This historic mansion wedding at the Charles Cheney Inn in Manchester, CT was a beautiful, intimate vow renewal for Maile & Adam. Ultimately, the day wasn’t as simple as our original concept, but once it came to fruition it was clear that it couldn’t have been any other way.
Originally, We had planned for a private outdoor elopement at a state park with just Maile, Adam and their two daughters, followed by an anniversary celebration the next week at their favorite brewery, Labyrinth. But as planning progressed Maile & Adam decided that they want to include their parents and a few other close family members. So the hunt for a venue was on.
Adam is a lifelong Manchester townie, so as we started looking for alternatives we kept coming back to how much he loved Manchester. That’s when we were able to decide on renting one of the historic mansions built by the Cheney family. There’s an entire street of these mansions from the family that essentially built industry in Manchester, each with their own unique style. The Charles Cheney mansion has a unique tudor style with bold colors and an expansive, hilly lawn. This felt like such a perfect match to the original vision of eloping in a natural park setting.
From the beginning, our aim was to keep things simple and austere. Maile is a big fan of upcycling, so we went thrifting for her dress. We found a vintage wedding dress in an antiquing thrift store and a top with very similar lace at Goodwill. Then a seamstress was contracted to create a custom, two-piece backless wedding dress.
For Adam’s look we wanted to keep things simple, incorporating the color scheme in a fun way, which is how we landed on a floral tie that incorporated the mulberry and mustard colors for the day. That floral motif was echoed through other details of the day, like the lace in Maile’s dress, the invitations for the anniversary party following the vow renewal, and the plates for the picnic style meal.
So, something you should know is that Maile & Adam’s original wedding wasn’t everything they had dreamed of. At the time, Maile was pregnant and she and Adam did not plan to get married. But as her pregnancy went on they decided to go for it. It was a bit last minute, rushed and more about the formality of getting married than about creating a memorable, wonderful day. They didn’t even hire a photographer for that first wedding! So this time, Maile & Adam wanted to get the whole experience the way that they wanted, which even included a First Look so the Maile could have that special “bride reveal” moment with Adam.
As it turned out, renting the mansion was the best thing Maile & Adam could have done since it ended up raining on vow renewal day! This is why it’s important to have a plan B! So instead of having the ceremony outside as originally intended, we were able to have it in the expansive enclosed porch of the mansion.
Because Maile & Adam have already been married for a few years, there was no need for an officiant to perform a legal marriage. Instead, I used my skills as an AMM Minister to write a meaningful vow renewal ceremony, which was read by their oldest daughter. Of course we needed to include both daughters, so their youngest was able to assist in the handfasting ritual performed as part of the ceremony.
After the ceremony, everyone was able to sit down together at a big family style table and enjoy some charcuterie light bites and refreshments… Where Maile and Adam announced to their families that they were once again pregnant!
Historic Mansion Wedding Vendors:
Planning & Photography: Emma Thurgood Weddings
Venue: Charles Cheney Inn
Catering: Graze & Co
Dress: DIY Finds
Vow Books: Love Struck Lettering on Etsy
Invitations: Basic Invite
Tablescapes: Smarty Had A Party & Efavormart