ACE Finalist: Connecticut Wedding Group, Part 1

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August 25, 2017

Mid-March, winners of the ACE awards took the stage at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. To enter, each contender was asked to identify the two events the company completed that it felt best represented the company, as well as challenges and favorite aspects.

Throughout the year, will profile the winners and nominees of the 2017 ACE awards. In the next installation of our series, we are placing a keen eye on Connecticut Wedding Group, a runner up in the category of catering in the east region over $2 million.


The Barns at Wesleyan Hills Nuptials

Photo Irene Koles

The Barns, as Connecticut Wedding Group (CTW) refers to it, is a historic dairy barn dating back to 1872. As the exclusive catering and wedding planning team at The Barns, the company sees a variety of barn wedding styles come to life, from rustic country with burlap, mason jars, and hay bales, to rustic chic style weddings with chiffon, chandeliers, and candelabras—and everything in between.

What set the clients’ wedding apart from the others was the couple’s classic and elegant style, which allowed the 144 year-old barn to be transformed into a rustic, elegant, and non-traditional space for a wedding.

Photo Irene Koles


The heat was one of the biggest challenges CTW faced for Kim & Steve’s wedding, mentioned Mary-Beth McDowell, Director of Wedding Planning. “The temperature reached close to 90 degrees, and although their photos show beautiful sunny skies, they didn’t show the humidity. The goal we had set on their wedding day was to keep guests as comfortable as we could pre-ceremony and during the ceremony, before they stepped into the air conditioning inside The Barns.”

While guests were outside waiting for the ceremony to begin, they were able to enjoy a beautiful champagne and fruit infused water station to keep hydrated and cool.

Photo Irene Koles

The other challenge the company faced was decorating The Barns in the elegant and classic fashion that defined the couple’s wedding style. “Many couples getting married in a barn like more rustic elements,” said McDowell, “such as mason jars and burlap. Kim and Steve had a different vision, with less country rustic elements and more upscale décor and design. They were also very specific in how they wanted certain décor items set up, including their place card and gift tables. Our team needed to make sure we were on point in decorating and paying attention to the littlest details. Although it was a challenge, their beautiful wedding vision, down to the littlest details, is one of the many reasons we absolutely love how this wedding turned out.”

Photo Irene Koles

Favorite touches

“Our two favorite aspects from Kim and Steve’s wedding were their décor and the food!” said McDowell. “Every last detail in Kim and Steve’s decor design was planned thoroughly; from beautiful candelabras, white and blush flowers, and hints of navy throughout to place card boxes adorned with succulents, their wedding was the perfect amount of rustic and elegant.”

Guests danced the night away with the couple, underneath crystal chandeliers and cascading fabric that transformed The Barns into the wedding space the couple had been dreaming of.

A seasonally inspired menu started at the bar with a signature cocktail, Bumbleberry Lemonade (freshly squeezed lemonade infused with Lyman Orchards berries and citrus vodka). Cocktail hour featured locally sourced oysters and clams, shucked to order, as well as the executive chef’s collection of farm to table hors d’oeuvres. “Our favorite was the grilled flatbread with ricotta, native tomatoes, local spinach and onion, and a Connecticut honey drizzle,” said McDowell. Dinner was composed of locally made sundried tomato and mascarpone ravioli, salad with Lyman Orchards strawberries, and entrée selections of chicken caprese with native tomatoes, Filet Mignon with merlot and local blackberry reduction, and Atlantic salmon with native corn salsa. Following dinner, guests enjoyed homemade cupcakes and whoopie pies from Kim & Steve’s family, a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Sundae Bar, and cigars rolled right in front of guests with Connecticut tobacco. From beginning to end, the food and beverage aspects of Kim & Steve’s wedding were so special and made for an incredibly delicious meal.

Kathleen Stoehr is the Director of Community & Content Strategy for Catersource Conference & Tradeshow.

Next week on CT Wedding Group’s Lyman Orchard Nuptials

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