Delaware’s Buena Vista Estate: The Perfect Wedding Location
Among the lush grounds, cozy accommodations and luxe décor, the historic setting is perfect for Delaware brides.
Understated elegance! When I first navigated the long driveway to Buena Vista, those are the two words that came to mind. I was thrilled to see how charming this estate was. I felt welcomed as I walked its brick path through the gardens, then to the mansion.
I want to thank Pam Swain for her guidance. As the conference center manager, she was so knowledgable about the estate and of John Middleton Clayton, and I was enthralled by her detailed explanation of Buena Vista’s history.
Clayton built Buena Vista between 1845 and 1847, then sold it to his nephew James, whose daughter Constance inherited the property. (Her son Clayton was born there.) A cousin, acting as trustee, sold Buena Vista to T. Coleman du Pont in 1914. Seven years later, du Pont’s daughter Alice married C. Douglass Buck, the chief engineer for her father’s state-long boulevard, which later became known, of course, as the DuPont Highway. Alice worked with architect Brognard Okie on the design, and added its library wing. The project was finally completed in 1932, and all that painstaking work resulted in the magnificent mansion we Delawareans enjoy now. The Bucks sold Buena Vista to the state of Delaware in 1965 for one dollar. Whew!
I immediately started imagining all kinds of settings. I envisioned a bride looking at the back of her dress in a long gold mirror I spotted, or a bride chatting with her mom in one of those cozy rooms. The breathtaking grounds would serve as spectacular backdrops for tented events. There’s a large swing, and it made me think about how a bride would sway in the breeze as she gazed upon the quiet fields and contemplated her new life as a married woman.
As you’ll see, our photo shoot took place at various locations of the estate—we made sure to include the fabulous chandeliers and paintings. Buena Vista’s exterior was the perfect setting to showcase our stunning wedding dresses. But it took the talents and patience of our staff photographer, Ron Dubick, to turn all my ideas into reality. I also want to thank all the florists, bakers and retailers who shared their products—not to mention the couples who offered their experiences, and the writers who told those stories.
Despite my more than 20 years of experience as both an art and creative director, this is my first issue of Delaware Bride. I’m glad to be part of the editorial team at Delaware Today, and feel lucky to work with such great people. Their encouragement and camaraderie has made my job a pleasure.
I look forward to featuring more of Delaware’s fabulous locations, and sharing them with you. Enjoy!