A DIY Vintage Wedding at Providence Public Library in Providence, Rhode Island

In just three months, Holly Eaton (28 and a children’s pastor) and Roger Hart (30 and a sailor and construction worker) planned an elegant DIY affair

In just three months, Holly Eaton (28 and a children’s pastor) and Roger Hart (30 and a sailor and construction worker) planned an elegant DIY affair at the Providence Public Library in Providence, Rhode Island. Drawing on their love for adventure, the couple used a subtle globe-trotting theme throughout the day. While Holly had always dreamed of a garden wedding, the couple’s short timeline made a winter wedding a must. “When we walked into Providence Public Library, the architecture alone took our breath away,” Holly says. “We also learned that they call the room in which we were married the Courtyard Garden, and the room where the reception was held is called the Shipyard Room. Roger is a sailor and has sailed around the world, so in our opinion, it was perfect.” With the help of lush vines, earthy moss, succulents and pastel blooms, the couple brought Holly’s garden-inspired vision to life. The couple exchanged vows under a handcrafted arbor draped in vines, white wisteria and hydrangeas during the ceremony and a matching wreath greeted guests as they arrived to the ceremony. Bundles of succulents and full blush flowers adorned each aisle and the bridesmaids carried wild, romantic bouquets with a fresh-picked feel. The reception took on a decidedly bohemian tone, with Holly and Roger’s DIY details featuring prominently in the decor. As a nod to the setting, stacks of vintage books served as the centerpiece for each table, styled alongside verdant garlands of moss and vines and bouquets of both fresh and paper florals. “For our table numbers, we used different states we have been to, with a picture of us in that state,” Holly says. “Although we haven’t been together very long, we were blessed with plenty of opportunity to travel.” The couple sneaked in plenty of nods to their New England locale to give friends and family a taste of local flavor. In lieu of a traditional champagne toast, Holly and Roger opted for a chowder toast, giving each guest a mini mug of New England clam chowder garnished with bite-size clam cakes. Welcome bags featured some of the couple’s local favorites—including salt water taffy, Dell’s lemonade, ginger cookies from Seven Stars Bakery, local honey and a list of must-visit spots around the city. During cocktail hour, a friend taught guests how to swing dance, equipping them with a set of skills to show off on the dance floor after dinner. “Roger and I have both worked in the wedding catering industry and wanted to forgo the traditional wedding playlists,” Holly says. “I would say our music selection was quite eclectic but somehow seemed to flow nicely.” A tip from Holly: “Enjoy it! Have fun, and don’t let stress and deadlines steal from your once-in-a-lifetime experience.” —Libby MacCarthy

Holly had always been enamored by her great aunt’s rings, so when Roger proposed and presented her with her favorite one, she was beyond excited. “As I looked more closely, I noticed something had changed about the ring that I had loved — the diamond was shining brighter and more brilliantly than ever. At first I thought maybe it was because it had been cleaned, but then he told me that my family had given him another diamond and he'd had it placed in my great-aunt’s setting," Holly says. "It’s breathtaking and I love it!”
Holly envisioned and designed all the stationery for the couple’s bohemian affair. “We both love travel and adventure, so that organically became our theme,” Roger says. For the invitation suite, Holly layered maps over burnt-edge book pages to create a vintage-inspired look.
With a garden theme in mind for their wedding, the couple went with a whimsical vibe when it came to the sartorial decision-making for the youngest members of their wedding party. “I wanted the flower girls to look like garden fairies, so we dressed them in little tulle fairy dresses from JJ’s House,” Holly says. “My sister made them crowns of baby’s breath, and they walked down the aisle with boxes that looked like books filled with flower petals, which they sprinkled as they walked.”
Although Holly originally had her heart set on a winter-appropriate long-sleeve wedding gown, that all changed when she came across a strapless Casablanca dress with Swiss dot lace and vintage-inspired beading.
“I started out with two bridesmaids—my two sisters—then as Roger added, so did I,”  Holly says. “Just two weeks before the wedding I showed Roger a sample of the wedding program, to which he responded, ‘It looks great, but there is one more thing—I added another groomsman.’ So just two weeks before the wedding, I added another bridesmaid!” Luckily, JJ’s House made it easy for the women to find dresses they loved—and quickly. “Each was able to pick a style that fit her best, and all the dresses came within two weeks,” Holly says.
To complete his debonair “I do” ensemble, Roger adorned his lapel with a bohemian boutonniere complete with a pheasant feather, eucalyptus and a white rose.
As guests arrived to the ceremony, they were greeted by a lush wreath of cascading vines and cream-colored wisteria that spoke to the evening’s garden theme. Made by Holly’s father, the wreath bore a hand-lettered sign that read, “Let the adventure begin.”
To bring Holly’s vision for a garden fete to life, her father constructed a showstopping wedding arch for the ceremony, featuring cascades of white wisteria, cream-colored hydrangeas and lush vines. During the ceremony, Holly’s sister and brother-in-law surprised the newlyweds with a song they’d written especially for the occasion. “The song they had written so perfectly captured our story,” Holly says.
Drawing inspiration from Holly’s garden vision and the wedding’s library locale, the couple looked to vintage books, book-page flowers and fresh flowers and vines to infuse their reception tables with personality and bohemian charm.
In lieu of a traditional champagne toast, Holly and Roger paid tribute to their New England locale with a chowder toast. They provided guests with mini mugs of New England clam chowder, each garnished with a bite-size clam cake.
The couple's cake was the handiwork of an aunt and captured the day’s bohemian garden theme to a T. Layers of white cake with fig filling and red velvet cake were adorned with blush buttercream decked out in ferns, mushrooms and fresh flowers left over from the bouquets. “We placed the cake on a piece of wood that my brother-in-law cut from a tree in his yard and covered the base with moss,” Holly says. “We also used my great-uncle’s wedding topper of bride and groom.”
After saying “I do,” Holly’s parents drove off into the sunset in the back of a burgundy Rolls-Royce. Her father wittingly told the driver to let him know if he ever decided to sell because he’d definitely be interested. Twenty-five years later, he got a call saying that the car was for sale. On their 25th anniversary, he signed the paperwork for the car. When it came time for Holly to say “I do,” a ride in the Rolls-Royce was the obvious choice. “It took him at least a year to restore it, but I couldn’t have been more thrilled to be driven to my wedding in that very car,” Holly says.