As a Connecticut wedding planner and designer, I love to create wedding day designs that are not only gorgeous, but also incredibly unique to the couple. When I started working with Laura and Matt for their Hill-Stead Museum wedding, they let me do just that! We infused wedding day details that were both joyful AND sentimental, and I loved the Tuscan Inspired color palette we used. This wasn’t my first Hill-stead museum wedding (Laura and Matt actually found me based on my past work at this Connecticut wedding venue!), but I loved challenging myself to create something fresh and new – the result felt just like them!
Before I share all the gorgeous details, a quick introduction in case you are planning your own Hill-Stead Museum wedding. I’m Jenn, owner and lead wedding planner behind Soirees and Revelry. I always love working at Hill-Stead Museum, or any number of the amazing historical wedding venues we have right here in Connecticut and the New England area. Mansions, wineries, museums, or even tents on private estates always have a special place in my heart (you can check out a few of my favorite historical venues here!). If you are starting to plan your wedding, and are looking for someone to help make sure that your wedding day looks and feels like you and not like a collage of random Pinterest images, I would love to hear from you. You can learn more about working with Soirees and Revelry here!
Creating their Wedding Color Palette
Laura and Matt got married last October, during peak foliage. After an insane last couple of years, we knew everyone would be joyful, and ready to celebrate. When I started to talk to them about the design, they mentioned they wanted something the felt just a little rustic, but not feel like an overly “fall” wedding. They wanted the design to be both beautiful and approachable.
As soon as they mentioned they also loved a slight Tuscan feel, I felt inspired to create design with ivory, dusty rose, olive, and just touches of gold and burgundy. Using colors that were appropriate to the season (you don’t often find bright coral florals in the fall!), we brought in a little moodiness and leaned into a more European vibe to create something a little more unique to them.
To bring the palette to life (and make it feel joyful!), we also brought in some fun unexpected touches, like the bride’s floral shoes and the groom’s Indochino suit with a custom sugar skull liner. Laura and Matt didn’t have a traditional wedding party but rather invited friends to do readings at the ceremony or be ushers. This meant we could have even more fun with the colors, because instead of choosing one dress or suit, their friends coordinated their attire to match the more well-rounded color palette of the wedding. This helped make the overall aesthetic feel a little more authentic and custom to them.
Infusing Personal Touches Into their Wedding at Hill-Stead Museum
When choosing a wedding venue, Hill-Stead Museum was the only venue that Laura and Matt visited. They loved the grounds, and the history. It felt like an “easy” choice as they started to plan their wedding. When they hired me as their wedding planner, I couldn’t wait to help bring little aspects of their personalities and relationship into the design. Not only is this always my favorite part of designing, but it made their fall wedding one of my favorites from the entire season.
Oftentimes, when couples think of adding bits of their personality, they are worried about getting a little too sentimental or serious. This definitely doesn’t have to be the case! You should have FUN with your wedding design, after all. For Laura and Matt, we started brainstorming ways to add little touches of Italy – since each of them had spent time abroad there and had loved it. We created their “Tuscan inspired” color palette, but we also brought it into the food! For the wedding menu, we featured Italian cuisine complete with a gelato bar for dessert. Laura and Matt also go to an oyster fest every year, so we made sure to feature a passed oyster dish during cocktail hour.
Then, we added even more joyful touches! The couple loves music, so guests signed a record for the guestbook. One of my favorite moments from the entire day was their grand entrance into the wedding reception, where the couple danced to “Hey Now” by their favorite band Matt and Kim, known for shooting off confetti at their concerts. As Laura and Matt entered the tent, their friends and family shot off confetti for them to start the celebrations!
Creating a Photo Wall for their Wedding Décor
Although you can have fun with your personal touches, you don’t need to forget the sentimental and extra-personal altogether. One of my favorite touches in their wedding reception décor was the the photo wall they created. Laura and Matt made it themselves! We displayed the photo wall just outside of their cocktail hour, showcasing photos of all of the married couples from the bride and groom’s families throughout the years. It was such a beautiful tribute to their families, and their guests loved the trip down memory lane.
Speaking of sentimental, we also recreated one of the photos Laura had from her grandparents wedding! Many of the women in Laura’s family were married at the same church, and this was such a simple and sweet photo to take on their wedding day. It’s sure to be a favorite for the wedding album!
An Outdoor Wedding Reception at Hill-Stead Museum
We were fortunate enough to be able to host the entire cocktail hour and wedding reception outdoors, at a time when the fall colors of Connecticut are really the most incredible. For cocktail hour, we set everything up on the mansion’s front porch. Then, guests could mingle effortlessly on the grounds soaking up the beautiful views (and the beautiful estate would be featured in the background). We did the same for the reception setup, the tent was set up in the grassy court, but we created the floorplan so that the view of the house would always be in the background.
I have to admit, seeing everything setup for the reception made my heart just sing! I love the first quiet moment before the guests arrive: soundcheck is done, every linen and menu card is in place, the air is simply buzzing with anticipation. We brought in more of the Tuscan feel by incorporating fruit onto the table as part of the centerpieces, and even included figs on the cake. We mixed textures like vintage glassware, gold cutlery, and soft dusty rose napkins. Everything came together to be beautiful, approachable, and joyful – just as Laura and Matt imagined!
Connecticut Wedding Planning
As you can see, there is a lot of thought behind “the pretty” that you see when you look at wedding photos on Instagram or Pinterest. Or even my portfolio! It’s so important for me as a wedding planner to connect with each couple deeply and personally, so I can really help them create something stunning. I want your wedding to reflect who you are (both individually and together). If you are planning a wedding in the New England area, or are looking for a Connecticut wedding planner to help bring your wedding vision to life, I would love to connect! You can learn more about working together here.
Planner & Design: Soirees and Revelry
Photography: Melanie Ruth Photography
Florist: Floral Designs by Justine
Venue: Hill-stead Museum
Caterer: Russell’s Creative Global Cuisine
Band: Silver Arrow Band
Wedding Gown: Jenny Yoo
Hair & Makeup: Dana Bartone
Tabletop Rentals: Petal’s Plates
Tenting and Furniture Rentals: Tents Unlimited
Escort Card Display: Tulaloo
Invitations and Menus: Zola