A Rustic Vineyard Wedding at Hopkins Vineyard in Warren, Connecticut

Karen Milewski (33, a medical laboratory scientist) and Peter C. Viola (36, a business owner) met in their college microbiology class at the beginning of 2002 and started dating late 2003. “We dated for ten years before we got engaged, which was in February of 2014,” Karen says. “Peter proposed at Kent Falls -- I knew he had my ring, because we designed it together, but he still managed to surprise me that day! It was a sweet and emotional moment, even after all our years together. The ring is a white gold, bezel-set round diamond, accented by channel set sapphires on each side. It's gorgeous and so unique and was made for us by Quality Gem in Bethel, Connecticut.”And when they started planning their wedding, it was actually their caterer who helped them find their venue.“Initially, we had set our sights on a location in Kent, but that didn't work out,” Karen says. “At that point, our caterer, James Neunzig from Giffords Catering, put us in touch with Eileen Smith of Eileen Smith Events. Knowing we wanted a relaxed outdoor venue, Eileen suggested we take a look at Hopkins Vineyard. The vineyard overlooks Lake Waramaug and the outdoor space next to the vintage red barn was perfect -- mature trees, a small pond, a large stone wall to one side and sweeping views of the hills and vines on the other side. We wanted our wedding to feel like an intimate garden dinner party, and we definitely achieved that! The style of our wedding was very natural and informal, while still retaining a clean and classic feel. Dinner was served family style and included grilled flank steak, salmon filet, grilled asparagus, roasted potatoes and beets. I think the overall feel of our wedding is what best reflected us as a couple. It was relaxed and intimate -- the focus was on our love for each other and the love we have for our family and friends. Even our Justice of the Peace was a very close friend, and it meant the world to have him preside over our wedding.”