An Elegant, Nautical Wedding at the Ocean Cliff Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island

Ever since an eighth-grade trip to Newport, Rhode Island, to visit the iconic Newport mansions, Yecelin Chacon (28 and an event planner and designer)

Ever since an eighth-grade trip to Newport, Rhode Island, to visit the iconic Newport mansions, Yecelin Chacon (28 and an event planner and designer) had always dreamed of a wedding in the historic seaside town. So when Adrian Gamba (30 and a graphic designer) proposed on a romantic sailboat ride in Miami, Florida, it wasn’t long before the couple settled on the New England spot as the place to say their “I dos.” With backgrounds in event planning and design, the couple planned the event themselves, quickly settling on a nautical theme for the day. From the sailboat escort cards to the navy and white-striped linens and the globe guest book, every detail played tribute to the couple’s love of the sea and the wedding’s waterfront locale. The Ocean Cliff Hotel provided the ultimate backdrop: beautiful ocean views, elegant architecture and a long, rich history that captured the couple’s hearts. While the two hoped to host their ceremony outdoors, the weather forced the festivities inside. Luckily, the historic mansion boasted plenty of rooms with expansive ocean views and Yecelin and Adrian were able to exchange vows with the deep blue in view in the distance. After the ceremony, the couple and their guests headed to the ballroom for an unforgettable night of dinner and dancing. The ballroom was a seaworthy scene, decked out in striped linens, carriage lanterns and anchor motifs. Gold accents added a subtle regal note to the decor, while lush bunches of hydrangeas, peonies and roses served as a nod to the spring season.

For her bridal look, Yecelin was influenced by New England elegance. She chose a traditional lace ball gown with delicate lace cap sleeves, pairing it with a simple chapel-length veil for the ceremony. She wore her hair in a perfectly coiffed, low chignon and eye-catching crystal drop earrings.
With the wedding decor centered on a nautical theme, a blue, white and gold palette was a given. The couple incorporated the classic hues into every detail, right down to their wedding party’s attire. For her bridesmaids, Yecelin had them don matching navy chiffon Wtoo gowns in a strapless A-line silhouette.
While the overarching theme for the day was nautical elegance, the flowers were a celebration of spring. From Yecelin’s bright peony bridal bouquet to the lush hydrangea arrangements that lined the aisle and the delicate bunches of baby’s breath that topped the reception tables, each floral element spoke to a different aspect of the season.
After an eighth-grade trip to Newport, Rhode Island, Yecelin had always dreamed of having her wedding in the historic seaside town. So when Adrian popped the question, it wasn’t long before the couple found the perfect Newport location to say their “I dos”: the Ocean Cliff Hotel. In addition to the beautiful ocean views, architecture reminiscent of a more glamorous time and a long, rich history, it also offered plenty of space for most of their out-of-town guests to stay. “We were aiming for an outdoor wedding, but at the end of April in New England, you never know what the weather will be,” Yecelin says. “Ocean Cliff offered a plan B that had the same oceanfront backdrop indoors.”
Yecelin and Adrian had hoped to host their wedding outdoors, the New England weather had different ideas. Luckily, the Ocean Cliff Hotel offered plenty of indoor spaces with spectacular views, providing the couple with the best of both worlds—a warm, dry spot to say their “I dos” with all the iconic charm that Newport, Rhode Island, had to offer.
Adrian’s graphic design background came in handy. After he and Yecelin decided to put their skills to work and plan the entire event themselves, Adrian began designing all the wedding’s stationery, from the sailboat escort cards to the whimsical programs and even the custom box invitations (which they sent with a compass).
Navy and White Celebratory Wands
White Lantern and Hydrangea Aisle Markers
'Here Comes the Bride' Pennant
Ocean Cliff Hotel Ceremony Processional
Traditional Ceremony at Ocean Cliff Hotel
Nautical Striped Welcome Sign
Playful, nautical touches were found throughout the day, capturing the essence of the seaside location and Yecelin’s love of all things New England. When guests arrived at the reception, pint-size sailboat escort cards directed them to their seats. A small piece of wood served as the base, a blue-and-white-striped straw as the mast and hand-lettered paper serving as the sail.
With their venue boasting a waterfront location in the old seafaring town of Newport, Rhode Island, it seemed appropriate to organize the wedding’s design around a nautical theme. “I have a deep love for New England, the ocean and everything it represents,” Yecelin says. “That’s why I wanted an elegant, nautical-themed wedding, and what better place than Newport?”
Modern Topiary Head Table Arrangements
Hand-Stamped Anchor Monogram Favor Bags
The guest book was another detail that spoke to Yecelin and Adrian’s festive nautical theme. Instead of the classic book format, the couple had their families and friends write their well wishes and advice on a globe with gold ink, a play on traditional seafaring charts and maps.
Ocean Cliff Hotel First Dance
Four-Tier Gold and Navy Wedding Cake