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What We Did

I am sure that most of us have dreamed about escaping from a crazy week to a small cabin or cottage (some of us may actually have one or the other). Growing up in The Berkshires, one always hears stories about the famed “Berkshire Cottages”. For those of you who don’t know what the cottages were/are, they are far from a shack in the woods.

A brief history…

During America’s Gilded Age (1865 to 1901) saw unprecedented economic and industrial prosperity. The result of this prosperity meant that the nation's wealthiest families were able to construct the “Cottages” (estates) in Newport, Rhode Island, Bar Harbor, Maine and The Berkshires in Massachusetts.

Sadly, in the wake of The Great Depression, many of these multiple family homes fell into disrepair as many wealthy families lost their fortunes.

One of these homes was Ventfort Hall. Built in 1893 for George and Sarah Morgan, sister of J. P. Morgan, Ventfort was slated to be demolished and replaced with a nursing home. In 1997 it was rescued by The Ventfort Hall Association (a nonprofit) and has been undergoing extensive restoration.

Heirloom Fire had the incredibly pleasure of working with a team of Berkshire professionals to create a styled photoshoot that captured some of the period magic that Ventfort perfectly embodies.

Magdalena of Magdalena Events and Design was the architect of this shoot. She had a beautiful vision of what this “Gatsby” style shoot should look like - So much creativity and passion. We all fed off of her excitement and beautiful work.

I had heard feedback from Ventfort brides concerned about the dark wood inside of the estate. The fun part about that is the darker spots really give a canvas for a lighting expert to work with to bring to life details that may get lost in an area that may be more exposed. Darren from Encore Audio and Event Services really did a lovely job setting the mood and lighting the area.

Classical Tents provided us with whimsical laters and the perfect linens and flatware to showcase the table layout that was finished by the gorgeous flowers from Cassandra Events.

Our stunning bride, Waterfall, was made up beautifully by Jenna Lanphear and donned a handmade Fair-trade dress from Celia Grace.

It was nice to see an Heirloom Fire menu pressed with such style from Bella Figura.

And of course, none of these beautiful images would be here without the seriously talented and passionate Elaina Mortali of Elaina Mortali Photography (HIRE THIS WOMAN). A little behind the scenes fun tidbit: I love photographers, for real. I came around the corner to witness Elaina adjusting Waterfall’s chin in the position she wanted to capture - I love that! Get up in my face, pose me, shape me like ball of clay!

Besides collecting beautiful photographs of this event, why did we do it? There is so much history in The Berkshires, history that we need to hold and restore. Ventfort Hall is an ongoing restorative project and I for one am looking forward to seeing what other brides have in store for this beautiful Berkshire mansion. We are lucky to have Ventfort Hall as one of the many beautiful wedding venues in The Berkshires.

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