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Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park

Waterford , CT

LOCATION

Waterford, CT US
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Wedding Venue

REVIEWS

4.6
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4.9/5.0
4.7/5.0
4.8/5.0
4.6/5.0
4.2/5.0
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Ariana
Wedding:
8/24/2013
4.6/5.0
We got married at Eolia last weekend and it was absolutely beautiful. Eolia is such a gorgeous venue! My guests loved touring the gardens and park grounds and I received nothing but compliments. The pergola was perfect for our ceremony and the pictures are absolutely stunning.

Planning at this venue is a bit tricky. Vendors don't have a lot of time to get in and set up, so having a day-of coordinator is absolutely essential. Drawbacks: the rental fee is expensive (but compared to similar venues, it's mid-range) and you can only use their preferred caterers. Also, the way the mansion is divided means that if you're having a wedding with more than 70 guests, you'll be split up into different rooms.

The Harkness personnel were very responsive and we're very happy we chose Eolia.
We got married at Eolia last weekend and it was absolutely beautiful. Eolia is such a gorgeous venue! My guests loved Read more...
We got married at Eolia last weekend and it was absolutely beautiful. Eolia is such a gorgeous venue! My guests loved touring the gardens and park grounds and I received nothing but compliments. The pergola was perfect for our ceremony and the pictures are absolutely stunning.

Planning at this venue is a bit tricky. Vendors don't have a lot of time to get in and set up, so having a day-of coordinator is absolutely essential. Drawbacks: the rental fee is expensive (but compared to similar venues, it's mid-range) and you can only use their preferred caterers. Also, the way the mansion is divided means that if you're having a wedding with more than 70 guests, you'll be split up into different rooms.

The Harkness personnel were very responsive and we're very happy we chose Eolia. Read less
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Private User
Wedding:
8/2/2013
3.2/5.0
Harkness park is a beautiful and romantic place to get married. I would recommended it to anyone! I wish that the lady in charge of the mansion events was a bit nicer and more personable. There were a few complaints from a few of the guests. . That is my only issue with the venue. Thank you.
Harkness park is a beautiful and romantic place to get married. I would recommended it to anyone! I wish that the lady in Read more...
Harkness park is a beautiful and romantic place to get married. I would recommended it to anyone! I wish that the lady in charge of the mansion events was a bit nicer and more personable. There were a few complaints from a few of the guests. . That is my only issue with the venue. Thank you. Read less
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
4.5/5.0
We LOVED our wedding at Harkness State Park. I had a ton of questions and Sally was super-responsive. The venue is gorgeous and elegant, and our guests RAVED about the atmosphere and venue. The only drawback is that as a state owned facility, they are very rigid with their rules and have a very limited caterer selection (3). That said, this also means that the caterers all are very experienced with the Harkness venue and rules ...which actually gives you peace of mind that all will go smoothly (which it did for us!).
We LOVED our wedding at Harkness State Park. I had a ton of questions and Sally was super-responsive. The venue is Read more...
We LOVED our wedding at Harkness State Park. I had a ton of questions and Sally was super-responsive. The venue is gorgeous and elegant, and our guests RAVED about the atmosphere and venue. The only drawback is that as a state owned facility, they are very rigid with their rules and have a very limited caterer selection (3). That said, this also means that the caterers all are very experienced with the Harkness venue and rules ...which actually gives you peace of mind that all will go smoothly (which it did for us!). Read less
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Anonymous
Wedding:
1+ year ago
4.2/5.0
I recently had my wedding at Harkness State Park and it was unforgettable. Rain or shine, this is a beautiful place for a wedding. All my guests were blown away by the beauty of the mansion and the gardens. Not much extra decoration is needed, the venue is already so beautiful! The grounds provided ample opportunities for our photographer to snap some amazing shots! The only complaint I have is that you have to pay an extra NON-REFUNDABLE $500 to get married in the garden next to the mansion. While it was worth it, I find it silly to charge so much extra for a spot that is already located on the mansion grounds. On the positive side of things, it was supposed to rain on our wedding day so we asked if we could put off paying the additional $500 until we had a better idea of whether we could hold the wedding outside or not. This was great since the money is non-refundable. It ended up being a beautiful day, so we paid our deposit in cash and were able to have a gorgeous outdoor ceremony!

If you want to get married at this venue be sure to sign up at least a year and a half in advance! Also, the bottom of your dress will get dirty! The dance floor is stone and will trash the bottom of your dress...as long as your photos are done, I didn't see the harm in this. That's why you can clean wedding dresses anyway. Also, it is a public park, so we did have some people peeking in on our wedding, but for the most part they were very respectful. I wasn't bothered by this at all. Yes, they are strict about the time, but it's a state park so there are many rules and regulations they need to abide by. All of these are such little issues, it didn't take away from the quality of the venue. Harkness is perfect for a fairytale wedding!!!
I recently had my wedding at Harkness State Park and it was unforgettable. Rain or shine, this is a beautiful place for a Read more...
I recently had my wedding at Harkness State Park and it was unforgettable. Rain or shine, this is a beautiful place for a wedding. All my guests were blown away by the beauty of the mansion and the gardens. Not much extra decoration is needed, the venue is already so beautiful! The grounds provided ample opportunities for our photographer to snap some amazing shots! The only complaint I have is that you have to pay an extra NON-REFUNDABLE $500 to get married in the garden next to the mansion. While it was worth it, I find it silly to charge so much extra for a spot that is already located on the mansion grounds. On the positive side of things, it was supposed to rain on our wedding day so we asked if we could put off paying the additional $500 until we had a better idea of whether we could hold the wedding outside or not. This was great since the money is non-refundable. It ended up being a beautiful day, so we paid our deposit in cash and were able to have a gorgeous outdoor ceremony!

If you want to get married at this venue be sure to sign up at least a year and a half in advance! Also, the bottom of your dress will get dirty! The dance floor is stone and will trash the bottom of your dress...as long as your photos are done, I didn't see the harm in this. That's why you can clean wedding dresses anyway. Also, it is a public park, so we did have some people peeking in on our wedding, but for the most part they were very respectful. I wasn't bothered by this at all. Yes, they are strict about the time, but it's a state park so there are many rules and regulations they need to abide by. All of these are such little issues, it didn't take away from the quality of the venue. Harkness is perfect for a fairytale wedding!!! Read less
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Jennifer
Wedding:
10/27/2012
5.0/5.0
I LOVE this venue. Our wedding day could not have been more beautiful. This gorgeous Italian style mansion sitting on the water in CT was the perfect setting. We got married under the pergola with the beautiful vines and Italian gardens. It was breathtaking. We had so many compliments. I wouldn't have picked anywhere else. So pleased!!
I LOVE this venue. Our wedding day could not have been more beautiful. This gorgeous Italian style mansion sitting on the Read more...
I LOVE this venue. Our wedding day could not have been more beautiful. This gorgeous Italian style mansion sitting on the water in CT was the perfect setting. We got married under the pergola with the beautiful vines and Italian gardens. It was breathtaking. We had so many compliments. I wouldn't have picked anywhere else. So pleased!! Read less
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Kelly
Wedding:
10/7/2012
4.6/5.0
My wedding and reception were held on October 7, 2012 at Eolia Mansion in Harkness State Park. I'm not sure I can accurately convey with words alone the BEAUTY of this place. It's phenomenal!! (Call me biased, it's OK!) After only looking at a few other venues, my husband and I knew we had to have our wedding at Eolia. I'll second what everyone else has said that this venue feels magical, the gardens are meticulously maintained, and the mansion itself is gorgeous. The fact that this venue is right on the LI sound only makes it that much better. When I was a little girl I dreamed of a mansion, a garden, and water. It was literally like walking into the dream of what my wedding should be.
A few things I learned. If you are interested in this venue, get there as soon as possible to look. We ended up booking our date a year and a half out due to it's popularity. There are only a few approved caterers to choose from. We ended up going with Cloud Nine Catering. They were fantastic. Although some may think that this is a con, I actually think it is a HUGE pro that the caterers must be approved by the venue. There are a lot of things that the venue will not waver on, such as times the caterer and other vendors are allowed into the mansion for set up (3PM, our ceremony started at 4:30.) Since Cloud Nine has done weddings there, they had set up scheduled down to the minute. This made things go smoothly. This is a State Park, so they are pretty strict with their rules, that's why I gave flexibility 3 stars. However, Sally is fantastic to work with. She's friendly, responsive and knowledgeable. Based on this alone, I'd highly recommend going with Eolia. A few other things...The mansion provides tables, chairs, and use of the venue. That's it. Your caterer will need to work with you on all the other details. I actually really enjoyed designing everything else myself.
Overall this is an excellent venue. Feel free to contact with questions.
My wedding and reception were held on October 7, 2012 at Eolia Mansion in Harkness State Park. I'm not sure I can Read more...
My wedding and reception were held on October 7, 2012 at Eolia Mansion in Harkness State Park. I'm not sure I can accurately convey with words alone the BEAUTY of this place. It's phenomenal!! (Call me biased, it's OK!) After only looking at a few other venues, my husband and I knew we had to have our wedding at Eolia. I'll second what everyone else has said that this venue feels magical, the gardens are meticulously maintained, and the mansion itself is gorgeous. The fact that this venue is right on the LI sound only makes it that much better. When I was a little girl I dreamed of a mansion, a garden, and water. It was literally like walking into the dream of what my wedding should be.
A few things I learned. If you are interested in this venue, get there as soon as possible to look. We ended up booking our date a year and a half out due to it's popularity. There are only a few approved caterers to choose from. We ended up going with Cloud Nine Catering. They were fantastic. Although some may think that this is a con, I actually think it is a HUGE pro that the caterers must be approved by the venue. There are a lot of things that the venue will not waver on, such as times the caterer and other vendors are allowed into the mansion for set up (3PM, our ceremony started at 4:30.) Since Cloud Nine has done weddings there, they had set up scheduled down to the minute. This made things go smoothly. This is a State Park, so they are pretty strict with their rules, that's why I gave flexibility 3 stars. However, Sally is fantastic to work with. She's friendly, responsive and knowledgeable. Based on this alone, I'd highly recommend going with Eolia. A few other things...The mansion provides tables, chairs, and use of the venue. That's it. Your caterer will need to work with you on all the other details. I actually really enjoyed designing everything else myself.
Overall this is an excellent venue. Feel free to contact with questions. Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
5.0/5.0
This mansion is worth every single penny you put into it!!!!! All the money goes back into Harkness memorial park not into the state fund which I thought was really awesome!! I recommend doing stations that way people can walk into every room and not feel confined to their seats. It's beautiful with the night breeze going through it. I love this place!! The only draw back is that the mansion is only open 2 hrs before your event. I would have loved to have gotten ready there in the morning in that beautiful room upstairs, taken pictures, and then had the ceremony on site. I understand why they do it but it would have been awesome to have my getting ready photos in that room. That being said I would have my ceremony and reception here any day of the week and twice on Sundays!!
This mansion is worth every single penny you put into it!!!!! All the money goes back into Harkness memorial park not into Read more...
This mansion is worth every single penny you put into it!!!!! All the money goes back into Harkness memorial park not into the state fund which I thought was really awesome!! I recommend doing stations that way people can walk into every room and not feel confined to their seats. It's beautiful with the night breeze going through it. I love this place!! The only draw back is that the mansion is only open 2 hrs before your event. I would have loved to have gotten ready there in the morning in that beautiful room upstairs, taken pictures, and then had the ceremony on site. I understand why they do it but it would have been awesome to have my getting ready photos in that room. That being said I would have my ceremony and reception here any day of the week and twice on Sundays!! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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Meredith
Wedding:
9/1/2012
4.7/5.0
Eolia Mansion is gorgeous. Where else can you get ocean views, beautiful gardens, tons of space, an amazing mansion and a tented terrace? While it is not cheap, the value in is in all that is included in the rental price, including the tent, chairs and your choice of various sized tables. We used a variety of long and round tables to encourage mingling at our stations style dinner. When we were initially choosing a venue, I was shocked to find how expensive it is to rent a tent for an indoor/outdoor wedding reception, which makes Eolia even more valuable. The mansion also has many neutral spaces that you can decorate and make your own. It can book years in advance, so plan accordingly. It is well worth the wait!
Eolia Mansion is gorgeous. Where else can you get ocean views, beautiful gardens, tons of space, an amazing mansion and a Read more...
Eolia Mansion is gorgeous. Where else can you get ocean views, beautiful gardens, tons of space, an amazing mansion and a tented terrace? While it is not cheap, the value in is in all that is included in the rental price, including the tent, chairs and your choice of various sized tables. We used a variety of long and round tables to encourage mingling at our stations style dinner. When we were initially choosing a venue, I was shocked to find how expensive it is to rent a tent for an indoor/outdoor wedding reception, which makes Eolia even more valuable. The mansion also has many neutral spaces that you can decorate and make your own. It can book years in advance, so plan accordingly. It is well worth the wait! Read less
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Maria
Wedding:
8/19/2012
4.6/5.0
What can I say... The view is breathtaking!! The mansion is a one stop deal for your wedding. You can have your ceremony, pictures and reception all in one place. Simply beautiful! We were so happy with our choice of the mansion. It was absolutely beautiful at night with all the candles and sconces lit up, a true fairy tale wedding.. Thank you Sally!!
What can I say... The view is breathtaking!! The mansion is a one stop deal for your wedding. You can have your ceremony, Read more...
What can I say... The view is breathtaking!! The mansion is a one stop deal for your wedding. You can have your ceremony, pictures and reception all in one place. Simply beautiful! We were so happy with our choice of the mansion. It was absolutely beautiful at night with all the candles and sconces lit up, a true fairy tale wedding.. Thank you Sally!! Read less
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Anonymous
Wedding:
2+ years ago
4.4/5.0
This is the most fabulous venue for our recent wedding. The gardens were in full bloom and were just gorgeous. The mansion has so much character and an old world feel. We loved the ocean view and the beautiful grounds. Because it is a state run property, there is little flexibility to change things, like the time to get into the mansion to prep, etc. Also, the bar has to be shut down 30 min before the end of the wedding due to state laws. Aside from that, everything was fantastic!
This is the most fabulous venue for our recent wedding. The gardens were in full bloom and were just gorgeous. The mansion Read more...
This is the most fabulous venue for our recent wedding. The gardens were in full bloom and were just gorgeous. The mansion has so much character and an old world feel. We loved the ocean view and the beautiful grounds. Because it is a state run property, there is little flexibility to change things, like the time to get into the mansion to prep, etc. Also, the bar has to be shut down 30 min before the end of the wedding due to state laws. Aside from that, everything was fantastic! Read less
Services Used: Wedding Venue
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