Wedding Venues in Lower Connecticut River Valley

The Constitution State beckons brides and grooms with the quiet beauty of old New England.

VO Photography

GATSBY-ESQUE GALA

Wadsworth Mansion

Head Count Up to 200 seated
Price Starting at $5,500, plus food and drink

For the swank and circumstance of the Roaring Twenties, plan a celebration at the Wadsworth Mansion, a gracious Beaux Arts–style estate set on 103 acres of impeccably manicured grounds in Middletown. Featuring landscape design by John Charles Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., the mansion was originally constructed as a private residence for a major in the First Company Governor’s Foot Guard. Exchange vows on the lawn, framed by century-old cedars, or host a more secluded al fresco ceremony on the tennis pavilion, enclosed by a climbing-rose trellis. For your reception inside the mansion, choose from two ballrooms, where you’ll mingle with guests under the soft glow of chandeliers. Sip champagne, dance with your beloved, and—above all—embrace the spirit of the estate, which harks back to a time when the sandals were strappy, the air was jubilant, and the music was popping.

Alicia Ann Photographers

BARN BASH

The Barns at Wesleyan Hills

Head Count Up to 225 seated
Price Starting at $4,000, plus food and drink

Tucked away on two acres of lush greenery and ponds in Middletown, the Barns at Wesleyan Hills encapsulates the rustic serenity of the region’s agricultural roots. Say “I do” in the shade of weeping willow trees—or one of the venue’s delicate wooden archways—before raising the rafters inside a historical English-style barn, built with warm Connecticut hemlock. Boasting an extensive roster of decor packages and add-ons (confetti canon, anyone?), the airy bi-level space can be easily transformed to suit your style and theme. Go classic black tie with a mood-setting wall of candles and fabric cascading elegantly from the ceiling, or opt for a more bohemian look with suspended floral arrangements and rows of shapely lanterns.

Courtesy of the Lace Factory

RIVERSIDE REVELRY

The Lace Factory

Head Count Up to 225 seated
Price Starting at $5,600, plus food and drink

When the illustrious Deep River Lace Company closed up shop after decades in the textile business, the owners left behind the 5,500-square-foot warehouse, complete with exposed-brick walls, vaulted ceilings, rough-hewn hardwood floors, and large paned windows. Renamed the Lace Factory, the building now functions as an event space, welcoming couples seeking an industrial vibe for their nuptials. Get married alongside the gently lapping Connecticut River, courtesy of a wooden deck at Deep River Landing across the street, then clink glasses with loved ones during cocktail hour back at the factory, dressed up with strings of lights. Really want to wow your guests? Arrange for them to arrive by locomotive: The famed Essex Steam Train, operated by the historical Valley Railroad, pulls up just outside the warehouse.

THE CHECKLIST

Prewedding Adventure

Named for actress Katharine Hepburn, whose beloved home graced the banks of the Connecticut River, Lady Katharine Cruises offers private yacht excursions with views of historical landmarks such as Gillette Castle and the iconic East Haddam Swing Bridge.

Rehearsal Dinner

The private Covered Bridge Room at Essex’s Griswold Inn may feature the wood paneling and stone fireplace befitting an establishment opened in 1776, but its innovative cuisine and myriad vino options are decidedly contemporary. Tuck into dishes such as apple-cornbread-stuffed chicken and salmon served with seasonal fruit salsa while admiring the inn’s extensive collection of maritime artifacts.

Guest Digs

Ensure the comfort of family and friends at Deep River’s Riverwind Inn, a quaint refuge where individually decorated rooms with antique furnishings blend classic style with modern luxury.

Unique Vendor

Treat guests to dessert from the Lil’ Nora food truck, an extension of Middletown’s celebrated Nora Cupcake Company. Available in more than 100 flavors (might we suggest the “Mexican Wedding” cake with chocolate-cayenne ganache?), the pintsize goodies are next-level delicious.