West Hartford Magazine celebrates local weddings in its printed pages and is pleased to showcase them on We-Ha.com as well. Congratulations to Heather and Garrett. Please enjoy this feature, including bonus photos.
Photos by Todd Fairchild, ShutterbugCT
Heather and Garrett met on the Connecticut shoreline where their families have summered for over 50 years. Their first date was at Bill’s Seafood in Westbrook. Garrett proposed to Heather at his favorite place, the pier at Black Point Beach. The event was captured by a secret drone recording and quickly went viral with nearly 4,000 views.
Heather’s parents are Joseph and Lori Modenese of Waterbury and Westbrook Beach, Westbrook, CT. Joseph is employed by Sikorsky Aircraft and Lori by Prospect Public Schools.
Garrett’s parents are Thomas and Shevon Hickey of West Hartford and Black Point Beach, Niantic, CT. Thomas is employed by WHMedia (parent company of West Hartford Magazine) and Shevon by CREC, Hartford.
Garrett’s grandparent’s are the late John and Joan Hickey and the late Joseph Sweeney. His grandmother Norma Sweeney attended the festivities and Garrett is wearing his Grandfather Sweeney’s wedding ring.
Heather graduated from Sacred Heart High School, Waterbury, and Central Connecticut State University, with a bachelor’s of Science.
Garrett graduated from Northwest Catholic High School, West Hartford, Assumption College, Worcester, MA, with a bachelor’s of Science. He also has a master’s in Education from Sacred Heart University, Bridgeport, CT.
The wedding mass was held in between Waterbury and West Hartford in Litchfield County at St. Thomas Church, Thomaston, CT. Father Joseph P. Crowley, Celebrant of Mass, was Garrett’s pastor at Northwest Catholic High School – and pastor while his mother Shevon was principal of a school in West Hartford.
Heather’s grandfather, Norman Bouffard, and his wife, Delores, are parishioners of St. Thomas Church. Mass and Liturgy preparation was by Dr. Elaine Blondin Mello, assisted on the wedding day by Val Parafioriti.
During the mass, the moms each poured sand from Westbrook Beach and Black Point Beach into one vase combining where Heather and Garrett first met. Each cufflink that Garrett wore was filled with sand, one from each beach.
Todd Fairchild (ShutterbugCT) Photography, West Hartford, captured every event for Garrett and Heather over the course of one year including the engagement party, bridal shower, stag party, rehearsal, mass, and dinner and receptions.
The wedding party included Best Man Ryan Dowd. Groomsmen were: Ryan Bartlett, Daniel Lynch, Nicholas Pagani, Kevin Simek, Conor Stanley, and Scott Stewart. Maid of Honor was Michelle Modenese, Heather’s sister. Bridesmaids were: Stephany Kearney, Caitlin Kearns, Rebecca Larkin, Marissa Paniccia, Hayley Smith, and Christine Stewart.
Greeters at the church were Griffin Bruce and Erin Dowd. Readings were by Daniel Lynch and Sharon Bruce. The Prayers of the Faithful were written by Heather and Garrett and read by Margaret Stewart. Offertory gifts were brought to the altar by Liam, Fintan, and Griffin Bruce.
The chalice in the mass was first used 31 years ago at Garrett’s parents’ wedding liturgy as well as every special family occasion since. And the Waterford vases in the sanctuary were signed for Garrett by the artist in Ireland during a family trip.
The couple used so many of their favorite people to make their day special, including:
- Bagpiper Patrick Whelan, West Hartford, who was a surprise to all guests at Mass.
- Cantor/Soloist, Beth Malvezzi
- Music Director/Organist, Douglas Duca at St. Thomas.
- House of Flora, Hartford prepared the amazing floral arrangements including hydrangeas for the Mass and Reception.
- Taylor Rental Party Plus, Manchester and West Hartford transformed The Lyceum.
- Ice Matters, Cheshire built the Ice Sculpture for the foyer.
- Classic Cakes, West Hartford baked the special funfetti cake filling the couple wanted for themselves and you’ll read more about that in a future issue of West Hartford Magazine.
- T&T DJ, Lighting and Sound, Hartford enhanced the atmosphere and set the tone for the party.
- Two Pour Guys Bartending provided the top shelf full bar open all day long to the pleasure of all guests.
- Michaels Catering “did it all” from the cocktail hour, dinner and late evening sandwiches. Michael’s Catering had done Garrett’s parents wedding reception 31 years prior.
- The cocktail hour guests enjoyed guitarist John Torres, Black Rock, CT, and Snap Seat Photo booth.
- Tuxedos by Oscars, West Hartford.
- Transportation by Premier Limousine.
The reception was held at The Lyceum, Terryville, CT. Along with eight hours of dancing, Garrett sang his signature song – Bon Jovi’s “Living On A Prayer” – in karaoke style to Heather and the guests.
The couple left for a very private and much needed rest in St. George’s, Grenada – a Sandals Resort in the southeastern Caribbean just north of Venezuela. Heather is a 7/8th grade math teacher at High Horizons School in Bridgeport, CT. Garrett is a 7/8th grade social studies teacher at Black Rock School in Bridgeport, CT, and men’s basketball coach (JV) and men’s assistant basketball coach (varsity) for Fairfield Prepatory School, Fairfield, CT. Heather and Garrett reside in The Village of Black Rock (Bridgeport), CT.
Thank you to Oscars Tux and Argelia Novias Bridal for sponsoring weddings in West Hartford Magazine. To submit your own wedding, please see the instructions and form at this LINK. Content originally published in our sister publication, West Hartford Magazine, 2018. To subscribe, please click here.