Wedding Venue Feature: Inn at Mystic
|Vibe and Features||Outdoor/indoor, historic mansion, beautifully-landscaped grounds|
|Guest Capacity||200 (no minimum)|
|Location||3 Williams Ave.|
Mystic, CT 06355
|Similar Venues||Lion Rock Farm, Branford House, Connecticut River Museum, Inn at Middletown|
Perched way up on top of a hill, along the Pequotsepos River and near the Mystic River, Inn at Mystic is more than just a wedding venue. It’s got a restaurant, 50-room inn, and an awesome historic mansion all on the same property (and within a few miles of other, larger hotels for your guests).
If you’re considering a wedding in Mystic, then the wedding day of your dreams can take place entirely in this one place. This post will explain why I think Inn at Mystic is one of the top 10 wedding venues in CT.
Check out the video summary on YouTube and then read on for the full feature!
Inn at Mystic Video Tour
History and Other Info
Haley Mansion, the centerpiece of this venue, was built in 1904 by Kate Haley, who was the widow of one of the founders of a huge New York City fish market. Then in 1943, along came Frederick Mosel to buy it from her. After that, longtime owner Jody Dyer (and her sister, Nancy Gray) purchased the mansion, then her father bought the adjacent land and put the Mystic Motor Inn there in 1963.
Time went on, and the sisters acquired the inn in 1970, later acquiring the house as well in 1980. They apparently managed to restore the historic building and get the mansion listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Weddings began shortly thereafter.
The modern era of Inn at Mystic began in 2014, when two business partners purchased the 15-acre property and began fixing it up. Until this day, the inn continues to be a popular Mystic tourist mainstay while Inn at Mystic weddings (and other events) keep the place going, too. Oh, and don’t forget their restaurant, currently called 21 Rocks.
Venue Vibe and Features
Inn at Mystic offers a unique Connecticut wedding experience. On the one hand, this venue is in downtown Mystic. On the other hand, it’s way up on a hill away from the hubbub (it’s secluded, like Lion Rock Farm in the opposite corner of the state). A wedding at Inn at Mystic will be truly special.
Here are some factors to consider:
- Year-round weddings with indoor, outdoor open-air, and completely enclosed/covered options
- Warm-weather ceremonies be outside by the river or up on the rocky bluff hill
- Cold-weather ceremonies can utilize the lower patio, which is enclosed and heated
- Suitable for small and big weddings, with a maximum of about 200 people
- In-house catering with several hors d’oeuvre, bar, and meal options
- This includes a tasting for the two of you to check things out before you decide on food
- All of this food is very, very good
- Strict reception end time
I would be remiss to talk all about Inn at Mystic weddings without mentioning the accommodations. There are about 50 rooms at the inn portion, each with its own door which opens to the outside. The rooms I’ve seen have been really nice: spacious, clean, and modernly setup. One of the best things is, the inn is a short walk down the hill from the mansion, which sits at the top. This is an obvious convenience for your guests when they depart your Mystic, CT wedding and head home to their hotel for the night. By the way, you can even view room pictures and check availability online.
Regarding the main house, there are five guest rooms here and two awesome perks available:
- The night of your wedding, you two get a complimentary room. This is awesome, as you can party your behinds off, head down to 21 Rocks for an afterparty with your guests, and then walk back up to the mansion and go to bed.
- Depending on the venue’s schedule, etc. the night before your wedding, you can possibly reserve all five rooms. My wife actually did this, renting out the entire mansion the night before our wedding so that she and her bridesmaids could spend the night there. That made the getting ready portion of our wedding day’s timeline easier; her side of the wedding party was already together the morning of the wedding. (Note that the morning of your wedding, Inn at Mystic staff may still conduct business on the first floor of the mansion, such as showing it to other potential couples.)
First Look/Touch Locations
With 15 acres of land on this property, there are plenty of locations at Inn at Mystic for your perfect First Look or First Touch. Remember, there’s two of you enjoying a moment together, but then there’s also the potential for doing something with a parent or other loved one. Here are some spots on the property to consider for your First Look or First Touch:
- Mansion bedroom
- Mansion main foyer/landing
- Rocky bluff
- Mansion living room
In the First Touch photos that you see here, the couple can’t actually see each other. There’s a pocket door that I partially pulled out of the wall to block their views.
An Inn at Mystic wedding does grant you some options for your ceremony setup. In the spring, summer, or maybe even the fall, you’ll probably want to utilize the the mansion grounds. I’ve seen two options:
- The green behind the house. The venue would set up an altar and chairs for your there, overlooking the Pequotsepos River.
- The rocky bluff to the side of the mansion, above the inn. This area is smaller and ideal for guests standing during a short ceremony. Here, you’d have a view over Inn at Mystic’s regular guest room buildings, out towards Mystic Harbor.
For a larger winter wedding at Inn at Mystic, what the venue would do is hold your ceremony in the lower patio. Again, both patios (lower and upper) are enclosed by a permanent tent with walls. They run industrial heaters when it’s cold (which is standard for any winter wedding in Mystic).
Group Portrait Spots
Again, big property means plenty of room for group formal portraits outside. For our winter wedding, we actually did everything inside of the mansion’s living room, which was no problem (our wedding party consisted of 18 people).
Cocktail Hour and Reception Setups
I love food, so believe me when I say that Inn at Mystic cocktail hours and receptions are wonderful. For medium to larger weddings in the warmer months, cocktail hour will typically be in the upper patio while the reception will be in the lower area. For smaller weddings, they’ll likely handle everything in the mansion living room and upper patio.
My wife and I had a winter wedding here. Cocktail hour was held after the ceremony in the upper patio area. In the meantime, the venue staff set up the lower patio for the reception and dinner. The inside of the mansion and the patio areas are naturally darker, giving off slight Society Room of Hartford vibes. The staff, however, tend to light the areas very well.
Oh, and don’t forget to consider having an afterparty with your guests at 21 Rocks (you’ll have to arrange this in advance).
My favorite part of any wedding day is taking couple’s portraits. This is the time to let loose with the creativity! Inn at Mystic weddings make it pretty easy; the grounds and interior of the mansion are just stunning.
Inn at Mystic Wedding Costs
If you’re planning your wedding and considering this venue, here are some generalized/estimated Inn at Mystic wedding costs to keep in mind:
- The base fee ranges from about $130/person on up, based on the type of catering service you choose
- Next, add a 20%+ service charge
- Lastly, factor in a site fee of at least $2000, which will vary based on whether you have just a reception or also a ceremony on site
- In the off season (winter), Inn at Mystic is actually a pretty affordable CT wedding venue; inquire with them for more info about off-season costs
When my wife and I got married there, Inn at Mystic broke our fee up into five payments. The first was a deposit, then there were four more spaced out over time between our booking and wedding date. Note that they’ll have you deal with certain facility vendors directly, depending on some of your choices (such as Chiavari chair rentals).
For detailed info on Inn at Mystic wedding costs, be sure to contact their staff and inquire!
Here’s a wedding I photographed at Haley Mansion. And if you’re thinking that this might be the venue for you, then reach out to their staff using these links.
Still looking for your wedding photographer? Just use the links below.
I used the following references at different points in this post:
- Inn at Mystic
- “Bogey and Bacall’s honeymoon and a spite suicide are part of Mystic inn’s history,” David Collins, The Day
- Humphrey Bogart, IMDB
- “Inn at Mystic: historic hostelry in fabulous setting,” Marcia Abramson, Long Island Herald
- “Partners purchase Inn at Mystic; plan major renovations,” Brian Hallenbeck, The Day
- “Nuisances,” Town of Stonington