Classic and Laid Back Newport Seaside Wedding: Aleisha & Darren {Blink of An Eye Photography}

Newport, RI - check. Sun-drenched summer day - check. Tons of seaside details - check. Ruffled flowergirl dresses - check. Steel drum player - check. Gorgeous couple - check. Lots and lots of love - check.  Yep - this wedding pretty much has it all. And the fact that it took place in Newport makes it even closer to my heart as I lived in Newport after college and I just love that town. So today, I’m going to live vicariously through the lovely Aleisha and Darren, as they share their wedding day with us {with amazing photography by Olivia Wilcox of Blink of An Eye Photography}. Oh, and keep scrolling through the loveliness, because today’s perspective comes from the groom, Darren, and it is so great to hear his point of view on the big day.

custom clutch from Cady Briar

{insert ruffle/adorable-ness overload}

I cannot get enough of the reception room, it is just so perfect!

Oh how I love the ring shots…

From Darren, the groom:

For two public educators who believe knowledge is power, we were shocked to come to the realization a few months after our wedding that it wasn’t how much we knew about weddings that led to the success of ours, but who we knew that ultimately led to a memorable night.

Even before we were actually engaged my wife spent a small fortune on bridal magazines—Brides, Southern Brides, Today’s Bride—I never knew there were so many kinds of brides!  We were given newspaper clippings from our parents.  We borrowed books from friends.  Then there was the internet—catering sites, photography sites, steel drum sites, floral arrangement sites, wedding site sites.  The closer we got to the wedding the more spreadsheets appeared in a binder my wife had created to keep it all organized.  Each nuance of the wedding would eventually appear in a Microsoft Excel table.  We even went so far as to create a power point presentation to communicate to our florist how we wanted the tables at the reception decorate and arranged.  In the end, we did enough research worthy of a doctorate dissertation.  We knew enough that if “Modern American Wedding” was a final Jeopardy category, we would have bet our newly-purchased house. But in the end all that knowledge proved to be useless.  Knowing all this information about weddings made it no easier to plan one, and our wedding was at times harder to control than someone else’s unruly toddler tearing our house apart.  Despite how smart we were about weddings, we had a gut feeling we were headed for logistical and budgetary disaster.

In the end, though, our wedding turned out great, which mildly surprised us.  As we searched for reasons, we quickly realized it wasn’t because of what we knew, but who we knew.  A friend of my wife’s father directed us to visit a beautiful inn in Newport Rhode Island that eventually became the perfect setting for our wedding.  My wife’s sister (the maid of honor) became or chief invitation and wedding program editor.  Our wedding website webmaster was my wife’s sister’s fiance.  Our florist was my wife’s sister’s fiance’s mother.  A teacher friend’s husband, who was a jeweler, made our rings.  The ceremony musician was the music teacher from my school; the DJ, the gym teacher I worked with just down the hall.  It was a very kind newlywed from the next town over that let us use the vases from her centerpieces for ours.  A friend babysat the unruly toddlers in a room far from the reception.  Part of the crew who helped set up for the reception included my mother, my sister, my dad, Dave (my wife’s sister’s finace), and his sister.  You can say what you want about the Knot, or Brides magazine, but you won’t find the names of any of these people in their pages anywhere, and yet these were the people who made all the difference.  They saved us money, sure, but more importantly, they saved us from what we didn’t know.  The music teacher knew the name of the song my wife wanted played as she walked down the aisle.  The gym teacher knew in what order to introduce the wedding party et al.  My father and my wife’s sister’s finace’s sister figured out how to keep the orchids submerged in the vases for the centerpieces.  The family friend knew how to entertain a half dozen three and four year-olds and keep them out of everyone’s hair.  The Powerpoint maps my wife created for the reception tables were useless pieces of paper unless they were in the capable hands of our amateur florist, my wife’s sister’s fiance’s mom.

As teachers, we are always telling people to “read, read, read!”

We it comes to weddings, though, we think we’ve changed our tune: “Network, network, network”.

Thank you Aleisha and Darren for sharing your day with us!! Wishing you all the best in the world!

Ceremony and reception:  Castle Hill Inn, Newport, RI
Photographer:  Olivia Wilcox
Steel Drummer:  Jason Roseman
Ceremony music:  Monica Fitzgerald
DJ:  Tim Stella
Rings:  Russ Hollander
Make-up:  Jennifer Hodge
Hair:  Sue Kissel
Florist:  Carol Salvatore
Website:  David Salvatore, www.darrenandaleisha.com
Dress:  Sabrina Style boutique, Mon Cheri
Bridemaid dresses: J.Crew Bridesmaid
Flower girl outfits: crewcuts
Ring bearer outfits: crewcuts
Groomen suits: J.Crew
Dancing Lessons:  Fred Astaire;  Norwalk, CT

  • LAG - Southern Aisle says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    Do I spy some seersucker?!? Love it!

  • Diana says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    That is the best story ever and told from the groom…even better. I love what he said that all those magazines and stuff they thought they needed to keep gathering didnt matter, it was about the people close to them that mattered….words of the wise. Sometimes we get so caught up in wedding planning that we dont realize what we have around us. Stunning couple and bridal party! LOVE the photo of her parents, they look so proud!

  • Shannon says on April 13, 2011 Reply


  • Morissa says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    Ah! The flowergirl dresses are adorable, love love love.

  • Koru Kate says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    The custom oars are fabulous!

    The Groom’s perspective- I love it! And I agree about networking, although I’m a wedding planner with tons of connections we used my brother-in-law’s band, my friends’ florist, my sister-in-law’s seamstress, etc combined with the vendors I work with.

  • Liesl says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    So, so pretty! LOVE the little “I Do” inside the clutch…such a darling detail! I also love the gold chiavari chairs and the lavender flower decoration on it is just lovely! Love the simple, yet cute, way they displayed their pictures by the gift table too…I am trying to come up with a fun way to do that too! Always love your posts, Jacin!!!

    Liesl :)

  • viv @ the eclectic life says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    I’ll take those monogramed paddles and the flower girls’ dresses home with me, thanks.

  • the Perfect Palette says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    LOVE this wedding. SO many great details. thanks for sharing, girl! xoxo. Chrissy.

  • Claire says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    SO cute!!! :) Love those ruffly dresses!!

  • Jill@Teenagebride says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    soooo lovely!

  • Samantha {Papermints} says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    A very sweet and personalized wedding. Love the story and the details… thanks for sharing!

  • Jessica says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    What a beautiful waterside wedding!! It makes me want to get married at the beach all over again. :)

  • Melina says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    THIS is one of my favorite weddings this week! Just wonderful detail and elegance! LOVE!

  • Mel {The Oceanside Bride} says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    Awwww so fab! This is beautiful! And those sweet tiny tots in ruffles and suits w/ bowties- ADORABLE!

  • Lena says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    Gah, this wedding is gorgeous and the venue is absolutely magnificent! Love hearing it all from the groom’s perspective-so good!

  • Ingrid says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  • Alicia @CharityWedding says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    Gorgeous setting! Those have to be the cutest flower girl and ring bearer outfits ever! LOVE.

  • Aleisha says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for featuring us on your blog, we’re honored to have contributed to your work. You did such a great job bringing our special day back to life again. Keep up your amazing talents!!

  • Layla says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    Amaaaaazing. The kids look like they’re straight from a J. Crew catalog! The boats in the background, the bride, the reception! Perfect.

  • Alanna says on April 13, 2011 Reply

    The lights hanging in the tent are great! As are the flower girl dresses and pretty much everything else about this wedding. Beautiful!

  • Steph {bubblerock} says on April 14, 2011 Reply

    Oh how lovely is that?! Such a beautiful setting for a wedding!

  • Amanda Allen says on April 14, 2011 Reply

    the photo of the proud parents touched my heart the most:)

    lovely little details, indeed!


  • Kamie says on April 14, 2011 Reply

    Lovely! In love with the ruffle flower girl dress!! And the reception tables!

  • RIWeddingGuide.com says on April 14, 2011 Reply

    What a gorgeous wedding! Love the sundresses for the bride and bridesmaid; bridal gown is absolutely stunning with the detailing of the front and back; flowergirls’ dresses are too cute! The details put into this wedding, from the seaside theme including ores and sanddollar placecards are a great touch!

  • Karen says on April 14, 2011 Reply

    You just took me to a beautiful day all over again. What a wonderful place ,people and not to mention PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even the wedding crashers and a great time. And to top it off fireworks! WOW In three months my friends will be married a year already. For sure time flies while you are having fun. Luv ya guys The Force

  • Naomi says on April 14, 2011 Reply

    I want the flower girls ruffled dress. That would be good.

  • grace @ wedding favors says on April 14, 2011 Reply

    I love every detail in this wedding. The ruffled dresses by the flower girls are so awesome, and the cute little boys, oh gosh! :D I especially adore the purple and green dresses with personalized labels “bride” and “maid of honor” when they were getting ready. That is a very interesting idea. :D

  • Jenna says on April 15, 2011 Reply

    Amazing! Beautiful and I love all of the little details. Whats a great wedding! Thanks!

  • Jenna says on April 15, 2011 Reply

    Amazing! Beautiful and I love all of the little details. Whats a great wedding! Thanks!

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