Ezra and I love getting to travel and tell love stories all over the U.S. So when Mai & Matt booked us for their coastal chic wedding at the Eolia Mansion in Waterford, Connecticut, we knew this destination wedding would be one swoon-worthy affair.
Chapter One | When Mai Met Matt
Mai and Matt’s love story started in the most unlikely of places (our favorite kind)! They met on Craigslist when Matt was looking for a roommate, but he was too shy to make the first move – so Mai did! The first time they met up was during their friends’ monthly seafood night, where they shared their very first kiss.
Currently living in Arlington, Virgina, the couple now have an adorable pup named Kona, who of course played a starring role during their dreamy wedding day at the Eolia Mansion in Harkness State Park.
Chapter Two | Washington DC Adventure Engagement Session
Before their wedding, Mai & Matt decided to have a little adventure engagement session in DC. We love, love, LOVED getting to do a longer adventure session with them! Exploring new places over the span of a day is our favorite way to bond with our couples and create unforgettable memories.
You can check out all the details about our Adventure Sessions here.
Ezra and I road tripped from Ohio to meet Mai & Matt at the Lincoln Memorial for sunrise photos. Once we wrapped up their morning portraits, we stopped for lunch nearby in Georgetown. After lunch downtown, we walked to Dumbarton Oaks Garden. Many of the houses along the way were decorated for Halloween, so we stopped for a fall-inspired stoop shoot along the way.
For a little bit of foreshadowing – Mai chose Dumbarton not only because it is stunning, but Beatrix Farrand was the landscaper for the gardens AND the gardens of her dream wedding venue.
The Wedding Destination | Eolia Mansion in Waterfront, Connecticut
A Coastal Chic Wedding Dream
Twelve years ago while Mai was running a 5K as a teenager, she stumbled across the Eolia Mansion that sits on 304 acres of Harkness State Park along the Long Island Sound. From the moment she set eyes on the sprawling estate, it was love at first sight.
Mai knew this was the place she’d marry her best friend some day, and once Matt and her became serious, she booked the venue. Even though they weren’t engaged yet, Mai wasn’t taking any chances on missing out on her dream wedding venue along the Connecticut coast. We’re so glad she did, especially since the venue has a years+ long waitlist!
The Little Details Mean Everything
Mat tragically lost his older brother, Thor, while he was on active duty in an EOD unit. To honor his brother, his best man Stephen, gifted him Thor’s memorial coin. It was an incredibly precious detail and a beautiful way for Mat to have his brother with him.
First Looks at the Cottage & Eolia Mansion Gardens
After getting ready in the coastal cottage available for rent on the property, Mai had her first look with her bridesmaids on the beautifully tended grounds of the cottage near the mansion (where she and the girls got ready).
Mai and Matt then had their first look in the Eolia rose garden – the perfect romantic backdrop to see each other for the first time.
Coastal Outdoor Ceremony
There truly isn’t an inch on the Eolia Mansion grounds that doesn’t take your breath away, and the ceremony was no exception. Mai & Matt said “I do” looking out over the Long Island coastline. As it had rained earlier that morning, the overcast skies made the lighting absolutely stunning during the entire ceremony and reception.
They also had Andante Strings, a live string quartet, play music during the ceremony. It was definitely a highlight when Mai walked down the aisle to their orchestral rendition of Roses by The Chainsmokers.
Cozy Portraits on the Beach
After the ceremony, Mai & Matt snuck off to the beach for intimate wedding portraits. We love anytime we can run off with a couple during the reception to take photos. It’s a beautiful opportunity for them to pause together, and the coastal setting made a truly cinematic moment for them to soak it all in.
The Eolia Mansion Reception
Once they finished portraits along the shore, Mai changed into a gorgeous reception outfit, complete with a pearl-encrusted bow that perfectly matched her wedding ceremony veil. The reception was filled with delectable food, wedding toasts, dancing and an ice cream truck for an extra sweet treat.
Mai had such a strong vision of her dream destination wedding at the Eolia Mansion in Waterford, Connecticut, and it was an honor to capture every little detail. From sweet moments exploring the mansion’s grounds to the wedding’s coastal chic details, everything came together for the most enchanting day – even the weather. Ezra and I will be reminiscing about their destination wedding for years to come.
Interested in a destination wedding or elopement in Connecticut or beyond? We love to travel wherever your wild heart desires! Get in touch through our Contact Form here.
The Wedding Vendors
- Venue: Eolia Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park | Waterford, Connecticut
- Photography: Equilibrium Photos | Ohio Elopement Photographers
- Videography: TMT Weddings | Connecticut
- Florals: Michele Ford Floral Design | Connecticut
- Catering: Coastal Gourmet Catering | Mystic, Connecticut
- Cake: Cakes by Donna | Connecticut
- Ceremony String Quartet: Andante Strings | Connecticut, Massachusetts & Rhode Island
- DJ: DJ Mike Benoit | Main Event Entertainment
- Hair: Good Vibes Beauty Co. | New England
- Makeup: Amelia Mirabello | Connecticut
- Dress: Brooke’s Bridal & Ball | Fairfax, Virginia
- Tux: The Black Tux
- Alterations: Tang’s Alterations | Manassas, Virginia
- Photo Booth: Glam Mirrors | Connecticut
- Tent Decor: EZ Occasions | Connecticut & New England
- Ice Cream Truck: Connecticut Ice Cream Trucks