Since moving to New England, Newport has bar none been my favorite little gem we’ve explored along the way. With a rich, nautical vibe and stunning shoreline for days, you better believe it’s the ultimate east coast locale for a pinch-me-perfect wedding. *Enter* this beauty of a day coordinated by Eventfully Planned and captured by Jenny Moloney. It’s prettiness defined with so much more right over here!
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From the Bride… When Steve proposed to me just about a year ago now, it was a complete surprise, and I had not even begun to think about what our wedding might look like. Although I absolutely love parties and generally all things beautiful, I am not the kind of person who grew up ever dreaming about weddings, much less my own. Steve and I met and fell in love in an unexpected place, and during what was probably the most difficult time in my life, when I lost my beloved mother to cancer just a few short months after we started dating. Since then, Steve and I have been inseparable. We found the strength in each other to face every new challenge, and after just short of a year of dating, we knew we didn’t want to wait any longer to spend the rest of our lives together.
As we started planning, the most important thing to us was that, above all, our wedding be an intimate, personal and honest expression of our love. We are so lucky to have had our pick of a number of beautiful destinations which were meaningful in different ways, and we ended up choosing a beautiful home owned by our dear friends, which sits atop the famed Cliff Walk overlooking the beach in Newport, Rhode Island. Steve and I had spent some wonderful summer weekends there when we first started dating, and it is a place where we have many special memories with our closest friends and family. Newport was also an amazing weekend getaway for our guests, many of whom had never been!
We were so honored to have friends from all over the country join in our celebration, including the maid of honor at my parents wedding 31 years earlier, who is now a judge, and graciously agreed to officiate our marriage. The ceremony always came first in our minds, and Steve and I spent hours compiling each remark and reading in the spirit of our life together. We also both wrote short letters on love, which we did not share until we read them aloud in front of everyone during the ceremony. We ended with the exchange of rings and the breaking of the glass which is a Jewish tradition we felt was very symbolic to our relationship. As we kissed to become man and wife the sky was a perfect blue, the sun was glistening across the ocean, and we really felt my mother was present with us in that moment. I remember the ceremony quite vividly and it was hard to hold back tears, smiles and laughter through our incredibly personal vows – it was very much us. Although we know our friends will not soon forget the epic party that ensued, it was the ceremony we hope will stick with them for many years to come, as it was certainly a labor of love. The ceremony took place just before sunset so our guests were able to enjoy a magical cocktail hour overlooking the spectacular view across the ocean.
As we pieced together the wedding in the months leading up, I spent countless hours researching and interviewing vendors whom I thought would best understand and embody the spirit of our wedding – I wanted it to be a classic black tie affair worthy of the exquisite venue, but with a very personal, non-traditional, and fun loving vibe that made it very much our own. We worked with our stationary designer to create a personalized cipher that was featured on our invitations and throughout the wedding on programs, menus, napkins, matchbooks, swizzle sticks, and even a set of “corn hole” for the lawn. The tent décor was simple but elegant, including rustic farm tables, lush white and green centerpieces, mercury glass candles, and hand-made wrought-iron and crystal chandeliers which were designed especially for our event. It was also important to me that my mother was as much a part of our wedding as possible, so in addition to honoring her during the ceremony, I wore a custom-designed hairpiece made from her vintage wedding dress, and a diamond necklace and bracelet that had belonged to her.
Steve and I both came up with our own signature drinks (“The Kansas City Slicker” and “The Cape Cod Catch”) which were served during the cocktail hour alongside a fabulous raw bar where oysters and littlenecks were shucked to order. With the help of our incredibly patient and talented caterer, we were able to completely customize our ideal menu combining a little bit of New England (where I grew up) with a little bit of Kansas City (where Steve is from), which resulted in an appetizer of local heirloom tomatoes and burrata, followed by a fabulous New England lobster pot pie served with a seared KC strip steak. We had our wedding cake delivered from Momofuku Milk Bar, our favorite bakery in New York, along with their fabulous cookies and famed “Crack Pie” which were arranged on a beautiful dessert table to complement our caterer’s homemade whoopee pies and double fudge brownies. The wine was hand selected by my father and shipped directly from The Frank Family Vineyard in Napa, including a very special rouge champagne, which was my mother’s favorite. We didn’t feel the night would be complete without passing both Dark n’ Stormy and St. Germain Champagne JELLO shots around the dance floor, accompanied by hand-picked Cuban cigars offered on the lawn.
In addition to the food, the music was hugely important to us, and we kept in theme with something unique to our taste (although perhaps not typical for black tie) with a steel drummer playing during the cocktail hour, and an incredible 10 piece band for the reception that kept our guests on the dance floor the entire night playing everything from Frank Sinatra to Calvin Harris. As a surprise grand finale, some very gallant (read brave!) groomsmen had teed up fireworks on the beach directly below the lawn which were set off as just everyone emerged from the tent for a sparkler exit. The sky lit up over the ocean in a way I didn’t think was possible – it was truly beyond my wildest dreams. We had a delicious local taco stand set up a stand on the lawn as a late night snack before we all made our way across the property to the beautifully bistro lit carriage house, where the after-party festivities continued with a DJ, a keg, and customized cups and koozies to boot!
Somehow we were able to get all of our favorite things, and all of our favorite people in our favorite place for one epic celebration that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. For a girl who never spent a moment in her life daydreaming about being a bride, my wedding was nothing short of storybook perfection. Steve and I are grateful from the bottom of our hearts to all the amazing vendors, friends and family who made it all not only possible, but possibly the most perfect night of all time.
Photography: Jenny Moloney Photography | Cinematography: Paperweight Films | Floral Design: Toni Chandler | Wedding Dress: Ulla-Maija | Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar | Wedding Stationery: Alexa Pulitzer | Bridesmaids Shoes: Ivanka Trump | Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Glorious Affairs | Band: The Sultans Of Swing | Officiant: The Honorable Marian Payson | Transportation: Viking Transportation | Venue: Private Home | Bride Shoe's: Jimmy Choo | Bride's Veil: Vintage | Bridesmaid Jewelry: Dogeared Jewelry | Bride’s Jewelry: Vintage | Chair Rental: New England Country Rentals | Cocktail Hour & After-party Décor Design: David Hammond Design | Custom Hair Piece: Bridal Veil Falls | Groom + Groomsmen CustomTuxedos: Black Lapel | Hair + Makeup: Wavelengths Salon | Head Chef + Menu: Emily Wigutow | Late Night Snack: Tallulah Taco | Rentals: Rentals Unlimited And Newport Tent | Restrooms: Elegant Restrooms | Sound Equipment: Stagecraft Audio | Tent: Sperry Tent | Tent Décor Design: Exquisite Events | Wedding Coordination: Eventfully Planned