April 26, 2019

Lounsbury House, Ridgefield

Suzi Eckert Photography

Cara LaMonte wasn’t looking for “happily ever after” when she met Philip Robinson. As it turns out, she got something even more meaningful: something she calls “happily even after.”

Cara and Philip were each still struggling to survive the loss of their respective spouses when they met on Dec. 31, 2015. Was the road to their April 26, 2019, wedding a smooth one? Not always. When you’re combining lives, families and immeasurable loss there are bound to be some bumps along the way, but the pair is proud proof that “true love can happen a second time around,” Cara says, even after tragedy.

“I’m very fortunate to have found two great men in my life,” Cara says. “Phil is such a kind and positive person. Everybody loves him, and I know he would do anything for me.” For their wedding day at the glorious Lounsbury House in Ridgefield, “It was very important to both Phil and I to honor the memories of our pasts, but also to reflect on our personalities and the new life that we were creating together in a simple and elegant way,” Cara says. “I wanted a laid-back vibe where everyone we love was present to share in the celebration of our new beginning.”

The center hall of the magnificent Neo Classical-style, white-clapboard mansion with a grand center staircase served as the site of Cara and Philip’s heartfelt ceremony officiated by the bride’s best friend since childhood. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” Cara recalls. “Everyone was so happy that we found each other.” Cara’s three sons, Matthew, Stefan and Andrew, gave her away, while Philip’s daughter Julia stood up for her dad as “best woman.”

The mansion’s ballroom, dining room and former music room off the center hall were set up with a multitude of tables with no assigned seating so guests could mingle after the ceremony. “I wanted everything to be understated and about having a good time,” Cara says. “More like a cocktail party or a fun evening out with our friends.” The bride herself designed the centerpieces, which, she says, the florist at Caraluzzi’s Georgetown Market in Wilton “executed to perfection,” while Carriage House Events and Caterers of Bridgewater “nailed it with the food” and the bride’s cousin at Izzi B’s in Norwalk served up an “amazing” allergen-free cake. Tangled Vine, the very band Cara and Philip had gone to see on their first date, kept everyone on the dance floor, including the bride, radiant in a form-fitting stunner of a gown from BHLDN. “I wanted something that reflected my style of simple and classic,” Cara explains. “Bridal without being overly bridal, as this was a second wedding.”

As for brides who are, like her, planning a trip down the aisle for the second time, Cara has this straightforward advice: “Just embrace it all — even the prep. “There’s no need to waste time comparing yourself to younger brides.” When you’re lucky enough to find “happily even after,” you need to “enjoy every moment.”

officiant: Cristine Groenewegen

dress boutique: BHLDN, Westport

tuxedos: Armani/Saks Off 5th

shoes: Steve Madden

music: Tangled Vine, Fairfield County

caterer: Carriage House Events and Catering, Bridgewater

florist: Caraluzzi’s Georgetown Market, Wilton

cake: Izzi B’s Allergen-Free Bakery, Norwalk

hair: Adam Broderick Salon & Spa, Ridgefield

invitations: Minted

rentals: All Season Party Rentals, Redding