Carissa and Ryan Kittredge were wed July 1, 2017, at Lord Thompson Manor in Thompson, Connecticut.
One day in 2011, their friends came up with the idea to connect the two of them and called Carissa and Ryan to see if they were interested in coming out for a group dinner. The dinner arrangements almost got called off because of a hurricane, but they braved the weather and made it out to the restaurant. They were all happy that they did because Carissa and Ryan had a great connection from the start.
Three years later, Ryan proposed while the couple was on a vacation in Yellowstone National Park, at the summit of Mount Washburn. Ryan had been carrying the ring around with him the entire trip until he found the right moment. They were with some friends, and when Ryan took Carissa over to the spot where he proposed, their friends trailed behind to take a video. Conveniently, their friends had glasses and champagne in their backpack so they wasted no time in starting the celebrations. Carissa and Ryan are grateful that they have the video of the proposal to look back on and watch.
They took their time setting the date, wanting to enjoy just being engaged. Once they found the perfect venue, they took about a year to plan, which seemed like plenty of time to get everything done for the wedding.
Carissa really wanted to enjoy the planning process, so she told herself right from the start that she wouldn’t let herself get too stressed out. She took her time in the beginning and left the smaller details for later. She cautions brides-to-be not to believe those people who tell you that there will be a “lull” near the end of the planning process. She says that there were a lot of things she could have been working on throughout the year (e.g., bridesmaid gifts, vows, jewelry, etc.), but she put them off until the last minute. As a consequence, she had a lot of late nights as the big day got closer. Carissa still enjoyed the process, which she feels is super important. They both had fun creating the event and seeing it come to life on the day. In the end, it was everything they could have hoped for.
When Carissa and Ryan got engaged, they knew right away that they wanted a venue where they could stay and host a wedding weekend. Ryan has a lot of family who live in the South, so they knew they’d have plenty of guests traveling up for the event. They wanted to be able to spend as much time with them as they could. The Lord Thompson Manor was exactly the type of venue they were looking for, considering the wedding weekend is one of their specialties. The wedding party had the entire venue from Friday to Sunday for the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, and brunch the morning after.
Carissa wanted their wedding to have a glamorous/romantic feel, so she chose blush pink, gold, rose gold, and a light taupe for the color palette. The bridesmaids wore gold, taupe, and blush pink. The men wore French blue instead of traditional black.
For favors, there were pashminas for the ladies (which also added to the decor), and Jackie at the manor did a fabulous job with the floral arrangements, inspired by some photos Carissa had shared with her on Pinterest. Ted, another member of the team at the manor, decorated the arbor exactly like a photo Carissa had provided, and it came out beautifully. The manor team also did all of the decorating with props that they had on hand: sequined pillows, lots of candles, and different eclectic pieces on each table. It all came together nicely and Carissa believes that the members of the manor team are amazingly talented when it comes to orchestrating a wedding.
For Carissa and Ryan, the food was a strong selling point in favor of the Lord Thompson Manor. They take great pride in the quality and quantity, so no one was left hungry. In fact, there were so many appetizers that many people were full by the time they got their entree—sirloin and scallops over risotto accompanied by mashed potatoes.
For dessert, there were cupcakes by My Sweet Escape Treats in exotic flavors such as salted caramel, red velvet, cookie dough, lemon raspberry, dark chocolate merlot, and blue moon (an orange flavored cupcake with vanilla frosting and a Blue Moon shot on top). Chef Mike at the manor made a small cutting cake, and he was responsible for the amazing food they enjoyed all weekend long. The incredibly talented Silver Arrow Band provided the music. Carissa believes that there’s something about a live band at a wedding that adds a magnetic energy to the festivities.
The bride’s dress was designed by Lillian West and her shoes were by Badgley Mischka. The bridesmaids purchased their dresses at David’s Bridal, and Ryan and his groomsmen wore suits by Mantoni.
One of the most memorable moments of the day was after the ceremony. Carissa and Ryan went up to the balcony to give a toast and looked down to see everyone who had come out to celebrate with them. The band was also a crucial element in the event’s success, keeping everyone on the dance floor throughout the evening with their eclectic and up-beat mix of songs. There was also an after-party outside where everyone could hang out in cabanas—the perfect way to wind down the evening.
What advice would Carissa and Ryan give to couples about to tie the knot? As with any big event, planning is essential, but before any of that gets done, think about and identify the most important aspects for you both, so that you know where to dedicate the resources to make the day what you want it to be. Find the right people to help you organize and coordinate the wedding on the day, so you don’t have to worry, and you can fully enjoy every precious moment of your special day.
Ceremony and Reception Site: Lord Thompson Manor, Thompson, CT
Photographer: Dani Fine Photography Northampton, MA danifinephotography.com
Caterer: Lord Thompson Manor (Chef Mike)
Baker: My Sweet Escape Treats Gardner, MA mysweetescapetreats.com
Florist: Jackie at the Manor
Music: Silver Arrow Band silverarrowband.com
Bride’s Attire: Dress by Lillian West, purchased at Elizabeth Ann’s Bridal Boutique, Auburn, MA elizabethannsbridal.com
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaids Attire: Dresses purchased at David’s Bridal, by David’s Bridal
Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Suits by Mantoni
Photo booth: Swoon Booth, Berlin MA swoonbooth.com
Hair & Makeup: Christy & Co. Bridal Beauty makeup-artistry.com