Art Inspired This Wedding of Two Photographers at Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown, Connecticut

A decade ago, Kaylyn Leighton and Joe Sinthavong crossed paths as photographers at a fashion start-up. "What started out as a friendship blossomed int

A decade ago, Kaylyn Leighton and Joe Sinthavong crossed paths as photographers at a fashion start-up. "What started out as a friendship blossomed into the deepest connection we would ever know," Kaylyn fondly recalls. Their love story reached a magical turning point in Versailles during a foggy morning in the palace gardens. As the bride describes, "A thick fog had rolled in, making the vast grounds invisible and creating a unique and intimate feeling."

In that surreal moment, while capturing their journey through photographs, Joe surprised Kaylyn by getting down on one knee. "I heard a sound in the distance, and I looked over my shoulder; when I looked back, I saw Joe getting down on one knee! Everything was a blur after that as I grabbed the ring and kissed him," Kaylyn reminisces. The rest of the day was spent in a dreamlike state, walking on a cloud of love amidst the stunning gardens of Versailles, savoring the magic.

They contemplated eloping abroad; the irony, due to their profession, of not having their own wedding was not lost on them. Eventually, they decided to bring the enchantment of the south of France to New England, creating an artisan affair for their loved ones to cherish. Amid the rolling hills and charming landscapes, they planned a day to fit their artful, detailed vision: "Imagine being in the south of France on a late summer's day. The cool ocean breeze making its way up to the charming cliffside villages. The florals, a feast for the eyes, as if painted by Claude Monet himself."

Kaylyn took on the role of event designer, pouring her heart and soul into creating a bespoke experience that celebrated not only their love but also the artistry that goes into crafting a wedding. She meticulously designed the invitation suite, hand-printing, hand-tearing and hand-assembling each piece.

When it came to fashion, Kaylyn and Joe were equally thoughtful. By chance, Kaylyn discovered her perfect ceremony gown, a stunning Martina Liana creation that stole her heart. She customized it with an open back and a more fitted silhouette. For her reception dress, she collaborated with a local designer to craft a bespoke gown that shimmered like stars beneath the lights, creating a dramatic transformation when she took the dance floor. Initially, Joe had purchased a tuxedo online, but it left the couple underwhelmed. A trip to Suit Supply led them to the ideal black tuxedo, perfectly tailored and detailed to their liking.

On the wedding day, guests gathered in the idyllic setting of Wadsworth Mansion, where the cool breeze and lush surroundings brought the essence of the south of France to life. The ceremony, guided by the philosophy of L'Art de vivre, celebrated their deep connection with art and craftsmanship. The couple stood at the center, surrounded by their loved ones. It was an unconventional setup, with their officiant addressing the guests from the side. This unique arrangement allowed Kaylyn and Joe to connect not only with each other but also with the friends and family who had supported them on their journey.

The reception was a blend of understated elegance and timeless beauty. The space, already stunning in its own right, needed only a delicate touch to enhance its warmth. The transition between spaces was seamless, with special order linens adding a touch of color to the cocktail hour and creating a beautiful contrast with the dinner in the ballroom. Inspired by their travels, custom-built seating chart walls and flower box signs greeted the guests. The seating chart featured a sustainable twist, with "paper" rental cameras, a nod to their love for photography, and escort cards lovingly handcrafted by the bride herself. Bells, inspired by the scrap metal artists they encountered on the streets of Greece, added a whimsical touch to their celebration. The newlyweds didn't stop at visual aesthetics; every aspect of their wedding was designed to touch the senses and create an unforgettable experience.

Florals played a crucial role in their wedding design, with unique selections and minimal greenery to create light and airy arrangements. Both tall and low centerpieces graced the tables, creating a visual spectacle for the guests. Their wedding was not just a celebration but an experience that touched all the senses. From the bespoke reception dress to the fashion illustrations drawn on-site as guest gifts, from the curated 12-foot grazing table to the craft cocktails and meaningful song lyrics, every element was carefully chosen to create a wedding that was uniquely theirs.

The newlyweds emphasize the importance of staying true to yourselves as a couple, embracing authenticity over tradition. Their non-traditional timeline and unique approach to their wedding day allowed them to create an experience that was truly their own. They also highlight the significance of managing expectations, both in planning and on the wedding day itself. "In a Pinterest world, we often lose touch with reality. This goes not only for planning but also on the day of. We have two children, so I've learned to roll with the punches!"

A whimsical and soft wedding invitation suite with wax seals, an illustration of the venue and artful and Parisian-inspired details in blush and pale with white, accented by light pastel flowers.
Pink Ring Box With Emerald-Cut Engagement Ring and Pink and White Blooms, Venue Illustration
Structured, Light, Pastel Bouquet With Blush, Coral, Lavender and White Flowers
Bride Portrait With Glamorous Makeup, Veil Over Face and Pale Pastel Bouquet
Groom in Tuxedo and Simple Boutonniere Looking at Bride During First Look
Groom in Classic Tuxedo Twirls Daughter, Flower Girl, in Tulle Ballgown, Estate Ballroom
Bride With Gold-and-Pearl Drop Earrings Talking With Daughter Flower Girl, Updos
Bride With Drop Earrings, Fitted Gown With Three Flower Girls in Tulle Ballgowns
Wide Shot of Bride and Father Walking on Lawn for Ceremony Surrounded by Trees
Groom in Tuxedo Waiting at Altar With Daughter Flower Girl, Tulle Dress, Basket
Bride in Long Veil, Groom in Tuxedo Kiss at Outdoor Lawn Altar Between White Arrangements
A pale pink welcome sign with a built-in flower box in shades of white, pink and coral handcrafted by the bride and groom for their artful, elegant estate garden wedding.
Guests in Pink, Floral Print Dresses With Drinks at Outdoor Lawn Cocktail Hour
Photography-Inspired Escort Card Display in Pale Pink With Cameras and Gold Bells
Fashion Illustration of the Bride, Groom and Their Children in Formal Attire
Gold-Rimmed Sign For Live Illustrator Offering Portraits of Guests, Explaining Process
SamiaLynn Illustration & Design Working on Fashion Guest Portraits During Reception
Bride Pouring Champagne on Champagne Tower With Groom
Appetizer Spread of Fruit, Baked Goods and Cured Meats at Estate Garden Reception
Guests With Pastel, Fruit-Laden Signature Cocktails at Garden Reception
Tiered Appetizer Charcuterie Spread With Fruit, Cheese, Meats and Baked Goods
Guests Toasting With Colorful pastel Craft Cocktails With Fruit
A low pastel centerpiece with white, coral and blush flowers in a white vase with a minimalistic table number in gold on a white-linen tablescape for a whimsical estate wedding.
Cocktail Hour Bar With Colorful Signature Cocktails, Low Centerpiece, Mirror Sign
Light Tablescape With Pastel Candles, Low Minimalist Centerpiece and Glass Chargers
Low Floral Centerpiece With White-and-Coral-Pink Flowers, White Details
Light Reception Estate Ballroom, Round Tables, Tall Centerpieces in Glass Vases
Round Table With White Linen, Low Pastel Centerpiece and Pale Pink Candles
Two-Tier All-White Wedding Cake With Edible Frosting Bead Detailing
Bride and Daughter Flower Girl With Fiber Optic Wands Dancing on Dance Floor
Bride in Sleek Sleeved Dress Dancing With Father in Courtyard, Purple Uplighting