An East-Meets-West-Coast Wedding at a Private Residence in Newport, Rhode Island

Erin Butner (30 and a designer and innovation consultant) and Tyler Stubbs (32 and an accountant and event executive)—design and event-planning pros in their own right—fused East Coast charm with West Coast cool to pull off a “Hella-Wicked” wedding that was equal parts relaxed and refined. The couple live in San Francisco but headed east to celebrate with their family and friends at Tyler’s family home in Newport, Rhode Island. Nestled on six acres of rolling lawns and rocky exposure, the James Estate Carriage House, built in 1893, was the backdrop for the fun-filled bash. Erin and Tyler’s East and West Coast roots served as the inspiration for the day, with details speaking to the mountains and the ocean featuring prominently throughout the decor. “We’re pretty laid-back but styled people. We wanted our wedding to feel easy and unexpected but together and timeless,” Erin says. Several elements were included to speak to Erin's native Colorado, including arrangements of organic, wild greens; tie-dye bridesmaid dresses; a bluegrass-meets-rockabilly band; and a menu of mouthwatering barbecue fare. Meanwhile, the seaside locale, freshly caught seafood, classic navy suits and cider doughnuts paid tribute to Tyler’s Newport roots. The ceremony unfolded in a wooded clearing, with Erin and Tyler exchanging vows in a custom ceremony written and officiated by a close friend. Since they wanted the natural beauty of the scenery to stand out, the couple kept the decor simple, electing to sprinkle flower petals down the aisle for just a touch of texture. As guests arrived, they were greeted by a rowboat filled with beer and mini champagne bottles. “It was always my dream to get married while everyone had a drink in hand. We wanted people to start celebrating from the moment they arrived,” Erin says. The evening’s festivities embodied a sense of effortless elegance that reflected the importance of the occasion while encouraging guests to kick back and relax. Long beer-garden tables established a fuss-free tone for the soiree, while lush green garlands dotted with candles and full white florals delivered a healthy dose of sophistication to the tablescapes. Erin and Tyler dyed the napkins and shibori tablecloths themselves, injecting the decor with a punch of bohemian panache. “Tyler and I—and all our friends—like a good party. We knew we needed to kick off the night in a big way, so we had our band play a set while guests enjoyed a raw bar with oysters, ceviche and various other New England essentials,” Erin says. They also offered three signature drinks: tequila palomas, dark and stormy’s and a cider-bourbon cocktail with a slice of bacon. "People still talk about that drink,” Erin says. After everyone dined on Blue Ribbon Barbecue's brisket, mac and cheese and baked beans, the Deathbed Confessions band led a full-blown dance party. A tip from Erin and Tyler: “It’s easy to get caught up in the details to make it all perfect that you can forget the reason you’re doing it all—to spend the rest of your life with your partner. We were really diligent about getting away for hikes or dance lessons to make sure we weren’t getting too caught up in it.” —Libby MacCarthy