When Newport and Ruth Eileen Photography come together for a classic east coast wedding, it’s bound to be a beautiful thing. And with a modern white backdrop like Belle Mer and a layer of blushing pink blooms by Sweet Annie Floral Design, that melding of modern, classic, seaside goodness is indeed living up to our expectations. It’s oceanfront romance like only Rhode Island can produce and you can see even more right here.
From the Bride… We envisioned our wedding to be vintage, romantic, and elegant. Sunny days are our favorite so we decided to have a (light-saturated) daytime wedding with a natural color scheme of blush, peach, and ivory tones, with touches of green and yellow. We decided on a circular ceremony arrangement because we wanted to create an intimate and unique setting. A circular petal carpet served as our altar, and we decorated the aisle with puffs of baby’s breath which were later re-used as reception centerpieces. The floral elements and circle ceremony were meant to fit perfectly with the round outdoor grass areas of our venue, but it ended up raining on our wedding day and we had to move everything indoors. Thankfully the circle ceremony still worked beautifully and most of our guests did not even realize that it was meant to be outdoors.
As a graphic designer, I could not help but design everything I possibly could for our wedding! I designed and styled our stationery, DIY decor, table displays, as well as our award-winning website which featured a custom-designed gift registry. One of my favorite projects was designing my own wedding dresses (Western and Chinese) and getting them custom-tailored back home in China. Not only was this more affordable, but it was amazing to hand select each fabric and actually watch the dresses come together. The Chinese dress retained traditional oriental elements such as the mandarin collar, and an embroidered phoenix (a symbol of virtue and grace), but I was able to modernize it with lighter-colored fabrics, and a full piece of lace on the back, to match the many lace accents used throughout our wedding. As for the western wedding dress, I included a removable, off-the-shoulder lace top, which essentially allowed me to create two outfits out of one dress. We also had our flower girl dresses custom-tailored, and I designed them to match mine with a fitted lace top, and flowing tulle on the bottom. I am a dancer and love ballet, so we had them dressed up as ballerinas!
My husband is Puerto Rican and grew up in New York City, while I am Chinese and grew up in Beijing, China. We incorporated our distinct heritages by including little details like the number “8” (a lucky number in China) in our website URL, naming our reception tables as Puerto Rican cities, reading scripture in three languages during our ceremony, including salsa and classical Spanish guitar music, and having fusion-flavored macarons in our dessert display. We also prepared a word of thanks for our guests, with each of us speaking in the other person’s mother tongue (Gary in Chinese, me in Spanish). One of the most memorable parts of the day was when Gary surprised me (and our guests) by performing a classic love song in Chinese!
It was also important to us to include elements of our Christian faith, because that is the strength and foundation of our relationship. We did this by including bible verses in all of our stationery, website, and throughout various displays. Our ring bearer carried a bible “ring pillow”, and I even managed to find cupcake toppers for our dessert display made from vintage hymn music sheets.
Other sweet details included a signature drink named after our mothers, hand-lettered chalkboard signage (eye candy for graphic designers!), and a guestbook table which featured postcards for guests to fill out and have sent to our new home post-honeymoon. We included vintage postcards from the various cities which our guests had come from, and also found postcards depicting vintage flower seed packets, which perfectly matched our invitation stamps.
Overall, we loved that so many elements of our wedding day were custom designed to reflect the story of our lives and relationship. We worked closely with our florist Katie Rocheford, of Sweet Annie Floral Design, who played a key role in wonderfully executing many of the little details. We also searched tirelessly online and in antique stores to score many of the unique finds scattered throughout our wedding. As a designer and perfectionist, it was easy to get caught up and overwhelmed in the details, which made things stressful at times. But in the end, it was freeing to realize that our wedding was beautiful not because of the meticulously designed decor, but simply because we got married, and celebrated it with the people we love.
Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Videographer: Jordan Wong | Bridesmaid Dresses: Donna Morgan | Catering: Longwood Culinary Arts | Make-up: Spectrum Makeup Artistry by Jennifer Hodge | Hair: Jen Gonzalez | Officiant: Jonathan Kerhoulas of Citylife Presbyterian Church | Venue: Belle Mer | Cake/Dessert Display: Audabon Bakeshop | Chalkboard Art: Jennifer Carney | Florist/Bouquets: Sweet Annie Floral Design | Flower Girl Dresses: Janelle Wooten | Invitations/Paper: Designed by Bride | Musicians: Jason Lee, Andrew Kim, Zechariah Tan, Fiel Sahir | Website Design: Designed by Bride | Website Development: Amanda Masson | Wedding Dress (Chinese): Designed by The Bride | Wedding Dress (Western): Designed by The Bride, Customed Tailored by Helene Bridal | Wood Signs: Jason Lee