Venue Feature: The Barns at Wesleyan Hills
|Vibe and Features||Outdoor/indoor, rustic elegance, beautiful indoor barn aesthetic|
|Location||616 Long Hill Rd.|
Middletown, CT 06457
|Similar Venues||Webb Barn, Salem Herbarm, Newport Vineyards, The Society Room of Hartford, Allen Hill Farm|
- Venue Feature: The Barns at Wesleyan Hills
- History and Other Info
- Venue Vibe and Features
- Barns at Wesleyan Hills Wedding Costs
- Hotels Near The Barns at Wesleyan Hills
- Barns at Wesleyan Hills Photos
- Winter Wedding at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills
- Spring Wedding at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills
- Learn More About Barns at Wesleyan Hills Weddings
A beautiful residential community in Middletown, Wesleyan Hills was created in the 1960s to serve as the go-to suburban neighborhood in the area. This 30-acre community is very successful and is now home to one of Connecticut’s best wedding venues, The Barns at Wesleyan Hills.
The Barns is a clear front runner for top wedding venue in Connecticut. For most couples, it should be a candidate during wedding planning. Here’s why…
History and Other Info
The history (PDF warning) of The Barns at Wesleyan Hills goes all the way back to the mid-17th century, when the Hubbard family purchased 66 acres of land here. What’s now known as the venue’s Big Barn was originally a dairy barn. The Little Barn (bar area and getting ready suite) was literally picked up and relocated to connect the two.
In the early 1980s, Tom McDowell and Connecticut Wedding Group came along. You’ve probably heard of them before, as they own and operate a few Connecticut wedding venues, including Lyman Orchards and The Pavilion on Crystal Lake. Eventually, in 2006, they annexed the old Hubbard property and turned into The Barns at Wesleyan Hills.
Venue Vibe and Features
Any wedding at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills takes two popular feels and combines them for an awesome experience. That is, you get a rustic barn aesthetic and an elegant touch. On top of a great experience during your big day, you can end up with awesome wedding photos.
Here are some things to know about this beautiful venue:
Chic, Rustic Aesthetic
- Beautiful grounds, complete with weeping willow trees, a small pond, and a footbridge
- Dark, moody cocktail hours and receptions inside (á la The Society Room of Hartford).
- While The Barns is an elegant venue (like Lion Rock Farm, which also comes to mind), it’s the anti-banquet hall; the rustic, chic charm and wide open outdoor setting make sure of that
The String Lights
- Beautiful Edison lightbulb string lights adorn the inside of the Big Barn, creating the signature look of this venue (there are also some outside on the patio)
- At The Barns, they’re on the wall opposite the DJ booth and hanging up from wall to wall the short way
- Make sure your photographer knows how to compliment this with their own lighting
Spaces for Weddings Year Round
- The Barns at Wesleyan Hills is suitable for big events, with a maximum of 225 people on your guest list
- Outdoor ceremonies take place on the big field above the pond and willow tree
- Indoor ceremonies and receptions can take place inside The Barns (in between, guests are led to the Little Barn for cocktail hour while the larger space is set up for your reception; tip: have your wedding planner help with ushering guests to where they need to be)
Excellent In-house Catering and DJ
- Connecticut Wedding Group deals with farm to table foods whenever possible. There are lots of good menu options available for your big day at The Barns.
- You’ll have to use their DJ partner, Powerstation Events.
Barns at Wesleyan Hills Wedding Costs
If you’re planning your wedding and considering this venue, here are some Barns at Wesleyan Hills wedding cost factors to keep in mind:
- The charges for the The Barns venue itself (varies based on season, like many other Connecticut wedding venues)
- Five hours of use of the getting ready suite in the Little Barn are included in your ceremony fee
- Use of the Barns at Wesleyan Hills’ open bar
- Pre-ceremony comfort upgrades, such as a champagne station or signature cocktails available as refreshments for your guests
- Depending on the season, The Barns at Wesleyan Hills has other offers, like popsicles
Reception Upgrades at The Barns
- Bar add-ons (every time I’ve photographed a wedding here, the couples have had signature drinks)
- Snacks and deserts, such as pretzels, hot dogs, and donuts
- Cigars and whiskey
An offering of The Barns at Wesleyan Hills that I learned about recently is the flaming donut presentation. It’s pretty spectacular to watch and the results are delicious. I believe these treats are sourced from Lyman Orchards (which CT Wedding Group also owns).
Hotels Near The Barns at Wesleyan Hills
Naturally, you may be wondering about hotel options for yourselves and your guests when getting married at The Barns. Here are some, all within 15 minutes:
- Inn at Middletown (Middletown, CT): With rooms starting at around $215/night, it’s a very popular getting ready hotel for weddings in the area.
- The Spirit of 76 House (Higganum, CT): A bed and breakfast requiring a two-night stay and starts at about $120/night.
- Courtyard by Marriott Hartford Cromwell (Cromwell, CT): Rooms run from about $160/night.
- Courtyard by Marriott (Wallingford, CT): One of several options in nearby Wallingford. Comes in around $135/night.
- Fairfield (Wallingford, CT): Next door to the Wallingford Marriott, this hotel has rooms starting around $140/night.
- Homewood Suites (Wallingford, CT): Right next to the Fairfield. Rooms start at about $160/night.
- Hilton Garden Inn (Wallingford, CT): Yet a fourth hotel in this area, this one is down the road from the Homewood Suites. Rooms start at $134/night.
- If folks don’t mind a drive (i.e. within 25 minutes) and would prefer smaller hotels near The Barns at Wesleyan Hills: The Bevin House (East Hampton, CT), Boardman House (East Haddam, CT), and The Chester Bulkley House (Wethersfield, CT).
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Barns at Wesleyan Hills Photos
Here are some photos from weddings at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills (and there are plenty more in this post):
Winter Wedding at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills
Melissa and Joe’s winter Middletown CT wedding at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills was awesome. It included an indoor ceremony and reception as well as plenty of outdoor portraits (despite the cold).
Spring Wedding at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills
Some time ago, Hayley and Brendon booked me as their wedding photographer and we had an awesome time at UConn for their engagement session. Then, I had the pleasure of capturing their wedding day at The Barns.
Wedding Vendor Team
- Venue: The Barns at Wesleyan Hills (Middletown, CT)
- Hair Stylist: Dani Warner
- Makeup Artist: All Dolled Up
- Florist: Elise Floral
- DJ: Powerstation Events
- Caterer: Connecticut Wedding Group
- Wedding Cake Baker: J Cakes
- Jeweler: Christie’s Fine Jewelry
- Bridal Dress Designer: BHLDN
- Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Birdy Grey
- Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
- Invitations: Shutterfly
- Guest Favors: ForYourParty
- Second Photographer: Rob Zajac
Getting Ready in the Little Barn
To start the day off at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills, Haley and her ladies got together in the Little Barn’s getting ready suite.
After getting some help from her mom, Haley was up for a first look with her side of the wedding party. We chose the The Barns’ light wall for this.
First Look Under the Willow Trees
Haley and Brendon had an awesome first look at The Barns’ foot bridge. This is outside under the willow trees, near the pond.
This area of The Barns at Wesleyan Hills’ property is also wonderful for group portraits.’ property is also wonderful for group portraits.
Outdoor Ceremony at The Barns
The time had finally arrived for Haley and Brendon to say “I do.” Their outdoor ceremony at The Barns took place on the green in front of the willow tree. It was such a beautiful affair! Their 100 or so guests were perfectly comfortable under the April midday sun as Haley and Brendon exchanged vows.
Reception in The Barns
A wedding reception in the Big Barn is perhaps the cornerstone of any event at this venue. As a wedding photographer who prefers darker venues, I feel The Barns at Wesleyan Hills provides a great environment if you like a classy, dim aesthetic.
After cocktail hour, the wedding party made their entrances.
Haley and Brendon channel their UConn basketball roots in these photos of their intro. Donning jerseys and playing some one-on-one, they electrified the crowd in this former dairy barn.
After their dance, Haley and Brendon relaxed a bit through the rest of the reception formalities, including a delicious farm to table dinner. Then they hit the The Barns’ dance floor with a vengeance with their friends and family to round out their night.
Superhero Wedding Party Photo
I make it a point to learn about my couples as I work with them. To that end, Haley and Brendon met with me on Google Meet one time and we talked about movies. Then, I learned how much they love The Avengers superheroes (so much so, that Brendon and his groomsmen had themed socks on).
We had to run with this before I left The Barns at Wesleyan Hills for the night. Here’s the result:
Learn More About Barns at Wesleyan Hills Weddings
Surely, you’re really interested in planning your own wedding at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills. Feel free to drop me a line or reach out to Connecticut Wedding Group today!
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Having photographed at The Barns multiple times, I’m really knowledgeable and comfortable with this venue! Click below for more info about what I can offer you.