Showers at Willowdale

Willowdale Estate has been hosting the most charming wedding and baby showers recently, and we figured it was time to share some photos!  Below are some images taken by Zev Fisher Photography from a recent Baby Shower with a color theme of bright yellow shades, with a grey chevron pattern.  The Conservatory and Great Room create the perfect location for a sunny brunch or lunch at the estate, and our new shower package includes all of the tables, chairs, food, and service needed to make planning and hosting an event easy!

Shower Image - Zev Fisher 736x1200


For more information about how to book your next baby or wedding shower at Willowdale Estate, just fill out our contact form or call us at 978-887-8211!

VENUE: Willowdale Estate

PHOTOS: Zev Fisher Photography

CAKE: Topsfield Bake Shop




Putting the FUN in Fundraiser

When planning a fundraiser, it is important to create both a gainful and fun event. With three easy steps, you are sure to hit your fundraising goals!

Focus On Theme

Choosing an enticing and unique theme will capture guest attention and help boost attendance. Keep in mind the audience you are marketing to and choose activities accordingly. Also, decide how you would like to raise funds. Will you host an auction? Perhaps you will host a cooking competition or designer handbag raffle!

Photo: Roland Silva

(20’s Themed Auction for Nazareth Academy – Photo: Roland Silva)

Make It Memorable

What will make your event exciting and fun? Again, consider your guest list and arrange appropriate entertainment. A jazz band may lend itself more to a formal affair, while a DJ will get your guests on their feet! If you are charging a ticket price, make sure guests feel as though there is value in the event. Delicious food, tasty cocktails, and favors are an excellent way to add worth to your fundraiser!

Communicate Your Cause

When fundraising, it is important guests understand what they are supporting and why. Be sure to adequately tell your story and be specific as to why you need their money. Showing videos and pictures, hosting a guest speaker related to your organization, or telling an anecdote can reinforce ethos, logos, and pathos with your audience. With a clear vision, your guests are more likely to understand your need as well as facilitate increased generosity.

The cohesiveness and memorability of your event will increase repeat attendance in years to come. Supplying your guests with a reason to continue their support will reap year-long benefits as opposed to singular annual donations. With an enticing, memorable, and profitable event, you are sure to put the FUN in Fundraising!

Contributed By: Caroline Claire DeBruyckere


4 Cocktails for the 4th

The 4th of July is a great time to celebrate- and we believe that no party is complete without a great cocktail! Here are some red, white and blue cocktail ideas that will taste great for a summer party, AND get everyone in a patriotic mood.  One fun addition to some of these drinks would striped paper straws – we love this red white and blue assortment of straws for our 1st and 4th picks!

Four Cocktails for the fourth of july

1- Classic Mojito

2oz White Rum

1.5oz Lime Juice

2tspns Simple Syrup

Soda Water

6 Leaves Muddled Mint

Mint or Lime Garnish (optional)

muddle mint leaves with sugar and lime juice in a collins glass, add ice, pour over rum and top with soda water

2 – The Spark

1.5oz Citron Vodka

1.5oz Raspberry Lemonade

shake well with ice and pour into a cosmo or martini glass

3 – Martini On Rocks

1.5oz Gin (or Vodka)

.5oz Dry Vermouth

Garnish with Olive

stir gin, and vermouth with ice and strain into a chilled glass with fresh ice, garnish with olive

4 – Dancing Juice

2oz Vodka

1oz Cranberry Juice

1oz Blue Curacao

shake well with ice and pour into a Collins Glass filled with fresh ice

All of the images are from real Willowdale Estate events and were served as a “Signature Drink”.  Adding a featured or signature drink to your next event is a great way to suggest what your guests might enjoy drinking at your event, and it is also the perfect way to highlight a special party theme or holiday!

PHOTOS: 1- Molly Ann Photography 2 & 3- Megan Dandeles 4- Zac Wolf Photography




New Patio Design

Willowdale Estate is part of a unique program of public/private partnerships under the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Historic Curatorship Program. Under the program, DCR enters into a long-term lease with a private curator/tenant who pays rent in the form of services, specifically the rehabilitation and maintenance of the property. The Fandetti-Forsythe family began the process of rehabilitating the mansion in 1999.  Briar Forsythe hosted the first wedding at Willowdale on July 7th, 2007, and she has continued to improve and restore the property since its opening.

nate creamer ceremony image

In April 2014 restoration work began on the garden courtyard patio, which was a combination of stone and large poured concrete squares.  Working with McLaughlin Masonry to design and construct the new courtyard patio, we incorporated colors of stone that mirrored our fieldstone and the slate roof of the property, and evoked the craftsmen designs that are found within the estate.  We love this photo from a recent wedding at Willowdale Estate- shot by Nate Creamer Photography. Let us know what you think!


IN PRINT: Bliss Celebrations Guide

One of our favorite sources for event inspiration is Bliss Celebrations Guide, a magazine and website dedicated to fresh and modern event ideas.  We were thrilled to find a recent tent wedding at Willowdale Estate featured in their latest magazine!

2014 Spring Bliss Celebrations Guide - page_88_jubilant_jewel_tones

The event is full of luxurious details  including our Sperry Tent with draping from Revelations Productions, floral design from Winston Flowers, lighting from Design Light, and a beautiful cake from Konditor Meister.

Check out more from Rachel Kate Photography, or view the entire magazine online here!