When Jess & Josh reached out and described a movie-inspired wedding at a castle built from repurposed historical architecture by a guy named Bill in the 1960’s, we were SO. IN.
First I’ll describe the place. Bill Miller’s Castle was originally a barn that he built into a residence, eventually resembling a Tudoresque mansion that he kept adding to it until it “became a castle.” The ceilings are reclaimed wood from old tobacco barns in South Windsor. The lamp posts on the deck and inside the penthouse “were found laying on the side of old Merritt Parkway.” The stained glass and gates are from Yale. The chandeliers are from the old Taft Hotel in New Haven. The railings are from the Providence Opera House. It goes on and on. The bigger rooms evolved from a gymnastics and dance studio to “Connecticut’s first discotheque” to the event facility that it is today, owned and operated by Bill’s daughter Lisa, who happily gave us a tour and made us feel at home. We came to learn what a distinctive, well-known part of Connecticut this place is; an unofficial museum of New England and an intriguing legacy to a fascinating man. As Lisa was showing us around I imagined that playing hide-and-seek in her family must have been epic.
What we will remember most, however, was the way Jess and Josh truly made the event their own and soaked up every minute of the fun and love surrounding them. They took so many opportunities to sprinkle in the things they love: Futurama was referenced in the title of the event (“Shut Up and Take My Vows”), the centerpieces were handmade lanterns each designed around a specific movie favorite (Matt wanted to take home the John Wick), the place cards were Hollywood movie clappers, and the dessert table was inspired by Twin Peaks. A cardboard cutout of their cat made its way from the gift table to the cake, and instead of a guestbook their friends and family signed a movie poster. Toward the end of the night the weather gave us some drizzly movie drama, so they agreed to bring the dance party outside for some quick portraits in the rain just outside the castle’s massive gates.
Congratulations to Jess and Josh- thank you for offering your movie wisdom, and we hope to nerd out with you for a game night some day!