Do you love the outdoors, iconic attractions, and budget-savvy wedding planning? If so, you may want to consider getting married in a park! After all, nothing says romance like a naturally gorgeous setting with plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and scenery. Best of all, having your ceremony or reception at a park usually means you get to take advantage of great pricing packages without skimping out on a truly spectacular backdrop!Some people have preconceived notions about a park wedding. Some may think it is “too simple,” not elegant – but the beauty of a park wedding is that you can make it whatever you want it to be. The park is your canvas, and you can paint whichever picture you would like. Looking for a rustic theme? Outfit your ceremony with dark rich mahogany chairs, wooden directional signs, and twinkle lights draped through the pavilion. Looking for a fairytale theme? Have an array of flowers on your ceremony arch, white tablecloths, and possibly a chandelier hanging from your tent. There are MANY options for your wedding day, and the beauty of it is that you can style your wedding day however you’d like to. Nature’s inherent simplicity and beauty create the perfect background for an elegant and tasteful wedding.
You may think “What is the very first step when planning a park wedding?” Location, location, location is key! You need to first establish whether you are looking to get married in a popular or intimate park. The more popular spaces are often the more iconic ones. For example, Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, New York City. Whether you have visited the park or not, most people are familiar with this famous landmark. Keep in mind that if you host your wedding in a popular park area, your wedding may need to be open to strolling passersby pausing and joining in on the moment. Of course, you can choose the more intimate locations within the park that may offer a more private-oasis-like feel. In this case, you can still have your iconic park moment with an extra level of intimacy for you and your guests. Harrybrooke Park offers an intimate, hometown feel. Depending on which package you choose, the park can be closed to the public for the entire day – and the park would be reserved for you and your wedding guests only! No matter what direction you decide on, choosing the location is key.
But what about the WEATHER?
This is probably one of the most asked questions on a Wedding Tour of Harrybrooke – what happens if it RAINS? There are many answers to this question, because we have options – which is great! One of the last things someone wants on their wedding day is a rainy forecast, especially if you are hosting your special day at an outdoor venue. For some, it is stressful to see rain in the forecast for their wedding day – but, believe it or not, there are many positive aspects to rain on your wedding day!Rain makes for one-of-a-kind wedding photos. If you've ever seen wedding photos captured in the rain then you know exactly what we're talking about. The mist and the soft light look so romantic and can't be easily recreated on a sunny day. Not to mention all the great props you can use, like clear umbrellas and colorful rain boots. Many photographers will even tell you that they actually prefer shooting on a cloudy or rainy day. With the rain, comes a rainbow. How pretty would that be?! Also, with spring and summer (a big portion of wedding season!) comes those pesky seasonal allergies. Did you know that rain reduces airborne pollen and eliminates allergies? If you suffer from seasonal allergies, the last thing you may want on your wedding day is hot, sunny skies. These are the perfect conditions to kick your allergies into high gear and turn your nose and eyes red. Rain reduces airborne pollen, so if it's allergy season you and your wedding party will feel better. Lastly, it has been said that rain on your wedding day brings good luck. In some cultures, rain on your wedding day is considered good luck, symbolizing fertility and cleansing. So whether you are superstitious or just prefer to look on the bright side, think of it this way: Who couldn't use a little good luck on their big day?
At Harrybrooke, we try to make the process as painless as possible. We do not want you stressing about anything, especially the weather. We have a handful of weather contingencies and even an option if you are looking for an outdoor ceremony, but an indoor reception! We are partnered with a beautiful and historic venue in downtown New Milford, 19Main. Less than 3 miles from Harrybrooke, 19Main is a great option for an indoor reception while still having your outdoor ceremony. Our partnership offers discounts, so be sure to ask about them if you inquire about this package! Want to keep everything at the park? We have two pavilions on property which can easily accommodate a wedding ceremony. We have even had a couple getting married on the back patio of The Harden House Museum with the awning out, and the Still River in the backdrop. Although it was raining, that made for a stunning view and beautiful pictures!
Be sure to ask about our Partnership Package with 19Main if you are looking for that outdoor ceremony and inside reception!
There are many questions when thinking about having a park wedding – and I’m here to answer them for you!
If you are thinking of a park wedding, rooted (pun intended) in nature – look no further than Harrybrooke.
Having trouble envisioning a park wedding? Look no further than our Pinterest page.
You will find boards catered to making your park wedding a beautiful, classy, rustic, and elegant venue.
There are boards specifically for The Harden House Museum, a tent wedding, a Gated Garden reception, and more!
Be sure to check it out here!
As always, happy planning!
From the bouquet toss to carrying your partner over the threshold, many couples love to incorporate classic wedding traditions and superstitions into their weddings—and wedding cake traditions are no different. Cake traditions have come a long way since Ancient Roman times when a groom would break a loaf of bread over his bride’s head for good luck (seriously!). Here are some popular cake rituals and trends you and your partner can include in your wedding., as well as some myths about wedding cakes!
Your wedding cake should be white.
Back in the 19th century, Queen Victoria set many wedding standards with her wedding to Prince Albert. Not only did she make white wedding dresses a tradition that has carried on to this day, but she started the white wedding cake trend, too! White stood for purity and innocence, representing the bride as she entered this union. White frosting is created using refined white sugar. In the 1880s, this was an expensive ingredient! Therefore, a white cake symbolized one’s wealth. The whiter the frosting, the richer the couple. The color came to be synonymous with all things wedding related, and the tradition of white wedding cakes held.
While we still love the minimalist look of a clean, white wedding cake, there is no rule that says your cake HAS to be white. Choose a color that complements your wedding theme. You can incorporate detailed trends and techniques, or even go for the ever-popular naked cake! Whatever design you decide on, as long as you love it and it tastes good, no one will care if it’s white. However, you may want to stay away from darker colors like midnight blue, plum purple, or black, as the dye can stain your mouth!
Cutting the Cake
Tradition: It used to be only the bride who cut the wedding cake but today, both partners share in the cake-cutting ritual. Family, friends and photographers alike look forward to the moment the couple joins around the cake and cuts the first slice. Not only will your guests finally get to taste the gorgeous creation they've been eyeing throughout your reception, it’s also a classic wedding moment (up there with the first kiss and first dance).
Tip: Make sure your caterer gets a 15-minute lead time before you head over to cut the cake. They’ll need that time to refill champagne glasses and ready the cake table with all the necessary cake-cutting accessories!
Saving the Top Tier
Tradition: Back in the 19th century, couples saved their top tier for the christening of their first child. Today, couples generally wait a longer period of time after their “I dos” before having children, so they’ll save a slice or tier of cake for their first wedding anniversary.
Tip: If it’s well wrapped in plastic and sealed in an airtight container, you can keep your cake in the freezer for a year but I would advise eating it early (maybe your one month anniversary or while you’re reviewing your wedding photos three months later). If you do decide to save this layer, remember to remove all flowers, stems, leaves and other garnishes, and to wrap it carefully to avoid freezer burn. In my opinion, it was not worth it to keep it in my freezer to eat a year later - it wasn't so tasty! Would you rather a fresh slice? Have your baker make you a small cake with the same flavors and frosting on your first anniversary!
Cake Toppers - does it have to be a figurine of a couple?
Birthday cakes have candles, and wedding cakes have toppers! As the number of candles reflects the number of years you’re celebrating, the cake topper is meant to reflect the wedding day. That’s why traditionally it has been figurines of the couple.
Today’s couples have used their creativity to expand the traditional understanding of a cake topper. Some of the more popular toppers include: scripted words or phrases, flowers, banners, funny figurines, or simply no topper at all.
Wedding cakes come in a variety of sizes, depending on the number of guests the cake will serve. Modern pastry chefs and cake designers use various ingredients and tools to create a cake that usually reflects the personalities of the couple. Cakes range in price along with size and components. Cakes are usually priced on a per-person, or per-slice, basis. Wedding cakes and cake decorating in general have become a certain pop culture symbol in western society. In the United States, reality television shows such as Cake Boss and Amazing Wedding Cakes have become popular and are trending in today’s popular culture. At the end of the day, you can have your cake whatever flavor you want and however you want to design it! Today, some couples are opting for alternative dessert options for their reception - like donuts, cupcakes, or even mini pies!
What kind of cake did you/are you having for your wedding? Did you skip a cake entirely? Let us know in the comments!
We would like to extend a warm Harrybrooke Wedding Welcome to
Mildred and Jesus who booked their July wedding with us!
Unlike the work of your other wedding vendors (music, flower arrangements, cake), photographs aren't things you can hear, smell, taste or even see at first—you don't really know what you're getting until after the fact. That means careful research and selectiveness regarding professional skills, artistic style and personal demeanor are extra important when choosing your photographer.
Here are some tips to help you find "the one!"
Settle on a Style
Before you begin researching photographers, you'll need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer, as that will help determine which kind of photographer you'll want shooting your wedding. Just like when you are choosing a wedding theme, you need to think of what style or aesthetic of photography you want for your wedding photographs. Whether it be formal-posed portraits, a classic photography style or a lifestyle, photo-journalistic feel. Remember that you don't necessarily need to narrow in on one style in particular, since many wedding photographers can do a blend of portraiture and documentary-style shots, a mix of black-and-white and color images and so on. But if there's a special style you love, make sure to focus on photographers who specialize in it.
Get inspired! Spend time perusing any kind of imagery you love...Pinterest is always a great place to start! Once you have a good collection of inspiring photographs, try to narrow in on what draws you to them specifically and dissect what feels most authentic to you and your partner. Now it's time to start your research. Head to Wedding Wire to find local professionals, read reviews, check out their website and social media accounts. Checking out their media will give you an insight on their photography style. How do they capture the moments that are important to you? Like that first look when the bride walks down the aisle, or the cutting of the cake!
Consultations are Key
Choosing a photographer is not a decision that can be made on looks alone—you must meet your potential photographers in person. If you like what you see on their site send an introductory email with a bit about you and your soon-to-be spouse, your event date, the vision for your day, and feel free to attach five or so of your very favorite photos from your research so they know what you love. If the photographer is already booked on your date, you may want to see if they have an associate or can recommend another shooter with a similar style. Set up in-person meetings with three to five potential photographers who are available on your wedding date to look at more of their work and assess whether your personalities mesh. Be prepared to talk about your venue, wedding style and what you envision for your photos!
It usually takes quite a bit of time to get all of your photo proofs back from your photographer. Why? Your photographer is shooting enormous raw files far bigger than your typical JPG. Shooting raw files gives your photographer greater ability to correct the photo, but it also takes a longer time to upload, process and edit all those files. It varies, but many photographers say they spend an additional 40 hours editing images from a single wedding, so it can take awhile to get proofs back.
Here's some questions to ask: How many images should I expect? Will they be high resolution or low resolution? Will I be able to get prints made myself, or does the photographer retain the rights to the images? Will the proofs I see be the retouched versions, or does that happen after I select the photos I want? Speaking of retouching, ask about retouching options and special effects (which can range from simple white balancing to beauty retouching and stylized art effects like super-saturated colors) and the additional cost for both.
Wedding Day Prep!
Remember that your photographer is the professional, while it’s helpful, you shouldn’t spend too much time putting together a detailed list of specific shots for them. Instead, pass along your day-of timeline, give them an idea of what images you’d like captured. For example, a specific pose with your significant other, a "first look" with your parents. Let the photographer do their thing! This way, they’ll put extra emphasis on snapping shots of all your amazing details with the goal of helping your wedding aesthetic truly stand out.
In my opinion, Photography is one of the most important aspects of your wedding day. The photographs are something tangible that you will be able to hold onto and cherish forever, and help you relive specific memories from your wedding day. It may seem like a lot of work, but putting in homework time for your photographer is very important in ensuring that you are 100% happy with the photos you will have to look back on!
At Harrybrooke , we work closely with vendors that we have created and maintained great relationships with.
For photography, look no further than Picture This!
Picture This styled the shoot for our spread in the Connecticut Bride Magazine, take a look below at some of the beautiful pictures from that day!
One of my favorite things about Harrybrooke is the many different backdrops you can have for your wedding day. Each location in the park makes it look like the photographs are taken in different places entirely. It's amazing that you can get all of these looks in one place - Harrybrooke!
That's the magic of Harrybrooke.
Arielle Barker (Current)