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,

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

While the focus for the wedding decor was all about vibrant color, pattern and texture, Danielle and Patrick went for a timeless, classic aesthetic when it came to the invitations. Goosefish Press designed an elegant, formal suite for the couple, with cream-colored paper and letterpress navy script. A custom letterpress map was included in the suite with hand-drawn illustrations of all the weekend’s events and other important information.
Danielle’s bouquet was a generous combination of loose, organic green and white long stems, including garden roses, peonies, ivy, wildflowers and more, tied loosely with excess silk from her dress.
“I’ve never been trendy, and selecting the attire for my wedding party and myself was not the time to start. Instead, I wanted an elegant, timeless look that I knew I would look back on and smile,” Danielle says. The bridesmaids maintained the blue-hue theme with shades of navy, sea foam and periwinkle in a classic faille, short V-neck J.Crew dress with pleated skirts. “They miraculously came together perfectly,” Danielle says.
With the ceremony’s stunning waterfront location in mind, Danielle and Patrick opted for a more understated aesthetic for the decor. Lush bunches of peonies and variegated greenery lining the aisles added a romantic feel to the outdoor space, without detracting from the picturesque landscape.
With the help of Rabbi Cohen, a close family friend, Danielle and Patrick wrote their own ceremony, in which they incorporated Jewish traditions, as well as sentimental elements that allowed the pair to include their close family members. “To help guests participate, our wedding program included brief explanations of the traditions, such as the ketubah, the chuppah and the breaking of the glass,” Danielle says. “A special touch was using my paternal grandfather’s tallit, which he used during his bar mitzvah in the 1930s.” Danielle and Patrick exchanged vows under a canopy of lush white, cream and green hydrangeas, and Patrick’s godfather recited a favorite poem.
As guests arrived to the reception they were greeted by an impressive moss display with an earthy, organic feel, where they found hand-lettered escort cards leading them to their seats.
When it came to choosing her dress, Danielle knew she wanted an elegant, timeless style. “I was never caught up in the hoopla of trying on dresses, but rather casually perused without formal appointments—a dress shop’s worst nightmare,” Danielle says. “We settled on a few options and even had measurements taken, but it was at the final casual peek that I found an Anne Barge dress that was simply perfect. The clean lines of the fitted bodice and the dramatic pleated skirt captured Danielle’s attention, while the exquisite silk fabric sealed the deal. She had a silk waistband and bow and covered buttons added to the dress for a more personalized feel, and accessorized with a single gold bangle, a diamond necklace and pearl earrings.
Sayles Livingston Design took the couple’s elegant, eclectic vision and ran with it, creating varied arrangements, both tall and small, in brilliant shades of blue, white, green and lavender to bring the reception tables to life. The loose, textured centerpieces were placed in assorted vases that Danielle and her mother collected during the planning process, including ginger jars that had belonged to Danielle’s grandmother. “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.”
To give their tables a distinct look, Danielle and Patrick tapped into Danielle’s mother’s fabric design connections to source blue-and-white-patterned fabrics in more than 10 variations straight from vendors and factories. The fabric was then made into napkins and placed in random fashion on tables throughout the reception tent to stunning effect.
Before kicking the party into high gear, Danielle and Patrick shared their first dance as husband and wife to “Perfect Fit” by Van Morrison, a choice that captured their relationship to a T.