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K+J | Grand Lodge at Maneeley’s Wedding | Connecticut Wedding Photographer Windsor, CT

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In 8th grade Jen was attending St James School and Karl was attending Bennett Academy. They didn’t know each other at the time (but both grew up in Manchester and their families went to the same church). Part of going catholic school was to volunteer for a number of hours. Jen loved music class and her music teacher, Kathy. She was in charge of running the children and adult choir for St James Church and invited Jen to be her helper the children’s choir. At her first meeting she walked into the choir loft and as she walked around the corner – BOOM – there Karl was. Sitting on a stool. She doesn’t know what it was about him but he just looked and felt so different. He was helpful, quiet, polite… the complete opposite of every boy at her school. They didn’t talk much for a few months. She would look at him and look away when he caught her staring but then he would do the same to her. One day they both arrived to choir early and they started talking on the staircase… a conversation about a hydro-cell fuel car he had built … hook line and sinker that was it a love match.

Thinking back on it now, they say it seems so corny! They continued chatting from September – April/May when choir was coming to an end. There was a “year end” celebration with donuts in the church basement to celebrate the year. Jen gave Karl a big hug before she left the party and remembers hearing/feeling his heart beat so fast. They never exchanged numbers but her friend Lily (who was in the bridal party!) had to tell Karl that Jen was practically in love with him. Jen had told her friends at school about him and even cut his face out of a photo of the choir they took as a group and shoved it into the front of her school binder. Awwww

Jen wanted Karl to go to her graduation but she still didn’t have his phone number. So she turned to the phone book (equivalent of Facebook today?) and searched his last name. Luckily there was only 1 Denton in Manchester! She called the number, played 21 questions with his mother “who are you” “why are you calling for my son” just to only leave her number. She didn’t think she’d give it to him but he called her – she invited him to graduation, and a few days later were officially boyfriend and girlfriend. Fast forward 13 years…they’ve been through so much together… middle school, high school and college graduations, first jobs, new baby cousins, friends, first cars, first home together, tragic losses, new ..they’ve been through it all.

Their first date was at Six Flags! They loved spending time in the waterpark and ridings Jen’s first rollercoaster with him. For the proposal, Karl surprised Jen with a trip to Duxbury, Vermont for a long weekend right before thanksgiving in 2017. She had never been to Vermont and was excited to explore. They pulled up to a log cabin in the middle of the woods as snow was gently falling (after multiple attempts to get up a hill and sliding backward)  The owners came out to greet them, took their bags and recommended a hike since their room wasn’t quite ready.  They ended up hiking up a small mountain and when they finally got to the top they took a photo. Jen remembers hearing/feeling Karl’s heart pounding out of his chest… Jen was scared he was going to have a heart attack. He said he was fine and they took more photos, he began saying all these really nice beautiful things and then dropped to one knee. Jen describes it as “so magical… I truly could not believe it.”

They loved the rustic and simple feel of the Grand Lodge at Maneeley’s. Bonus: it was not as expensive as some other rustic venues in CT and the staff is super friendly.

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Venue | Grand Lodge at Maneeley’s

Second Photographer | Melanie O’Connor