Since Scott and I decided to get married in Newport, Rhode Island, where we met – we decided to spend the week leading up to the wedding in town. By “we” I mean my parents, myself and Scott. We stopped half way to Rhode Island in New Jersey on our way up to spend time with Scott’s parents. It was fun to have time with just us and our parents before the craziness began.
When we arrived in Newport on Tuesday, we had absolutely gorgeous weather. It was the perfect New England fall day. Scott and I used the drive to fiiiinally decide on a first dance song – which we changed a few days later. Choosing the music for our wedding was probably the most challenging part of the entire planning process, believe it or not. I didn’t have the songs for any of the ceremony entrances until about a week and a half before, and that’s only because I needed to pick them for printing on the program. Luckily, I received some wonderful suggestions from our Pastor’s wife and loved each and every song we used.
But I digress! Here we are on one of the bridges you cross to get onto the Aquidneck Island, where Newport is located. It’s beautiful and I take pictures every time we cross it. We started getting seriously excited at this point, as we always do whenever we go to Newport, but this time was even better. We were both just giddy knowing in less than a week we’d be married. And my parents were right behind us with an SUV full of wedding details – most importantly a wedding dress!
I had an appointment with our wedding venue, Belle Mer, the afternoon we arrived. So we decided to go straight to a little place for lunch next door to Belle Mer. Even though it was October in New England, we were able to eat on the deck overlooking the Newport harbor. We treated ourselves to a mid-day cocktail and had a round of clam chowder, naturally.
Mom and I continued onto the meeting while the men checked into our house for the week. We had left a couple of wedding tasks to do in Newport, mostly things we couldn’t easily do ahead of time and transport with us. When Mom and I finished, we made our way to the house and I had everyone sit down for a state of the union/assignment of tasks. We got down to most of them that afternoon. The boys (ahem, men) were so wonderful and helpful and rolled all of the pashminas, which were our wedding favors. Mom, Dad and Scott were all so great about listening to me and doing things in the very particular way in which I wanted them done. Even rolling pashminas and arranging them in an “organic way, rather than rows by color.” You should have seen how they looked at me when I said that. 🙂
Dad didn’t know what a pashmina was. So I had to demonstrate one for him, hence the green one he is wearing.
I loved how they looked – almost like a bouquet.
We also needed to stamp the menu cards. I hand stamped and embossed (with a lot of help!) all of our invitation pieces and wanted to have the same design on all of our printed materials at the wedding. My friend, Lauren, designed the menu card layout for me and I had them printed ahead of time. Mom was an old pro at embossing by that point, but we didn’t have the third member of our team – my sister, Megan. So Scott stepped up to bat. Dad took care of folding all of the letters for the welcome bags, with rocket science precision, I might add.
There’s my wonderful team!
The finished menu card. The white flourish/design was what was added after the fact.
We also put together our welcome bags. To personalize the bags, we put in a letter and snacks representing the states where Scott and I grew up as well as New York City – our new home as a married couple.
Virginia (Rebecca) – Virginia peanuts
New Jersey (Scott) – Saltwater Taffy
New York City (the Big Apple) – Apple
Our last little craft project was the sparkly base for the place cards. Because my place cards couldn’t just be arranged on a table. Heavens, no. They had to be on a sparkly platform, but of course. Dad put his rocket building skills to use and did a perfect job.
It didn’t take much time to get everything done, so we had plenty of time to walk around Newport, go out for dinner and visit with family as they started to arrive.
Scott and I had planned a date for ourselves on Wednesday night prior to the wedding craziness getting into full swing. Almost all of our family would be in town Thursday and we had a big dinner planned. Obviously, Friday was the rehearsal. So Wednesday was our last chance to spend time just the two of us and I am SO glad we did. I would recommend it to any engaged couple. It was so nice to have that time to really savor what was about to happen.
We went to Castle Hill Inn for drinks since it is literally where it all began (Scott was the valet, I was the intern; enough said). Then it was on to 22 Bowens for dinner. It is one of the best restaurants in Newport and it is where Scott took me at the end of “our” summer as a sort of good bye dinner. We went all out and had champagne, oysters on the half shell and lobster for me and filet mignon for Scott. Delicious and decadent doesn’t even cover it.
Thursday I started getting anxious and nervous. Scott left the house to stay in a hotel until the wedding and I missed having him with me. Especially since that was also when all of our family started to arrive from every corner of the United States. We were so incredibly blessed to have everyone there. It struck me over and over again how wonderfully surreal it was to have our long distance relatives travel so far just for our wedding. To see them standing on the streets of Newport – not even my home town! – was beyond humbling. That was when I started feeling the pressure! It was self-induced, sure, but present nonetheless.
That evening, we had dinner with Scott’s and my families. The young’uns then went on to a night of fun with some friends from Newport.
And then it was Friday and rehearsal time!
Once I arrived at Belle Mer and handed everything over to the staff, I felt a weight lift. I had my clipboard, checked everything off my (long) list and made sure both the staff, my mom and my godmother all knew what to do and had their jobs the night of the wedding. I then proceeded to do our event coordinators job (it’s habit!) and everything went off smoothly.
Honestly, the thing that stands out the most for me from the rehearsal was rounding the corner and seeing the longest line of men waiting for me. Between our pastor, Scott and his eight groomsmen, it was a bit intimidating!
Then it was off to Brick Alley, where Scott and I had our first date. The Fitzgerald’s hosted a wonderful party and were gracious hosts. The decor was football for Scott and princess for me. They certainly get us!
And speaking of Princesses – there is Miss Avery in my arms. She was pretty attached to Aunt Rebecca that weekend because there were rumors of a “Princess dress” and “sparkly shoes.” I hope I didn’t disappoint!
My bestie and Maid of Honor, Lauren, had put together a surprise slide show/montage/movie of Scott and I growing up and our time together. She definitely had help pulling everything off from the photos to the logistics, and I am so grateful to everyone who helped pull it together.
Because I love, love, loved it! It made me feel so special. Even when a picture of me wearing the very same dress I was in at the rehearsal popped up. Ha. The slide show had everyone laughing and crying. (Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion. Name that movie.)
The Fitzgerald’s graciously invited all out-of-town family and the wedding party, which turned into a sizable affair. Which was great, because it gave Scott and I the opportunity to see everyone a bit before the wedding.
Did I mention how many families traveled with little ones? There were four infants alone, not to mention all of the older siblings between 2 and 3 years old. I have to say again how humbled and grateful we are to our wonderful family and friends.
The cast of characters for the next day.
But really, starring these two!
We had such a great night, it seemed like an embarrassment of riches that it was only the pre-cursor to our wedding day.