A Classic and Stylish Nautical Wedding in Newport, Rhode Island
Lauren and David
As sometimes happens, Lauren Auslander found her wedding location before she found her groom. "I was in Newport, Rhode Island, on a girls' trip a few years ago, and we went to the Castle Hill Inn for cocktails," she says. "I wasn't even dating anybody, but I thought, 'This would be an amazing place to get married.'" A year later, while Lauren, a New York City publicist, was on a January 2011 vacation in Miami, the second piece of the puzzle fell into place. It was there that she met Chicago financier David Hill, who happened to be in town for a golf outing. He approached Lauren and her friend at a hotel pool, where the New York girls felt a little out of place among Miami's sparkly party crowd. He jokingly asked, "What are you two squares doing in a place like this?" And, in Lauren's words: "That was it."
The pair dated long-distance until August, when Dave moved to Manhattan; they got engaged while decorating their Christmas tree a year and a half later. When they checked out Newport as a potential venue, "Dave just loved it," Lauren says, so it did, in fact, become the setting for their fall wedding, which fell on the same day as both of her parents' 60th birthdays, October 11, 2013.
"I wanted my invitations to be more on the classic side, then include some fun elements, like the map," says Lauren.
A map of the area, designed by Alana Jones-Mann and including spots special to the couple, emblazoned the welcome bags.
The Little Guy
Lauren's cousin's son served as ring bearer—the same role his dad played at the bride's parents' wedding.
The Ceremony Setting
Sprays of hydrangea, garden rose, café au lait dahlias, and anemone decorated the arbor that served as the ceremony marker.
A picnic basket holding hand-tied programs was set on the shore where the ceremony took place.
The Musical Selections
"I wanted our wedding to be whimsical, elegant, and personal," says Lauren, who kicked it off by having her bridesmaids walk down the beachfront aisle to The Crystals' "And Then He Kissed Me" (it's on the soundtrack of one of her favorite '80s movies, Adventures in Babysitting).
After the duo exchanged their own vows in a nondenominational ceremony, the couple made their way back up the aisle to a version of The Beach Boys's "God Only Knows."
A Friendly Face
Longtime friend (and client) Jessica Simpson was one of Lauren's seven bridesmaids.
Taking a Seat
Mini Adirondack-chair escort cards referenced the full-size ones that dot Castle Hill's lawn.
A Specialty Cocktail
180 guests strolled around the lawn sipping Hugos, a variation on Dark and Stormies named in honor of the couple's dog, a Havanese that didn't make the trip but was there in pictures printed on the drink flags.
The stylish crowd included model Coco Rocha (second from left).
A White Bouquet
The bride's all-white clutch was made up of ranunculus, anemones, roses, and freesia.
"The ceiling of the tent felt very high," says Lauren, "so we brought in chandeliers and swathed the beams in chiffon-muslin, which was beautiful."
Dinner included New England clam chowder and beef tenderloin. After the reception ended at 11 P.M., the lobby of the inn became the site of an after-party that raged until 2 A.M. "We didn't want our wedding to feel fancy or stuffy," says Lauren. "We wanted people to be able to let loose and have a good time." Mission accomplished.
Mercury glass vases overflowed with lush arrangements of white and green hydrangeas, roses, dahlias, brunia, astilbe, ranunculus, snowberry, clematis vines, anemones, and additional greens.
A Fitting First Dance
The bride's married name is Lauren Hill—so the only song they wanted to sway to as husband and wife was Lauryn Hill’s "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You."
The towering confection included vanilla cake layered with strawberry shortcake, lemon, and raspberry fillings, and a tier of chocolate cake with hazelnut crunch.
Location: Castle Hill Inn
Flowers: Stoneblossom Florals and Events
Photography: Judy Pak
Videography: Avec Lumiere Productions
Stationery: Alana Jones-Mann
Cake: Confectionery Designs
Music: Big Mix with Joe Shane
Hair: Roque Jiminez of Tracey Mattingly
Makeup: Christopher Ardoff of Art Department
Bridesmaids' Hair and Makeup: New Leaf Studio
Bride's Gown: Lusan Mandongus
Accessories: [shoes] Prada
Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale
Groom's Suit: J.Crew
Menswear: [shoes] Prada
Transportation: Fisher Transportation
Chandeliers: Exquisite Events