A Mystic Seaport Wedding at the Brant Lighthouse, Connecticut

October 25, 2021
Mystic Seaport Wedding | Connecticut Wedding Venue | CT Wedding Photographer

A non traditional wedding at Mystic Seaport, 2 AirBnB boat rentals, boat captains, and a lighthouse wedding ceremony? That was Kara & Erin’s day in a nutshell, and photographing their wedding on this hot Connecticut day was a blast.

Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic CT:
A Unique Wedding Venue

I grew up going to Mystic Seaport as a young girl, so to be a New England wedding photographer and document Kara & Erin’s non traditional wedding day here was a treat. As far as Mystic wedding venues go, Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport are the main ones, and with good reason this Connecticut seaport is popular: You’re given free reign at the seaport, and after closing hours, basically have the place to yourself.

Kara & Erin are non traditional, zany individuals who go rock climbing, boating, and biking in their spare time. In fact, Kara’s father figure is a boat captain, and she grew up on boats. It made perfect sense, then, that they would rent not just one boat, but two AirBnb boats, so that they could live on-site for the week. Yes, that’s right—at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut, you can actually rent boats and sleep, cook, and live on them.

It was an unusually hot day (are those tears or sweat?!), but I luckily started it with Kara’s parents giving me a ride over from the Mystic Seaport Museum…but first we had to figure out why the boat key was locked up. Following that, I got a tour of Mystic CT’s best AirBnB boat rental (IMHO), Little Vigilant. Kara & Erin stayed here, and had Erin’s guitar on board, kitchen gear, internet…it was small but beautifully furnished (and sleeps up to 6!). With just a porthole and ladder window letting in light, I got some moody nautical wedding photos (and also set up a mini portrait studio for more well-lit portraits near the dark engine room).

A Boat Wedding?

We took lots of photos in and on the schooner they stayed on while at Mystic Seaport, and also on Rebecca, another boat they rented, which was just a (literal) stone’s throw away—and in many of their ceremony photos at Brant Point Lighthouse.

But all around Mystic Seaport Museum are the beautiful, nautical-themed restored buildings along the water. We couldn’t resist photos all along here, and Kara’s college-aged son couldn’t resist mugging for my camera on more than one occasion.

Their Mystic Seaport Museum wedding ceremony took place at the Brant Point Lighthouse, and Kara’s tears kept flowing as she walked up the aisle to her fiancé and son. Flowers from Floral Designs by Justine (yes, those are oars in the floral design!) gave a splash of color to the sun-lit scene, and friends read speeches and officiated their intimate ceremony. It was so intimate, in fact, that I was a guest (and got to sit down at a table with their friends and eat a normal meal!). I do love when I’m included as an almost wedding guest, because I get to learn more about my couples and their friends, and love photos that show more personality after we’ve gotten to know each other.

Brant Point Lighthouse – Mystic CT

This is pretty cool: As I was researching and writing this article, I found out that Mystic Seaport Museum’s Brant Point Lighthouse is a replica of a 1901 lighthouse in Nantucket, Massachusetts, that was just the second lighthouse/light station to be built in all of New England. This Brant Point Lighthouse in Mystic never actually served as a lighthouse, but is here more for educational purposes (and is obviously a beautiful wedding ceremony backdrop!

But here’s the cool part. As I was reading all this, I remembered that when I photographed a Nantucket wedding at this very lighthouse–the original Brant Point Light Station in Nantucket, MA! I was able to go back through my archives and find this 3-day wedding weekend celebration I photographed on Nantucket.

The lighthouses are indeed identical, right? Who knew lighthouse weddings were a thing?! I can’t believe I’ve photographed weddings all around New England but never realized this until now. Pretty fun (maybe I’m a geek).

Here are Marianna & Leo, and Kara & Erin, side by side at their versions of the Brant Point Lighthouse. One was taken on a stormy evening right after their wedding, and one was taken on a hot summer afternoon, right before their ceremony.

Kathryn Cooper Weddings New England wedding photographer lighthouse wedding

Mystic Seaport Wedding Photographer (and Sunsets!)

Mystic CT is a beautiful wedding venue on the water in Eastern Connecticut, and the sunset on their wedding day was awesome! If possible, try to plan about 10 minutes to go out for sunset wedding photos on your wedding night. It ads such a fun boost of color, and gets you out from the party for some fresh air. Right before sunset, Kara & Erin agreed to climb up some of the rigging for some fun boat wedding shots from a different angle. Now these are non traditional wedding photos that I love to do!

To round out their day, Erin, the groom, played several songs on guitar for his new bride after their first dance, and then dancing and cake cutting commenced.

It was a beautiful intimate wedding celebration for this boat-loving Maryland couple, and a gorgeous day at the Mystic Seaport Museum. To contact Mystic Seaport for a wedding, it can be a bit tricky, as the Mystic website brings you in a bit of a loop to different caterers and venue options. My advice: Go to this link, and scroll down to the bottom of the page where you can call or email them for information.

As a creative wedding photographer, not having a venue manager rushing people out, or telling guests exactly where to go and when, it was a refreshing change of pace. Fun wedding photos? You know it. Having a small group of wedding guests in a unique wedding venue allowed the couple to just be themselves, enjoy the sunset, and dance with friends at this most nostalgic and famous Mystic CT wedding venue. ~

Wedding Photographer: Kathryn Cooper Weddings
Venue: Mystic Seaport
Catering: Coastal Gourmet

Flowers: Floral Designs by Justine
Boat Rental: Little Vigilant, Mystic Seaport Museum

Connecticut Wedding Photographer | Mystic Seaport Museum Wedding | Mystic CT Wedding

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Zany is an excellent description of this life loving couple and their off-beat antics! Love everything about this, from the interesting venue to the unique couple!

Awww, they seem like such a fun couple and group! It looks like a marvelous day, love the creativity in the shots too! 🙂

I Love lighthouses! they are such a wonderful venue, these guys chose such a perfect place to get married :)) really lovely!

Wow a boat wedding looks so much fun! You captured everyone having such a great time! The lighthouse is so cute too!

Those blue skies what a perfect wedding day!

What a beautiful day! I especially loved the images on the boat, so many of these are so unique and capture such emotion!!

What a fun group!! Seriously love all their photos of them just having fun – love it!! Also a bit in love with that boat airbnb too! We are boaters and love staying on boats when we travel – adding this to our list. 😉 What a fun day, experience and group!!

Love the creativity you put into these photos – WOW!! They look like a super fun bunch. Also, great content too! Neat history…