Harrybrooke Park was the home of Frank and Elizabeth Harden from 1943-1965. The home was their 48-acre "retreat" from their bustling life in the city. Frank made his fortune in Irish Linen Handkerchiefs. Frank and Elizabeth were married on property on June 15th, 1943. Which some of you may know if you follow the blog regularly! Frank grew up in Ireland on an estate known as "Harrybrooke." The falls behind the Harden House Museum reminded him of his childhood, which sold him on the property. There are many nods to Ireland, not only in the museum, but throughout the park as well.
When Liz passed in 1964, and Frank followed in 1965, they left their beautiful estate to the people of the town, and not to the town itself.
Interested in more of the history of Harrybrooke and The Hardens? Tours are given by appointment or by chance.
Schedule an appointment today for a tour of the Harden House Museum! There is a suggested $10 donation per visitor, as your donation would be supporting Harrybrooke, a non-profit 501c3 orginazation. As mentioned, Harrybrooke was left to the people of the town, not the town itself, so we are not funded by the town or state. Harrybrooke lives and breathes from 10,000 hours of community service yearly and by your generous donations!
Love is in the air! Our wedding season kicked off strong with back to back wedding weekends! Some would think, "a wedding is a wedding, they are all the same..." but that couldn't be more FALSE! Every wedding is different, especially here at Harrybrooke. These two weddings that we have had couldn't be more different!
It's the beauty of a Harrybrooke Wedding, you can make the day however you'd like - it truly is your day in our eyes.
June 15th, 1943
June 15, 2019
It's a beautiful afternoon. The sun is shining through the tops of the blossomed trees. You can see shadows cast on the bright green grass. The setting: Harrybrooke Park. It's the wedding day of Frank and Elizabeth Harden. They have chosen to get married at their estate in New Milford, Connecticut. Close family gathers to hear the exchange of vows. At age 63, this was Frank Harden's first and only marriage. He settled down for the love of his life, Elizabeth - 29 years apart in age. They set the scene for so many years and weddings to come. On June 15th, 1943 we celebrate the anniversary of Frank and Elizabeth's wedding day, and the first wedding on property.
The sun rises on June 15th, 2019 - a bride and her bridal party are arriving at the Harden House museum to prepare for a very special day. The limo pulls up, and the girls head into the museum with arm fulls of makeup, dresses, shoes, and anything you might need for the big day. A morning of preparing goes by in a blink of an eye. A ceremony begins in the Gated Garden, where two lovers exchange vows and family and friends look on. A tent is set up near a pavilion, the 150 person guest list dances the evening away to the Billboard's top 100 hits. On June 15th, 2019 we celebrate a union of love Harrybrooke Park, 76 years to the day of Frank and Elizabeth's wedding day.
Happy Anniversary, Frank and Liz
and here's to a joyful life for our new bride and groom!
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?
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!
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!
Arielle Barker (Current)
Lindsey Thomas (2019)
Emily Mellen (2018)
Valerie Walsh (2016-2017)