“We kept going back to this old-world elegance,” the bride says of the décor at this ultimate house party in Newport, Rhode Island. “We wanted it to feel like you were at a coastal estate, regardless of place or time.”
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Olivia Newhouse and Tyler Stone had a wedding venue picked out long before they set a date—and even before he got down on one knee in 2013 with an antique diamond ring that Olivia’s mother had worn for decades. “We’d already talked about getting married at my parents’ house in Newport,” explains the bride, who works at a digital marketing agency. Her family bought the Rhode Island property, called Seaweed, in 2008, shortly after she and Tyler, then both students at Georgetown, began dating. “We got to know the house and the town together, and it’s a very special place,” says Tyler, a software company director.
Postengagement, the New York City dwellers set about planning their epic house party, which first meant hiring a band they had seen perform years earlier at a Christmas bash in Newport. “I got their card that night and told them, ‘I don’t know when I’m getting married, but if you’re still around then, I need you,’” Olivia says with a laugh. She also dug out a clipping of Jenny Packham’s “Rapunzel” dress that she had saved from a magazine and then tracked it down, too. Other details were inspired by the location: a crest of the house graced invites, menus, and the reception’s throw pillows, and the signature drink was the Seaweed, a mojito-esque concoction that Tyler created. “Like a lot of homes in the area,” he says, “this place was designed for entertaining.”
And entertain they did on September 6, 2014. Following a civil ceremony, a sunset cocktail hour, and a dinner of lobster salad and rack of lamb, the 16-piece band had nearly all 200 guests on their feet. When the bandleader noticed that Olivia, who sang in an a cappella group in high school, knew all the words to “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” he pulled her up on stage for an impromptu duet.
Late in the evening, the newlyweds took a dance break to walk along the coast. “The moon was shining over the water, and we could hear faint music from the tent,” Olivia says. “It was the best feeling in the world, knowing all the people you love are there to support you.” But there was no need to linger. “We didn’t stand there too long,” she recalls. “We didn’t want to miss out!”
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A Bit of History
The event’s RSVP cards were printed on copies of a vintage postcard depicting the house; the beach just off the lawn was once public.
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Seaweed was built around 1860 and sits right on the water.
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I Put a Shell on You
Olivia gifted Tyler a silver shell pin, which he used to secure his thistle and dusty miller boutonniere.
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On Dad’s Arm
The pair chose not to see each other on the big day, prior to Olivia’s walk down the aisle. “It just felt right that way,” Tyler says. “I feel like as the groom, you should show up in your tuxedo and be blown away by how beautiful she is.” And blown away he was.
Olivia’s father, Douglas, walked her from the home, across the lawn, and to the ceremony spot. “I remember seeing Olivia smiling,” Tyler says, “then noticing that Doug was beaming from ear to ear.”
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A Shore Thing
Tyler planted a kiss on Olivia after their misty seaside ceremony. “I suppose everyone wants blue skies,” he says. “But when the fog rolled in, it was mystical—and so unique.”
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Cocktail Hour Fare
An array of hors d’oeuvres—steak tartare, tomato confit, deviled quail eggs, goat-cheese-covered beets, and marinated salmon—made the rounds during the cocktail hour.
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Under the Tent
“We kept going back to this old-world elegance,” Olivia says of the décor. “We wanted it to feel like you were at a coastal estate, regardless of place or time.”
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Over the Tent
For the peaks of the Sperry sailcloth tent, the couple designed Seaweed flags with the crest used throughout the day.
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The Guest Book
The grand floral arrangements of myrtle, snow berry, hydrangea, kiwi vine, green trailing amaranthus, roses, and more decorated the table with the guest book, which was actually a Newport coffee-table book guests signed in the white space.
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The reception lounge space was made comfier with pillows embroidered with the Seaweed logo.
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The First Dance
Leading up to the wedding, Olivia and Tyler took ballroom dancing lessons with Arthur Murray dance studio in Boston. For their first dance, the couple picked Frank Sinatra’s version of “Fly Me to the Moon.” “Tyler and I are sort of old souls,” Olivia says.
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The tiered pound cake was decorated with textured buttercream frosting, edible chocolate oyster shells, and hypericums.
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Event Planning: Eventfully Planned
Event Design: David Hammond Design
Flowers and Décor: Perfect Surroundings
Photography: David Newkirk
Videography: Paperweight Films
Stationery: Alexa Pulitzer
Calligraphy: Heather Belle Ink
Cake: Sin Bakery
Lighting: JDI Productions
Bride’s Gown: Jenny Packham
Bride’s Shoes: Shoes of Prey
Hair and Makeup: Wavelengths Salon
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Groom’s Suit, Bow Tie, and Cuff Links: Brooks Brothers
Groom’s Shirt: Eton Shirts
Groom’s Shoes: Belgian Shoes
Transportation: Viking Tours of Newport
Pillows: Claudia Couture Home Accents
Late-Night Pizza: Bravo Wood Fired Pizza
Shell Place Card Holders: Gallery 360 Designs