A Summer, Seaside Wedding at the Ocean Cliff Resort in Newport, Rhode Island

Christina De Flaviis (29 and a special education teacher) and Matt Bowen (27 and an investment banker) will be the first to admit that what happens in

Christina De Flaviis (29 and a special education teacher) and Matt Bowen (27 and an investment banker) will be the first to admit that what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. A chance meeting in Sin City blossomed into a long-distance romance and ultimately led the pair down the aisle. The couple planned an elegant, summer wedding at the Ocean Cliff Resort in Newport, RI, just a short distance from Matt’s hometown of East Greenwich. “It was one of our favorite places to visit together and such a great place to be with loved ones,” says Christina. The seaside setting offered picturesque backdrop for the day, with the ceremony site affording guests panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and an elegant ballroom for the reception in a 19th century villa. Drawing inspiration from the setting, the couple incorporated nautical details throughout the decor, from starfish and shells in the centerpieces to place cards with anchor motifs and a post-reception sunset schooner cruise. A color palette of soft ivory, lilac and plum tones infused the day with vibrancy and life, while Golden Gate Studios’s lush arrangements of hydrangeas, roses and stock packed plenty of romantic, garden-inspired appeal. The couple treated guests to fresh, local seafood during cocktail hour, with a sushi station, raw bar and New England clam chowder and mini clam cake station and Baltazar Entertainment churned out hit after hit, keeping the dance floor packed well into the evening. 

To make guests feel comfortable during the waterfront ceremony, Christina and Matt set up a welcome table at the entrance of the ceremony site filled with items, like sunglasses and fans, to help guests beat the summer heat.
The ceremony decor was kept simple, yet romantic, allowing the beauty of the setting to shine through. Golden Gate Studios lined the aisle with pale pink and white rose petals and added a lush lavender, pink and white arrangement to the elegant trellis under which the couple exchanged vows.
Classic Gray Three-Piece Suit
Shortly after calling venues and scheduling site visits, Christina headed to Irma’s Bridal in Cherry Hill, NJ with her mother to find the perfect wedding dress. “I showed a picture on my phone that I found on Pinterest to the saleswoman, who then brought me the two dresses of my dreams,” says Christina. The gown was a classic lace A-line design with a sweetheart neckline and corset back. Though originally a strapless style, Christina had lace straps added to the gown. “I didn’t want to be pulling up the dress throughout the wedding,” says Christina. As a finishing touch she wore crystal-embellished belt and fingertip-length veil for the ceremony.
The day started with an early ceremony on the property’s expansive lawn, where Christina and Matt exchanged vows with the sparkling blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean forming an unparalleled backdrop for the occasion. The Allegro Chamber Players drove down from Massachusetts to perform during the ceremony, filling the air with undeniable ambiance.
Christina chose a romantic look for her bridesmaids, having the girls don matching floor-length gowns with sweetheart necklines in two shades of purple. The girls accessorized with a simple pendant necklace and whimsical flower crowns with baby’s breath and blush roses.
Drawing inspiration from their venue’s seaside setting, Christina and Matt chose a “Newport” theme for the day, incorporating seashells, starfish and anchor accents and a cheerful lilac and plum color scheme throughout decor.
After exchanging vows overlooking the Atlantic, the newlyweds and their guests headed to the Ocean Cliff’s elegant ballroom for the reception. Golden Gate Studios brought the room to life with an array of tall and low arrangements of hydrangeas, roses and stock in soft shades of purple and white. Starfish, seashells and votive candles surrounded each centerpiece, adding a nautical touch and warm, ambient glow to the tabletops.
With a waterfront venue in the heart of Newport, RI, a menu boasting fresh, local seafood was a must. During cocktail hour, Christina and Matt treated guests to a sushi station, raw bar and New England clam chowder and mini clam cake station in addition to an assortment of passed hors d’oeuvres.
After a sit down meal and lots of dancing, Christina and Matt whisked their guests off on a sunset harbor cruise. “With an early morning wedding, the Ocean Cliff offered us a Sunset Schooner Aurora boat ride for two hours after the reception with our closest friends and family,” says Christina. “How fun is that!”