An Elegant, Personalized Wedding at Belle Mer in Newport, Rhode Island

Sparks flew when Calvin Hall (45 and creative director of a tech start-up) and Bobby Scott’s (31 and a hair educator and a motivational speaker) paths

Sparks flew when Calvin Hall (45 and creative director of a tech start-up) and Bobby Scott’s (31 and a hair educator and a motivational speaker) paths crossed in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The pair sensed what they had was the real deal, and after a few short months together, Cal popped the question, presenting Bobby with an vintage engagement ring that he spotted in Stockholm, Sweden, while visiting family. “It was after knowing him for only two months, but I knew he was the guy for me,” Cal says. 

To celebrate their nuptials, the pair planned an elegant soiree at Belle Mer in Newport, Rhode Island, with a palette of gold, white and black. The day began with an outdoor ceremony, where Cal and Bobby exchanged vows against a vast backdrop of sparkling blue water. The couple exchanged heartfelt vows and surprised guests with a few personalized touches. Instead of having guests toss rice as the newlyweds made their way down the aisle, Cal and Bobby provided their families and friends with small bags of Skittles. “After we said our ‘I dos,’ each guest was encouraged to taste or toss the rainbow,” Cal says. Bobby and Cal also hired a comedian to make an appearance during the ceremony and pretend to object to the whole event. “This was a black-tie wedding, so the reaction when the wedding crasher walked in with cutoffs, flip-flops, a pack of cigarettes tucked into her sleeve and a trucker hat was priceless,” Bobby says. “Guests were beside themselves, trying to grasp the whole situation. Alliances were being created on how to stealthily drag her out of there.” 

After an unforgettable ceremony, the newlyweds ushered their guests into Belle Mer’s contemporary ballroom for a night of dinner and dancing. Crisp white table linens gave way to skyward-reaching arrangements of baby’s breath and ivory orchids, with tufts of moss and gilded geometric accents adding an element of texture and drama to the tablescapes. Flickering candlelight filled the room with a warm, romantic glow, while floor-to-ceiling windows provided breathtaking views of the waterfront. DIY details were woven throughout, like clever hashtag signs that took the place of traditional table numbers. “Bobby had a videographer capture the whole event with a drone, so we could show my mom, who lives in Sweden and couldn’t attend the wedding because of medical reasons,” Cal says. “The video added a beautiful aerial perspective of our wedding.” A tip from Cal and Bobby: “We focused on making some special additions to the itinerary, like having Bobby’s life coach speak, which set the tone before dinner; adding a dance for Bobby’s stepmom, who helped out so much; then dancing in a group, us and Bobby’s mom and stepmom. We really wanted to show our guests love and unity. It is your day, and the best gift in life is giving. Making people feel special is easily done on your wedding day.” —Libby MacCarthy

To give guests a sneak peek of the chic soiree to come, Bobby and Cal selected a modern stationery suite in their wedding colors—gold, black and white—that perfectly captured the glam, sophisticated aesthetic they hoped to achieve.
“Bobby and I love fashion and wanted tuxes that would complement each other,” Cal says. Cal kept things classy, donning a sleek black Versace Collection tuxedo with Ferragamo loafers and a Tom Ford bow tie, while Bobby went all out with a jacquard tux in navy and white by Mr. Turk, which he paired with shiny black Topman slippers.
With a black tie dress code in mind, Cal and Bobby selected showstopping gold dresses for their attendants to wear down the aisle. The women donned matching strapless mermaid-style gowns with ruched detailing and tulle skirts, which they accessorized with glitzy drop earrings and elegant side-swept updos.
Wanting to symbolically circle back to the shore for their “I dos” (the pair met in Provincetown, Massachusetts), Cal and Bobby gathered their closest family members and friends at Belle Mer in Newport, Rhode Island, for a seaside ceremony and a swinging celebration. Instead of a traditional aisle, the couple arranged the seating in a circular formation, exchanging vows in the center of it all, surrounded by those who loved and supported them the most.
Sweeping vistas and sparkling waters served as a striking backdrop for Cal and Bobby’s outdoor ceremony. The pair wrote their own vows, giving the proceedings an extra-personal and sentimental flair, and shocked guests with an improv comedian who crashed in midceremony, expressing her objections to the whole thing. The cameo took the couple’s friends and family totally by surprise, but after some confusion it was received with plenty of laughter and fanfare. As the newlyweds made their up the aisle, they were showered with colorful Skittles candies.
Bobby had always dreamed of saying “I do” at Belle Mer in Newport, Rhode Island, so when Cal popped the question, he suggested they pay a visit to the seaside venue. “I didn’t want to pressure Cal, so we went to see it and he ended up loving it,” Bobby says. From the waterfront ceremony to the elegant indoor reception, guests were treated to unparalleled water views, beautifully manicured grounds and a stunning sunset.
Continuing the wedding's personalized feel, Cal and Bobby ditched the traditional guest book for a message-in-a-bottle alternative that they could enjoy for years to come. Guests wrote advice and well-wishes on monogram cards and placed them in each bottle for the couple to read on their one, five and 10-year anniversaries.
Creating an atmosphere that felt true to their fun-loving personalities was essential for Bobby and Cal, and DIY details ensured just that. In lieu of traditional table numbers, the couple created clever hashtags for each table, including #LoveWins and #InstaLove, displaying each on printed, gilded paper for a glam effect. “Instead of traditional favors, we decided to make it less about us and focus more on helping others. We wanted to help a senior foundation that we are a part of called Dorot,” Bobby says. “Guest had birthday cards placed at their seats, which they filled out wishing a senior happy birthday, so that the organization could then include them in care packages all year.”
When it came to the reception decor, Cal and Bobby were adamant about keeping things simple and elegant. Lush bunches of baby’s breath and cascades of ivory orchids were piled high atop fluted glass vases for an air of grandeur. Votive candles were included throughout, filling the room with a soft, ambient glow, with the warm light flickering off the funky geo decorations that dotted the tables.
Lengths of earthy green moss punctuated with gilded geometric accents, vintage bottles and gold votive candles lined Bobby and Cal’s head table, setting it apart from the rest of the round reception tables, which were topped with fluffy clouds of baby’s breath and cascades of white orchids.
Festive details were included throughout, giving every aspect of the event a personalized feel. The couple’s three-tier buttercream cake, complete with luxe gilded accents—a fitting touch for the glam event—was framed by bold marquee lights, a C for Cal and a B for Bobby, and displayed atop a black-and-white printed tablecloth.