A Chic Waterfront Wedding at Castle Hill Inn in Newport, Rhode Island

Armed with her own planning expertise and her mother’s unparalleled creativity, Danielle Grossman (29 and a corporate event planner) and her husband, Patrick Flynn (28 and works in financial services), pulled off a vibrant, elegantly eclectic soiree in Newport, Rhode Island, for their late-April wedding. Instead of adopting a theme for the event, the pair focused on color, patterns and texture to create a distinctive experience for their family members and friends. “A good friend of my mother’s once told her that the three most important things about a wedding are the hors d’oeuvres, the flowers and the band. Given this advice, we wanted the floral decor to be seasonal yet impressive, and of course we did not want anything to match,” Danielle says. Sayles Livingston Design didn’t disappoint, working with blue, white, green and lavender blooms to create a series of loose, textured arrangements that brought the couple’s vision to life. Danielle and her mother sourced all the vessels themselves, providing Sayles Livingston with antique ginger jars that had belonged to Danielle’s grandmother, as well as an assortment of striking vases to ensure a mismatched look. Another special touch that contributed to the decor’s overall appeal were the patterned fabrics—sourced straight from vendors and factories—that popped against the reception’s rich wooden tables. “No two tables were the same thanks to a variety of pattern, color and height,” Danielle says. “With touches such as these, we were able to create an aesthetic different from your average wedding decor.” 

When Danielle and Patrick were choosing a location to host their “I dos,” Castle Hill Inn (overlooking the sparkling waters of Narragansett Bay) seemed like an obvious choice to Danielle and Patrick. With its beautiful views, innate New England charm and perfectly manicured grounds, the couple were smitten the second they stepped foot onto the property. “Living in Texas, we were reminded longingly of our days by the water,” Danielle says. Making the most of the scenery, they kicked off the day with a waterfront ceremony. Together with Rabbi Cohen, an old family friend, they wrote the entire ceremony from start to finish, incorporating Jewish traditions and a few extraspecial touches. “To incorporate family from various faiths was so important to us, and we were extremely pleased with the love and warmth our ceremony embodied,” Danielle says. A tented reception followed, where the newlyweds and their guests indulged in a decadent sit-down dinner under a canopy of twinkling bistro lights. Flickering candles cast an ambient glow over the space, while Night Rhythm got guests out of their seats and swaying to the beat of their lively tunes. To get the party started as soon as possible, bite-size sweets, including mini ice cream cones served in a painter’s palette made the rounds on the dance floor. “We wanted our reception to be elegant, loving, delicious, energetic, heartfelt and fun; and we truly believe we were able to accomplish all these ideals,” Danielle says. A tip from Danielle and Patrick: “Have fun with the process and don’t get caught up in details that you do not enjoy. There are a lot of choices to be made, and at the end of the day, the people you love will be with you to celebrate in good weather or bad, indoors or outdoors, for lunch or dinner. While some decisions may be more fun than others, spend your time on the things that matter most to you, and do not forget what you’re there to celebrate. After all, it is the most important thing.” —Libby MacCarthy