Romantic Connecticut wedding blog offering quick tips and news

Call or text 860-543-2334 for free help or advice.

No wedding website would be complete without a blog.

You’ll find thoughts and ideas about touches that may enhance your wedding, and news about real 21st century weddings.

Blog entries are in reverse chronological order.

Getting married in 2023?

Special 2023 wedding notes

Couples have reported that their wedding date in 2023 was unavailable for their preferred wedding venue.

Many couples have postponed their weddings due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This caused a lot of the best wedding venues in Connecticut to be fully booked on 2023 weekends (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). You may need to schedule your wedding on a weekday in 2023. This may mean having your wedding in the late afternoon or evening (how about having a sunset wedding?)

You can see the sunset time for any day at SunriseSunset.Com by selecting your venue’s city or town plus your month, then clicking om “Make Calendar”. You’ll get a calendar grid, and you can click on “Printer Version” to get the compact version. For example, for an Elizabeth Park wedding on Monday, July 3, 2023, sunset will be at 8:29 PM and the full moon will rise at 9:22 PM (imagine your wedding photos in front of a full moon!).

Notes about 2023 holidays in Connecticut

You can get married on holidays! (Just be sure to get your Marriage License beforehand.)

Please note that Town Clerks’ Offices will be closed on legal holidays, so you’ll need to get your marriage license ahead of time. Some Town Clerks’ Offices may close early the day before and / or be closed entirely the day after, e.g., Thanksgiving.

2023 Public Holidays in Connecticut — (Entries in parentheses are not official state holidays, but social / cultural / religious holidays)
January 1, Sunday — New Year’s Day (officially begins the New Year)
January 2, Monday — New Year’s Holiday (celebrated as a public holiday))
January 16, Monday — Martin Luther King Jr. Day
(January 21, Saturday — National Hug Day)
(January 22, Sunday — Chinese New Year [begins the year of the rabbit; a year of hope])
February 12, Sunday — Lincoln’s Birthday (actual)
February 13, Monday — Lincoln’s Birthday (celebrated as a public holiday)
(February 14, Tuesday — Valentine’s Day)
February 20, Monday — President’s Day & Washington’s Birthday
(February 22, Wednesday — Ash Wednesday)
(March 12, Sunday — Daylight Saving Time begins [spring forward])
(March 14, Tuesday — Pi Day [3.14....])
(March 17, Friday — St. Patrick’s Day)
(March 20, Monday — Vernal Equinox / First Day of Spring [northern hemisphere])
(March 22, Wednesday — Ramadan begins)
(April 1, Saturday — April Fool’s Day)
(April 5, Saturday — Passover begins)
(April 7, Friday — Good Friday)
(April 9, Sunday — Easter)
(April 26, Wednesday — Admin. Assistant’s Day)
(May 4, Thursday — Star Wars Day [May the 4th be with you!])
(May 14, Sunday — Mother’s Day)
(May 28, Sunday — Pentecost)
May 29, Monday — Memorial Day
(June 14, Wednesday — Flag Day)
(June 18, Sunday — Father’s Day)
(June 21, Wednesday — Summer Solstice [northern hemisphere])
July 4, Tuesday — Independence Day
(August 6, Sunday — Friendship Day)
(August 9, Wednesday — Book Lover’s Day)
(August 17, Thursday — Black Cat Appreciation Day)
(August 26, Saturday — National Dog Day)
September 4, Monday — Labor Day
(September 15, Friday — Rosh Hashanah)
(September 23, Saturday — Autumnal Equinox / First Day of Fall [northern hemisphere])
October 9, Monday — Columbus Day / Indigenous Peoples Day
(October 31, Monday — Halloween / Samhain)
(November 5, Sunday — Daylight Saving Time ends [fall back])
November 10, Friday — Veterans Day (celebrated as a public holiday)
November 11, Friday — Veterans Day (actual)
November 23, Thursday — Thanksgiving
(November 24, Friday — Black Friday – likely closures)
(December 7, Thursday — Hanukkah begins)
(December 21, Thursday — Winter Solstice [northern hemisphere])
(December 24, Sunday — Christmas Eve
(December 25, Sunday — Christmas Day)
December 26, Monday — Christmas (celebrated as a public holiday; likely closures)
(December 26, Monday — Kwanzaa begins)
(December 31, Sunday — New Year’s Eve – likely early closures)
January 1, 2023, Monday — New Year’s Day – (officially the New Year’s public holiday; likely closures)

You are welcome to call or text me at 860-543-2334 any time to discuss your wedding day! (Or use the Contact Form, if you prefer!)

Wisdom from Nina Sheffield (a wedding photographer on Instagram)

“I can’t believe I never shared this First Look!”

Nina says, “If you’re torn between wanting to go the more traditional route of seeing your partner when walking down the aisle vs doing a first look, I always recommend the first look for a couple reasons! Not only does it calm those wedding jitters, but it adds an opportunity to get lots of extra couple's portraits and family portraits out of the way before the ceremony. It’s so important as a wedding photographer for me to grab as many “reaction” photos as possible and when you add the music and are surrounded by all your friends and family, the look on your loved one’s face is typically just as priceless as their first look reaction!”

Please click on the right of the Instagram photo to see the rest of Nina’s photos of this First Look. (The photo is not reproduced here out of respect for Nina’s intellectual property rights.)

Photos of your wedding day are especially important to you, and everyone will want to see them. The emotions of the unposed images are often the strongest and most heartwarming.

Summertime is peak wedding time!

And there’s still time for your wedding!

June through September tends to the busiest time of year for weddings. (December through February tends to be the engagement season.) No matter what time of year it is, your wedding is at the right time for you.

July and August are usually the hottest months in Connecticut, and things start cooling off in September. Mid-October is peak foliage season, giving you colorful backgrounds for your wedding photographs.

There are still some weekend dates open for your wedding. Please give me a call or text at 860-543-2334 to reserve your wedding date.

Happy New Year!

Weddings are happening now, even in chilly January.

A wonderful couple's wedding on January 2nd was my first wedding of 2019. It was very different from my last wedding because 2018 ended with a home wedding, surrounded by friends and family, while 2019 began with a wedding at Branford Mansion at Avery Point in Groton, Connecticut. (No photos of the January 2nd wedding to respect the couple’s privacy.)

Engagement season has begun for 2021!

Valentine’s Day is Sunday, February 14, 2021. (But you didn’t need the reminder, right?r) For some couples, Valentine’s Day is also Engagement Day. You don’t have much time left to plan whether you’re going to celebrate on Sunday the 14th or Friday the 12th or Saturday the 13th. When the two of you plan ahead, any day is romantic!

Years ago, a wise person told me that your time between the answer to “Will you marry me?” through your honeymoon should be the happiest time of your life. You’ll have the happy romantic glow of knowing you’re joining in passionate union and won’t yet have settled into the daily routine of married life. Enjoy it! Cherish the days to your wedding! You’re marrying the love of your life.

Thanksgiving is always a time of gratitude for me.

2020 brought many loving couples to be married in romantic settings.

Whether they have eloped, just the three of us, had a couple of friends with them to share their joy in eloping, or had formal weddings with dozens of guests, each couple has been a treasure.

For privacy reasons, nobody will be mentioned by name. Each couple is unique, and so is every wedding. Every wedding is like a cherished jewel.

One groom-to-be texted me late at night, thinking that I’d return his message the following morning. He and his fiancée were surprised that I happened to be up making changes to this website. We texted back and forth, planning their elopement for the next day. (They were on their way from Florida to Boston to visit friends. They’d seen how easy it is to get married in Connecticut and decided to tie the knot on their way.) We met at a convenient Town Hall along their way, they got their marriage license, and we held their ceremony at a park nearby. After their wedding, they got their certified copy of their marriage license and continued toward Boston a legally-married couple.

2021 update to this couple’s romantic story:

A few weeks before this couple’s anniversary, the groom called me and made me a part of his anniversary plans. Originally, he hadn’t been able to afford an engagement ring, and had felt badly about it. In 2021, he had bought a nice diamond ring, unbeknownst to his bride. We plotted a “vow renewal” ceremony for their anniversary date, at the same place they’d had their wedding ceremony. (He kept it a secret from the bride, and on their trip back to Connecticut, he asked her if she wanted to do a vow renewal on their anniversary, as if he’d just thought of it.) On the special day, we met again. He got down on one knee and said, “Will you marry me all over again?” then opened the ring box. (To say that she was surprised is like saying that water is slightly damp.) All three of us had happy tears in our eyes.

The number of morning phone calls that began “I know it’s short notice, but …” I’ve received is beyond counting. Usually, I reply “What time this morning would you like to get married?” Frequently the person is surprised and answers, “Oh, no. We want to get married the day after tomorrow.” Or sometimes, “Well, I’m getting deployed soon, and my fiancée and her family will be here tomorrow. Could we do it then?” “Certainly!” is almost always my response. At times we have to work around other weddings, but that’s not a problem.

This year I’ve had the honor of officiating at some amazing weddings, and I’m grateful for each and every one. And the year’s not over yet!

Added a new wedding venue: Gillette Castle!

Gillette Castle State Park is in both East Haddam and Lyme, Connecticut. The Castle’s grounds are especially vibrant with color for your fall wedding.

Please visit the new Gillette Castle Page to see photos of this classic Connecticut wedding venue.

Added a new wedding venue: Devil’s Hopyard!

Devil’s Hopyard State Park in East Haddam, Connecticut is beautiful in the spring, summer, and fall.

Update: You spoke, and I listened. The image carousels no longer advance by timing. You control them yourself!

To serve you better, I’m experimenting with image carousels to show more photos on a Page without you having to scroll. What do you think about the new Devil’s Hopyard Page? Now it's set to advance the slides automatically at five-second intervals. Is that too fast? Too slow? If you would rather click through the slides yourself, you can do that.

Your feedback via text or voice at 860-543-2334 would be appreciated! Thank you in advance.

Summer is the most popular time of year to get married.

Couples get married on beaches, in state parks, in their back yards, and sometimes even in airconditioned comfort.

New England weather is always changing. Although we have may planned for a beach wedding at a Connecticut state park such as Harkness Memorial State Park, the weather may force us to change our minds.

For an elopement or a wedding ceremony with a small number of guests, moving inside should not be a problem; we could just move to a restaurant. For a guest list of 100 people, it would be a nightmare without having a fallback plan.

Because Connecticut now requires a couple to get their marriage license in the same town as which they’re going to get married, making a plan B is important. Recently, a couple had wanted their Saturday wedding by the lake that was in their homeowners’ association’s park, so they got their marriage license in that town. During the week before their wedding, the couple heard that the forecast was for thunderstorms on that Saturday. They did a smart thing: They applied for a marriage license in the town where their favorite restaurant was. Saturday brought a deluge. The couple had their wedding in their favorite restaurant instead of the park.

If you get a marriage license and end up not getting married in that town, you can either take the unused license back to that town hall or just destroy the license. (Even though the Town Clerk will appreciate your having returned the license, there is no refund for an unused marriage license.) You can look at having two marriage licenses as buying insurance.

Advice via Instagram

Do you like Instagram? Do you follow Instagram.Com/RomWedCt?

WWW.Instagram.Com/TieThatBinds (Mekala Tinnin) offers some sage advice: “If you have special items that you're wearing at the wedding – like heirloom jewelry or the shoes you've always dreamed of – hire a photographer and stylist with skills for the details!”

Discuss your special wedding details with your wedding professionals, especially your professional photographer and wedding officiant. If your bouquet contains a single bloom in memory of a very special person in your life, your handfasting cords have jewelry charms representing unique events in your journey to marriage, or you’re wearing steam punk shoes, please talk to your photographer about extra-special pictures. When you and I discuss your wedding, please be sure to tell me about details that you’d like me to mention, too!

“Where do I need to change my last name now that I’m married?”

Thank you for asking! Your question is so common that I’ve added a Changing Your Name Page. Please contact an attorney licensed to practice law in your state if you need legal advice. I am not an attorney, nor am I allowed to give legal advice.

“We saw on your FAQs Page that we have 65 days to use our license, and that the COVID-19 Pandemic makes it longer. Is that calendar days or business days?”

Thank you for an interesting question! You must have your wedding ceremony within 65 calendar days (longer during the COVID-19 Pandemic!) after receiving your marriage license.

Just a friendly reminder: If you’d like to receive your marriage license on the same day that you apply for it, please apply for your marriage license either in the morning or early afternoon. Your Town Clerk’s office is likely to be busy near the end of the day.

“We’d like to rent the Mansion for our wedding but it’s just too expensive. Can you help us?”

When she called, the bride-to-be said that she, her fiancé, and her family had looked at a mansion on the Connecticut shore for their romantic wedding, but found it too luxurious for their budget. Her parents loved the idea of a wedding at the mansion, but didn’t have the means to make it happen. That meant that the wedding couple had to take on the financial responsibility.

They had been saving money in two accounts: One to buy a house and one for their wedding. She had been doing a lot of painstaking research, including pricing for each element of their wedding day. When they compared the down payment for their new home with the cost of their ideal wedding, they had decided that they should revise their financial priorities. Clearly the mansion wedding was not realistic. Their new home is more important to them in the long term.

The couple still wanted a wedding ceremony and reception by the water, and so did her parents. Other details were precious, too, such as a live music. Could they keep a water-side wedding and buy a home? Yes!

During our conversation, the bride-to-be came to several decisions. If they had their wedding in her hometown, which is also on the Connecticut shoreline, rather than at the mansion 60 miles away, they would save a great deal of money. Obviously, they wouldn’t be renting the mansion. They wouldn’t need the limousine to take the wedding party to the mansion; they could have a local beach wedding. They wouldn’t need to rent hotel rooms to stay the night before their wedding. They could use a local caterer that they knew would do a respectable job, instead of the more expensive catering company that the mansion required all couples to use. Because her parents don’t care for the local wedding hall that is near the beach, the wedding and reception will be on the beach itself. Only a tent will need to be rented, for shelter in case of rain; the tent rental would come with set-up and take-down included.

The bride- and groom-to-be are happy with their new plans. Her parents are not thrilled, but are reasonably happy. I admire the bride-to-be’s hard work and her priorities. And yes, I’ll be their officiant!

Call or text 860-543-2334 for free help or advice.

version 1.31 — 23 January 2023     Copyright © 2023 Ernest Adams