60 Villa Louisa Road
Bolton, CT 06043
Villa Louisa, just south of Manchester, is a delightful place for a theme wedding. It specializes in Italian, Irish, Caribbean and “King and Queen” style receptions, and offers a wide variety of venues. The Grand Ballroom, which has a waterfall fountain inside as well as high ceilings, chandeliers and fireplaces, can hold up to 350 guests – all of whom can enjoy the view of Birch Mountain through the room’s “wall of windows.” For those seeking something more intimate, the Sunset Room is ideal for parties of 90 or fewer, and it too has large windows that overlook the mountain. There is also a flagstone wrap-around porch so guests can walk outside. Outdoors, there is a large gazebo on the manicured grounds that makes for a perfect setting for bridal photos.
155 Alain White Road
Morris, CT 06763
A short drive from anywhere in middle or western Connecticut, Winvian is more than just a luxury hotel, relaxing spa and quiet getaway. As its literature rightfully declares, it is “a resort nestled in the heart of the Litchfield Hills,” where guests will enjoy “a resort experience like no other.” Winvian hosts many types of gatherings, but takes special pride in making wedding receptions into a “Destination Event.” From rehearsal dinner to bridal departure brunch, as well as the reception itself, Winvian’s wedding team can do it all – and that means big or small, indoors or out. This beautiful pastoral setting with a gorgeous view is ideal for weddings – and Chef Eddy and his staff are famous for taking what he describes as “unusual and fresh findings” from local producers and markets to craft meals that make any reception memorable, and not just for the bridal party.
The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station
55 Bridge Road
Haddam, CT 06438
Set on a ridge overlooking the Connecticut River in Haddam, The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station has a view as beautiful as any in the state. Inside, the elegant ballroom of this majestic banquet facility will make any wedding seem like a royal affair – and the staff will provide the services and food fit for a marriage of state. The grand staircase makes for a breathtaking entrance for any bridge and groom, and the stone-lined walls give it that castle feeling – but with chandeliers and tall windows to illuminate and brighten that special day. There are outdoor options as well, and a pier that leads out over the water which is tailor-made for romantic photo opportunities.
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500 Steamboat Road
Greenwich, CT 06830
“A Waterfront Wedding to Remember” is how this elegant restaurant and reception facility in Greenwich presents its venue and service for every bride’s biggest day, and that day will seem quite French. While the menu is Provencal, Director of Operations David Fletcher and Executive Chef Frederic Kieffer have brought more than just a taste of Mediterranean France to the Connecticut shore. In addition to the cuisine, L’escale has imported 200-year-old terra cotta tiles and a wood-burning stove from a French castle. The recommended wedding package includes hors d’oeuvres, cheese display and open bar, with either a three-course gourmet dinner or a buffet with a champagne toast, all of which can be enjoyed in an elegant setting, and one with a lovely harbor view.
1 Nod Road
Avon, CT 06001
Belle Terrace in Avon blends the best of old and new Connecticut. The setting is charming and classic, and the staff is determined, as a spokesman says, to make a wedding reception the “day that lasts a lifetime” in the memories of all who attend. There are tiered wedding packages that start at as little as $49 a person, and even at that incredibly reasonable price, guests as well as the bridal party will indeed have a day they can treasure. Plated, stationed and premium packages are available, as is a wedding brunch option – which can be added to or substituted for a traditional reception arrangement. Inside, there is an elegant winding staircase to offer a grand entrance in the main wing, and in the historic wing, there is also a cozier, colonial setting to choose from, and one that is especially suited to those who want a true old New England family wedding reception.
Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.