(CT River Valley Shoreline) HARKNESS vs. ROCKY NECK PAVILION

vickita123vickita123 member
Third Anniversary First Comment
edited September 2013 in Connecticut
I have been looking for a CT shoreline venue for our June wedding.  A lot of my family is from the CT River Valley area and that is where I spent much of my childhood, as well as visited with my fiance.

I was looking for somewhere we could have a tent wedding in the area from Clinton to Mystic, that is also not too expensive.  We were looking for a tent wedding that allows us to use CT Rental Center, since my "uncle" is CT Rental Center (they're AMAZING btw, and not just because they're basically family). 
I have spent many summers at Harkness State Park, just exploring and enjoying the beautiful scenery with my cousin. But just recently I have researched receptions at the Rocky Neck Pavilion, which looks lovely but there is not a lot of review out there.  I am having hard time deciding on which is better, weighing the pros and cons. I know Harkness only allows up to 150 guests, but I have also heard that Rocky Neck has a lot of "rules".

Anyone out there have a wedding at either place that could give their input or thoughts of your special day?

We want a really unique wedding, that's fun and very memorable.  Both places are beautiful settings and hold a close place to my heart. ANY help would be greatly appreciated!!!! :)


Re: (CT River Valley Shoreline) HARKNESS vs. ROCKY NECK PAVILION

  • I can speak for Rocky Neck...sort of.   I was MOH in my cousin's wedding there 5 years ago.  It was a beautiful venue and a fantastic view of the beach, however, they do have a lot of rules.  We have a family beach house at the next beach over so it was convenient for them and they also got engaged at our beach so we often checked out the other weddings to see what they had done with the space.  I would contact them ahead of time and find out about the tent.  If I remember correctly they didn't allow tents back then.  I may be wrong, but double check on that.  Another place to check would be Westbrook Elks.
  • I think harkness is a prettier setting ( and I'm from niantic, so that's saying a lot!) The only draw back is if you were to have the wedding inside, your guests are in different rooms. However, that doesn't sound like it applies to you if you are doing a tent.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Yes, I agree, Rocky Neck had way too many rules.
    You should consider The Branford House at Avery Point; they allow tent weddings and the setting is beautiful.
    I have booked a date in June 2014 but I may have to back out (I think most of the dates in June are booked). You can email me and I'll give you an update when I know. [email protected]

    Good luck!!
  • thank you ladies. Branford house was beautiful, and i have heard really good things! it was a bit hard to get to for my liking, but it was still a great venue. our date isnt until june of 2015, so i am just trying to be ahed of the game since june dates are so popular! thank you though :)

    and did not know about the room situation at harkness, i will definitely have to think about that as well!
  • I will add that Harkness is quite popular and their summer dates esp. Saturdays are booked over a year in advance, it seems.
  • good to know!

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