This Gorgeous Wedding at a Newport Mansion Will Give You Serious Venue Envy

 Real Weddings, Rhode Island  Comments Off on This Gorgeous Wedding at a Newport Mansion Will Give You Serious Venue Envy
Jul 052016
 
Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Bride and Groom Portrait

Photo: Jack Jeffries of Christian Oth Studio

Until Niki Damascus and Joseph Gesualdi tied the knot, the long-distance couple had never lived in the same state. That's right: From the time mutual friends set them up until they said their vows, the couple commuted from Boston to Rhode Island to sneak in time together. But the distance actually brought them closer together. "Even when we first met, I remember thinking how strange it was that there were no awkward pauses or weirdness," Niki says. "It was like we had known each other forever."

To celebrate joining their lives — metaphorically and (finally!) geographically — the couple simply envisioned one big party. But it turned out that their July 25, 2015, wedding in Newport, Rhode Island, was more than just an epic bash. With a soft peach-and-pink color palette, their day was romantic and glamorous, with charming vintage touches.

It took a little more than a year — and the help of wedding planner Details With Love — to pull off the big day. "This wedding truly was a labor of love," says Niki. "Even though we hired a wedding planner, it was important to me that I be involved in selecting every wedding element, from the largest to the smallest detail." And, as you'll see in these images from Jack Jeffries of Christian Oth Studio, her attention to detail more than paid off.

Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Calligraphy Invitation Suite

Photo: Jack Jeffries of Christian Oth Studio

Says Niki, "When it came time to pick a wedding location, we wanted somewhere that was not only meaningful to us as a couple, but also a place that could serve as a weekend getaway full of fun and festivity for our guests." Therefore, they invited their 150 guests to join them in Newport, Rhode Island, where they have vacationed with friends for years, selecting the stunning Rosecliff Mansion as the site of their reception.

"It was very important for us that our guests have an amazing weekend start to finish, from the rehearsal dinner to the wedding and brunch and the beach the next day," Niki says. "Since wedding days are typically a blur, we wanted the opportunity to spend the entire weekend making memories with our favorite people."

Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Bride in Strapless Carolina Herrera Wedding Dress Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Bride's Garden Rose Bouquet

Photo: Jack Jeffries of Christian Oth Studio

The bride knew her Carolina Herrera wedding dress was The One when she couldn't bring herself to slip out of the lace fit-and-flare gown. "With every other dress I tried there was always something I wasn't sure about or that I wanted to change," Niki says. "But with my dress there wasn't a thing I wanted to change."

The lesson? "There's the perfect dress out there for every woman, and you should never settle for something you're not absolutely in love with," the bride says.

Niki initially wanted to carry a peony bouquet but with the time of year that the couple got married, the beloved bridal bloom wasn't an affordable option. Instead, her florist created a for a romantic and organic bouquet packed with less spendy — but equally gorgeous — garden roses in hues of cream, blush, and peach.

Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Bride with Bridesmaids' in Blush Amsale Gowns Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Bride and Groom with Wedding party

Photo: Jack Jeffries of Christian Oth Studio

In keeping with the rest of the wedding, Niki wanted the bridesmaids' dresses to feel romantic and ethereal. The bride chose off-the-shoulder, floor-length Amsale gowns in the party-appropriate hue of "Bellini." Meanwhile, the groomsmen kept their looks classic in traditional black-and-white tuxedos.

Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Greek Orthodox Church for Ceremony Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Church Pew Decorations Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Wedding Ceremony Program

Photo: Jack Jeffries of Christian Oth Studio

Niki and Joseph held their ceremony at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church, a small but beautiful church with décor that really packed a punch. "Because Greek Orthodox churches tend to be very ornate, we decided to keep our ceremony décor to a minimum," the bride says. A few pews were adorned with small floral arrangements and pink ribbons while two large arrangements flanked the altar.

The couple's traditional Greek Orthodox ceremony didn't include vows, but did include a tradition in which the bride and groom don crowns tied to one another to symbolize their union.

Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Rosecliff Mansion Exterior Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Reception Ballroom Interior

Photo: Jack Jeffries of Christian Oth Studio

When it came to their reception, it was very important to the couple that the grandeur and natural beauty of Rosecliff Mansion be able to speak for itself without being overpowered by additional decorations. The couple's soft color palette made that easy to do, even with towering arrangements of garden roses, hydrangeas, orchids, and greenery throughout the room. "We wanted the space to feel warm and inviting, so we used candlelight, lanterns, and soft amber lighting throughout the room," the bride says.

Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Round Tables with Tall Floral Centerpieces Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Tall Centerpieces with Garden Roses, Hydrangeas, and Orchids Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Low Floral Centerpieces with Candles Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Gold Table Numbers Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Place Settings with Clear Chargers Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Menu Card Decorated with Fresh Herbs

Photo: Jack Jeffries of Christian Oth Studio

The couple' reception décor included a mix of towering and low floral arrangements, all accented with trailing sprays of Dendrobium orchids. "We chose vintage inspired gold and crystal vases for the high arrangements, and mixed metals and mercury glass for the low tables," the bride says, adding that candles on each table lent a romantic ambiance to the party.

Table settings included vintage-inspired flatware, glasses, plates, and chargers, while menus cards and table numbers where etched in gold calligraphy. "We also incorporated our monogram throughout the day on the menus, our welcome notes, and seating chart," Niki says.

Because the bride and groom are huge foodies, the menu was very important detail for both Niki and Joseph. In the end, they decided to serve casual fare like mini short rib sliders and truffle tries, fish and chips in newspaper cones, and nachos paired with margarita shooters during cocktail hour, then indulged in a more formal dinner of Greek and Italian table stations, and capped off the night with a taco truck. "We thought that was the perfect post-bubbly snack for our guests on their ride home," Niki says.

Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Five-Tier Wedding Cake Decorated with Cascading Sugar Flowers

Photo: Jack Jeffries of Christian Oth Studio

The couple's five-tier wedding cake was made from layers of toasted almond cake with dulce de leche over apricot preserves and vanilla mousseline, and dark chocolate cake with raspberry mousseline and bittersweet ganache over raspberry preserves. It was covered in cascading sugar flowers, gold dusted piping, and fondant pearls.

Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Bride and Groom Dancing

Photo: Jack Jeffries of Christian Oth Studio

Niki and Joseph didn't want a traditional bridal party entrance, so they walked into the reception and straight onto the dance floor, taking their first twirl to Leon Bridges' "Coming Home," a moment the bride says she'll never forget.

Rosecliff Mansion Wedding in Newport, Bride and Groom Wedding Exit

Photo: Jack Jeffries of Christian Oth Studio

Looking back on their wedding day, Niki urges couples with the means to hire a wedding planner. "The last thing you want is to be stressed out about details or what is or isn't happening," she explains. "The best decision I made was having a wedding planner who not only helped with the planning, but also handled everything the day of. I don't even think my phone range once the whole morning. It was so nice to have the day to relax and spend time with my girlfriends without having to worry about anything."

Ceremony Venue: St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church || Reception Venue: Rosecliff Mansion || Wedding Planner: Details With Love || Bride's Wedding Dress and veil: Carolina Herrera || Jewelry & Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co. || Shoes: Prada || Hair & Makeup: Jennie Kay Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom's Attire: Armani || Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux || Florist: Stoneblossom Floral and Event Design || Invitations: Sugar Paper || Music: Occasional Brass & Strings; Vali Entertainment || Catering: Russell Moring Catering & Events || Cake: Ana Parzych Cakes || Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen; Rentals Unlimited || Favors: The Booth || Videographer & Photographer: Christian Oth Studio

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Want more wedding inspiration just like this? Then check out another couple's mansion celebration in the video below.

A Natural Midsummer Wedding on the Rhode Island Coast

 Gay Marriage, Gay Weddings, Real Weddings, Rhode Island, Same-Sex Marriage  Comments Off on A Natural Midsummer Wedding on the Rhode Island Coast
Sep 072015
 

Rachel's sister-in-law spent years trying to get her to meet Jenny. "We both worked in event production, and she thought we'd hit it off," says Rachel. After evenings spent with Rachel's brother, sister-in-law, and nephews over the course of almost three years, the two women finally realized they had something more than a friendship brewing. Rachel was about to go on the road as assistant tour manager for Jay-Z's Blueprint III tour, so the relationship blossomed via text and phone calls. On December 26th, 2011, after two proposal plans that didn't pan out, Jenny and Rachel found out that two of their friends had just gotten engaged in Thailand. "I couldn't wait any longer," says Rachel. "I grabbed the ring and, still in our pajamas and with messy hair, in the most seemingly average of moments, I asked Jenny to be my wife." Jenny said "yes" without hesitation.

Since both women work in the event industry, they took it upon themselves to plan a midsummer garden party for 59 guests at Castle Hill Inn in Newport, Rhode Island on July 25th, 2013. Even pouring rain couldn't put a damper on the day, as the women and their team of vendors rolled with the punches and brought the whole bash indoors. It was still everything they'd dreamed — take a peek at Michelle Gardella's photos below to see what we mean.

It all started with sleek invitations with a subtle ocean theme. Kraft paper envelopes and subtle gold details suggested a natural, yet refined, theme.

While their young ring bearer couldn't make it down the aisle on his own, his peach linen shirt, nautical tie, and sweet fedora stole the show.

Both women get a gold medal for their choice of footwear, with Jenny in Badgley Mischka sandals and Rachel in metallic Sam Edelman wingtips. Bouquets of peach and white roses, tied with burlap and gold ribbon, were wild and organic, which Jenny matched in her Grecian-style J.Crew gown and voluminous curls.

Rachel wore a blush Ted Baker jacket with a pleated tuxedo shirt. "It was the perfect bridge between masculine and feminine," she says.

While an outdoor celebration was the original plan, Jenny and Rachel moved everything inside when the clouds opened up. Their flower girl, with a bowl of hydrangea petals, led the way down the aisle to an altar flanked by wild arrangements of hydrangeas, roses, ferns, and Queen Ann's lace.

Instead of writing their own vows, Rachel and Jenny read from their gilded ketubah, and invited sisters, brothers and cousins to do readings such as "i carry your heart with me" by E.C. Cummings and "Touched by an Angel" by Maya Angelou.

The reception took place in Castle Hill Inn's Chalet, a structure built with the same engineering principles as a boat, but upside-down, with wood ribbing across the ceiling and sailcloth stretched between the beams. Tables were topped with burlap linens and centerpieces of garden roses, dahlias, and seeded eucalyptus. The brides' chairs were tied with ferns and trailing green vines, complete with burlap ribbons.

Though they had to move everything inside, Rachel and Jenny still treated guests to a classic Rhode Island "a href="http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2015/05/creative-wedding-food-pairings.html">clam bake. Lobster bibs added a playful touch to the place settings, and guests indulged in lobster, clams, chorizo, and boiled sweet corn and potatoes, served with drawn butter and cabbage slaw.

Rachel's family has a favorite cake that's made at a local farm, so they served that instead of a more traditional wedding cake. The white cake was filled with strawberry and coconut cream, and topped with cream cheese frosting.

In addition to the weather, the wedding was full of some fabulous surprises. Rachel recorded her own version of "Everything" by Michael Bublé, then put together a flash mob with the help of her professional dancer pals. "We had separate parts for the pros and for other family members, and they sent out videos to everyone to rehears at home. It was spectacular, and Jenny loved it!" says Rachel. The brides also competed in an informal dance-off, hitting the floor with their brothers and doing flips and lifts.

The brides waited a year to head to Maui for their honeymoon. "Waiting was such a great decision. We were able to save for it, and weren't exhausted from the wedding festivities, so we were able to enjoy it with lots of energy and excitement," Jenny says.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Castle Hill Inn || Jenny's Wedding Attire: J.Crew || Jenny's Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Rachel's Wedding Attire: jacket - Ted Baker, pants - DKNY || Rachel's Shoes: Sam Edelman || Hair: Ananda Hair Lounge || Makeup: Spa Yadira || Wedding Bands: Grace Lee Designs || Floral Design: Stoneblossom || Invitations & Paper Goods: Presshaus LA || Music: PRG Worldwide Entertainment, DJ Adrian Govind || Catering: Castle Hill Inn || Cake: Highland Farm || Favors: Sweenor's Chocolates || Photography: Michelle Gardella

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Want to see more seaside nuptials? Check out the couple below exchange vows near the water in the Hamptons!

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