Jaclyn Krawiec & Eric Cusano

September 09, 2017

The Lace Factory, Deep River

Photos by Katie Slater Photography

officiant Annie DeLucco Salgado, Kensington

planner Rachel Yeager Douglass, San Francisco

dress designer / boutique Claire Pettibone Flagship Salon, Los Angeles

tuxedos The Black Tux

videographer Babble Films, Boston

music Clark Eno Orchestra, Danbury

spanish guitar Jay & Lee, Rumba Flamenca, New York

florist Jakkelyn Iris Flowers, Middlefield

cateer Cloud Nine Catering, Old Saybrook

hair / make-up Simply Gorgeous by Erin, Southington

transportation Essex Steam Train

invitations Hartford Prints, Hartford

signage KChalk Designs, Old Saybrook

favors Apis Verdi Farm, Lebanon

When Jaclyn Krawiec was about to board a plane for a semester abroad in Seville, Spain, someone across the terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York caught her eye. The tall, dark and handsome stranger looked like he might be of Spanish origin and the starry-eyed college student grew excited at the thought of all the hombres muy guapos she might meet during her time in Seville. Instead, when the Newington native got to Spain she was surprised to meet Eric Cusano from Lebanon, Connecticut, who — you guessed it! — turned out to be the handsome stranger from the airport, and just so happened to be spending the semester in Seville as well. Their Sept. 9, 2017, wedding took place at The Lace Factory in Deep River. Some things were meant to be.

“Eric has a very calming presence, while I am very high energy,” Jaclyn says. “What I love most about him is that he lets me be me and vice versa.” In fact, “in our vows I said to him, ‘Thank you for not completing me, but complementing me.’ We’re our own people, but we’re on the same page about most things.”

What the couple wanted most for their wedding was “a day that felt like ‘us’ — romantic, breezy and fun,” Jaclyn says, which was just what The Lace Factory delivered.

The circa-1875, vintage-glam event space, once home to a factory that crafted Old World lace, is open, rambling and full of light. Think rustic brick walls, vintage hardwood floors, exposed beams and walls lined with row upon row of glittering multi-paned windows. “I walked in and it took my breath away,” Jaclyn recalls. No other venues were looked at.

Because Jaclyn and Eric wanted to bring small “pops” of their Spanish beginnings to the day, guests, who were transported to the “factory” at Deep River Landing in high style aboard the Essex Steam Train, were greeted with sangria and a Spanish guitar duo playing flamenco. As they entered a courtyard garden for the ceremony, the Justice of the Peace (who is also Jaclyn’s cousin) asked each guest to take a moment to bless the wedding bands Jaclyn and Eric would soon slip on each other’s fingers. “We had no idea she was going to do that,” Jaclyn remembers, “but it made our hearts so happy.”

The glowing bride in an ethereal Claire Pettibone sheath with the sort of intricate lace that must surely have pleased any spirits of lace-makers past left roaming the factory, processed down the aisle to a guitar instrumental of “Bésame Mucho” to find her usually “stoic” groom with tears streaming from his eyes. “Happy tears,” she says — just the kind for which her mother and a family friend had collected vintage handkerchiefs, which they pressed with lavender. 

The duo also collected vintage china for the dessert table, where Jaclyn and Eric had not cake, but five different varieties of their favorite pies and, as a nod to their Italian heritage, Italian cookies baked by close family and friends. Dancing ensued — how could it not with the Clark Eno Orchestra in the house? — and when all was said and done Mr. and Mrs. Cusano boarded the steam train, guests cheering loudly as they kissed, and went through the train cars passing out bags of Deep River chips as a late-night snack. “There was so much love and happiness on that train!” Jaclyn says. “It was the perfect ending to the most incredible day.”