A Timeless New England Wedding at a Newport Mansion
Lissy and Steve
When it comes to her relationship with Steve, Lissy credits a well-timed haircut circa August 2009. "I didn't notice Steve until our second year of medical school," says the founder and CEO of a digital healthcare startup. "He had longish hair during our first year. But I remember asking a friend that fall, 'Who's the new guy in class?'" Thanks to the new 'do, Lissy and Steve's friendship developed, and the two eventually began dating.
Five years later, the couple was surrounded by newly-fallen snow as they took their labradoodle, Winnie, on a walk one night in early February through the trails of World's End park in Hingham, Massachusetts. Having grown up in Hingham, Steve knew the spot well from years of running cross-country. He also knew that if he wanted to ask Lissy to marry him, he would need her parents' blessing. Since she is an only child and her parents are unable to keep a secret from her, Steve called them just a few hours earlier to keep the surprise. The moonlight fell upon the couple as Steve proposed, and Lissy said "yes." The pair then went to Steve's childhood home where his parents were waiting with a bottle of bubbly and well-wishes.
Soon after, the couple decided on a venue—the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. With classic, understated New England charm, the locale provided the perfect backdrop for the couple's 160 guests to celebrate an elegant fête in tones of dark green, gray, and gold on July 11, 2015.
The Stationery Suite
"We wanted something serious but also celebratory for the occasion, so the mix of charcoal gray, dark green, and gold details was perfect," Lissy says of the stationery suite, which was designed with help from wedding planner and event designer Lisa Vorce. This classic suite contained a letterpressed save-the date with a sketch of the venue. The pewter gray Papel Paper and Press invitation itself was foil-printed in soft gold on paper with gilded beveled edges. Envelopes were calligraphed by Tara Jones, and the entire suite was tied together with a silk ribbon.
Guests were able to experience old-world New England charm at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Set along the Atlantic Ocean, this historic mansion was built by architect Stanford White during the Gilded Age and boasts an elegant driveway and expansive lawn.
With the help of her tailor, Lissy created three different looks for her Monique Lhuillier gown. The first included a long-sleeve jacket for the ceremony, followed by cap sleeves for cocktails and dinner, and finally a strapless look for the reception. On her feet she wore Jimmy Choo nude wedges that were simple and comfortable, so she didn't need to think about anything but getting married during the outdoor ceremony.
"I wanted something more formal since in many ways our ceremony was nontraditional," says the bride of the lace sleeves worn over her Monique Lhuillier gown.
The Bridal Bouquet
"My favorite part of the day was looking out the window on the second floor of Rosecliff while I was getting ready with my bridesmaids, and feeling the rush of anticipation and excitement as I watched guests arrive through the courtyard," the bride recalls.
The bridesmaids were friends from different stages of Lissy's life—high school, college, medical school, and business school—and each donned charcoal-gray, chiffon Amsale gowns in a style of their choice.
The Bridesmaids' Green Bouquets
Officiated by their friend, the ceremony took place on the Rosecliff lawn and overlooked the Atlantic Ocean under clear, blue skies. Lissy and Steve exchanged self-penned vows while sailboats drifted past in the distance, then recessed to a live rendition of Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel" from Local Freight.
Lissy and Steve took portraits in La Farge Perry House, the bed and breakfast that accommodated the bridal party. Other portraits were taken on the lawn of and within the mansion itself.
The Cocktail Hour
During cocktail hour, Champagne and wine were served and passed hors d'oeuvres included smoked duck Diablo with dried fig, jalapeño, red pepper jelly, and applewood smoked bacon; Newport lobster salad with housemade Charleston chips; fish and chips cones; and Asian pear tuna poke on a sesame cracker. Local Freight played bluegrass music while guests played corn-hole and took in views of the water.
The Escort Cards
Green escort cards calligraphed by Tara Jones in gold ink helped guests find their seats at the reception.
A Moment of Reflection
Traditionally, the women would freshen up on the second floor of Rosecliff before they made their grand entrances down the heart-shape staircase and through the salon. "I remember walking up the limestone steps right after the ceremony," says Lissy. "I was still in a state of suspended disbelief. I couldn't believe that a few minutes later, Steve and I would walk down the stairs and into the ballroom together as a married couple."
The reception was held in the ballroom, where ornate details on the walls and ceiling added a classic touch to the couple's fête.
Gold chairs surrounded the reception tables, which were overlayed with white organdy linens from La Tavola Fine Linen. Table numbers were displayed in gold on tented, dark green paper and set amongst boxwood spheres and hedges.
The Place Settings
Menus were tucked into white hemstitch napkins and garnished with a sprig of greenery. Textured brown chargers, silver flatware, and silver-rimmed glassware rounded out the place settings.
The First Dance
Lissy and Steve danced to "The Godfather Waltz" by Nino Rota as a nod to the groom's Italian roots and the love he and his family have for the classic film The Godfather.
A Special Moment
Both the bride and groom's parents love the song "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music. When Steve told his mother this would be the song for the parent dances, the mother-of-the-groom teared up.
Ellie's Bakery made a three-tier white buttercream cake with a gold pearl border. The first tier was a gluten-free lemon olive oil cake with blueberry jam and chocolate sour cream to accommodate gluten-free guests. The second tier was an almond cake with hazelnut buttercream and strawberry rhubarb jam, and the final tier was an almond cake with blueberry jam and chocolate sour cream.
Guests also enjoyed the Death by Chocolate and Carrot Cakes from the couple's favorite diner—Gregg's Restaurants and Taverns.
Photography, Elizabeth Messina
Location, Rosecliff Mansion
Event planning, Lisa Vorce Co.
Catering, Russell Morin Catering & Events
Flowers and décor, Stoneblossom Florals & Event Design
Videography, Artisan Productions
Stationery, Papel Paper and Press
Calligraphy, Tara Jones Calligraphy
Cake, Ellie's Bakery (displayed); Gregg's Restaurants and Taverns (served)
Music, Local Freight (ceremony, cocktail, dinner, sound); Fighting Friday (dinner)
Rentals, Rentals Unlimited; La Tavola Fine Linen
Bride's gown, Monique Lhuillier
Bride's shoes, Jimmy Choo
Hair and makeup, Jennie Kay Beauty
Bridesmaids' dresses, Amsale
Groom's suit, Tommy Hilfiger
Groom's bow tie, J.Crew
Lighting, Ormonde Productions
Transportation, Newport Limo
Cigar bar, Boston Cigar Factory
Travel, Life:Styled Group