September 6, 2018 /
Eolia Mansion at Harkness State Park Wedding
Erin and James were married this Spring at the Eolia Mansion at Harkness State Park. When we met Erin and James, we quickly realized how intentional they were being with every detail of their wedding. From Erin’s vintage inspired style, the lush green and cream florals, and even the little details down to the bourbon James and his groomsmen toasted with to start the day. They wove history from both of their families into their day, making their wedding a unique blend of vintage and modern inspiration.
Erin and James have written a beautiful story of their wedding day that we’re excited to share with you all, along with some highlight photos from the day!
“At the Eolia Mansion, James and Erin found a venue with a history – a history connected to their own. Located in Waterford, Connecticut on the grounds of the Harkness Memorial State Park, the venue offers elegant estate gardens, coastal wetlands, and a secluded beach front. Erin and James fell in love at Harkness – not the park, but a residence hall named from the same family. Having met and shared their first kiss at Harkness Hall, the couple found the park irresistible.
Built in 1906 on the Long Island Sound, the mansion inspired the bride’s modern reimagining of vintage style. Her Jenny Packham gown features flowing chiffon, pearl beading, flutter sleeves, and Swarovski crystals. Paired with golden waves and satin t-strap heels, her ensemble suggests Gatsby-meets-Old Hollywood Glamour. Large calla lilies, luxuriant greens, and vendela roses adorn the mansion, accented by glossy monstera, tufts of creme stock, olive branches, and long stem ivory tulips delicately tumbling from pedestal vases. At the reception, guests inscribed well wishes on gilded pages rebound in an antique book cover from France, and cards rested in a velvet-lined heirloom chest from the bride’s family.
Flourishes of family history enhanced the mansion and many of the most memorable moments. Family photographs – including black-and-white wedding portraits from four generations prior – sat atop the mantles, mixed with vintage books from the groom’s grandfather. The couple participated in a traditional Scottish Quaich ceremony, sealing their union with a sip from a century-old silver cup. While waiting in the crisp spring air, the mother and sister of the groom huddled under a coat passed down from the groom’s grandmother, an embrace of three generations. The cocktail hour culminated in the couple’s first dance: a contemporary cover of Edith Piaf’s 1945 single “La Vie En Rose.” Erin and James transitioned from rumba to foxtrot as the song bridged from French to English lyrics, a nod to the bride’s grandmother’s bilingual French-English upbringing and the groom’s grandmother’s immigration from Nice to the United States.
Beyond their family’s past, James and Erin celebrated the history they are building together. The groom and groomsmen started the day with a toast of Hudson Baby Bourbon from Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery – a destination the couple visited on a favorite day trip to the Hudson River Valley. Their cake, decorated with dress-inspired Swiss dots, contained layers of vanilla and lemon curd alternating with champagne and raspberry mouse – the former replicating the very first cake Erin created for James. Cufflinks engraved with the words “Hold me close…” and “And hold me fast”— a lyric from “La Vie En Rose” – commemorated the moment of their dance in which the bride arcs backwards in a free fall dip, relying on the groom to catch her and counterbalance her. It is a phrase most fitting – a motto for the memories they share together and a reminder of the trust, reliance, and counterbalance of their partnership.”
Congratulations Erin and James! We are so honored to have been part of your wedding day.
Don’t forget to take a look at the other vendors that made this beautiful Harkness Park Wedding possible below!