September 30, 2017

Priam Vineyards, Colchester

Kasey Matson Photography

 Caitlin Frallicciardi and Brandon Ames met in 2010 while working at Hartford Road Pizza in Manchester. Their friendship slowly grew into a relationship and in 2016, while hiking in Acadia National Park in Maine, Brandon popped the question and planning for a future together began.

“We’re both pretty laid back,” Caitlin says, “but I can get worked up.” When that happens, “Brandon levels me out. It’s a good balance.”

 Little did the couple know how much of a balancing act would be required when, in the process of planning their Sept. 30, 2017, wedding, their original venue canceled on them with just four months to go. Forced to scramble to find a new venue that could accommodate the same date (not an easy task for a Saturday in September), Caitlin called Priam Vineyards, set on 40 hilltop acres in Colchester, and quickly discovered that some things are just meant to be.

 Indeed, when Sept. 30 rolled around, an outdoor ceremony at the verdant vineyards allowed Caitlin (on the arm of her proud father) to make a grand entrance between acres of vines. (“The forecast said it was supposed to rain and thunder,” Caitlin remembers, but not a drop fell.) A tented reception for 170 guests was set up near cabernet sauvignon and merlot vines overlooking what the bride describes as an “amazing” view of the hills and valleys of the Salmon River watershed all the way to Massachusetts. Softly glowing lanterns led the way to a fire pit for guests to gather around, while inside the tent decorated with an appropriately rich palette of burgundy with accents of copper and white, guests celebrated with the fun-loving couple’s signature spicy margaritas and, but of course, glasses of Priam Vineyards’ own wines. (In case you’re wondering, the bride highly recommends the Blackledge Red, a delicate, ruby-colored blend of primarily St. Croix.)

 With the bride’s sister-in-law (and wife of her brother), Krista Frallicciardi of A Perfect Little Plan in New Canaan, helping coordinate, memorable moments for Caitlin included the couple’s first dance to Jack Johnson’s “Better Together,” her dance with dad to Paul Simon’s “Father and Daughter” and watching the couple’s pint-size nieces and nephews on the dance floor dancing with pure joy and abandon. In the end, and despite the bump in the road, “everything turned out just how we wanted,” Caitlin reflects. “We tried not to have crazy expectations and just ‘be’ in the moment.” The result was that “everything flowed; it was great.”

event planner  A Perfect Little Plan, New Canaan

dress designer  Wtoo by Watters

dress/headpiece  April Rose Designs, Guilford

bridesmaids’ dress brand  Jenny Yoo Collection

bridesmaids’ dress boutique  Bella Bridesmaids, Westport

tuxedos  Blacktux.com

videographer  Kelly Mcaulley, New York 

dj/music  Music Matters Weddings & Events, East Haven 

caterer  Catering By Christine, Milford

flowers  It’s So Ranunculus Flower Shoppe, Marlborough

cake  Cakes by Liana, Colchester

hair/make-up  Studio Central, Glastonbury