Veranda: Ceremonies & Dining

Our lovely sweeping veranda which overlooks our manicured lawns and flower gardens is used for various purposes during Mansion events. The most popular use is for cocktail hour; when the ceremony is over and the bride and groom go off to take their gazillion wedding photo’s, what do you do with all your guests? You send them over to the veranda for cocktail hour where they will find high and low boy tables, scattering of seating (rented by bride/groom or parents of bride/groom who are footing the bill)for the guests that need to take a load off (set up by their preferred catering team), decorated in linens (chosen by the bride/bride’s mom from said rental company) reflecting the theme of the wedding. Your guests might find the veranda decorated with paper lanterns, hanging baskets of flowers or delicate little twinkle lights (strung and purchased by bride/groom) leading the way to a bountiful crudites table, smartly dressed, smiling wait staff strolling around offering hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, or directing you to the bar in the far corner where you will find libations of the alcoholic and non alcoholic varieties. You might also find a small one to three person orchestra playing softly (since there is no amplified music allowed on the veranda; have to keep the neighbors happy) while you mingle with the other guests and connect with people you only see at weddings and other less joyful occasions.

The second place use for the veranda is as a seating area for your dinner guests. If you pictured your wedding to have an outdoor feel to it, this is the perfect spot to seat your guests and extend your decorating theme from inside the Mansion to the outside as well. While they are dining they will be over looking our manicured lawns and flower gardens, feeling the nice breeze, and soaking in the sights and sounds of nature while being completely covered thus avoiding rain, insects or any other item that might float down while eating. The capacity for dining on the veranda is up to fifty guests (dining tables and chairs for veranda seating supplied by the Mansion as part of your rental).

The third alternative use for the veranda is for your wedding ceremony. This option is for brides who want their ceremony covered but still holding the out door feel to it, or for those VERY RARE 😉 occasions when it rains on your wedding day. Every one of our Preferred Caterer’s staff is well trained in the good weather/bad weather scenario. The caterer will keep a watchful eye on the weather and work with you to decide if it warrants moving the ceremony from outside to on the veranda, and this switch is done without you even noticing. The veranda can hold up to 100 seats for your ceremony, the bride has the choice of where the ceremony will be held, under the lighting sconces or with the backdrop being our lovely scenery. In either case it’s reassuring to know there is an alternate location if the skies suddenly open up and rain on your “parade”.

Any way you choose to use it, our veranda is a beautiful addition to any wedding plan.


Our Brides Room

Our lovely Brides Room is a main draw for many of my brides, it is the space where the last moments of the single life are celebrated and new dreams of the future are about to unfold. This is the space where anticipation is high, joy abounds and pre wedding nerves are eased by the brides closest women.

The decor lends to a classic style with pale pink walls, white lace curtains, and period style furniture. A vanity runs the length of one wall and is  equipped with several electrical outlets at the ready to plug in hot rollers, curling irons, hair dryers and any other hair styling device you can think of. A row of four large mirrors, above which are soft lighting sconces are ready for the bride and her ladies to apply make up and check any last minute touch ups that may be needed. Each mirror as a matching stool to ensure every woman there can work in comfort. There is even a taller stool for when the hairdresser is called in to to hair and make up for either just the bride or the entire wedding party.

As you can see from the photo’s below, my brides enjoyed their time in our room specifically designed for their pre wedding needs. One option is to work with the caterer of your choice to have appetizers and cocktails brought up for a celebration before the celebration. Nicole’s circle of women used part of this time to lift her and Thor up in prayer before they make their sacred covenant before God.

Sarah’s Mom and Aunt took this time to look at old photo albums, reminiscing of days gone by when the bride was a little girl dreaming of her wedding day. Some of the most requested photo’s of the bride are checked off the list as the bridal shots are taken in classic poses on the chairs and couch looking out the window, in front of the mirrors getting dressed or putting on make up, photo’s of the dress on its hangar, bride surrounded by her bridesmaids, toasts made, friendships celebrated, mom and daughter moments, the opportunities are endless and all available to you when you rent the Mansion for your wedding and reception.

Finally, a Friday Wedding!

Finally, a Friday wedding! Yahoo! I love Friday weddings, they give me the rare opportunity to observe the months of planning finally come together for my couple’s wedding day. My work schedule does not provide for weekend office hours so I have to rely on my Event Supervisors to be my eyes and ears for the day, and honestly I can only drag so much “wedding” details out of them other than did everything go smoothly, were they on time, any damage, mansion left clean, anything else I should know?

Friday weddings are a treat, I get a birds-eye view of the ceremony from our large office windows, while everyone is out at the ceremony I get the opportunity to go downstairs to see which style floor plan they chose, what colors and style linens, table ware and glass ware, how they decorated to add their personalized touch and so on. On this day, Becky, our Executive Director (formerly the Event Coordinator – my current position) ventured down with express orders to get a lot of pictures which she did and which I have shared below.

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Brides Planning Calendar

Advice from Wedding Steps 2014

Remember, you have the rest of your life to be married. Now is the time to enjoy the planning of your wedding, that shopping and all the excitement that leads up to that special day. I have included the checklist in separate blog posts according to their place in the planning timeline.

6 – 12 Months before…

Set your date and time – Consider climate and convenience. “If you want lots of blooming flowers April or May is best,” says N.Y.C planner Marcy Blum. As for a holiday weekend, she says “If your guest list is all close friends and family, it’s a great reunion. But business associates would rather be with their own families.”

Set a Budget – Decide how much you can spend and how you want to spend it. For example, you may care more about music than location. and don’t keep upgrading your wish list, says Kate Edmonds, an N.Y.C event designer. “Otherwise you’ll drive yourself crazy, looking at more options and spending more money.” If you’re super busy, a perfectionist or facing too many choices, hire a planner now (or recruit your mother as some of my brides have done at the Mansion).

Start compiling your guest list with addresses – Once you have an idea of how many will attend, book sites for your ceremony, reception and rehearsal dinner. Keep in mind many reception sites have a minimum and maximum requirement for the amount of guests you plan on having.

Choose a caterer if one is necessary – Be sure you understand how much of a deposit is required and when full payment is due. Refer to my post: Questions for your Caterer for more information.

Order your wedding cake – check out our preferred pastry list for some excellent Cake and Pastry specialists.

Announce your engagement – Order and send save-the-date cards. You will need them if you plan to wed on a holiday weekend or, says planner Cara Kleinhaut of Caravents in L.A, “if you have many out-of-town guests, are planning a destination wedding, or are inviting lots of people and want to ensure they get there.” Such advance notice lets people book flights early.

Apply for a marriage license – you can go down to your local town hall Clerks Office and download the form.

Determine the wedding style

Contract services with photographer – we have a list of photograpers for that work with all budgets.

Contract services with videographer – if you plan on having a Bride and Groom Tribute DVD produced, begin collecting old photos and even videos if you wish, and book a professional video production company to create it.

Contract musicians, DJ’s, etc. – see our list of preferred vendors, especially my favorite James Daniel Entertainment.

Select your bridal party

Decide on a color scheme

Select wedding site and ceremony officiant – for a list of the Danbury area officiants visit the Town Clerks Office website.

Shop for your wedding dress – Order your wedding gown “Bridal shops will tell you that it’s never too soon to order your dress,” says Blum. A realistic deadline is six to eight months before the wedding. You’ll want a perfect fit, so shop early to allow time for serious alterations. Before your second fitting, choose your veil, shoes,lingerie and accessories; at later fittings, you’ll simply refine your overall look.

Choose and contract with reception site Tarrywile Mansion gives you romance, history, vintage and elegance all rolled into one.

Choose bridesmaids dresses

Choose a florist – our preferred vendor list comes in handy once a gain!

Book your honeymoon ( my favorite part of the whole process) -“Delegate this to your fiance” says Kleinhaut, “or it’ll be just one more thing for you to do.” If you’re going somewhere during high season, like Europe in the summer, adds Miami planner Wendy Kallergis, have his start even earlier. If you’ll be traveling abroad apply for or renew your passport (there are new passport restrictions and it can take six weeks for delivery).

3 – 6 Months before…

Order invitations and other printed items – “I allow about six weeks for invitations to be completed,” says Edmonds. Plus, you’ll want two weeks for envelope calligraphy. Mail invites six to eight weeks before the date, and if you do use a calligrapher, book her to do place cards a week before the wedding.

Make final ceremony arrangements

Order accessories such as toasting glasses, ring bearer’s pillows, garters, etc.

Buy attendants gifts – popular choices include jewelry for bridesmaids and ties for cuff links for groomsmen ( I have seen personalized groomsmen gifts such as; a poker set, money clip, beer mug, since not every guy wears a tie or cuff links on a regular basis). “We always suggest the the presents be slightly different for each person, even if it’s a charm bracelet with a different charm,” says Blum.

Sign contracts and place deposits

Finalize guest list

Reserve your suite – for the wedding night as well as blocks of hotel rooms for out-of-towners.

Order reception items – such as guestbook, matches, napkins, etc. especially if you want them personalized.

Contract transportation/limousine – whether you want a limo, vintage car or van to ferry you, your groom and attendants from ceremony to reception, reserve it now. “If you don’t have a planner,” says Blum, “hire an expediter from the transport company to greet guests outside the ceremony site and guide them to their vehicles.”

Register your gift preferences – with a couple of stores, make sure you include a decent number reasonably priced items, not everyone will want to give you that big screen tv your fiance’ is drooling over.

Choose your wedding rings – and have them engraved

Reserve rental equipment – such as tents, chairs, tables and linens. I know just the place for Event Rentals…

Take dance lessons – if necessary

Order stationary for thank you notes – it should have your current name for engagement and thank you’s and no show gifts, and your married name for wedding gifts.

Finalize organist and/or vocalist

Confirm all bridal attire is ordered or purchased

Pick music – make sure your band knows – and can play – for your father-daughter and first dances, or that the DJ has the right CDs. “Give the band at least a month if they have to learn the songs,” says Blum. Create a must-play and don-t play lists, and “if the band is going to back up an uncle who’ll sing to the bride, plan rehearsal time for that”, says Edmonds. Also, a note from myself – make sure you know who is going to be the coordinator and announcer for the schedule of wedding and reception. The caterer will know the timing and schedule but if you want to have the DJ do the announcements then you have to let each of them know so they can work together.

Coordinate mother’s dresses – (I don’t know if I want to go there but if you are placed in that situation, more power to you).

Two Months Before…

Address and send out your invitations. By now gifts will be coming in; write thank-you notes as the presents arrive, don’t wait, you don’t want them to pile up and then become overwhelming.

Arrange your final dress fittings

Confirm arrangements with all service providers – fine-tune your menu, choose the wines, taste the food, tweak the menu, and most important go over all contracts. “Ask if there are any extra charges,” says Kleinhaut, “and inquire about overtime so there are no suprises, such as the bartender leaving at 11.”

Choose readings – and who will read them, then pick or write your vows.

Confirm rehearsal arrangements

Make rehearsal dinner arrangements (don’t forget to consider having your Rehearsal Dinner at Tarrywile Mansion!), while you’re at it might as well buy outfits for the rehearsal dinner and bridesmaids lunch (?? this is a new one for me!), as well as after the reception.

Set appointment with hairdresser, test drive hair and make up if trying something new. Book manicure and pedicure.

One Month before…

Order programs and menus

Schedule your final dress-fitting

About three weeks out – ask family members or bridesmaids to call guests who have yet to RSVP so you can get a final head count.

Give your caterer the final count – put it in writing to help prevent disputes over charges for uneaten meals, “You can order more food, but you can’t give it back,” says Edmonds. “Don’t forget vendor meals, which usually cost $10 – $50 a person,” adds Blum. “Hungry vendors are not happy.”

Write (or have your calligrapher write) the place cards.

Do the paperwork – get blood tests and marriage license. If necessary, give the post office your change of address and order a name-change form.

Organize welcome baskets – and tourist information for out-of-town guests.

Book someone -to take care of plants, pets and mail while you’re on your honeymoon. Provide friends with itinerary and emergency contact numbers.

7 Days before…

Ideally you’ve had your shoes for months. Now’s the time to break them in.

Finalize – the seating plan.

Appoint – someone to collect and transport any gifts you receive.

Plot – it out, “choreograph the event the week before, then type up the plan and hand it to everyone in the wedding party,” says Blum. ” Include a time-table and the cell phone numbers of all your vendors and whoever is going to be the point person-the planner, the church or temple coordinator, the maid of honor or a friend. Then let go.” I would also give the plan to your caterer and DJ so they can be aware of the timetable. Also make sure that everyone in the wedding party and family of the bride and groom have each other’s number in case of emergency. It’s very easy for a bridesmaid/groomsman  to panic if they have an emergency and don’t have anyone’s contact information.

Make – sure toasts are being written.

Pick – up your wedding dress. Try it on to ensure that all the final adjustments have been made.

Pack – for your honeymoon ( whoo hooo!) and get traveler’s checks if needed.

1 Day before…

Prepare tip envelopes – “It’s really inelegant for the bride and groom to be signing the license and handing the priest an envelope,” says Blum. So plan ahead. Prepare envelopes for the officiant and, Edmonds suggests,  “for people dealing directly with the general public: waiters, limo drivers, bathroom attendants.” Give the envelopes to the best man, maid of honor or a parent to distribute.

Give presents – gifts for bridesmaids and groomsmen are usually given at or just after the rehearsal dinner. some couples give gifts to their parents at the dinner; others mail a present or note so it’s received while they are on their honeymoon. Parents can have bittersweet feelings after the wedding, says Kallergis; a gift is a nice gesture.

Get a relaxing manicure and pedicure – add a massage for extra pampering (you can treat your maid of honor too).

Reconfirm transportation.

Rehearse the ceremony, and enjoy the company of your family and friends at the rehearsal dinner.

8 Hours before…

Keep up your strength: Eat breakfast.

Have overnight bag delivered to hotel

Ask bridesmaid to deliver a gift or romantic note to your fiance’ while your hair and makeup are being done.

Remember to bring your marriage license to the ceremony.

Ring in the new – have someone- usually the best man and maid of honor in a double-ring ceremony bring-your rings to the wedding. Switch your engagement ring to your right hand before the ceremony begins so the groom can place your wedding band at the base of your finger.

Prepare to enjoy your wedding, “By this point you should have delegated all the logistics to capable people,” Kleinhaut says. “All the bride should have to worry about is walking down the aisle.” So relax, and if something does go wrong, “smile sweetly,” says Edmonds.  “Bear in mind that the glitches sometimes provide the most delightful moments” – and memories.

Color Palette Ideas for the Wedding Party

I thought it would be a nice resource to have when deciding on what color scheme to choose for your wedding party. I hope this gives you some inspiration, enjoy!

Nathan & Jayme 2013

Style Me Pretty: Romantic Summer Wedding

Another post from Style Me Pretty’s Stephanie Weers. I won’t recreate the entire article but I urge you to follow the link to see the brides thoughts on the day, enjoy their photo gallery and above all watch the short video, you won’t regret it. Although this wedding did not take place at Tarrywile Mansion, we do have vendors just as experienced, imaginative and fun to work with who are only a phone call away.

Every now and then a wedding comes along that nearly leaves me without words. I’m talking those weddings that push the envelope of pretty and make me thank my lucky stars to be a part of this little ol’ blog. But sure enough, when it’s vendors like Joy ProctorCamellia Floral DesignsAria Studios and KT Merry behind the scenes, events like that just naturally unfold. The story starts with this duo’s gorgeous engagement and ends in the full wedding gallery waiting right here.

Romantic Summer Wedding by Stephanie Weers featuring James & Inga

Romantic Summer Wedding by Stephanie Weers featuring James & Inga

Style Me Pretty – DIY Wedding Planning Kit

I follow the blog; Style Me Pretty (among others) on my twitter feed and came across this cute DIY project for the friend who wants to give a gift with a personal touch.

DIY Wedding Planning Kit by Elizabeth Greene

When I received my own sparkler last year, I didn’t quite know where to start. I know organization was key, but 100% wish this package o’bridal goodies was dropped off at my door. It’s a wedding planning kit that takes all the guesswork out of those early stages, and whether you put it together for yourself or a friend, it’s got every must-have a bride-to-be could ask for – gold confetti included.


FoldersGift box, Bridal Magazines, Planning Notebook, Sticky Notes, Pen, Confetti, Folder Labels, Label Paper (30 per sheet), Calendar Label, Label Paper (80 per sheet), Black Card stock, Hole Punch, White Paint Pen, Tissue Paper, 1″ ribbon, Scissors.


Step 1:

Print out the Folder Labels onto label paper. The bride can sue these labels to organize her wedding plans.

Step 2:

Print out the Calendar labels onto label paper. The bride can use these labels to mark the special days of her engagement in her calendar.

Step 3:

Cut out two rectangles from the black card stock, one about 2.5″ x 4″, and the other about 1″ x 6″. Cut a triangle shape out of one end of each rectangle, to make it look like the end of a ribbon, and punch a hole in the other end. Write “Time to start planning the best day ever!” on one tag and ” Congrats!” on the other.

Step 4:

Pack the gift box with tissue paper and planning goodies. Tie the box with a ribbon and tags and give it to your newly-engaged friend!

Photography: Ruth Eileen | Design & Styling: Style Me Pretty

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