A castle-like venue – check!
A grand entrance on horse and carriage – check!
A global-inspired menu inspired after places these two traveled – check!
And to top it all off, a 6 tier wedding cake with a liquid nitrogen ice cream vendor set next to a made-to-order espresso station -check!
The only thing missing that would have been the icing on the cake (see what I did there?) was a light dusting of snow.
Kerri and I began working together in July 2019 to plan her big day. I remember one very important thing from our first conversation – her dream wedding style was “Queen Victoria Goes to the Alps.” It was such a specific and unique vision that I will probably never forget it! She really knew what she wanted and was ready to get the process started. The only thing slowing her down was she was living on the West Coast in Seattle and knew she wanted someone on the East Coast to help her mom with the planning.
We had a great first call – I remember we bonded over being obsessed with our dogs and that we were both huge wine and ice cream lovers. So basically it was a match made in heaven (because honestly, is there anything better than dogs, wine and ice cream? I think not.)
Our first priority was to find her perfect venue. She had a few options in mind as well as a list of criteria that needed to be met: located in New England (but ideally close to Rhode Island so her grandmother could attend), must fit the Queen Victoria aesthetics (yes, we wanted a castle!) and most of all – dog friendly!
We ended up narrowing down the options to either Ocean Cliff in Newport or Mountain Top Inn in Vermont. I set up site visits at each venue and took Kerri on a virtual tour via FaceTime. After weighing the pros and cons of each, we decided that Ocean Cliff was the winner. And we dove right in to the rest of the planning!
Kerri was so much fun to work with – she was Type A (like me!) and really wanted to be involved with all aspects of the planning. We texted, emailed or talked on the phone most days of the week in the months leading up to her February wedding weekend to ensure every detail was perfect. We went over everything from how to word her invitations, what color candles and how many to set on each guest table, a weekend itinerary for her dogs (this was a first for me but these pooches got the royal treatment!), how best to replicate her favorite ice cream flavor (Salt & Straw’s salted caramel cupcake. Yes, you can order this online and have it shipped to you!), and best locations in Newport for photos. Of course we talked about big picture things too like what vendors would best bring her vision to life, where to host the rehearsal dinner and post-wedding brunch, a timeline for the entire weekend and transportation plans. We had 22 vendors (yes, you did read that right) that were a part of bringing this weekend to life! And each one nailed it.
Finally, February 21st had arrived and it was time for the festivities to commence! I headed down to Newport early on Friday to help organize her décor, attend the final meeting with Ocean Cliff, and ensure we were set for the rehearsal dinner at Red Parrot. Newport, Rhode Island is seriously a dream wedding setting, no matter the season! The winter months have the added benefit of all the beauty and charm without the crowds.
Saturday morning began bright and early with hair and makeup for the ladies in Kerri’s suite. She flew in her stylists from Seattle (ladies, can we all agree that once you find a good stylist, you keep them!) and the girls hung out, sipped their coffees and got beautified for the day ahead.
Kerri and Nathan had a traditional ceremony on the Salve Regina campus at Our Lady of Mercy Chapel. After they said their I Do’s, the bridal party was shuttled over to historic Fort Adams for pictures (pups included!). We had a full afternoon of pictures so it was very important that we kept to our schedule and kept things moving – that is the job of the wedding planner! From the Fort, it was back to Ocean Cliff where a horse & carriage awaited the couple. It was Kerri’s dream to make her grand entrance in style and feel like a true princess.
The food for this wedding was one for the books. Kerri had a very clear vision that she did not want people to feel like this was the typical wedding menu. Instead, she really wanted to create options after places in the world that were special to her and Nathan. We had things like a Spanish tapas station, mini Guinness pies, bite size Neopolitan pizzas, and Steak Frites. Her wedding cake was truly out of this world – Queen Victoria started the trend for over-the-top wedding cakes and in keeping with our theme, this was a must-have. And what good is cake without ice cream to go with it? We brought in two vendors that I knew from my time working in the convention centers – Wiches of Boston for liquid nitrogen ice cream and Espresso Dave for made-to-order espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and hot chocolate.
Guests danced the night away to music by DJ Martika with Entertainment Specialists and had fun in the photo booth. Little did they know, we had a surprise waiting for the after-party. Kerri brought in the Saved by the 90’s band to keep things rocking. The fun didn’t end until 1am!
Sunday morning came and everyone gathered at the Skiff Bar in the Newport Marriott for brunch and to say their goodbye’s. Kerri and Nathan were getting ready to hop on a flight for their two week honeymoon in Spain, Portugal and Italy!
I absolutely loved working on this wedding and creating a relationship with Kerri and her family. So much so that I am planning her brother’s wedding for 2021! It will be so wonderful to see everyone again and witness another member of the family say I Do! Kerri & Nathan, thank you so much for bringing me on board and many years of happiness to you both!
Planning & Design: Alyssa Jean Signature Events
Venue & Catering: Ocean Cliff, Newport
Photography: Carmen Lopez
DJ & Photobooth: Entertainment Specialists
Beauty: Sugar & Shears
Cake: Wingate Cakes
Ceremony: Our Lady of Mercy Chapel
Dog Concierge: Lucky Dog Resort
Espresso Cart: Espresso Dave
Horse & Carriage: New Deal Horse & Carriage
Florals: Fresh Foraged Designs
Hotels & Post-Wedding Brunch: Newport Marriott
Ice Cream: Wiches of Boston
Photo Location: Fort Adams
Rentals: PEAK Event Services
Rehearsal Dinner: The Red Parrott
Transportation: Arrow Prestige
After Party Band: Saved by the 90’s