ACE Finalist: Connecticut Wedding Group, Part 2

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.


Lyman Orchards Golf Club Nuptials


Photo courtesy Connecticut Wedding Group

Amanda and Juan chose Lyman Orchards Golf Club, Middlefield, CT, to host their very special wedding because they loved the beautiful grounds at Lyman Orchards, and also wanted a farm-to-table style wedding. Many of the ingredients used in Amanda and Juan’s menu came right from Lyman Orchards itself and were picked the morning of their wedding. This wedding truly embodied the farm-to-table freshness of the CT Wedding group’s culinary program at its best!


When coordinating a tented wedding, weather is the biggest challenge to overcome. Thankfully, Amanda and Juan had a picture perfect autumn day, with blue skies as far as the eye could see.


Photo courtesy Connecticut Wedding Group

The biggest challenge the company faced with this wedding was the sheer space at Lyman Orchards, and ensuring that the couple was kept on time in order to maximize their dancing time following dinner. “There are 1,100 acres of farmland at Lyman Orchards and so many beautiful places to take pictures,” said Mary Beth McDowell, Director of Wedding Planning. “We had to develop a plan with Amanda, Juan, and their photographer to make sure the perfect photos were captured in the orchards and on the grounds, and ensured that they finished in time for their cocktail hour. Thankfully, Amanda and Juan decided on a beautiful first look at The Lyman Homestead, the original farmhouse on the orchard grounds. The proximity ensured most of their photos were done before the ceremony, and Amanda and Juan could join their cocktail hour.”

The perfect timeline was successfully carried out for Amanda and Juan’s wedding and they got some of the most spectacular photos on the grounds at Lyman Orchards. They also spent over two and half hours dancing after dinner with their closest friends and family!


Photo courtesy Connecticut Wedding Group

Favorite touches

“The couple’s dinner menu was definitely our most favorite aspect of their evening as well as some of the culinary experiences and leisure activities they blended into their evening,” said McDowell. As guests arrived from the ceremony, they were provided with the signature cocktail for the evening: The Fireside (bourbon, cranberry-ginger-Lyman apple cider blend, bitters).

“While guests were sipping, they enjoyed hors d’oeuvres such as our BBQ pulled pork tacos with Lyman apple cider infused BBQ sauce, and a local sweet potato slaw—plus tried their luck on the driving range. A PGA professional was on hand during cocktail hour to provide lessons for guests; swings being perfected one at a time!” said McDowell.

The dinner began with native corn chowder, made with corn from JC Farms shucked the morning of the wedding. Guests enjoyed a salad course featuring Lyman Orchards apples and cider vinaigrette. “Our most favorite entrée offered was the Lyman Orchards chicken with Lyman apple and aged Vermont cheddar stuffing and a bourbon cider glaze,” said McDowell.



Photo courtesy Connecticut Wedding Group

For dessert, the couple chose to offer Lyman Orchards apple crumb pie and cider donuts, as well as locally made mini cupcakes and cannolis. A true farm-to-table style wedding was enjoyed by all!


Want to enter your best events into the 2018 ACE awards competition? Click here for more information! The submission process begins 9/11/2017.



Kathleen Stoehr

Kathleen Stoehr is the Director of Community & Content Strategy for Catersource, which includes print and digital content, as well as live education at both Catersource and the Art of Catering Food.