A Whimsical, Romantic Wedding at Castle Hill Inn in Newport, Rhode Island

Liz Sweitzer (27 and a graduate student) and Andrew Matson (27 and a resident in orthopedic surgery) grew up together in Providence, Rhode Island, so

Liz Sweitzer (27 and a graduate student) and Andrew Matson (27 and a resident in orthopedic surgery) grew up together in Providence, Rhode Island, so when it came time to plan their wedding, the pair knew they had to be in their home state. To showcase the beauty and spirit of the Ocean State, they set their sights on Newport, an iconic seaside town with a long, rich history and striking scenery. “Newport in the summer is unbeatable,” Liz says. “It's such a vibrant and lively town, and we wanted our friends and family to experience that. Food, music, culture and shopping all wrapped up into a perfectly preppy town on the water made it a no-brainer for us as far as location.” For the couple's whimsical, romantic summer affair, the Castle Hill Inn seemed like the perfect backdrop, with its quintessential New England vibe, lush gardens, lighthouse and ocean views. The pair exchanged vows under an elaborate floral chuppah overlooking the water, followed by al fresco dinner and dancing on Castle Hill Inn’s expansive lawn. Flowers by Semia transformed the custom sailcloth tent into an elegant, romantic scene with striking arrangements of soft, full blooms and wild greenery in ivory and blush tones. “I left everything up to Semia. I told her the colors of my wedding, showed two inspiration photos, and gave her a couple of adjectives to describe the look we wanted,” Liz says. “She was so amazing. I just let her work her magic to create the florals.” Metallic accents, custom stationery and chandeliers introduced a regal note to the decor, while framed photos of the couple throughout their relationship added a sentimental dimension to the day. The band Eye 2 Eye brought the house down with endless upbeat hits, and Castle Hill delighted guests’ taste buds with a decadent spread of harissa-glazed lamb and lobster cakes. A tip from Liz: “Spend a good amount of time interviewing and researching your vendors before you book them. You will have such decision fatigue at some point. If you spend the time and legwork hiring vendors you trust, you won’t need to micro-manage and it will make your life much easier. Our vendors were amazing, and I trusted them completely to make stylistic decisions. It also freed up much more of my brainpower to focus on other areas of the wedding."

Mismatched Formal Blush Bridesmaid Dresses
Romantic Dahlia, Rose and Dusty Bouquet
Liz wanted two distinct looks for the ceremony and reception. But her bridal consultant at L’Elite in Boston, Massachusetts, presented her with a totally unexpected idea. She suggested layering Monique Lhuillier’s Lilac tulle skirt over her Emma gown for the ceremony—adding volume and romance to her look—then removing it for the reception. “Usually the Lilac skirt is paired with a gorgeous corset top, but this option gave me two different looks without needing an entirely new dress,” Liz says. “I was sold immediately.” The drama of the dress called for more understated accessories, leading Liz to wear simple pearl stud earrings and a classic chapel-length veil.
White Majolica Spray Rose Boutonniere
Whimsical Flower Girl Crown
To showcase the history and beauty of Newport, Rhode Island, Liz and Andrew planned their romantic summer affair at the iconic Castle Hill Inn. Once a summer home and playground for Hollywood royalty like Grace Kelly, the waterfront property offered the couple and their the guests the best that the town had to offer, including beautifully appointed rooms, lush gardens, a lighthouse and proximity to all the area’s amenities.
Romantic, Opulent Floral Chuppah
The ceremony took place on the Castle Hill Inn’s stone patio overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the city of Newport and beyond. A table baring infused water, iced tea and lemonade greeted guests as they arrived, as well as umbrellas, yarmulkes, tissues and programs. Liz and Andrew had an interfaith ceremony, which they personalized with reading from books and poems about love and exchanging vows they wrote themselves. An opulent chuppah was the focus, dripping in limelight and white hydrangeas, autumn clematis, white majolica spray roses, white delphinium and green amaranthus.
Pre-Ceremony Refreshments
The reception kicked off with a tented cocktail hour adjacent to the main sailcloth tent. A string quartet set the mood with light classical music, while guests sipped on glasses of Veuve Clicquot champagne and sampled an inspired spread of passed hors d’oeuvres like harissa-glazed lamb loin with pesto, lobster sliders and heirloom tomato flatbreads. Guests kicked back on Adirondack chairs and a lounge with rustic, Provencal flair and took in the beautiful views of the gardens and sea beyond.
Lush Green Tent Garland
Elegant White Floral Arrangement in Silver Urn
Vintage-Inspired Birdcage Card Box
The evening was all about elegance and romance, with Liz and Andrew filling the Castle Hill Inn’s custom sailcloth tent with soft shades of blush, ivory and green. Chandeliers, opulent arrangements of peonies, dahlias, hydrangeas and ranunculus, plus lush garlands and etched glass votives created a dreamlike backdrop for the evening, while metallic accents added distinct regal flair.
Flowers by Semia brought Liz and Andrew’s whimsical, romantic vision to life with showstopping arrangements of ivory and blush blooms. Each table boasted a mix of tall and low arrangements, each containing a mix of dahlias, hydrangeas, roses, Queen Anne’s lace, sedum, vines and more.  “I left everything up to Semia. I told her the colors of my wedding, showed two inspiration photos, and gave her a couple of adjectives to describe the look we wanted,” Liz says. “She was so amazing. I just let her work her magic to create the florals; she didn’t even do a mock-up for us to see.”
Lush Garland and Blush Floral Chair Decorations
Custom Gold Table Numbers
Gold Hand-Lettered Escort Cards
Textured, Vintage-Inspired Centerpieces
After dinner, Liz and Andrew made sure every guest was on the dance floor, hiring the band Eye 2 Eye to spin a mix of oldies and Top 40 songs. “They were absolutely amazing: lively and incredibly talented," Liz says. "They interacted with the crowd and came down and danced with us.” The newlyweds surprised guests with a choreographed dance to “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake and Lil Jon. “The crowd went wild and absolutely loved it,” Liz says. “At the end of the night we also started a dance-party train looping around all the tables at the reception.”
Subtle, sentimental elements were woven throughout the day, each one highlighting the importance of family to Liz and Andrew. Liz carried her great-grandmother’s handkerchief down the aisle; the couple invited their grandparents, who had been married for over 60 years, to dance with them to their wedding song, “Greensleeves”; and Liz’s mother sowed a blue heart using one of her father’s dress shirts on the inside of Liz’s gown with the wedding dates of her parents and grandparents stitched in. “Because we have known each other since seventh grade and have been friends since then, we also had pictures of us together each year since 2000,” Liz says. “Those adorned the auxiliary tent in white frames saying what year it was and where we were when the picture was taken.”
Liz and Andrew capped off dinner with a slice of decadent wedding cake. The four-tier confection mimicked the reception’s decor with ivory buttercream and full, pale pink sugar flowers. While Liz originally hoped for a Funfettti cake, the pair decided on chocolate with vanilla filling and caramelized crumbles and vanilla pound cake with coconut-pineapple filling.