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Elegant Seaside Block Island Wedding

An intimate Block Island affair planned to ultimate perfection by the lovely ladies at Bash, Please? Sign me up. Because if that doesn’t sound like absolute magic, I don’t know what does. And when we get to see the day play out through Karen Wise‘s stunning images, that’s when I really can’t believe our luck. Get lost in all the lovely here.


From Karen Wise…Lauren + Benoit wed at a family’s private residence on the beautiful Block Island, Rhode Island surrounded by 80 loved ones.

The evening before the wedding, we chose to do a portrait session by the South East Lighthouse about 5 miles down the road from their clambake dinner at Spring House Hotel. This gave Lauren + Benoit some some quiet time to reflect before the guests arrived and the festivities began. The golden sun highlighted the couple as they strolled through the landscape, creating long shadows in the lush green grass in front of this historic tower.

The talented Bash Please team worked at planning all events for the weekend. On the wedding day, Liza Lubell’s artistic floral arrangements meshed beautifully with the watery palette of stationery, dress, and backdrop. The bride, a visual artist, and the groom, a software engineer, collaborated on an installation art piece that was raised above the dance floor inside their sailcloth tent. For the tables, Lauren designed pretty watery blue and violet vessels from geodes and crystals. The stationery which Bash Please designed so intricately brought together the colors and elements perfectly.

The moment I heard about all these pretty details, I knew it would be a stylish and photogenic wedding. I was thrilled to be included in this elegant seaside affair!

From the Bride… As a sculptor, I was excited to share my art with our wedding guests and to add my own personal touch to the beauty and magic of the day. By making the geodes for all the tables, I created another layer of interaction with our friends and family gathered there.
Benoit and I ambitiously created the installation that hung above the dance floor. Our piece literally crowned the day. That tremendous piece is a true reflection of our collaborative creativity. We were delighted to share our artistic vision with our guests!

Photography: Karen Wise | Floral Design: Peartree Flowers | Wedding Dress: Selia Yang | Cake: Abigail Kirsch | Stationery: Bash, Please | Shoes: Hey Lady | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Catering: Abigail Kirsch | Catering: Abigail Kirsch | Makeup: Kimberly Taylor, Manager At Trish McEvoy | Band: Mike Benjamin Band | Tux: Hugo Boss | Venue: Private Residence | Event Planning And Design: Bash, Please | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Spring House Hotel | Veil: Selia Yang

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Elegant Seaside Belle Mer Wedding

Thursdays are my favorite and today is more fabulous than ever. Not only does she work wonders here at SMP but our editor Melissa also recently said “I do” to her handsome man at breathtaking Belle Mer and we get to relish in all of Rebecca Yale’s wondrous photos for the foreseeable future. And by gosh, our girl is gorgeous – and a planning pro, from the beautiful blooms by Anchor & Grace to Casa De Perrin’s romantic rentals. Congrats Melissa, and without further ado, let’s leap into this abundance of beauty!

From Rebecca Yale PhotographyOne of my favorite parts of working in the wedding industry is getting to meet and collaborate with other talented, creative and kind people. Melissa exemplifies all of those qualities to a T so I was so incredibly honored to photograph her and Shawn’s intimate Newport, RI wedding. There’s something magical about photographing intimate weddings where I get to know all the guests and can feel the love and happiness radiating off of them towards the bride and groom. The bride and groom’s portraits are always one of my favorite moments of the day and Melissa and Shawn certainly did not disappoint. They exchanged cards in a sweet emotional moment during their first look, followed by a walk on Belle Mer’s grounds to take portraits with their elegant wedding party. It was a perfect day and an absolute pleasure to capture for such a sweet couple.

From the Bride… A wedding is a thousand things all at once—a culmination of hard work in both love and planning, a beginning to the journey of marriage, a cheerful kind of chaos sprinkled with family, friends, laughter, tears, never-want-to-let-go hugs, and of course, pretty, pretty details. It’s why I love waking up each day and logging on to Style Me Pretty, an experience that I’m so blessed to be a part of and call my job. And with that ‘wedding blogger’ title I’m so thankful to have, I’ve had the chance of meeting some of the most talented vendors in the wedding industry that made every inch of our day possible—one of our happiest days yet.

We met our incredibly talented photographer, Rebecca Yale, right around the time Shawn and I were engaged. She’s one of the kindest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, and now call my friend. She’s poised, knows how to make you laugh, understands the moments that are important to you and oh, she’ll make you cry with her gorgeous captures, she will. My heart was filled with the biggest joy when our wedding photos arrived.

Our intimate wedding celebration was overflowing with so much love and beauty—it’s impossible to choose just one favorite moment. It began with sweet getting ready moments at our seaside venue, Belle Mer, with my girls in their floral robes from Plum Pretty Sugar. My mother buttoned up my romantic, flowing Jenny Yoo dress and placed my pearl necklace around my neck, a wedding gift from my Groom. After curling my last curl and eagerly grabbing my gorgeous bouquet designed by Leigh Anne of Anchor & Grace, I headed off for my first look with Shawn. We both loved our first look. It was a moment just to ourselves that we’ll never forget.

Our guests were greeted with music from Beat Train as I fastened my veil and headed down stairs for our ceremony. As I walked out of the door, I saw our parents, grandparents and my girls lined up, dressed to the nines and wearing ear to ear grins. It was a truly special moment to have such a parade of love ahead of me as I walked down the shell path to meet my Groom. Our ceremony, officiated by Mike Egan included a blessing of the sea and our sweet and simple vows. After nearly a decade since meeting one another, that moment was more meaningful than we could have ever imagined.

The ceremony was followed by a fun cocktail hour, bocce ball and mingling. Sarah Dennen, our coordinator at Belle Mer made each transition flow seamlessly. The bridal party entrance was by far the most entertaining moment of the night. As a joke that started during my bachelorette party, my sister (also MOH) wanted to enter like Beyonce. With two groomsmen paired to each bridesmaid, each of the trios followed suit and were introduced in (seriously funny) style. We entered the most striking room, filled with blooms by Anchor & Grace, charming tabletop rentals by Casa de Perrin, menus (and lovely invites) by Minted, quote signage by Julie Song Ink and calligraphy signage and goodies by Laura Hooper Calligraphy. After dinner, we were surprised by a mini fireworks show from our generous and thoughtful friends, which was the perfect way to end the evening. It was breathtaking beyond words and we soaked in the entire day with thankful hearts!

Photography: Rebecca Yale Photography | Coordination: Sarah Dennen At Belle Mer | Floral Design: Anchor & Grace | Dress: Jenny Yoo | Shoes: Schutz | Rings: Long's Jewelers | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Calligraphy: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | DJ: Beat Train Productions (Jeff Gilbride) | Favors: White Pashminas | Tuxes: Men's Wearhouse | Officiant: Mike Egan Of Heavenly Weddings | Venue: Belle Mer | Accomodations: Hyatt Regency Newport | Bride's Robe: BHLDN | Bridesmaids' Hair And Makeup: Jennie Kay Beauty | Cake Stand: Ebay | Cards: Sugar Paper | Catering And Cake: Belle Mer | Cocktail Napkins And Drink Stirrers: Laura Hooper Calligraphy | Custom Quote Signage: Julie Song Ink | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Groom's Leather Cuff Link Box: Pottery Barn | Heel Protectors: Solemates | Invitation Designer: Phrosne Ras | Invitations And Menus: Minted | Light Blue Ribbon: FrouFrou Chic | Memory Coasters: Thimblepress | Mom Gifts: Coordinates Collection | Monogram Handkerchief: Linen Whites | Registry: Zola | Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Seating Chart: DIY By Bride | Table Numbers And Chair Signs: BHLDN | Tabletop Rentals: Casa De Perrin | Tux Designer: Black By Vera Wang | Veil And Jewelry: Nordstrom | Wedsite: Squarespace | Wood Signage: Laura Hooper Calligraphy

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Romantic Blush Castle Hill Inn Rhode Island Wedding

Chock full of lush blush botanicals, the prettiest metallic-tinged ‘maids dresses, pink Valentino Rockstuds, and what might be one of the most breathtaking veil shots I’ve ever seen — courtesy of none other than SMP-fave Ruth Eileen Photography, of course — these oceanfront Rhode Island “I Do’s” are the absolute definition of romantic. Take a peek at the full gallery here, and be prepared to swept away!

 

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
InnTented

From The Bride…Kyle and I met in 2005 in our high school gym class! I was a freshman and he was a sophomore and a mutual friend introduced us. Shortly after that, we started dating and have been pretty much inseparable since!

After almost 9 years of dating, he decided it was (finally) time to propose! He enlisted the help of some of my closest friends to help him, which really meant so much to me. My friends and I planned a “girls trip” to NYC for some pampering and fun girl time. Little did I know they had planned the whole weekend with Kyle and were getting me all dolled up to look my best when he popped the question (seriously, do I have the best friends or what??). With a ploy to go meet another friend in Central Park, the girls and I headed to Belvedere Castle where Kyle completely surprised me by getting down on one knee and popping the question while it quietly snowed around us. It was truly a magical day!

When we started looking for venues, we knew we wanted to stay within New England, as we both grew up just outside Boston and most of our family and friends still reside there. Kyle wanted our venue to be by the ocean whereas I wanted somewhere that had more of garden setting. We began researching separately and ended up sending each other the same website link to Castle Hill Inn. It was absolutely perfect with it’s sweeping lawn that overlooked the ocean – we both were able to get what we wanted! We also knew we didn’t want our guests to have to travel from the ceremony location to the reception, so the fact that Castle Hill had a gorgeous tent set-up right next to the ceremony site was another reason we knew it was perfect for us.

After finding our venue, the next biggest decision was picking our photographer, which really ended up being one of the easiest decisions we made throughout the whole wedding planning process! I actually found Ruthie on none other than Style Me Pretty. I was browsing through their local vendors list and as soon as I clicked on her site and saw gold polka dots on the front page, I knew it was meant to be! Oh and the fact that she takes amazing photos! :) When we met Ruthie for the first time, we hit it off right away and left our meeting knowing we had found the perfect photographer. She was so helpful throughout the whole process, I honestly do not know what I would have done without her!

Overall, I knew I wanted our big day to feel inviting, intimate, romantic, and a little glamorous (without being too stuffy)! Thankfully Kyle let me take the lead with color schemes and most of the details so I stuck with my favorites: pale pink, ivory, and gold. I also knew I wanted my bridesmaids in different pale pink/blush beaded gowns, so I rounded up a whole lot of options for them to pick from and then we narrowed it down from there who would wear which one. This worked out so well because the girls were able to purchase dresses that fit their body type and were comfortable wearing. They all looked stunning!

When it came to finding my dress, it was surprisingly an easy process. I didn’t really know what to expect when I went shopping for the first time, but I can say I had a TON of fun trying on beautiful gowns! While I tried on various different styles and silhouettes, I knew I wanted a strapless ball gown with a sweetheart neckline. My goal was to find a dress that had the perfect balance of classic and modern, and the instant the saleswoman helped me into that Amsale “Dahlia” gown, I knew that was it. I had butterflies in my stomach and instantly started to get a little teary-eyed (and silently kept praying in the dressing room that my mom would love the dress as much as I did!!). That feeling of “when you know you know” was SO true for me!

The flowers were soft and romantic and really created that intimate feeling we were going for by incorporating a lot of white and pale pink and some greenery. Joyce at Stoneblossom Florals created the most beautiful arrangement that was placed on the arch at the ceremony site. It was truly breathtaking and was the talk of the night amongst all of our guests! We used large baby’s breath arrangements for the head table (repurposed from the large arrangements that sat at the beginning of the aisle during the ceremony) with smaller floral arrangements in between. Lush arrangements sat in gold vessels on round tables that went oh-so perfectly with the beautiful lace table clothes!

Everything came together so well and the whole day went off without a hitch! We feel so lucky to have worked with such amazing vendors to help create our perfect day!

Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Coordination: Emily DiBello | Floral Design: Stoneblossom Floral And Event Design | Wedding Dress: Amsale | Cake: Confectionery Designs | Invitations: Paper Source | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Rings: Amoroso's Jewelers | Catering: Castle Hill Inn | Favors: Niagra's Honeymoon Sweets | Groom's Attire: Milton's | Transportation: Viking Tours of Newport | Venue: Castle Hill Inn | Bridal Boutique: Cristina's Bridal | Bride's Clutch: Kate Spade | Cake Topper: Deighan Design | Earrings: Oscar De La Renta | Frames: TJ Maxx | Groomsmen Socks: Happy Socks | Mason Jars: The Retro Redhead | Menus: An Elegant Affair | Mr And Mrs Signs: ZCreate Design | Paper Straws: Pop Up Parties Shop | Place Card Holders: Graceful Events | Rentals: Rentals Unlimited | Ring Bearer Sign: Linen & Lace | Signs: Sweet Peony Press | Signs: Keep Life Simple Design | Table Numbers: Blessed Blondies | Wedding Program Template: XO BSpoke

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Elegant New Year’s Eve Wedding

I really want to go to a New Year’s Eve wedding. Considering I hardly ever have plans that live up to the epic expectations we have for December 31st, a love-filled celebration is what I’d prefer. And I dream of going to one just like this here. With gorgeous Newport in the background, this beautiful Bride wed her handsome Groom in an elegant affair, with Carrie Rodman and Focused Bliss Productions capturing it all. Splash! got the dance floor going and if these pics are any indication, the party never stopped.

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Seasons
Winter
Settings
Hotel

From the beautiful Bride… Some may call us high school sweethearts, since Greg and I were both students at Ridgewood High School in New Jersey when the sparks first flew. But it wasn’t until we were college sophomores in 2009 that we decided to take the plunge with a long-distance relationship. Greg attended Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania and I was at James Madison University in Virginia. We dated all through college, and then moved to New York City, where Greg pursued a career in finance and I started working in fashion PR. Over those first years, Greg and I switched jobs, apartments, and even spent some time apart to see what Manhattan single life was like. But we kept coming back to each other, and finally moved in together on the Upper West Side in 2013.

Greg proposed that Christmas. He surprised me at the Bozeman airport in Montana, where my family was spending the holiday. He was in cahoots with my parents on travel arrangements and had flown in the day before, unbeknownst to me. He asked me to marry him on a poster which he held above his head as I came down the airport escalator on the way to baggage claim. I was shocked and overjoyed.

Our engagement was special for many reasons. Greg had been planning to propose for weeks with the help of my beautiful mom, Carol. Sadly, my mom lost her seven-year battle with breast cancer on July 5, 2014. From the moment we got engaged (and let’s be honest, years before that), to days before she passed, my mom helped me create the most magical New Year’s Eve wedding. From venue scouting and dress shopping to hand picking the candelabras and table linens, she was with me almost every step of the way in the planning process. She was determined to make my wedding day the most special day of my life, no matter how sick she felt. I know she was able to celebrate our wedding too— just from another place.

On our wedding day, my Maid Of Honor gifted me with an oil painting created from a photo of my mom and me on the day we found my wedding dress. It’s the most special present I’ve ever received, and it reminded me that she was there with me that day, and always would be.

Greg and I were married on a beautifully sunny, crystal clear, albeit cold (20 degree) Newport day. While our teeth were chattering in first look photos, the adrenaline from the day kept us warm on our trolley ride around town. We were married at 7:00 on New Year’s Eve by a Rabbi and Pastor, and together, they officiated the most perfect ceremony which included both of our families’ religious backgrounds. During our reception, we barely stepped off the dance floor— it was packed all night long! Our incredible band, Splash!, played Auld Lang Syne and counted down as the clock struck midnight. It was, of course, my favorite New Year’s kiss to date!

2014 was a year we will never forget, but 2015 marked a fresh start for me, and more importantly, our new family.

Photography: Carrie Rodman | Videography: Focused Bliss Productions | Floral Design: Toni Chandler | Wedding Dress: Oscar De La Renta | Stationery: The Write Occasion | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Hair And Makeup: SERAI Beauty | Lighting: Gateway Productions | Band: Splash! | Transportation: Viking Tours | Wedding Venue: OceanCliff Hotel | Baked Goods: Scrumptions | Photography Editing: Sesha NYC/LA | Rentals: Rentals Unlimited | Wedding Planning: Bride | Wedding Rings: Corinne Jewelers

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Colorful Backyard Rhode Island Wedding

We’re in love with this Rhode Island wedding, from the vibrant turquoise and orange palette to the custom quahog and monogram designs that the Bride herself designed! It’s a whimsical celebration with a waterside ceremony (including a boat ride!) and a tented reception at the family home, thanks to amazing vendors like Riley & Grey and Newport Tents! Rupert Whiteley captures it all right here!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Modern

From the beautiful Bride…. I met Ed at a black-tie New Year’s Eve party at the Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. At the time, I was pursuing my design business from Rhode Island while Ed lived in Manhattan. We began dating immediately, and seven months into our relationship, Ed was offered a new job in Bermuda, so we spent the next eighteen months shuttling between there and Westerly, RI, a seaside town we consider our ‘true home’, having both summered there throughout our childhoods, and now the place where both sets of our parents live.

Ed proposed in February 2014 on a very frosty and windy barrier beach by my parents’ home in Shelter Harbor. We knew immediately that we wanted to have our wedding there – in warmer weather, of course! For generations, my family has owned a unique property overlooking Quonochontaug Pond and Block Island Sound. It has been the site of many storied parties, including the traditional Shelter Harbor Annual Fourth of July celebration, attended by hundreds of neighbors and guests and an event worthy of Norman Rockwell. We knew this site could handle a crowd and would be the perfect place for our wedding.

Although we met at a black-tie affair, Ed and I knew a formal event wouldn’t suit our style or location – we envisioned something laid-back, yet elegant, with emphasis on the festivity, dancing and fun for our guests, many of whom would travel long distances to share our day. As a graphic designer specializing in colorful prints and patterns, I craved a vibrant wedding palette, but one still appropriate for the Fourth of October. We chose shades of navy, turquoise and orange, intermingled with a well-recognized Rhode Island icon, the ‘Quahog’ – or Cherrystone clam. As a print and pattern designer with eight months to juggle my wedding and work schedules, I grabbed my watercolors and started painting like a fiend, eventually realizing that my hallmark ‘fish scale’ design from Tipsy Skipper would be the obvious and perfect vehicle for our theme. After incorporating our clam shell into its pattern, I experimented with weaving our initials into it and settled upon a whimsical monogram which became the logo for the Lloyd/Sweeney nuptials. The Quahog debuted on our ‘save-the-date’ mailing, and the monogram, established on the invitation, carried through to the cocktail napkins, embroidered chair covers, table runners, flags and signage, becoming a recurring theme throughout the wedding weekend.

Since Ed and I were now well-acquainted with Bermuda and would soon be full-time residents, we had come to appreciate the British Colony’s heritage, so I visually linked the old with the new by including the island’s Hog Penny as a symbol of our new life together. Finally, a little research revealed a handy coincidence: my fiance’s Celtic family crest just happened to include wild boars, amazingly similar to the Bermuda hogs! This new inspiration seemed divine providence, as we had just selected Preppy Pig BBQ, to cater the event. With our theme established and pork on the menu, ‘Qua-hogs and Hog Pennies’ launched a great deal of lively conversation and anticipation!

As a textile designer, the most enjoyable wedding preparation involved the incorporation of our clam and monogram designs into decorative accessories for the wedding. I transformed our monogram digitally into a subtle ‘repeat’ pattern for fabrics that would suit table runners and pillows. Our ceremony was to take place on a large pavilion in front of a massive granite fireplace, so in order to create a warm, welcoming look, I had numerous large, comfortable pillows made for the seating areas, some with our clamshell design and others embroidered with our monogram. The table runners were trimmed with grosgrain ribbon, which proved the perfect mix of quaintness and elegance on the dinner tables.

In my professional life, I’ve designed many custom ties and scarves for weddings, clubs, hotels and special events, and my own wedding presented a special opportunity to design a custom tie, just for us. For this project, Ed had full design authority, and to my delight, he was thoughtful and clear about the elements he wanted me to include in the pattern. He chose quahog shells, the Bermuda Hog, and a pig roasting over an open flame. Fortunately, Ed shares my passion for color, so neither of us had a moment’s hesitation about a bright orange tie. At the rehearsal dinner, every male family member received one to wear the following day, and since we ordered extras, many of our other guests wore them, as well.

One of the most wonderful experiences in the wedding preparation process was meeting Candace Morgenstern, a renowned Newport floral designer whose expertise and extraordinary creativity was evident everywhere at the wedding. Inexperienced and somewhat intimidated by all things horticultural, I was apprehensive about making decisions on centerpieces, bouquets, altar arrangements and other decorations, but after Candace’s visit, I knew I could relax and enjoy the ride. Understanding my vision readily and enthusiastic about the setting and unconventionality of our wedding, she not only chose the perfect flower combinations, but even incorporated small quahog shells in the arrangements! My bouquet had lovely small shells scattered among the foliage, while Ed’s boutonniere was actually a clamshell with a small flower nestled inside it.

Weather is always the wild card when planning an outdoor wedding, so while we hoped for fair skies, we also planned for potentially inclement conditions. While a large tent was to be the site of the reception, the actual ceremony would take place on the pavilion overlooking the water, followed immediately by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Several days before the wedding, the forecast appeared grim, so we chose to have the entire property tented. A marquee led to the patio area and fireplace, which were also covered. Thank goodness! On the wedding day, it rained as forecasted, so I pulled on my Hunter Rain Boots, which I had bought in turquoise precisely for this prospect and embraced the day. As luck would have it, the rain subsided just as my small wedding party stepped into the antique boat ferrying us to the ceremony. Umbrellas in-hand, my maid-of-honor/sister and two flower girls/nieces embarked on the short cruise to my family’s dock where my father awaited to escort us up the stairway to the altar. Our crowd of guests watched from the upper pavilion, enjoying the sight of my turquoise wellies peeking out from beneath my hemline as I disembarked!

The ceremony was intimate and brief, officiated by a family friend, Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice, Robert Flanders, who wore our bright orange tie under his judicial robes! Losing no time between ceremony and celebration, champagne flowed and hors d’oeuvres were passed as a raw bar of oysters, shrimp and quahogs beckoned to seafood lovers.

Upon their arrival, our guests had seen turquoise pennants flying from the peaks of the large reception tent, emblazoned with our monogram. Inside, however, were my favorite surprise elements; instead of poles supporting the tent structure, our tent décor company had actually installed three authentic tree trunks, retaining the bark and upper branches that were wrapped with lights and spread out over the tables and dancefloor, creating an ‘enchanted forest’ atmosphere for the evening. Underneath the lighted branches were two extended farm tables with our monogrammed fabric runners. Arranged on either side of the farm tables were round dining tables for ten. Medium-sized clamshells, collected throughout the summer by my family members, were placed at each table setting as escort cards. My mother, a talented calligrapher, inscribed each guest’s name on a shell. Larger clamshells served as perfect signs for the buffet tables, and my own watercolor design decorated the custom menus at each place setting. The wedding favor was a custom pint glass which held each guest’s water at dinner and featured our “Qua-hog’ design.

The rain resumed as the guests were seated for dinner, and Dark ‘n’ Stormies became the appropriate impromptu signature cocktail. The lights from the trees created a warm atmosphere on a damp fall evening, and the heating system kept everyone comfortably dry. The rain caused the tent’s perimeter lights to go out unexpectedly, but no one noticed with the champagne and cocktails flowing! Preppy Pig BBQ had been smoking brisket on-site since 8 A.M. and had prepared the most delicious salmon, as well. Candied bacon was displayed in mason jars on the tables, and platters of warm cornbread were eagerly devoured.

Ed’s brother-in-law, James Nicholas, owns and operates the seasonal St. Clair Annex Restaurant in Watch Hill, famous for homemade ice cream since 1887. It was an obvious choice to feature St. Clair’s ice cream in lieu of a traditional wedding cake. Three flavors were served, including a custom ‘Apple Crisp’ flavor, which James made especially for our wedding. Months before, I had noticed an ice cream vending cart featured at a Greenwich event in Martha Stewart Weddings. After much research, I tracked down the owner, arranged to rent the cart, and drove down to Rowayton, Connecticut to pick it up. It was even turquoise to match the wedding colors and with Candace Morgenstern’s floral touches, was a charming prop inside the tent. An employee from The Annex ‘scooped’ guests’ ice cream from the cart, and with the individual key lime pies provided by Preppy Pig BBQ, each table had an array of delectable desserts.

The band Young Love and the Thrills was absolutely extraordinary and more than pleased our wide age range of guests! They put a unique spin on many of their songs, somehow switching from ‘90s rap to classic songs from the 1950s. Our guests packed the dance floor all night – we had an unforgettable time! Even the band members enjoyed themselves; so much that the whole group stayed for the After Party at the fireplace. Magically, the weather had cleared, the stars were twinkling, and the full moon was shining so brightly on the water, it seemed almost daylight. As the older folks headed home, our friends returned to the fireplace pavilion where the fire was now roaring and corn hole boards were set up beside the s’mores bar. A few of the guys took moonlight swims off the dock – some with their clothes on! It was a wonderful end to the evening.

Hosting our wedding at my family’s home was key to my full enjoyment of this once-in-a-lifetime celebration. It gave us the freedom to fully customize our preferences and didn’t restrict us to certain vendors or caterers, as is often the case at clubs and hotels. However, some of the site planning was more challenging than a more traditional venue. New England’s coastline is rocky, and to accommodate the large tented event, an excavator was required to remove some granite boulders and re-grade the land. A tremendous help in the process was the assistance of Bill Corcoran, owner of Newport Tents, who met with us several times to check on the leveling process and helped us determine the best tent layout.

The advice of experienced wedding planner Brandi Lacoste certainly expedited preparation and saved us from making a number of costly errors and oversights. Brandi’s attention to detail highlighted important strategies that never would have occurred to us otherwise. Kelli DuBeau, owner of Exquisite Events Design LLC, helped bring together all of my ideas and inspiration by conceiving ways to incorporate my custom designs without overwhelming the décor. Rupert Whiteley’s photography was completely unobtrusive and spectacular, as well. Despite the assistance and counsel of these experts, however, much of the wedding remained a number of do-it-yourself projects requiring the help of my parents, who fortunately share my sense of adventure! During months of planning and working on wedding details, I found Pinterest an invaluable resource that provided me with loads of inspiration.

From the outset, the goal of the Lloyd/Sweeney wedding was to remain calm and retain fun. With the proper setting, planning and professional advice, we were able to ensure that what could have devolved into stress and tension headaches never did! Limiting preparation to eight months helped me keep to an efficient schedule and condense the tough decisions into a reasonable time frame. Working together with my family in a relaxed home environment assured that everyone’s preferences and opinions were explored and that all vendors understood them. The laid-back atmosphere of home was enjoyable for planners and vendors, too, because they could be more creative in the comfortable, flexible environment, visit whenever convenient for them, and interface with each other in advance of the wedding. In the end, it was only the weather that was unpredictable, and even that was no real complication with the proper planning. The result was a weekend of laughter, festivities and wonderful memories of a one-of-a-kind marriage celebration Ed and I will never forget.

Photography: Rupert Whiteley | Event Planning: Exquisite Events | Event Planning: Blissful Events | Floral Design: Candace Morgenstern | Wedding Dress: J. Crew | Bride's Shoes: J. Crew | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J. Crew | Catering: Preppy Pig BBQ | Hair Stylist: Melanie Buck | Band: Young Love And The Thrills | Groom's Attire: Paul Stuart | Groom's Shoes: Deltoro Shoes | Wedding Venue: Private Residence | Best Man's Attire: Paul Stuart | Boat Launch: Weekapaug Inn | Bride's Rain Boots: Hunter Rain Boots | Custom Monogram And Logo: Kearsley Lloyd | Flower Girls' Dresses: Coren Moore | Groom's Tie Design: Kearsley Lloyd | Ice Cream: St. Clair Annex | Invitation Letterpress Printing: Albertine Press | Raw Bar: Matunuck Oyster Bar | Reception Decor: Exquisite Events | Seamstress: Jane Headley | Stationery Design: Kearsley Lloyd | Tent Rental: Newport Tents | Valet: Valet Connection | Wedding Website: Riley & Grey

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