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What a gorgeous couple and stunning wedding we have today! Jess and Jeff created an elegant Newport, Rhode Island celebration that thoughtfully incorporated their Haitian and Chinese heritages. Such a wonderful way to honor their families - I love it!
The Couple: Jess and Jeff
The Wedding: 8.12.12 - Castle Hill - Newport, RI
What were the top three priorities for you in planning your wedding? Mirth, elegance and a sense of timelessness.
What wedding traditions or cultural traditions did you incorporated into your wedding and what did they mean to you? Being from different cultures - my family hails from Haiti and Jeff’s from China - it was important to us that our cultures be represented at our wedding. We included subtle touches - for example, each guest was given a fortune cookie alongside a slice of Haitian cake for dessert. Inside each fortune cookie were messages with our favorite love quotations and lucky numbers that read “8-12-2012," our wedding date. We also had a surprise performance of a Chinese traditional lion dance by the group Woo Chings White Crane of Boston. The dance wards off evil spirits and wishes the newlyweds prosperity and good fortune in their new life together.
Were there any places where you “broke the rules” in your wedding planning? Why and how did you do that? I wanted to personalize and customize everything from the programs, which were newspapers (a nod to my background as a journalist), to the menus with our monogram on them. We even found ways to get our guests to help personalize our day by having the traditional guest book turned into a guest quilt. Guests signed patches that will later be turned into a family quilt - a souvenir that can be passed down through generations.
What was your biggest wedding planning success? Our primary goal was to have a timeless, elegant festivity that was not short on the essential fun. We still have guests telling us what a fabulous time they had at our wedding. The dance floor was always packed, and the photographs reflect the incredible amount of joy and love that we shared on that day.
What was the most important thing that you learned through the wedding planning process and what would you tell other brides-to-be? Make a statement. Your wedding should have your personal touch throughout, and I think it’s safe to say that you want people to feel like it’s an authentic representation of who you are as a couple. If you can define that early, you’ll be great shape in making the day truly your own.
The Wedding Team:
Photographer: Mikhail Glabets
Event Designer: Exquisite Events of Newport
Day of Event Planner: Atiya Charley
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Castle Hill
Videographer/Film Maker: Long Haul Films
Officiant: Lark d’Helen
Invitation Designer: Lela New York
Florist: Sayles Livingston
Cake: Sin Desserts
DJ: Ra-Mu and the Crew
Live Music: Occasional Brass & Strings
Live Guitarist: Brian Mello
Live Performers: Woo Chings White Crane
Favors: Personalized Wine Bottles
Thank you Jess and Jeff for sharing your big day with us!