Harding Allen Estate

Barre, MA

Capacity: 251-300 | WEBSITE | PHONE

The Inside Scoop


FROM THE KNOT EDITORS

The First Look

The pergola. The pergola is the romantic site used for ceremonies at the Harding Allen Estate. Built by the owners after being inspired during a trip to Greece, the white architecture was built on one of the garden lawns for a beautiful backdrop where couples can exchange their vows. White chairs are set up for the guests either side of a blue stone aisle that extends to a few stone steps leading up to the pergola’s platform. Up to 275 guests can be accommodated to enjoy the ceremony.

The lily pond. The lily pond is a serene area in the Old World gardens between the pergola and the mansion. Filled with fragrant flowers and with the sound of the bubbling fountain in the pond, it is an ideal spot to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres after the ceremony, and to take memorable photos of the occasion. Umbrella tables are provided to offer shade to the guests.

The Fountain View Ballroom. The Fountain View Ballroom has been decorated to evoke feelings of being in a garden pavilion, with ceiling drapery, decorative Greek columns, large windows overlooking the walled gardens, a parquet dance floor and Swarovski crystal chandeliers. The side panels can be retracted to let in a gentle breeze, or kept sealed with the option of air-conditioning or heating to suit the guests’ preferences. Up to 275 guests can be accommodated in the Fountain View Ballroom for a sit-down meal, or more if a cocktail-style reception is preferred.

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What You Should Know

The estate’s wedding consultants help the couple with every aspect of the planning, from finding an officiant for the wedding ceremony and organizing classical musicians to arranging a faux wedding cake display. Ten easy planning steps are given by the estate to help save the couple's time and ensure the planning stage is stress-free. An in-house florist and baker make life much easier, and the estate can also recommend local vendors.

The Elegant and Ease Package includes five hours of exclusive use of the estate, on-site wedding coordination, an hour’s use of the bedrooms before the wedding for the bride and bridal party, a front-door greeter and parking attendant for the guests, entertainment during the reception in the form of the baby grand piano, a decorated reception table used for a guest book, seating cards and a card basket, use of the mansion, gardens and grounds for formal wedding photographs, and cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for the bridal party during the photo session. The package also includes use of the Fountain View Ballroom for the reception, tables and chiavari chairs, dishes, silverware and glasses, white linens and napkins, a 750-square-foot dance floor, a free continental breakfast for overnight guests and use of the estate’s common areas after the reception for overnight guests staying in the mansion or cottage rooms. It should be noted that the bedrooms cannot be used for Saturday afternoon weddings.

The Harding Allen Estate has its own in-house chef and offers numerous menu choices. If the couple has a particular favorite dish, the chef may be able to prepare it for the wedding event. A choice of four hors d’oeuvres collections is available, plus soup. For the entrées, a vegetarian option must be chosen with the entrées in order to benefit from standard pricing. There are five entrée choices plus children’s meals. For dessert, wedding cake is provided, and there is also a Viennese display.

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Extra Perks

  • A tour of the mansion is available before the wedding is booked
  • Winter weddings from November through April can also be catered to
  • The estate only hosts one wedding at a time to ensure exclusive use of the property and grounds
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From the Vendor

Harding Allen Estate

The Harding Allen Estate is a magnificent mansion in a pristine New England town, available for indoor or garden receptions, rehearsal dinners and bridal showers. Our wedding specialist and in-house chefs will help you create the perfect wedding or function in the style you desire -- whether you are

Amenities + Details

Amenities
  • Handicap Accessible

  • On-Site Accommodations

  • Indoor

  • Reception Area

For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.

Price Range

$$ – Affordable

Venue Capacity

251-300

Settings

Ballroom, Estate, Historic Venue

Wedding Categories

Bar + Drinks, Cakes + Desserts, Food + Catering, Rentals + Equipment, Service Staff

Awards
Bow2013
Bow2012
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Contact Info

Address
59 Allen Ln, Barre, Barre, MA (978) 355-4920
WEBSITE

A little girl's dream

Reviewed on 1/14/2014 Christina R

I happened across the Harding Allen Estate about 10 years ago, and fell madly in love with the property. Fast forward to Jan. 2013 and my fiancee and I met with Grace and Carmine a few weeks after he proposed. They were so easy to schedule a meeting with, and immediately I knew... Read More that this was the place that we would get married. We had planned a relatively short engagement, about 10 months, and they had an opening for August 30, 2013 which we grabbed. We thought that with a rather unique theme that it would be difficult to pull off (Swan Princess) but Grace took all of my visions and ran with them. She was beyond helpful with flowers and centerpieces, and planning went off without a hitch. Fast forward to the day of, and the Estate was looking immaculate. We stayed the night before at the Sturbridge Host, and we ended up getting to the Estate off schedule. Carmine rushed everything up so we not only got to do everything we wanted with less time, but I still made it down the aisle on time. The ceremony location was beautiful, and reception ballroom took my breath away. The food tasted just like my grandmother used to make it, with all of the recipes being their old family recipes! All in all, thank you to the Estate for not only making our dreams come true, but for working with the fantasies of my childhood! BONUS: My flower girls went to the Estate instead of the Host where they were supposed to get ready. Immediately the Estate jumped into action, calling around to get them in with a hair stylist as soon as possible so there would be no stress for me!


PERFECT DAY!

Reviewed on 10/09/2013 12Samantha T

We had our wedding at The Harding Allen Estate this past weekend it was perfect! Everything the estate did was perfection! They were really good about helping us with a budget and payments. The owners and staff were wonderful as well! They even joined in dancing at the ceremony... Read More which everyone loved. If I ever need to do another event I will most diffidently call The Harding Allen Estate.


PERFECT DAY!

Reviewed on 10/05/2013 April V

I had an absolute amazing wedding day thank you to the lovely staff at Harding Allen Estate!! Carmine, Grace, and Chris answered every crazy email I sent that led up to my phenomenal day. And on the day of they were so extremely helpful, they were pleasant with the guests,... Read More extremely organized, everything looked better than I could have imagined, and the food was to die for. All of my guests were raving not only about the appetizers great, the emails were scrumptious but the 4 dessert plates they packed up for me to bring home, were PERFECT even 4 days later when I got to eat them. They made my wedding day more than I could have imagined. If you are looking for a perfect day with a beautiful facility, that makes your special day stress free, Harding Allen is the place to go.


Reviewed on 1/27/2017 Stefanie A

I Had my wedding here back in August 2016 and it was absolutely perfect. The owners Carmine and Grace worked hard to make my dream come true on a budget and I am extremely grateful. The weather, the food, the music, the facility all played a part in making my day a day to... Read More remember! I would recommend this place to anyone!


Reviewed on 10/09/2016 Steven L

As soon as we stepped into the Harding Allen Estate we knew it was the right venue. Between the Victorian-esque estate house, the seasonal gardens, and the private enclosed outdoor ceremony area, this venue has more charm than any other venue we looked at. We received so many... Read More compliments from our guests! Carmine and Grace were amazing, the food and decorations were incredible, their staff were courteous and professional, and the pricing was very modest. I can't recommend the Harding Allen Estate enough.


Perfect October Wedding

Reviewed on 11/06/2015 Christopher M

Carmine and Grace went above and beyond for our fall wedding! Not only did the estate look absolutely beautiful, but the food and service was excellent. Carmine and Grace worked with us during the planning stages to make sure our wedding was exactly what we wanted and had our... Read More own personal touches. I would highly recommend this venue.


Reviewed on 10/13/2015 Melissa C

My husband and I were married on September 6th,2015 at the Harding Allen Estate. We could not be more thrilled with our day turned out. Carmine & Grace as well as their bartender and waitstaff were incredible making our dreams come true. Alex (head of wait staff) is so... Read More professional and did an incredible job setting up my details. We went through the Harding Allen for both the flowers,DJ, and cake. It was the best decision that took all the stress out of planning and made the day run so smooth. The food was phenomenal. The gardens look amazing & our after party was perfect to enjoy them and keep the party going after the wedding. Carmine was quick at responding to emails and was always so happy and helpful whenever I would ask questions. Thank you Carmine & Grace & everyone else involved in making our wedding the perfect day to remember!


Amazing

Reviewed on 9/05/2015 Kristy C

We couldn't have found a better wedding venue. Carmine & Grace are wonderful to work with and have fantastic staff. They are so accommodating and their love for what they do shows through the care they take in helping to plan every detail.


Reviewed on 8/05/2015 Lindsay C

My husband & I got married on August 1, 2015 and this was nothing short of a dream wedding! The HAE staff are amazing! Carmine & Grace felt like family by the end of our wedding planning. They are so accommodating and want your day to be perfect. Alex is so sweet and made... Read More sure everything was exactly how we wanted it on our day. The rest of the staff is so friendly and all of our guests raved about how attentive they were. The venue is STUNNING! We wanted a vintage themed wedding and this definitely sets the scene perfectly. The indoor and outdoor scenery is so gorgeous! The food received many, many compliments as well! Everything was so delicious. The HAE staff made this such a seamless process and I cannot begin explain how much this meant to us. I would highly recommend The Harding Allen Estate to any couple looking for a beautiful venue, with gorgeous grounds, amazing food, and a friendly staff!!


Everything You Could Want

Reviewed on 6/20/2015 Alison K

My husband and I looked at a number of venues for our wedding near this location and we could not have been happier with our decision. I will admit, I was skeptical at first. I grew up in the area and had never even heard of the town let alone the venue. But Grace and... Read More Carmine did a wonderful job making us feel right at home. Our wedding turned out exactly how I envisioned. The property is so well maintained. The Potting Shed florist on site did an unbelievable job, the food was amazing (trust me no one will be hungry for days), and the staff includes some of the kindest and most helpful people around. The whole vibe of the HAE is great. We all stayed overnight and it definitely has a bed and breakfast feel (as opposed to a hotel feel) and it was great. It was so nice to have the whole wedding party and our parents stay at the venue with us so we could continue to have a good time with everyone even after the wedding was over. Pros: - I live 8 hours away so not having to find a florist and catering company was a plus for me. The flowers and food were perfectly done too! - Having Grace and Carmine helping with everything was a blessing - they are true professionals and have pulled off a number of different weddings. They will get whatever you have in mind and they will execute it perfectly. They are amazing wedding planners. - The amount of space the estate provides is amazing. We had about 160 people at our wedding and it was really nice to have such a great dance floor area, bar area, and outdoor areas. It's a huge plus if you have guests of all types. Plus having all the rooms was so nice as I mentioned. - Having a ceremony site and reception site all in one was a plus for us. - Getting ready on-site. Huge plus. We had lunch, had our hair and makeup done, and just relaxed all day. It was so wonderful. - Tons of parking at the estate. Things to take into consideration: - Hotels are not all that close. We had a bus to and from Sturbridge (you could also do Worcester) so it was about 40-45 minutes each way. I've been at weddings like this before so I don't think it's a big deal but it is something to note. Overall: The biggest PRO is Grace and Carmine and their staff. Trust them. They take so much pride in what they do and it shows in every aspect of your wedding. You will have nothing but great things to say if you host your wedding at the HAE.


Reviewed on 6/06/2015 Kirstie P

I got married May 30,2015 at the Estate. We had such an amazing experience here. Carmine and Grace really went the extra mile to make sure our day went amazing. There were no issues at all!! The food, staff, and grounds were amaing!! I highly recommend this venue to anyone. It... Read More was great that this is a one stop kind of deal. They have their own florist, bakery, and DJ to make the process of finding all of those so much easier. We had stayed overnight with guests and had a great time! Kirstie


Beautiful Venue

Reviewed on 3/18/2015 Kayana S

I attended a winter wedding in February this year at the Harding Allen Estate, and it was absolutely beautiful. The inside of the venue looked like something out of a winter fairy-tale: with winter themed trees, branches, and tea candles dispersed throughout. The food, catered... Read More by the venue, was wonderful, and served by friendly, professional staff. The owners Grace and Carmine went above and beyond to make sure the event was perfect. I would recommend this venue to couples looking for an elegant and intimate setting for their wedding.


Like living my own Fairy Tale

Reviewed on 11/05/2014 Samantha F

Words cannot even come close to describing my wedding at the HAE. The venue itself is absolutely stunning and the service received from Grace, Carmine, Alex and staff was top notch. From most of the vendors they recommended to all the emails back and forth, Grace and Carmine... Read More really made planning a wedding as stress free as it can be, they made it feel like you were planning a wedding with one of your close relatives. Most of the vendors they recommended were amazing, especially Sharon the florist. My centerpieces and flowers were gorgeous and the reception and how it was decorated was so elegant and classic, just the look I was going for, like living in my own fairy tale, I truly felt like a princess. I feel like I wouldn't have made it through my wedding without their help. The food and hors devours were also amazing and there definitely was a lot of it to go around. We had a signature drink that went quite quickly (it was very popular with our guests). Our guests to this day cannot stop ranting about good the food was and how gorgeous the reception was. We had our rehearsal dinner there the night before. It was such a great way for my husband and I to share with our families and close friends a glimpse of the venue we fell in love with. We were able to share the beauty of the mansion with our families in a very intimate setting. It almost felt like we were putting on a party in our very own home. The food was exquisite and our families could not get over the beauty of the mansion and all the different rooms each with it's own unique characteristics and intricate details. I truly cannot thank Carmine Grace and staff for making my wedding everything that I ever dreamed of. My only complaint would be with the photographer they recommended Sue Mason. The quality and quantity of the photos provided after the wedding were not good at all which truly makes me sad as I'll never be able to get that day back. We were relying on the photographer to capture our very special day and what we got was a photographer with a very old wind up camera who gave no direction to us when taking pictures. When we got our pictures back they were off center, blurry and I only received 204 pictures from her shooting from 12:00 in the afternoon to 10:00 that night. I am truly upset and forever sad that I do not have great photos to look back on such a beautiful day.


A magnificent wedding!

Reviewed on 10/26/2014

We want to thank Carmine, Grace, Alex and all the wonderful staff who made our daughter's wedding a tremendous success. We received so many compliments on every facet of the event. The signature drink was a huge hit, and the food was 5 star. Everyone they recommended to support... Read More the wedding, the florist, videographer, photographer, and DJ Bob made a night full of memories we will all cherish for a life time. Carmine and Grace went out of their way to make us feel like we were part of their family. They accommodated every request as if it was their own niece who was getting married. We also had the pleasure of having the rehearsal dinner at the Harding Allen Estate and it was a great way to start off this wonderful weekend of fun, family, and joy. Along the way we have made new lifelong friends with Carmine and Grace. Thank you for making Samantha's wedding such a wonderful event. Michael and Maryann Thorpe


Our wedding day 10/11/14

Reviewed on 10/23/2014 Amarilys P

—MY husband and I absolutely fell in love with this place and fell in love all over again on our wedding day. The service there was "top notch". Carmine and Grace are one of the most humble people we met. They were so helpful and patient with us the through the whole process.... Read More The did their absolute best to make out special day magical. We feel truly blessed and without a doubt will recommend this absolutely beautiful venue to any bride and groom we come across. I promise you that you will not be disappointed. :)


Elegant, picturesque, accommodating, family run venue

Reviewed on 10/16/2014 Rebecca R

We are so thankful for contacting Grace and Carmine at the Harding Allen Estate. It was a perfect venue for our wedding, beautiful grounds for an outdoor wedding, pictures, and cocktail hour, elegant reception area, delicious food, affordable prices, and special attention from... Read More all the crew, who were all accommodating, professional and treated us like family. The accommodations in the mansion we beautiful and convenient. The venue is a gem in central Massachusetts. The DJ that the venue uses is, Bob Solano, who is great! He rocked the night, played every song we requested, and even played the sax during dinner. We would highly recommend the Harding Allen to anyone!


Our Wedding Day was a Dream

Reviewed on 10/16/2014 Ana P

My husband and I were recently married at the Harding Allen Estate on July 27th, 2014. I fell in love with the Harding Allen from the moment I initially sat down with Grace to look at the estate as a potential venue for our big day. My husband and I ended up choosing the... Read More estate for our wedding not only for its charm and the beauty of its grounds but also because it was affordable for us as a young couple out of college. We are from Massachusetts' north shore which is about an hour and a half from the estate but everything that they could offer for us was well worth the time, expense and travel. Grace and her husband Carmine run everything at the estate and they were an amazing pair to work with. Both are super attentive and truly care about their clients. It honestly was like working with a pair of longtime friends. The day of our wedding was POURING and I was very nervous about whether or not out outdoor ceremony was going to happen. Carmine came to the bridal suite and showed me a printout of the latest overhead satellite imagery, explained that the clouds were passing and assured me that he would hold off a little to make sure that we could have our ceremony outdoors as planned and we did! It was truly a miracle and I was so grateful for Carmine's calmness and expertise in handling the situation that was turning me into a frazzled bride. The HAE offers an in-house florist that we consulted with and used for all of our floral arrangements bouquets, etc came out beautiful. We also used their in-house baker for our wedding cake and, although we couldn't taste test the cake beforehand, it was also delicious. As my husband and I are both brazilian, we wanted to incorporate some brazilian hors d'oeuvres into our cocktail hour and Carmine graciously took over that request and made it happen. The HAE also offers a DJ that we chose to go with. DJ Bob Solano was wonderful, affordable and also very accomodating to the various requests we made from special dances mixes to playing brazilian and american music. He even accompanied some songs with a saxophone and danced right along with our guests. Grace, besides helping Carmine in the organizational aspects of events is also head chef at the HAE and the food served for dinner was delicious! There are so many things that I could keep raving about when it comes to our wedding venue. We were truly, truly blessed in choosing the Harding Allen Estate and it will always hold a very dear place in our hearts.


Like family!

Reviewed on 10/16/2014 Angela O

The Harding Allen Estate is truly a magical and most beautiful wedding venue any bride could dream for. The amazing gardens and grounds are the perfect backdrop for timeless pictures and the reception room is second to none. But above everything else the service is top notch and... Read More Grace and Carmine treat you like family. I had my wedding booked for August 2014 until I found out my dad had stage 4 lung cancer in July 2013 and only had 6 months to live. Not only did Grace and Carmine help me choose a closer date but they helped me plan my wedding in only 6 weeks! They helped coordinate everything! I felt like I had a second set of parents looking out for me. I could not imagine planning my wedding any other way. Getting to have my father walk me down the aisle was the best gift life has ever given me and it couldn't have happened without H.A.E. I truly had the wedding of my dreams!


Wonderful Wedding!!

Reviewed on 10/14/2014 Rebecca F

My name is Rebecca. My husband Mitch and I just got married at the Harding Allen Estate on 10/4/14. We had both our ceremony and reception at the HAE. It was raining the day of our wedding so we had to get married in the ballroom. They decorated the aisle with candles and rose... Read More petals! It was perfect! They provided us with all of our food and desserts(including the cake) which was excellent! Their florist that they highly recommended definitely did not let us down. I loved my bouquet and center pieces! I would recommend that whoever gets married here to stick with the florist! The grounds are absolutely gorgeous!!! You should check it out for yourselves!!!! Carmine, Grace and their staff did an excellent job. They made our day perfect!!!


It was the best day!

Reviewed on 8/29/2014 Meg W

I met the staff at a bridal expo and they were great from the beginning! Other venues snubbed our small budget. The staff was basically our wedding planner. They were so empathic towards my family situation. The arranged everything for us, flowers, cake, table settings, DJ,... Read More photos etc. The ceremony site was beautiful! Alex, one of the staff is so sweet. She wads with us right to the begging of thge ceremony, fluffing my train. She frequently checked in on us. One of our favorite parts was when the staff joined us on the dance floor and taught us a dance :) Also my family loved the food. They are still talking about the beautiful grounds and meal. They paid great attention to the little details, things i never even thought of, including fresh rose petals on the aisle. They even had bug spray on all the tables around the pond. The pictures cannot show how wonderful the staff and venue is. We felt the staff was genuinely happy for us. I couldn't have asked for anything more! Thank-you Thank-you


Grea Location, Bad Management

Reviewed on 12/14/2013 Inna e

The venue is gorgeous and absolutely perfect for a wedding, however, that is where the positive experience ends. Overall, I felt there was absolutely no communication between Grace and Carmine, the owners of the Estate. I would talk to Grace about something and 2 days later... Read More Carmine would call me asking the same questions I had just answered for Grace. The greatest insult however came about one month before the wedding. When we initially met with Grace she explained that there is a certain minimum guest requirement and I told her right off the bat that we may not have the minimum. She told me not to worry and that we can simply use the money that would have gone to pay for those guests toward something else. 1 month before the wedding, Carmine tells me that that is not the case and that we would have to pay for the minimum number of people, even though that many were not attending. After a few upsetting emails, I was able to get the owners to stick to their original promise, however the interaction left a sour taste in my mouth and afterward I felt I had to triple check everything with both owners. The food was good; the concern was that we were able to attend the tasting of the entrees only after we gave them a check for a deposit. Additionally, not all entrees were available to taste and there were no desserts. I am a huge dessert person and Grace raved about their onsite pastry chef, so naturally I wanted to do a cake tasting, however was told that they do not do tastings for cakes. It took me several months of asking and stating that I would not hire them to do the cake without a tasting, for me to get a cake tasting. The day of the wedding, the wedding party did not receive the requested and paid for beverages in the dressing rooms and instead of the cake cutting set we bought, we found a completely different set near our cake. We decided to stay overnight at the Estate after the wedding. Our bed was rock hard, the bathtub in our room had not hot water valve and the bathroom right outside our room had no cold-water valve. My advise is that if you decide to have your wedding at the Estate, make sure to get everything in writing, get your cake at an outside bakery and the night of the wedding, do not stay at the Estate!!!!


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Reviewed on 10/08/2013 Steve P

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Our Day 7/6/13

Reviewed on 8/11/2013 Tamara G

This venue was amazing! From the minute we walked in the door to view it until after the reception the owners Grace and Carmine and their staff were helpful, patient and professional. But with a touch of heart! The site is gorgeous, well-kept and clean. The food (Grace is... Read More master chef) was amazing and plentiful. Chris, their assistant, welcomed questions and random visits with ease. It fit well into our budget and they really worked with us to allow us to personalize our day. Off the beaten path but WELL WORTH it. Thanks again to Grace and Carmine and staff for an amazing day of everything we hoped it could be and then some!


Beautiful Venue, Poor Execution

Reviewed on 7/11/2013 J S

The Harding Allen Estate was truly a mixed bag. We had a lovely evening there for our wedding and the venue proved to be phenomenal for photos and wowing guests. However, management has gotten complacent about running weddings. They may seem experienced and confident, but... Read More attention to detail is lacking. The main issues were communication and food. It was very hard to connect with management. We had to ask for weeks to schedule our final planning meeting. When we finally got a response back less than 3 weeks before, it was "Can you come tomorrow?" In that meeting we finalized a number of things (in writing), from the bottle champagne on our table for toasts, signature drinks, renting the cake cutting knife, etc. Day of the wedding, there was no champagne our table and we ended up toasting with empty glasses. When we asked for it, we were met with looks of confusion. Our signature drinks were never made available. We paid $5 for the non-existent cake cutting knife and ended up using a butter knife. These little things permeated through the entire evening. Despite claims they don't “nickel and dime”, expect to pay for all the little things, from the cake knife to favor placement. Food-wise, it was a tough call. Guests loved the appetizers but half were unable to get any. 160 guests had to pass through a single buffet line. Only a few servers walked around with trays. Many guests complained to me that by the time they waited through the line, the trays were empty. When everyone was finally seated and served their salad, they wasted so much time trying to get the wedding party together that guests were leaving before dinner was even served. The food was hit or miss, and the prime rib left something to be desired. I should have expected issues with the food, particularly after the tasting, which we weren't given until over a year after we paid the deposit. Forget everything you heard about how amazing your friends' tastings were. To start, they didn't offer any of the beef dishes because they "are straightforward: we prepare top-quality beef." They claimed they would be serving the chef's choice of sides to make a meal of it. That's taken straight from their provided paperwork. I guess the chef's choice of side that night was nothing because they didn’t even bother to provide bread, beverages, or vegetables. It was an embarrassment that we had to pay $25/pp+tip for the bride's family and the 5 of us were only given a few bites of the 3 meal items we chose. It reminded me of what a prison dinner must be like given the somberness of all ~100 people, most of whom left quickly. Needless to say, we needed a real dinner after. The wedding felt much the same way. But it wasn't all bad news. The venue truly is beautiful in person and in photos. The waitstaff were phenomenal,and were having as much fun as we were. I sent a more detailed letter to Grace and Carmine in a letter hoping that they might be able to use it to improve their services in the future. They never bothered to respond. I was hoping I might at least get the info for the waitress who helped serve us as she definitely deserved a tip at their "tip-free" venue. Almost a month later and I still haven't heard anything back. If we had to do it again, we'd probably go with the other venue that we were considering. If you choose Harding Allen, just take everything that you hope to take for granted with a grain of salt.


My perfect experience- almost!

Reviewed on 10/30/2012 Kathryn S

Harding Allen was one of my husband and I's first choices after looking at a few venues and we worked with them for almost two years before my wedding! HAE held our reception only, as the ceremony was at my church in Worcester. During planning we mostly worked with Grace who was... Read More lovely and understanding in all of our questions, concerns etc. We did feel somewhat strong armed into choosing the "house DJ" Bob- as I was very nervous after reading a few reviews of him, I asked who our other options were and their response was- "well, you can try to find someone else but they can't be on our "not allowed back" list of 400 DJ's...So clearly it was not worth the effort to try to find someone else. We went with Bob and I was so happy with him but I am even more happy that I gave him OVER SPECIFIC instructions such as no sax, no singing, and an extensive please play/do not play list. He does tend to be a little cheezy but otherwise kept a lot of people on the dance floor. We did not utilize their cake or florist services and at first had trouble bringing in our own (we had cannolis instead) but after discussion with Grace she was amenable to keeping them in the fridge for the afternoon until the reception. The grounds, pavilion, and rooms speak for themselves they are GORGEOUS! We got married at the end of fall so a lot of the plants were like super dead but I guess there is no good way of covering them up, but we got a lot of compliments about the decor. The food was to die for! So many compliments about the flavor (we offered turkey, or pork) but we had many complaints that some of the food was cold and needed to be sent back. I tried to personalize my wedding a lot and met a little resistance from the staff as to changing how I did things but with good reason...They are professionals! They really know what their doing and whatever they do- it usually works. For every suggestion I had they had good reasons as to not do it that way (ex: what if we put the sweetheart table in the corner- no, because the air vent is there and looks ugly in pictures as well as your guests cant always see you) they really know what they do well and how to make it happen. In the final planning of the day Grace, Chris and Carmine were really helpful and put me at ease, they made sure that all my little touches were just right and even decorated our tower of cannoli with fake little books! (our reception was book themed) as a surprise. She also was willing to work with us on prices even though we used their package system. Make sure to include extensive directions to the estate as it is difficult to find and use the address that they recommend. We did stay over the night of our wedding and we loved the little touches such as rose petals on the bed and the fact that they saved our favorite cannolis for us and had them waiting. The only downside was that when we were sweaty after the party and wanted to shower there were no towels in the room! We probably could have gone and found someone but were too tired to look for then so we improvised with some paper towels and a t-shirt. Overall I was impressed with their expertise, know how, and professionalism and felt very comfortable giving them such a large sum of money to make my day extra special. I would definitely recommend HAE to other brides as long as you make sure you are clear with your expectations and are detail oriented!


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