Wedding 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|
- Wedding Venue Feature: The Barns at Wesleyan Hills
- History and Other Info
- Venue Vibe and Features
- The Barns at Wesleyan Hills Wedding Costs
- Hotels Near The Barns at Wesleyan Hills
- Hayley and Brendon’s Spring Barns at Wesleyan Hills Wedding Day
- This Spring Barns at Wesleyan Hills Wedding’s Vendor Team
- Their Wedding Day Love Story
- Learn More About Barns at Wesleyan Hills Weddings
- Need a photographer to help you at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills?
A beautiful residential community in Middletown, Wesleyan Hills was created in the 1960s to serve as the go-to suburban neighborhood in the area. The idea was for it to be a new approach to home living, in contrast with the surrounding farmland communities. The experiment worked; this 30-acre community is very successful and is now home to one of Connecticut’s best wedding venues, The Barns at Wesleyan Hills.
History and Other Info
The history (PDF warning) of The Barns at Wesleyan Hills weddings goes all the way back to the mid-17th century, when the Hubbard family purchased 66 acres of land. What’s now known as The Big Barn (the one with the string-light wall) was originally built in 1872 as a cow barn. What’s now known as The Little Barn (bar area and getting ready suite) was actually located elsewhere on the property as a tobacco and horse area which was eventually picked up and relocated.
Then, in the early 1980s, Tom McDowell and Connecticut Wedding Group came along. Yes, you’ve probably heard of them before, as they own and operate a few of the state’s big 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
A Barns at Wesleyan Hills wedding takes two popular wedding feels and combines them for an awesome experience: rustic barn aesthetic and an elegant semi-glam touch. Now, if you think I made those terms up, you’re probably right. Allow me to clarify; The Barns at Wesleyan Hills offers the following:
- Year-round weddings with indoor, outdoor open air, and outdoor covered options
- In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Barns at Wesleyan Hills installed a new tent just outside the Big Barn
- Suitable for big weddings, with a maximum of 225 people
- In-house catering (if you’re interested) with lots of good options
- Required in-house DJ (no, you can’t hire your own)
- For Barns at Wesleyan Hills weddings, Connecticut Wedding Group has partnered exclusively with Powerstation Events, who has perfected setting up audio equipment in the historic Big Barn
- 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)
- The lights…beautiful Edison lightbulb string-lights adorn the inside of the Big Barn, creating the signature look of this venue
- While The Barns is an elegant venue (much like Lion Rock Farm, which also comes to my mind), it’s the anti-banquet hall; the rustic, chic charm and wide open outdoor setting make sure of that
The 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:
- Five hours of use of the wedding prep suite in the Little Barn is included in your ceremony fee
- Pre-ceremony comfort upgrades
- For an additional cost, The Barns will have comforts such as a champagne station or signature drinks available as refreshments for your guests before the ceremony
- Depending on the season, they have other offers like popsicles
- Bar add-ons
- Cigars and whiskey
- Remember, the DJ is chosen for you at The Barns
- The venue itself
For detailed info on The Barns at Wesleyan Hills wedding costs, be sure to contact their staff.
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 local options with estimated rates:
- Inn at Middletown (Middletown, CT): With rooms starting at around $215/night, this popular hotel is located right off of route 9 in downtown Middletown. It’s less than a 10-minute drive to The Barns.
- The Spirit of 76 House (Higganum, CT): A nearby bed and breakfast, this establishment requires a two-night stay starting at about $120/night. It’s within 15 minutes of The Barns.
- Courtyard by Marriott Hartford Cromwell (Cromwell, CT): This one is located right off of route 3 (which parallels route 9). It’s about 15 minutes away from The Barns, assuming ideal traffic conditions. Rooms run from about $160/night.
- Courtyard by Marriott New Haven Wallingford (Wallingford, CT): Wallingford is home to several hotels near The Barns at Wesleyan Hills. Another Marriott offering, this hotel is about 15 minutes south of The Barns. It’s a little cheaper than the Hartford Cromwell one, coming in around $135/night.
- Fairfield Wallingford Meriden (Wallingford, CT): Almost right next door to the Wallingford Marriott, this hotel has rooms starting around $140/night.
- Homewood Suites by Hilton Wallingford-Meriden (Wallingford, CT): Another great chain offering, this hotel is the third in a row, right next to the Fairfield in Wallingford. Rooms start at about $160/night.
- Hilton Garden Inn Wallingford/Meriden (Wallingford, CT): And yet a fourth chain hotel in this area (yes, two of them are Hiltons), this one is down the road from the Wallingford Homewood Suites. Rooms start at $134/night.
- If folks don’t mind a drive and would prefer a quieter hotel near The Barns at Wesleyan Hills, there are even more options. The Bevin House (East Hampton, CT), Boardman House (East Haddam, CT), and The Chester Bulkley House (Wethersfield, CT) are all bed and breakfast establishments within 25 minutes of The Barns.
To show you the beauty of The Barns at Wesleyan Hills, it would be best for me to show you an actual wedding I photographed there. So, please read on!
Hayley and Brendon’s Spring Barns at Wesleyan Hills Wedding Day
Back in the winter of 2020, 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 at Wesleyan Hills! Let’s check it out, shall we?
This Spring Barns at Wesleyan Hills Wedding’s Vendor Team
- Wedding Date: April 4, 2021
- 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
- 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
- Wedding Guest Favors: ForYourParty
Their Wedding Day Love Story
When we first met and talked about their beginnings, Haley and Brendon explained that UConn is where things really blossomed for them. The Huskies (including Kemba Walker) held a dear place in both of their hearts. Having booked The Barns for their wedding, they wanted to keep that theme going for their University of Connecticut engagement session.
Well, the big day finally arrived.
To start the day off, Haley, her bridesmaids, and her mother got together in the Little Barn’s bridal suite.
In the early afternoon it was time to debut Haley in her dress. Her mom was a willing helper.
After getting some help from mom, Haley was up for a first look with her ladies. I chose The Barns at Wesleyan Hills’ light wall, which is in the Big Barn. The vintage Edison bulb string lights are just beautiful!
With Brendon waiting for her outside, Haley made her way towards the willow trees and footbridge outside the venue.
Their Barns at Wesleyan Hills First Look
As a wedding photographer, I know when to just stand back and just watch! Haley and Brendon had an awesome first look at The Barns’ foot bridge.
With their wedding party and family waiting for them, Haley and Brendon were ready for their formal photos. One of the benefits of a First Look is the extra pre-ceremony time it affords you. It’s perfect for formal photos, which, by the way, can be fun!
I love getting the entire wedding party together for some laughs.
And before I could let them go, I had to get Brendon and the guys and use some creative lighting. The Barns at Wesleyan Hills is, after all, famous for its lights!
Not to be outdone, Haley and the ladies needed a creative turn, too. They nailed it.
Their Ceremony at The Barns
The time had finally arrived for Haley and Brendon to say “I do.” For this spring Barns at Wesleyan Hills wedding, the ceremony was outside on the green. During the Covid-19 pandemic, The Barns erected a tent to provide a covered outdoor option. It’s since been removed and the area is now a patio with outdoor furniture.
It was a beautiful affair! Their 100 or so guests were perfectly comfortable under the April midday sun as Haley and Brendon exchanged vows.
When I asked these two land another kiss during their processional, they politely obliged!
Reception in the Big Barn
To be completely honest, one of the things I was most looking forward to during Haley and Brendon’s wedding was dealing with the dark, rustic appeal of the Big Barn. As you may have seen in my work, I love to make creative use of light by mixing it with darkness. It was finally time to do so during their reception!
The wedding party did a fun job with their introductions.
Then, the bride and groom went back to their UConn basketball roots, donning jerseys and playing some one-on-one as the crowd roared in the background. Then they jumped into their first dance, complete with the Big Barn lights!
After their dance, Haley and Brendon relaxed a bit through the rest of the reception formalities, before hitting the dance floor with a vengeance with their friends and family.
Awesome Barns at Wesleyan Hills Wedding Party Photo
A week or so before their wedding, Haley and Brendon met with me on Google Meet to go over the last-second details. It was during this call that I learned how much they love Marvel Comics, including The Avengers superheroes. (So much so, that Brendon and his groomsmen had themed socks on.) So, what did I do, ran with it, of course! Here’s the result:
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