for beautiful portraits. There is natural light throughout the mansion, even on cloudy days.
Lastly, at least in my highlights because there are so many other places on property to photograph, is the interior of Eolia. Their bridal suite is my favorite one in all of Connecticut. It is spacious and bright, feminine and timeless. It’s the perfect spot for you and your bridesmaids to get ready for the big day. The downstairs area of the mansion also has a few nooks and crannies that are great for photographing your groom getting ready.
The thing about Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial Park is that there are just so many options. So many options, in fact, that it doesn’t feel like your wedding is cookie cutter. Every wedding I’ve ever photographed there has been unique, and for that reason it scores very high on my list of top wedding venues in CT.
Here’s what Charissa from Simply Loved Weddings has to say about Eolia: “Where are all my millennials at? If you’re anything like me you were obsessed with the secret garden. I don’t know if it was the beauty of the mansion, the magic of the garden or you just had the biggest crush on Dickon. If this was you, I may have found your perfect wedding venue, Eolia Mansion at Harkness State Park. Eolia hits all the boxes, it lends itself as the perfect venue for both small and larger weddings, you have full use of the gardens, the mansion and then the tented patio off the back. Picture yourself walking through a lush garden at golden hour as your photographer snaps the most romantic photos of you and your hunny, seeing your future spouse for the first time in the light filled atrium, or eating dinner with your guests in the historic first floor of the 1907 mansion. While Eolia holds so much history and beauty of its own it is also truly a blank slate. You are able to bring any design idea to life, you can embrace the mansion with a simply elegant feel or incorporate the 230 acres of land and bring the gardens to life. Eolia is the perfect space for a couple to make their one of a kind wedding idea come to life. Each and every time we’re there i’m truly captivated by the beauty, dreaming up all the ways to pay tribute to the uniqueness of each couple and enhance the already breathtaking charm the venue has to offer.”