My Mystic Wedding brings together local vendors
Mystic — Michael Connery had a sizeable list of wedding vendors he has worked with as owner of Saltwater Farm Vineyard, but he wanted a more formal way to bring them together. He wanted to create a place where brides-to-be could find vetted photographers and florists and caterers.
And he wanted it to be in Mystic. While many note Newport as a hot New England locale for nuptials, Connery says that Mystic is cheaper and easier to get around — and that it probably has nicer people.
Brides are "looking for something with character," he said. "This area offers character, it offers diversity, it offers everything you could possibly want."
Based on a belief in Mystic and in the quality of its wedding vendors, the My Mystic Wedding website launched in August. It's a listing of more than 150 venues, hotels, DJs, event planners, officiants and more.
Stone Acres Farm. MW Coastal Goods. Breakwater. Le Spa. Power Posse Productions. The Flower Belle. Sugar Band.
My Mystic Wedding, funded by Saltwater Farm Vineyard, held an at-capacity "meet & mingle" — its first networking event — on Tuesday evening at MBAR, the Mystic restaurant that Connery also owns.
Along with the website, My Mystic Wedding is involved in bridal shows and print advertising, Connery said.
When the website launched in August, he brought on Courtney Morrissey to work on social media and to coordinate with vendors. Morrissey was working in eveningwear and bridal fashions in New York City but had been planning to relocate to Westerly for her husband's job. She grew up in New Hampshire and heard about My Mystic Wedding from a childhood friend who now works in Stonington.
That's Kimberly Palmer, owner of KRUSHgraphics and designer of the My Mystic Wedding website.
Morrissey was in.
Most of the vendors on the site are from the original Saltwater Farm Vineyard list or are referrals from those vendors, Morrissey said. If a vendor wanted to be added to the list, she would "sit down and meet with them and see what they've done for work in the past, kind of cross-referencing in terms of who they've worked with."
For now, the vendors are listed free of charge. But Morrissey said she is working on making the business profitable and, if support for the model continues, My Mystic Wedding will set up a membership program.
As they sipped wine, vendors invited to MBAR on Tuesday evening shared their excitement for the site.
"I've noticed that My Mystic Wedding, they just have all the right places, really high-end venues they're involved with," said videographer Chris Walsh, "and that's the market I'm trying to reach."
Chaz Zezulka, a justice of the peace, chimed in to comment on the energy in the room, and said the best part was how My Mystic Wedding brought everyone together.
The website makes sense for an industry where people are often cross-promoting each other. Diane Wahlberg, event coordinator at Stonington Harbor Yacht Club, said she'll be asked if she knows of a good florist or a quality bakery.
Connery said of wedding services, "This is a business that should be taken seriously — should be taken very, very seriously — and we need a voice to speak for this industry."