An Enchanting Seaside Wedding at Blithewold in Bristol, Rhode Island

After looking at nearly 40 wedding venues from Cape Cod to Rhode Island, Jenna Paone (30 and a songwriter and musician) and Frank Nagle (33 and a professor of strategy) found their dream venue: Blithewold, a manor in Bristol, Rhode Island, with picture-perfect views of Narragansett Bay. “The vision we had for our wedding was 'The Great Gatsby' meets 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' by the sea,” Jenna says of their bay-front summer nuptials. “We pictured an elegant, alfresco evening with a combination of coastal and garden elements—lush flowers, twinkling stars, crawling vines, sparkling chandeliers and tons of candlelight, all surrounded by ocean breezes.” Their black-tie affair came to life with a soothing coastal palette of pale blues, greens, violets and blush, which was accented with glamorous decor, like dripping crystal chandeliers. To create a seaside garden paradise, they used design elements such as lanterns, coral, driftwood and cascading floral arrangements. The ceremony took place outside at Blithewood, with cocktail hour on the lawn and dinner and dancing under the tent. “The ceremony was our favorite part of the day,” Jenna says. “We wrote the entire thing ourselves, including our vows, very deliberately, putting a great deal of thought into the words we wanted to say to each other.” Their friend Dan, who officiated the ceremony, even made a heartfelt speech about the couple. “We wanted our wedding to be a true reflection of who we are as individuals and a couple, and that meant focusing on what was most important to us,” Jenna says. “We love a good party and all that it entails—delicious food, great music and tons of time on the dance floor with family and friends.” A few weeks before the wedding, Jenna, a talented musician, wrote a song that she knew was perfect for Frank. “I hatched a sneaky plan with my longtime bandmate, Samm Bahman, to record the song and surprise Frank with it for our first dance, rather than the song we originally picked,” Jenna says. “He was completely shocked—in the best way—and during that dance, it felt like we were the only two people on the planet.” —Marissa Hermanson