Amenities + Details
For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.
Ballroom, Estate, Historic Venue, Park, Tented
A beautiful venueReviewed on 8/08/2015 Elizabeth A
For stunning beauty, you really cannot beat this venue. You get a gorgeous mansion, gardens, and the ocean all in one. We wanted an outdoor wedding but knew that we wanted someplace that would be as beautiful in the rain as in the sun which is how we ultimately picked Harkness. It did end up raining on our wedding day, even though there had never been any rain in the forecast (seriously, don't trust weather reports). The staff were incredibly helpful in that at literally the last minute they set up chairs under the tent and shuttled all of our guests from their cars to the mansion. While it was disappointing to have our ceremony in the tent we still got to take a lot of beautiful pictures in the garden and under the pergola, part of which is covered. The mansion itself is gorgeous and needs little in the way of decoration. We put up some pictures and paper flowers on the mantels and some of the shelves but that was it. Don't even bother decorating or getting extra lighting for the tent. We were having such a good time dancing and enjoying ourselves I couldn't even tell you what it looks like anymore! When we originally booked you had three caterers to choose from but they ended up adding three more shortly after. Thank goodness they did because the original three were barely in our price range for a very simple dinner. Cost of catering is something to be aware of because you have to choose one of their caterers. The room upstairs for getting ready is big and bright and perfect for quick touch ups throughout the evening. Also, book early because we only got our date due to someone else canceling.
Picture Perfect!Reviewed on 9/29/2014 Alexandra J
I used Eolia for my venue and I could not have asked for a prettier venue! The mansion, beach and garden look like something out of a fairytale! The mansion only gave you three choices for a caterer which allowed us to pick a caterer that really knew the venue!! I could not be happier with the venue I picked and cannot wait to visit!!
Perfect PlaceReviewed on 9/26/2014 Chrystal T
This venue is absolutely beautiful. Our wedding was 8/31/14. Many options for photos. Love the flower gardens. We had our ceremony by the water in the ampitheater (which is free). To marry in the gardens at the mansion is an additional 500$. We just couldn't understand why to pay more, the ampitheater is a beautiful view and provides seating. The coordinator at the mansion is helpful. They are very strict with hours on your contract. We did a 530 ceremony, which got us into the mansion 6-11p. The rental fee is a great value considering the setting is so unique and gorgeous, tent is included and up year round, and tables and Chiavari chairs are included. I would recommend one thing if you do a shuttle service--make sure that the shuttle knows where to drop off and pick up guests. There was some confusion to where our ceremony was held in the park and some guests were up at the mansion in the wrong area. We did have a sign in the lawn, but it didn't seem to do us a lot of good.
BeautifulReviewed on 9/17/2014 Amy H
We got married 8/30/14. The ceremony was in the Amphitheater and reception was at Eolia Mansion. We were able to transport our elderly and handicapped guests with their newly obtained golf cart. The mansion provided a driver & there was staff for any questions. We had great weather the grounds are gorgeous.
Beautiful Park SettingReviewed on 9/19/2013 Alexis S
My daughter was married here in August. The gardens are gorgeous, the park is truly lovely and pictures taken there came out very nice. The actual ceremony was beautiful. For the reception The staff set up a tent and set out tables and chairs for the event. There mansion is broken up into several rooms, the largest of which fits about 80 people. Dancing has to be outside under the tent. The mansion offers no decorating, so you have to make arrangements for those area screaming for flowers, fireplace mantles, alcoves, etc. I did not care for this arrangement for the reception. You had to constantly get up to go outside and stand to see what was going on, ie- first dance, garter ceremony, throwing of the bouquet etc. I and many of my guests (I know because I asked) would have preferred a traditional catering room where everything happens in the center of the room. Oh well, this is what my daughter wanted. She and her young friends enjoyed it much more than we over 40 did.
Gorgeous garden/estate venueReviewed on 8/04/2013 Jenna B
Having grown up in the area I always knew Harkness would be a beautiful place to get married. My husband wasn't as familiar but once he stepped foot on the grounds proclaimed "no question, no contest," this would be the place we'd get married. Though very expensive it really is such a special place- perfect garden grounds, a very nice mansion for dinner gives a great transition from the usual open-space banquet hall (splitting guests into different rooms for dinner really does still allow a nice flow without feeling like someone gets the boot) and an awesome tented reception overlooking the Sound. We were hesitant because of cost but this couldn't have been a better choice!
What A View!Reviewed on 7/02/2013 Jessica B
We got married in the amphitheater at Harkness. My husband and I worked at Harkness together while we were in college, so we knew it was the perfect location for us. The amphitheater looks out on the Long Island Sound, so it's like having a beach wedding but without the annoyance of sand! We didn't use any decorations because the amphitheater is so beautiful on its own. Although this is not the most private venue (it's a public park), it felt intimate and private. And it was actually really nice to walk through the park on the way to the ceremony having strangers call out, "Congratulations!" "You look beautiful!" "I love your shoes!" As if I needed another reason to smile that day. The park is gorgeous and perfect for pictures. There are two formal gardens, a beach, and lots of other quirky spots that are the perfect backdrop for pictures. Know that there are no electrical outlets in the amphitheater, so if you want music played you need a wireless speaker. Same with microphones (which we didn't use). Parking for your guests is included in the price of the rental ($400).
A dreamReviewed on 10/01/2012 Jenna J
Harkness is one of the most beautiful places I have been and to get married there was the most amazing experience.
ReceptionReviewed on 8/09/2012 Amanda S
The mansion is beautiful! As long as the gardens are tended to and the inside has been dusted, it is a beautiful location. We were married in July and there was a nice breeze from the water nearby.
HarknessReviewed on 7/09/2012 Anne M
The venue is gorgeous. It offers everything from the beach to a mansion.
PERFECT venueReviewed on 7/04/2012 Melissa E
It’s absolutely beautiful here. Just breathtaking. I had so many people ask us how we had found the place because they had never heard of it. This was the single best decision of our whole wedding. Yes, the mansion has some strict rules, but they aren’t so unreasonable that you can’t have a wonderful wedding. Even if you have to cut back on other parts of your budget to have your wedding here, it’s worth it. Sally, who is the contact for the mansion, is very responsive. If you can deal with the rules (which are definitely worth dealing with) this, in our opinion, is the best place in the state to have a wedding. We are so happy we had ours here.
Beautiful siteReviewed on 11/13/2011 Christal C
Eolia Mansion at Harkness State park is an amazingly beautiful site to have both a ceremony and reception. We held our ceremony at the on-site Amphitheater located right next to the beach. I can’t describe how beautiful the sunset ocean view was for a backdrop to our ceremony. The mansion itself is larger than expected, even with all the tables for guests. The permanent tent and dance floor are great features and allow a nice flow of guests that want to dance, explore, or just talk. The tent is also a nice focal point so that guests don’t feel exiled since the rooms are separated. There are just a few cons to this facility. First there are no internal services; no caterer, florist, bakery, nothing. They do have a wide variety of tables and chairs that can be used but that’s it. They do have a list of approved caterers that you can use, anyone outside of that list will not be approved. You can use an outside bakery for the cake though. They are very strict about when they will open the site for your vendors and guests. They will not open the house to vendors until exactly 2 hrs. prior to your reception, not the ceremony. And they will not open to guests until your exact time for the reception. Other than those few cons we absolutely loved this venue. The park staff were great, especially Sally, who returned all our emails answering all our questions and/or concerns very promptly. We even had our deposit check waiting for us when we got back from our Honeymoon. I would definitely recommend this site as a venue.
Magical placeReviewed on 11/02/2011 Jessica S
Just a magical elegant place to have a wedding!! All the guests just raved about how breathtaking the mansion and the grounds and view were. It felt like a fairytale.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN THE STATEReviewed on 10/31/2011 MOIRA M
We had our wedding at Harkness Memorial Park in the Eolia Mansion on Sunday, 10/2 and it was absolutely wonderful. The most beautiful setting there is -- fabulous gardens, sweeping lawns, LI Sound views, classy, historial mansion, everything I was looking for in one place. You select your caterer from the A+ list provided and, your own DJ or band. There is a bridal room upstairs and several rooms downstairs to choose from for the reception, meal, wedding cake, etc. My guests were delighted with the ambiance - there are so many things to stroll around and look at. My nephews had a game of touch football on the lawn while everybody just relaxed with drinks, listening to the music and taking in the beauty. I can't say enough about it and am still hearing the raves from friends and family to this day! It's about $4500 to rent the mansion and the caterer came in at about $9000, which included open bar, wedding cake and gratuitiy. I used A Thyme To Cook and I highly recommend them -- beautifully presented, delicious and unique offerings.
Eolia Mansion, Harkness State ParkReviewed on 8/19/2011 Nicole G
I cannot say enough wonderful things about this location for a wedding. From the gorgeous mansion, to the incredile pergola for pictures, to the scenic flower gardens/ grounds, the ocean view (and breeze!), to the huge attached tent for the party- it is the best of all worlds! This was the first and only location we looked at for our June 2011 wedding and there was no way we were going to get married and have our reception anywhere else. Sally at the mansion was so helpful and accomodating. The mansion offers 6 catering places to choose from- plenty of options, so we did not feel limited. Our guests raved about how romantic, beautiful, unique, incredible, breath-taking the place was and more than once we heard couples say if they could do their wedding over again, it would be at Harkness. We looked at the mansion 14 months before our wedding and there were barely any dates left for 2011 at that time, so book in advance. It was love at first sight for us and I promise you will not be disappointed with this place!! WORTH EVERY PENNY!!
Fairytale SettingReviewed on 7/11/2011 Jenny S
This venue is fabulous! The indoor/outdoor setting makes it perfect in any weather. The grounds are gorgeous, making it easy to get tons of great pictures! A must-see for anyone looking for a venue in southern CT.
GorgeousReviewed on 6/05/2011 Christina R
The place was unbelievably gorgeous! Everything about it was spectacular to look at. YOu can get married on sight or just have your reception there. The staff is awesome and extremely helpful. It is a little pricey and catering is not included. But if you decide to go here PICK CLOUD NINE! They are the best I have ever seen. They made my experience there 100 times better. They are amazing. The place is worth looking at no matter where you live in CT.
Gorgeous Location!Reviewed on 2/05/2011 Meghan W
Beautiful location! You have to chose a caterer off of their approved list, and find the other vendors yourself, but the venue is gorgeous.
Eloquent SettingReviewed on 1/15/2011 Maggie F
Such a eloquent setting for any season! We were married October 16th and many flowers were still in bloom in all of the gardens! Eolia Mansion has such character, charm and history...our guests were all charmed with this unique setting for our reception!
Beautiful viewsReviewed on 9/09/2010 Christine S
Beautiful views and beautiful state park. Only down fall is that it is very pricy.
beautifulReviewed on 8/26/2010 Jeannine B
Review for Harkness Memorial State ParkReviewed on 1/20/2009 Courtney J
Unbeatable location!;There is no air conditioning but it was not a problem on a hot August day
Review for Eolia - The Mansion at Harkness Memorial State ParkReviewed on 9/20/2007 Stefanie W
Eolia mansion at Harkness Park is absolutely stunning. It's perfect for a Spring or Summer wedding because of the breathtaking gardens and lawn, however, we married on a cold day in November and it was just as beautiful. We were able to put all of our guests at long banquet tables in the main room so that we weren't spread out all over the mansion. It was a beautiful set up, which allowed us to have a warm, communal dinner celebration. The mansion is also simple yet elegant, with several wonderful spots in which to perform the ceremony. Also, there is a lovely room upstairs where the bridal party can get dressed. I wouldn't change a thing about having my reception at Eolia, especially if you hire a fabulous caterer like Gourmet Galley!;They allot 5 hours for each event and it's quite pricey to extend the time. Make sure to get all the prices--if it's warm weather, they charge extra to use the outdoor area next to the mansion for the ceremony.
Review for Eolia - The Mansion at Harkness Memorial State ParkReviewed on 9/09/2007 Eliz A
Harkness Park has both wild and formal elements. The Eolia Mansion, set back several hundred meters from Long Island Sound is minimally decorated, but extremely well kept. The back patio, often covered with a tent for events, opens out into a large garden filled with wild flowers and traversed with meandering paths that lead to fountains and the outside gates. The tent area is an ideal place for dancing and to station the bar and a few small tables for people to sit. Beyond the outer edge of the gardens is a wide open area with a few trees that leads directly down to the ocean. To the right of the gardens is a covered walkway and pergola. The site provides pretty white tables and chairs for the guests, and many places for guests to sit and wander. The bridal room upstairs is beautifully fixed and large enough for the bridal party to get dressed and ready an/or the family to congregate with the photographer before the wedding. This is a beautiful site, well suited for both the wedding and wedding reception.;The mansion is not air conditioned except for the upstairs bridal suite. Although the house is cool and breezy inside, and the outdoor patio cools off at night (Eolia means 'breezy' in Italian), be prepared for heat in the summer. Also, because the Eolia Mansion sits within Harkness State Park, weddings must be held after the state park closes at 5:30P. Your guests are allowed to enter the park earlier and the site staff are very flexible about opening the bridal room several hours before the wedding, but the wedding must start after this time. Also note, couples tend to book weekend dates up to a year and a half in advance of the event. Be prepared to book as early as possible to get the date that you want.