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Venue Spotlight – The Wadsworth Mansion

Welcome to our Venue Spotlight! A new Blog segment where we will be showing off some of our favorite Wedding Venues and highlighting our favorite features and facts about each of them!

For our next Venue Spotlight we are showcasing – The Wadsworth Mansion! The Wadsworth Mansion is a historic Mansion & event space in Middletown, CT!

There is a never ending list of things to love about The Wadsworth Mansion!

Some of our Favorite Features are as follows:
– What make The Wadsworth Mansion unique is that it is a Historic building & an absolutely gorgeous one! It has a grand entry way with stunning pillars, amazing ballrooms, and a balcony that overlooks the sprawling well manicured grounds that the mansion sits on.
– Various on-site Ceremony Locations & Bridal Suite!
– Wonderful Staff –  Though the years of photographing Weddings at the mansion we have really gotten to know the staff and we are here to say that they are all amazing people! We even photographed the Executive Director Megan’s Wedding! (See some below!)


We took some time to chat with Jessica Hess, the Director of Events at the Wadsworth Mansion! Here is what she had to say:

1. Tell us a bit about yourself! What is your favorite part about your job at The Wadsworth Mansion? How did you get started at The Mansion? What is your background/past jobs that prepared you for your position at The Mansion?

I have always loved the Mansion. Actually, I grew up right down the street from it and used to hike to the grounds when I was a child, while the Mansion was in disrepair. I remember standing in the overgrown back lawn and looking at the boarded-up windows thinking “if this place ever gets fixed up, it would be a magical place for my wedding”. Lucky for me, the City of Middletown decided it was worth the investment and fixed it up! In 2011 I celebrated my own wedding at the Mansion, and it was a dream come true.

A couple years later, in 2013, I had the opportunity to return to the Mansion when I was hired as an Event Supervisor – my first job after having spent a few years as a stay-at-home mom. I had worked in several customer service and office management roles and while living overseas when my husband served in the Navy, had volunteered my time with the Family Readiness Group to plan events and fundraisers for the command he was assigned to.

My educational background is a degree in Psychology and Sociology which has helped how I approach and interact with my clients and potential Wadsworth couples. In mid 2014 I began my position as Director of Events and Sales and while I don’t work at nearly as many weddings as I used to, I love meeting with clients and helping them see their wedding vision come to life at the Mansion. Nothing brings me more joy than seeing them light up as they walk through our doors and see the space!

2. What makes The Wadsworth Mansion unique? What benefits does booking with The Mansion offer your brides?

The Mansion is one of the few venues in Connecticut that allows couples the ability to host a celebration in a true historic building. It was built in the early 1900s and was intended for entertaining. Tucked in wooded parklands and carefully manicured lawns, it is the quintessential country estate.  Couples who choose the Mansion are looking for a venue that provides a unique experience for their guests with a fully customizable event. With 103 acres of manicured land and parklands, stunning Beaux Arts style ballrooms, floor to ceiling windows on the south facing façade, and an expansive terrace overlooking a sprawling vista, couples are inspired by the history and architecture to design a wedding that fits their vision.

We only host one event a day and close the grounds to the public, so couples have exclusive use of the Mansion and grounds for the duration of their event. With a comprehensive list of caterers who vary in style, service options, and pricing, clients have the ability to customize their celebration to fit their style and budget. We are ideal for the couple looking for a unique space that offers options for indoor and outdoor use. We also have a really amazing team here who will work with couples throughout their planning process for a seamless experience from the day they book to their wedding day!

3. What is one thing brides are always happy about with having their Wedding at The  Wadsworth Mansion?

The overall experience of our space. They love the grand estate feel, the fact that whatever they bring in for decor only enhances the beauty of our grounds and ballrooms. And with our layout, the night always ends with a full dance floor!

4. What trends have you been seeing for 2023 & 2024 Weddings?

The big one is tented weddings or al fresco events. In the past year we’ve hosted more of those than we ever did. Inquiries for 2024 and beyond are more frequently asking about that option. Greenery walls or customized backdrops for welcome drinks, photo booths, or seating charts have been quite popular. Champagne towers have been making a comeback.

5. Having gotten married yourself – what is one thing you are so happy you included for your own wedding? And one thing you wish you had done?

I’m so glad I kept our celebration small with just the people who were most important to us. It was still a blur but, it wasn’t overwhelming. We also planned our wedding on a Sunday so we enjoyed 3 full days with our loved ones, starting Friday evening through the reception on Sunday afternoon.

I wish I had hired a videographer. It’s been 13 years since we hosted our reception and people didn’t have iPhone’s at the ready to record moments like the speeches, first dance, etc. I have memories of a beautiful speech my sister gave but can’t remember a single thing she said. At the end of it all, the only physical takeaway from a wedding are the photos or recordings. I should have invested more in that.

6. What makes working with us at Brian Ambrose Photography enjoyable?

Brian and his team have been shooting weddings and events at the Mansion since we first opened our doors and he knows our grounds, and the best places for photos inside and out. His team is always professional, easy to work with, and has a great eye for capturing memorable moments.

7. Tell us anything else you would like to share about your personal life, work life, fun facts, or more!

I have three kids, four pets, an identical twin sister who looks like me but is absolutely nothing like me. I love hiking, history, and coming from a musical family background, I sing on occasion at events (not any Mansion weddings, though!) and every night while cooking dinner with my kids.


We just LOVE the Wadsworth Mansion! We cannot wait to photograph another wedding there – and as a matter of fact we have our next Wedding there in just over a week! How exciting!


For info about The Wadsworth Mansion visit their website!

Visit our Weddings Page & Blog for more Wedding photos by us!

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