Eolia: The Mansion at Harkness State Park275 Great Neck Road
Waterford, CT 06385
(860) 443-5725 View their website Average Cost: $25,000 *Average cost for THIS venue is calculated by figuring a 125-person guest list for a 5-hour event rental of the property on a Saturday night featuring top-shelf bar options and a seated meal. Transportation to venue, entertainment, decor, and flowers are not included. Average price includes 20% gratuity and 6% CT sales tax. Price is rounded up to the nearest thousand.
How it breaks downFacility Rental Fee: $4,450 includes a 5 hour event window and 2 1/2 hours for setup and breakdown.
Party On! Events must end at midnight. Additional hours outside your 5-hour event time frame will cost you $875/per hour. Events must start after 5 p.m. during the period from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
What’s Included in the Venue Fee? Tent, tables, and Chivari chairs. Staff is also present throughout the event to make sure nothing goes wrong (these are not wedding coordinators, however). The Seaside Ampitheater is included in the rental fee for ceremonies.
Space Type: Inside and Outside. Ceremonies are typically held at the Seaside Ampitheater, which is a 5-minute walk from the mansion. If it’s raining, ceremonies can also be held in the tent. Dining tables are set up in the Music Room (photo below).
Size: Up to 150 people
Food Service Type: Buffet or Seated
Bridal Suite: Yes
How Will Grandma Get There? There are hotels close by, so guests can drive and park or you can arrange a shuttle to and from the hotels. The closest (and apparently nicest) hotels are the Marriott Mystic (which has a spa) and a Hyatt.
Parking: There is ample parking on the grounds.
The Report: Eolia was the summer mansion of the Harkness family (Mary and Edward Harkness). Edward’s father was a silent partner of John. D. Rockerfeller in the Standard Oil Company (read: he was very rich). It is currently managed as a State Park, and sits on 230 seaside acres with views of the Long Island Sound. In 1999, the “park” received the Millennium Medallion Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects. There is only one event allowed per day. Since it is a public facility, outside visitors are allowed to be on the grounds until sunset.
Woman Getting Married Says:
While the grounds/gardens/views look beautiful at this venue, I worry about the size of the inside area. From what I can tell, it can only seat 80 people for a formal dinner, which means there must be overflow into other areas, which separates the guests and the flow of the party. The terrace, which is typically used for cocktail hour/dancing, has an amazing view but it has to be tented. I really hate being forced to use a tent, so this is my biggest qualm with the space. If you have to spend the majority of the party in the tent, you could essentially be anywhere. I want to spend time IN the venue, not under a plastic sheath.
Check out more Eolia Mansion wedding pics at the Raw Photo Design blog here.