Chelsea + Tim
7.6.12 • Eolia, the Mansion at Harkness State Park, Waterford
Chelsea Tyler and Timothy McNamara have been friends since they were in the fifth grade at Francis Walsh Intermediate School in Branford. They nurtured secret crushes on each other through all four years at Branford High, then went their separate ways for college, he to Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., and she to Parsons in Manhattan. Finally, when Chelsea, home for a weekend in 2006, ran into Tim at local hangout Donovan’s Reef, she decided it was “now or never” and made the first move (it had been 11 years, after all). They were married July 6, 2012, at Eolia, The Mansion at Harkness Memorial State Park, in Waterford.
“Eolia was the only place we looked at,” says Chelsea. “The shore was a part of our childhood. We wanted a place where we could smell the salt in the air and feel the ocean breeze.” Their ceremony, beneath a statement-making driftwood arbor from New England Country Rentals in Branford, with cottage roses from Bakes & Baldwin Floral Co. in Madison, was held in an outdoor amphitheater overlooking sand dunes and blue water.
As for the grand mansion itself, “all the raw beauty of the building remains,” says Chelsea. Wedding planner Jacq Maculaitis of Ambiance Luxe Wedding Designs in Branford helped the bride-to-be bring out that beauty with subtle pale greens and peaches and non-traditional design elements like mismatched vintage linens and china.
“My style has always been very much outside the box,” says Chelsea, owner of Everthine Bridal Boutique in Madison, which she opened in October 2011 while planning her own wedding. Everthine caters to the non-traditional bride with independent designers like Jessica Fontaine, Elizabeth Fillmore and Jenny Packham, who designed Chelsea’s own flowing silk charmeuse looker with its pleated deep-V front. “I wanted something timeless, the old ‘Hollywood starlet’ look,” says Chelsea.
Was it a little risqué? Sure, but “I like to add an element of surprise,” she says. The biggest one, however, was on her, when the edgy bride who’d been intent on wearing a birdcage veil decided to go with a sweeping cathedral-length number instead. “I guess there’s a little part of me that’s traditional after all,” says Chelsea. It does tend to sneak up on a girl.
event planner: ambiance luxe wedding designs, branford
makeup: jennie fresa, clinton
hair (bride & bridesmaids): emily reale
dress: jenny packham, everthine bridal boutique, madison
caterer/cake: a thyme to cook, north stonington
floral design: bakes & baldwin, madison
photography: michelle gardella photography, wethersfield
event rentals: new england country rentals, greenwich