If you’re planning your own wedding (which most people are), then Steven and Christopher’s day is a great example. Check out the advice and tips they give to newly engaged couples. It will help you set priorities for your wedding and create the event of your dreams!
Tell us about your wedding!
Since we had never actually been to a same sex wedding, we decided to create our own flow for the day that was both traditional and unique. We wanted a formal vibe without feeling stuffy so we opted to do that with color and volume. We worked very closely with our florist and opted to go with lots of white flowers and gold accents.
Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
We loved our venue because it conveyed a masculine, country club feel. As guests moved from the cocktail space with a large fireplace through white french doors into the ballroom, they were met with tables covered in ivory linens, candles, gold chargers and flatware, and tall, voluminous white floral arrangements. Our head table, which sat our entire wedding part, was the focal point in the center of the ballroom. The wedding cake was four tiers with ivory and gold foil layers. Our seating chart was a hand-painted glass sign surrounded by flowers. We wanted an ultimate elegant experience for our guests from the minute they walked in the door!
What were the florals like in your wedding?
Flowers played a major role in our wedding. About one quarter of our overall budget went to flowers. Since we wore black tuxedos (for the first part of the wedding), we decided to accentuate the space with a variety of beautiful white flowers. We had floral arrangements at the entrance, up the staircase, in the rest rooms, in the cocktail space, and in the ballroom. The arrangements on the tables in the ballroom were thirty-six inches in diameter. That was a major focus for us.
Did you personalize the day in any way ?
We opted to have a unique head table. We had a twenty-by-five foot head table in the middle of the room with large florals and candles down the center. We had the first names of our entire wedding party (and guests) made out of wood and painted gold. This was strategic so that we could get people to sit in specific seats for purposeful photo opportunities. Other favorites:- We had customized drinks waiting in the venue’s wedding suite for when the wedding party first arrived after the ceremony.- We worked very closely with our photographer so that we were able to maximize the number of photos captured and to ensure we captured specific moments we wanted in a timely fashion. All formal photos were taken prior to the ceremony.- We wore black tuxedos for the ceremony and cocktail hour, and then changed into ivory coats for our introduction and reception.- We hired a wedding coordinator who was invaluable on the day of the event. Among many other tasks, she ushered us around the tables so that we could greet all of our guests during dinner and still have time to enjoy the night.- Because gold was such a prominent part of our palette, we worked with our bakery to have 18-karat gold foil added to our cake for an authentic gold color.- We had multiple boutonnieres made to ensure they always looked fresh (and our coordinator made sure to swap them out throughout the night). This also helped to ensure our photos were always sharp.
Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
We went with classic black tuxedos and bowties for the ceremony, and accessorized with black and gold cufflinks. We changed into ivory coats for the reception, which was a crowd favorite. We loved both looks in the store, so we decided to include them both in the wedding day! The outfit change helped to define the dinner and dancing from the formal part of night.We purchased ivory silk pocket squares for all the groomsmen and fathers, champagne pocket squares for our black tuxedo jackets, and then used black silk pocket squares for our ivory jackets. The fabric of the pocket squares matched the fabric of the tuxedo lapels.The bridesmaids wore champagne-colored Vera Wang gowns to complement the ivory and gold color palette. Our three flower girls wore ivory silk gowns with champagne-colored ballet flats and a champagne-colored ribbon tied at the waist.
How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
We met when Steven was a first-year medical student and Christopher worked for a medical device company. Three years later, Steven proposed to Chris on a dock in Newport, RI. We went on a yacht cruise around the harbor drinking champagne and listening to our favorite songs, and as the boat pulled back into the dock, our families were waiting on an observation deck to celebrate with us! We ended the night with an unforgettable candlelit oceanside dinner at the Safari Room in Newport with our families.
What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
It’s hard to pick just one favorite moment from our wedding day! A few of the major highlights include exchanging wedding gifts surrounded by our wedding party, the “best men” speech, and finishing the night dancing to a remix of our wedding song (Ten Feet Tall).
Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
Start early. – Build in a 20% contingency budget (everything will cost more than you expect).- Prioritize what’s most important to you, and don’t waiver from that despite other people’s opinions.
Bridesmaid Dresses: Vera Wang
Invitation Designer: Emerald Invitations
Favors and Gifts: Tiffany & Co
Tuxedo and Mens Attire: The Black Tux at Nordstrom
Linens and Coverings: Peak Event Services
Linens and Coverings: P.S. Event Rentals
Ceremony Location: Martha Mary Chapel
Cinema and Video: McElroy Films LLC
Event Planner: Daylynn Designs
DJ: DJ Danny Walsh
Musicians: Gilded Harps of Boston
Bakery: Gerardo’s Bakery
Floral Designer: The French Bouquet Florist
Reception Venue: Charter Oak Country Club
Photographer: Debbie Segreve Photography, LLC