Located in the bucolic landscape of northeast Connecticut, Wright’s Mill Farm in Canterbury has been one of the go-to choices for country wedding venues for hundreds of couples since 2004. The property dates back to the 1700s and the rustic setting has every picture-perfect element for a storybook wedding – waterfalls, country roads, scenic ponds, a covered bridge and historic buildings. Wright’s Mill Farm has won Wedding Wire’s “Couples Choice Award” six years running and boasts 101 five-star reviews on the popular wedding website.
But in May 2016, disaster struck. A fire ravaged the venue’s ballroom, destroying its main kitchen, indoor reception lodge, and office. The family owned and operated business endured, hosting outdoor weddings only for nearly four years. Now it is set to reopen its full facility this spring after major restoration efforts.
Curt DuBois leads Wright’s Mill Farm as owner and manager, but many family members help make the magic happen, including his wife, his sister, and his kids, who all got involved when they were old enough. “My staff over the years has also grown to be family. We call them our ‘farmily’,” he says. His daughter Briana has been event coordinator for the last eight years, and his son CJ is vital to operations and logistics.
“The fire was nothing short of devastating. It could not have happened at a worse time,” says DuBois. “It was just days after we started our 2016 wedding season. We had weddings taking place just days after and scheduled through the end of October. We felt completely displaced, as we lost almost everything…but it also taught us how to make lemonade.” The Wright’s Mill team made the most of what was not damaged and were able to execute the rest of the 2016 season. “We were broken, but we were still so grateful,” Dubois recalls.
Since the fire, Wright’s Mill Farm has continued to host weddings, but as a seasonal outdoor venue only. “With this came unruly weather such as heavy rain, cold October nights, hot summer days; nonetheless my staff always persevered,” says DuBois. “They always showed up with smiles on their faces and more love in their hearts than you could ever imagine. On our toughest of days, we hold each other up. Where one may falter the other will pick up the slack. It is constantly a team effort, and that is never taken for granted.”
According to DuBois, Wrights Mill Farm has always been determined to deliver, no matter what that means. “We get to know every couple and do our best to go above and beyond for them in whatever way we can. Our staff does the same thing. They take the time to get to know the guests they are serving, the couples whose big day it is, and by the end of every wedding, we induct two more people into our ‘farmily’--the newlyweds.”
Even more than exceptional customer service, Wright’s Mill Farm has an extraordinary sense of community. “We really are family,” states DuBois proudly. “This team of ours has stuck by us in the worst of times.”
The restoration process has been a long, slow road with many obstacles. “What we hated most, even more so than the fire, was thinking of the disappointment of our couples,” says DuBois. By 2019 Wright’s Mill Farm was able to bring on new partners to finally be able to rebuild their dream venue. “We are SO excited for our re-opening,” he says. “We are looking forward to everything!”
Much will change, including style, décor and amenities. Wright’s Mill Farm took a modern, industrial approach to the redesign. They added a brand new state-of-the-art bridal suite with its own patio, a large 82-foot-long covered deck, and an open air patio with fire pits and lawn games. They also added a late night snack menu and their own DJ company to their many packages and features.
“The new Wrights Mill Farm holds the same principles the old one always had,” declares DuBois. “The ‘farmily’ theme, the tight-knit, personable relationships we have with our couples, the 24-hour availability when it comes to reaching us. The new Wrights Mill Farm has a new look but it will still be the family-oriented, rustic country venue it always was.”
To inquire about weddings or other events, contact
Wrights Mill Farm
65 Creasey Road
Canterbury, CT 06331