A Classic, Contemporary Wedding at New Haven Lawn Club in New Haven, Connecticut

Bethany DiMarzio (26 and a lawyer) and Michael Barrese (28 and a lawyer) were all about simple elegance with a few unexpected twists when it came to their wedding. The couple kept things local hosted the affair at the New Haven Lawn Club in New Haven, Connecticut. The day started with a traditional ceremony at their home parish, the Church of St. Mary. After exchanging vows, the couple and their guests headed to New Haven Lawn Club for a night of dinner and dancing. “We picked the Lawn Club for several reasons,” Bethany says. “Its timeless style fit our personalities, the menu was creative (and delicious!) and the venue was the perfect size for our reception.” To add a touch of contemporary flair to the ballroom's exquisite architectural details and glamorous starburst chandeliers, the couple decorated the tables with understated yet eye-catching arrangements of bold coral peonies. Delicious food was high on Bethany and Michael’s must-have list, and the Lawn Club definitely delivered. Cocktail hour was a culinary delight with an array of inspired stations and passed hors d’oeuvres, like stuffed artichokes, pepper-crusted beef tenderloin and samosas. The dinner menu was equally delectable, with a choice of beef Wellington, maple-glazed chicken or lemongrass salmon and a selection of mouthwatering sides. After indulging in wedding cake, the newlyweds and their guests hit the dance floor. “During the father-daughter dance, my dad and I surprised everyone by starting with a traditional dance and then breaking into a choreographed routine to the number one song from the week I was born: ‘La Bamba,’ ” Bethany says. Midway through the evening the couple served mini cheeseburgers as a late-night snack to keep the party going. To show their appreciation to their families and friends, they sent guests home with an assortment of homemade wedding-inspired cookies made by Michael’s mother. A tip from Bethany: “If you're a busy couple like we are, plan as much as you can in advance and do your best to share responsibilities with each other and your families and friends. Be up front with each other about which elements of the wedding are most important to you, and focus your time and budget on those elements. We went into our wedding knowing that nothing ever goes 100 percent perfectly, so I didn't stress when it rained the morning of our wedding; it cleared up just in time for the ceremony anyway. Your choice of vendors can also make a big difference, so take your time and choose carefully.”