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Vintage Romance at Belle Mer

When a hurricane misses you by one day, giving way to the most picturesque skies imaginable, I’m pretty sure some major luck is on your side. I adore Belle Mer; add in elegant florals and candlelight and it just shines. April K Photography and Ready Set Film captured everything but the smell of the sea, but if you spend some time in the full gallery, you may just start to feel a ocean breeze before long.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Beach Club
Styles
Vintage

From The Bride…Jake and I attended the same college together in Boston, but met many years after graduation and became fast friends. After a couple of years of friendship, our relationship developed into something more… just as Jake was accepted at a California graduate school. We decided to both make the 3,000 mile move to northern California and it was the best decision we’ve ever made. We had a thousand adventures throughout our time on the west coast – many of which included day and weekend trips to Napa and Sonoma!

After we got engaged (4 years and another cross country move back to Boston later) we were deciding between a local wedding in New England vs. a destination wedding in California. Ultimately we decided to have the wedding near our home and families. We envisioned finding a venue with a blank canvas so that we could create an elegant wedding with vintage touches throughout. We instantly fell in love with Belle Mer’s neutral palate, open space, high ceilings, and perfectly manicured lawn. We booked a wedding on July 5th.

After Hurricane Arthur rolled through on July 4th, the skies cleared and everything about our day was sunny and perfect. Our vendors made planning a breeze! Moira from Stoneblossom took my vision of combining the vintage feel and neutral palate of California wine country with the modern elegance of Belle Mer. My mom sowed a piece of my childhood blanket into my dress as my “something old” and my grandmother gave me a beautiful diamond necklace to wear that my grandfather had given her years ago. My father surprised us by writing a welcome toast using a metaphor about “filling a mug” with adventures, love, laughter, and children – everyone in the wedding received an actual mug with our photo on it as a favor.

Because of the hurricane, the July 4th fireworks were cancelled and rescheduled to take place on our wedding day. One of the most memorable moments of our wedding was when the fireworks began and our entire party watched them together outside. Jake and I toasted our marriage with a glass of champagne and went inside to dance the night away with all our family and friends. It was truly a magical day!

Photography: April K Photography | Flowers: Stone Blossom | Wedding Gown: Judd Waddell | Reception Venue: Belle Mer | Shoes: Michael Kors | Bridesmaids Dresses: Love Lane | Calligraphy: Jan Garver Of Jan Script | Men's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Ties: Bows N Ties | Hair Piece : Hanging By A Thread | Music: Eye 2 Eye | Signage/ Menu/ Programs: Just My Type | Video: Ready Set Film

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Romantic Newport Estate Wedding

There’s no doubt that the New England coast is sprinkled with lots of lovely locations boasting beautiful waterfront views. But Newport? It’s a dream. And it’s one of my personal faves. So when Grazier Photography and EFD Creative sent over this coastal soiree, I couldn’t wait to peruse the gallery. Bonus? Long Haul Films is taking us through every moment of this day in their sweet film below.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Estate
Styles
Elegant

From Grazier PhotographyThe soft pink, lavender, and white color palette was a perfect compliment to a fresh early June day. The combination of Charlene’s gorgeous look and fun attitude with Max’s classic style and confidence made for really fun portraits. Their day was planned to allow them to enjoy it without being rushed. We loved that Max and Charlene chose to walk each other down the aisle to enter their ceremony: it was a beautiful way to begin a marriage!

From EFD Creative – Event Planning & DesignThe venue set the tone for the wedding of Charlene and Max. This European-style mansion embodied the feel of old time romance. From the moment you pull into the estate driveway you instantly go back in time. The goal was to fuse together the unique setting along with incorporating the personalities of the couple.

The lawn overlooking the ocean was the location for the ceremony, the views were spectacular especially on this perfect day. During the cocktail hour guests were treated to refreshments and lawn games along with oysters and unique tasting from Australia the brides homeland. The patio off the back held the intimate dinner and was styled with soft tones of pinks and creams and purple. The draping and lighting helped create a comfortable setting. The detailed touches from the menu, table numbers, cake pops – that doubled as favors and place cards were designed to match the look and put their personal stamp on the event.

As the sun went down, the colors in the sky, along with the lighting on the patio which included uplights and string lights came to life, and the with a fire pit for s’mores you could not dream up a more romantic elegant illuminating view.

From the beautiful Bride… As soon as we walked into The Chanler in Newport, RI we knew that it was the perfect venue for our wedding. It had ocean views; a beautiful mansion set on top of a cliff and was the perfect size for the intimate wedding we envisioned. Food is very important to us and we wanted our wedding to feel like an elegant dinner party with delicious and plentiful food. Being Australian, it was also a great way to incorporate my Australian background into the festivities and The Chanler went above and beyond to accommodate this by making Australian meat pies and serving our signature cocktail, Lemon Lime and Bitters, which our guests loved.

I also love flowers and wanted grand, romantic floral arrangements. Flowers by Semia captured my ideas flawlessly and the mix of tall and low centerpieces was so gorgeous, it was hard to leave them at the end of the day. I tried to take home as many arrangements as possible!

We are so grateful to Edna from EFD Creative – Event Planning & Design who helped put together every single detail for our day. She was such a great help in organizing our wedding that we were even able to buy a house a week before our wedding! During the wedding, we did not have to worry about anything logistical, we were able to enjoy it stress free surrounded by friends and family. It truly was one of the happiest days of our lives.

Photography: Grazier Photography | Event Design: EFD Creative-Event Planning & Design | Florist: Flowers By Semia | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: The Cupcakerie | Invitations: Allure Invitations | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Hair: Fringe Salon | Favors: Amy's Apples | Officiant: Sacred Spirit Sanctuary | Lighting & Draping: Exquisite Events | Makeup: Lynn Liu Makeup | Music: Jazz In The Air | Rentals: Rentals Unlimited | Venue: The Chanler | Video: Long Haul Films | Wedding Planning: EFD Creative - Event Planning & Design

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Indoor Elegance at Belle Mer In Newport, Rhode Island

Classic with the perfect hint of modern elegance, this stunning Belle Mer soiree from as seen through the lens of Kate McElwee is one seriously stylish way to start your work week. Sprinkled with beautiful details that really wow and so much love, this gallery will have you pinning the day away. See exactly what I mean here.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Ballroom
Styles
Elegance

From The Bride…Nathan and I met in culinary school, classically sitting down next to each other the first day of class. What began as a beautiful friendship slowly blossomed into an everlasting relationship. Two cross-country moves and four years later, Nathan proposed at The Portland Headlight at Cape Elizabeth on a gorgeous August day with a 1930s art deco sapphire and diamond ring.

When looking for a wedding venue, we wanted to find a place that expressed who we are, a Southern California girl and classic New England boy. We knew we had found the spot the moment we stepped inside The Salon at Belle Mer in Newport, Rhode Island. The clean white palate, stunning chandeliers, and waterfront setting left us speechless.

Our goal was to create a spectacular party for our closest friends and family, while honoring the importance of our marriage. We kept the guest list intimate and opted for no bridal party. We wanted our friends and family to enjoy the day on their own terms, wearing outfits of their choosing. I asked a small group of my closest girlfriends to be “honorary bridesmaids” for the day. We all went to a Barre Pulse class in the morning and then laughed over champagne while I got ready.

We left our color palate fairly neutral, opting for black, gold, and white, with a pop of red, drawing inspiration from Old Hollywood glamour. And nothing is more glamorous than a Vera Wang wedding gown! My dress was utterly outrageous and so exquisite, it still gives me goosebumps. I paired it with non-traditional Christian Louboutin black heels, a Valentine’s Day gift from very thoughtful husband.

Nate looked so handsome in his custom fit Alton Lane midnight blue tuxedo with a silver paisley lining, a tribute to his adorable goddaughter, Paisley. Complete with patent leather Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, he looked like he stepped right off the red carpet.

Unfortunately no great love story is complete without tragedy. We were heart struck as we watched the Boston Marathon bombings unfold on the Monday of our wedding week. It put into sharp focus the brevity of life and the importance of every moment. Our wedding became a pillar of hope and strength among the sadness and chaos.

On such a monumental day we made sure to surround ourselves with people we truly respect and love, including our vendors. To say that our photographer, Kate McElwee, was phenomenal would be an understatement. She was a breath of fresh air amongst the stress and nerves of the day. From reminding me to eat, lending me her flats for our “rock climbing adventure,” and snapping hundreds of photos in the wind and rain she truly is a “kick ass photographer.”

Our last minute decision to add a videographer was epic! McKenzie Miller, the sweetest, most humble woman, captured our day perfectly and has allowed us to experience our wedding all over again…and again…and again.

The team at Belle Mer was remarkable. They easily adapted to our last minute decision to move the ceremony inside and had the room reset and ready for our reception without missing a beat. Our guests were floored by their impeccable service and attention to detail.

No great party is complete without an awesome soundtrack and DJ Seth Isaacs went above and beyond our greatest expectations. Nate and I danced the night away to all of our favorite jams, ecstatic to be Mr. and Mrs.

Photography: Kate McElwee Photographer | Videography: McKenzie Miller Films | Florist: Hanaya Floral | Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: N/a | Hair: Jennie Kay Beauty | DJ: Seth Isaacs | Officiant: Victoria Burdick | Bride's Gown: Vera Wang | Ceremony & Reception: Belle Mer | Ice Cream: Ben And Jerry's | Invitation Suite: Lettering By Liz | Linen: La Tavola | Photobooth: Photobooth Planet | Popcorn: FunFlicks

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here