When it comes time for wedding planning, it’s nice to have a connection in the industry to help ease decisions along. In bride-to-be Jessica Kenney’s case, she was engaged to the ultimate connection: fiancé Ryan Sousa’s family has owned and operated ABC Rent-A-Tent, based in Westport, Mass., for over 28 years. Although the decision to host a tented wedding reception was a no-brainer, choosing the venue took more consideration. After reviewing options throughout Mass. and Rhode Island, the couple ultimately sought a locale closer to their home in Walpole, Mass. Eventually their online searching led them to the Gardens at Elm Bank, a 36-acre estate on the Dover/Wellesley line operated by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
“When we took our first drive by The Gardens, we were sold immediately on the venue’s unprecedented beauty,” describes Ryan. “The setting was perfect and a convenient location for guests traveling from the north.”
Taking full advantage of the reserve’s lush landscaped grounds, the couple orchestrated a “progressive” event, with guests moving from garden to garden for different stages, starting with pre-cocktails in one setting, cocktails in another and finally the main reception under the tent.
Making sure that guests had a memorable time was paramount to Jess and Ryan. “Even though it was our day, it is in both of our natures to always be concerned with the satisfaction of others. And the day did not disappoint. The weather was beautiful, the food was fantastic and the music [by Luke Renchan Entertainment] was outstanding,” says the groom. The couple was surprised when a group of guests started dancing even before the first course. “I have to imagine that would be the ultimate compliment for Luke,” adds Ryan.
Ultimately, Ryan’s wedding know-how made for a seamless planning process. “Owning ABC Rent-A-Tent, my family has had the privilege of collaborating with many fantastic vendors on weddings and events. Working with these same vendors on our own wedding was a great experience. Being on the client side allowed us to fully appreciate these vendors and their wonderful work.”
Photography by Rich Geada Photography
Featured Vendors: Catering & Cake: Russell Morin Catering & Events // Bridal Gown: Helene’s Bridal // Bridesmaid Dresses: Flair Boston // Tent Rental: ABC Rent-A-Tent // Linen, Furniture & Party Rentals: Rentals Unlimited // Reception Entertainment: Luke Renchan Entertainment // Transportation: Rockstar Limo
Additional Vendors: Ceremony Location: St. John the Evangelist Church, Wellesley, MA // Reception Venue: The Gardens at Elm Bank // Flowers: Robin Hollow Farm // Event Design, Décor & Party Rentals: Exquisite Events // Invitations & Paper Products: North Point Printing // Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Joseph Abboud, Men’s Warehouse // Hair & Makeup: Salon B