Our wedding was the weekend after the hurricane--wow, what amazing timing--and luckily all our venues still had water and electricity, unlike much of the local area. The weather which I was worried all summer would end up being hot and humid or pouring down rain, was quite nice. It was only just a little warm, as one would expect on Labor Day weekend, and it was all sunshine.
St. James Church was the best ceremony location we could have chosen. We had a ceremony co-officiated by an Episcopalian priest and a Roman Catholic priest (since my husband and I are likewise split). The church has such great acoustics that they host a local vocal group--and is said to have the best organ in the region. The church was then only a short walk to the reception site. The Thames Club of New London was likewise the perfect reception location for us (see my large review on that elsewhere).
Our wedding had a very traditional ceremony (which seems to be less and less common these days), but our reception was not very standard. People had lots to eat and lots of fun, but there was no chicken dance nor even a seated dinner with chicken. I had heard it recommend to make the wedding about you and your fiancé, and we certainly lived up to that rule of thumb.
You Take the Cake of New London: I have never known wedding cake to look this good and taste this good. And Lisa was amazing to work with—we felt so lucky to have found her! I think she is probably the best cake maker in Southeastern CT… and yet the more we added to our order, the cheaper it became… add a groom’s cake, well, it’s cheaper per slice, and some cupcakes for the kids…. Even cheaper per person. Wow. I cannot recommend her enough. I have since started using her for all kinds of cakes, like birthdays, etc. She is at least the same price as Stop and Shop, if not cheaper, and immensely better!
Capture Photography: We have only seen the teasers, but they are amazing. Mary Beth is very talented and got the shots we wanted without being intrusive. She was a joy to work with and guests kept noting how good she was at capturing just the right moments without adding stress or awkwardness. She was also within our price range--which was not too big! The time we allotted to formal pictures was all but none, but she managed to rip through some really great portraits in that time. Nothing was forced or posed on the wedding day—and yet the pictures, wow, we could mot have hoped for more—and she was a few thousand less than other photographers of that caliber. I would highly recommend her as we were so happy we went with her!
Saint James Episcopal Church in New London is an amazing building--even if you do not plan to have your wedding here, I still recommend you visit it for its historical and artistic significance. The church has more Tiffany stained glass windows than any other building north of the Mason-Dixon line. It is also the site of the first American bishop, Samuel Seabury. It has the old dark wood floor boards and pews (with the doors on the pews). It can hold a lot of people or just a few and still feel intimate. They also have a much smaller chapel located beneath the church. I am a parishioner here, but I know they also do weddings for non-parishioners, so if you like the look of a gazillion Tiffany stained glass windows and a dark wood, old-world style church, then I would suggest you inquire.
Although Thames Club does not host too many weddings, it really is a perfect place for them. They do in-house catering and the old building and ambiance are old-world elegance to a T. The food was delicious.
My husband became a member back in January for a small fee. Members have free rental use of the building and its rooms. So we had the entire building--all three finished floors--at our disposal! We had everything from a brightly lit air conditioned bridal suite for getting ready in the morning, to a photo booth room (old fire place and couch), to the library, decorated with our own old books and family portraits, to 3 bars open for our guests' patronage, to the larger main rooms for serving the food stations, to duck pin bowling downstairs and an antique pool table in full use in the pub area. (This was not a standard wedding with a big open ballroom and a DJ, but it was perfect for us). For a seated dinner and a more standard wedding reception, Thames Club could probably only fit about 100, but for a wedding more in our style with all 3 floors open, they can easily fit more than 200.
With the membership fee, this wedding still cost less than had we had the wedding at any other nearby location, from Crocker House Ballroom, to the Garde, to the CGA Officer's Club--seriously it was the best deal--and beautiful... and there are lots of churches within walking distance--it was so convenient!
Dev's was very cooperative in coming up will a nice full meal of tapas for all 39 friends and family that were required of our rehearsal. Everyone tasted something a little different and everyone enjoyed their food (even for those that are not so adventurous).
We had nothing formal set for our after-party. It was kind of a dead night in New London--well and we were a little early for the night. We certainly livened up the place a bit and no cover for the bride and entourage! I did feel like I should have had those drinks at Thames Club--where we had already paid for them :)
We did a post-wedding day dinner here and they were very helpful with letting us reserve a few picnic tables ahead of time-they were perfect/prime location. Unfortunately, we still had to wait in line and we wished we brought more leftover wedding wine, since it is a BYOB friendly place.
A few relatives saw the ocean (or Long Island Sound) for the first time here. The kids all loved it! What a great break during a crazy wedding weekend!
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