When we initially spoke with Michael to find out more about their Glen Manor House wedding, I knew in the first minute we wanted to be their wedding photographers. The way Michael spoke lovingly about his fiancé Marissa was endearing to say the least and he wanted to secure the absolute best team for his future wife's perfect Glen Manor house wedding. Luckily, he felt we were that perfect fit photographer-wise and were once again, booking tickets, bound for Dennis' hometown of Newport, Rhode Island, and the land of chowda the the Sox!
To call Marissa and Michael's wedding DIY would be a bit like saying your pal was going to be performing a few songs at your wedding...and that your pal's name was Ed Sheeran. As a visual design manager for Nordstrom, every wedding day detail was overseen by Marissa and carefully crafted as a stylish reflection of their taste and style. It's probably best to simply list Marissa's contributions:
- Refurbished the Drink Cart
- Made the Drink Stirrers
- Made the Fans for the Ceremony
- Made the Escort Cards
- Made Thank You Notes at the Table
- Brought in Curated Antiques to Style Around the Mansion
- Made Flower Girl Crowns
- Provided Unique Props for Cake (such as the crowns)
The near-century old Glen Manor house, inspired by the château style of homes of Northern France, was just the venue to transport guests to another place and another time. The wedding day weather was absolutely perfect - as late spring days often are in this corner of the world - which allowed the ceremony, speeches, and first dance all to take place under open skies and in the presence of the local bird community chirping in their support for the couple. As Michael grew up in Rhode Island, it wasn't a complete destination wedding but rather a return home and a day to share a place that had become a special getaway destination during their courtship years together in Boston. They were so thorough in filling out our questionnaire forms that it's probably best to let them take the lead, in their own words with thoughts and reflections on their Newport wedding day. I'll begin with Michael as it leads from the opening of this post and reinforces his level of love, support, and involvement in giving Marissa the perfect day:
What is the most important thing to you on your wedding day?
For me, it is to make sure that she is perfectly happy. Although the day is about us and the beginning of our lives together, in my mind, it is about her. She spends so much time thinking and caring about others -- For example, she spent countless hours hand-making superhero costumes for all 5 roommates for Halloween our senior year -- that she deserves all of the attention on such a special day.
Additionally, we take our marriage very seriously -- We want that message to be conveyed. It is an extremely important day in our lives, and we want it to be treated in that manner. Some weddings that I have been to recently are too focused on the party aspect of the night. While we will most certainly be partying, it will be reserved for the latter-half of the night. The first half is more about our love, and sharing that love with those in attendance.
How we met
We met for the first time our junior year at University of Rhode Island, but she then left to study abroad in Italy so I didn't see her again until the fall of our senior year. Our groups of friends started to hang out more often, which gave us the opportunity of getting to know each other. My roommate's girlfriend gave me a hint that she was interested, giving me the confidence to ask her on a date. I knew immediately that she was special, not like any other girl, which probably explains why she is the only girl with whom I've experienced a serious relationship. Luckily, she must have felt the same about me. That was the fall of 2009 and we have never looked back since.
What was the most emotional moment?
Seeing each other for the first time, and the Groom's Speech
What was the inspiration for your wedding? What was important to you for the day?
Inspiration: French Chateau
What was important to us was that people felt like they were in a fairy tale, and not something they had ever seen before or been accustomed to; that people observed and witnessed something thought-provoking throughout the entire evening.
Do you have any advice for future couples who are in the planning stage still?
Enjoy the process no matter how much or how little you get involved in the process. Words of advice from the Groom: My wife was very involved in the planning process to the point that she designed and made many of the decorations by hand. For that reason alone, our night was even more special because I saw her personal touch at every turn. The night was simply more personal to us.