Leah & Jason’s was my third Belle Mer wedding – a fabulously sleek and modern venue in beautiful Newport, RI. It must have been around a year or so ago that I first met Leah and Jason. We all battled heavy snow to get to our late morning meeting at a restaurant somewhere between Boston and Rhode Island. I don’t remember much about where we met, but I will never forget meeting this couple; they are so full of passion – for each other, for life – and I immediately fell for their kind, caring natures and their enthusiasm. Their wedding at Belle Mer was a vibrant affair, full of color, and laughter, and tears, and the early morning storms gave way to the most beautiful light right after their indoor ceremony. I asked Leah to tell me about the wedding day and planning process. Here are some excerpts.
Tell me about the story of the two of you
We had always been friends. Jason was different then the rest of the guys – he was kind and considerate, and close with his family (something Leah really liked). Jason always admired the way Leah cared for her animals and other people. Our friendship continued to grow. We were dating other people when we first met. Neither of those relationships worked so we explored ours. I remember the first time our moms met – his mom and grandmother came over to my parents’ gardens (they both LOVE flowers) and they hugged and one of them said to the other “oh you give good hugs”. And they just laughed about it. They are both two peas in a pod and I love that our families are also very close.
How did you choose your venue?
[We] loved the clean look of Belle Mer. Floor to ceiling windows, all white with an ocean view, what’s to beat? Jason’s mom who is a floral designer did all our flowers and decorated that place BETTER THAN I EVER COULD HAVE IMAGINED!! After looking through thousands of photos I finally made my mom point person and had her and Dawn (Jason’s mom) figure out all the flowers. I’m not good with decisions and trusted that my mom knew what I liked and that Dawn was very talented. It turned out perfect, I could look at pictures of the decor from our day all day long.
Tell us about your wedding decor
My husband is a graphic designer and came up with a cool heart and key design. So it became our logo and saying, like “key to your heart”. It was on our save the dates and hidden throughout a lot of the decor at the wedding. My best friend and her husband gave us an awesome plaque to put our keys on and that reads Jason and Leah October 11 2014 keys to happiness.
Both of us love purple so that became one of our colors, mixed with a fuchsia and then of course some white and silver – we like bold and bright colors but wanted elegant. It all worked out to be perfect!
Did any of your vendors go above and beyond for you?
Jaime (Nelson, of Eventfully Planned] was amazing. Although she only charged us for the weekend of, she was my sanity leading up to that day for months. I could call or email anytime and she was always right there to give her advice … she’s AWESOME!
And then of course you 🙂 Who had so much valuable input and advice. From figuring out when the sunset was on our wedding to day to plan accordingly to giving me referrals and input on different vendors. Actually didn’t you mention Jamie to me? [I did!] Your calming and fun personality definitely helped us through the day.
What were some of your favorite moments from the wedding day?
At one point I was standing at the top of the stairs looking down and walked down the stairs and just LOST it. Someone asked if I Was okay- maybe even Jason’s mom- it’s all such a blur and I just couldn’t get it together. I just said, “everything is just so beautiful and perfect” bc it was. Okay Im going to cry again just writing this!
When we came home after our wedding, we walked into our room to a full path of rose petals and a huge rose petaled heart on our bed with candles everywhere. Come to find out my friend Antoinette who did the reading and Kaelin’s husband (my best friend) had snuck into our room right after we left to go to venue and I never even knew!
I thought I would cry during the ceremony but I didn’t. However as soon as we walked back down the isle I LOST it. All those emotions hit me at once. You captured them!!
Why did you choose Kate to photograph your wedding?
I loved your photographs. I loved the natural look of them all. Nothing looked posed in your pictures. So first it was the pictures that drew us to you and then after meeting you we knew we had found our photographer. You are super friendly, sweet, and fun to be around!
Tell us a little about life post-wedding
Our honeymoon was amazing. We went to Thailand. Stayed in 2 different places, Phuket and Chang Mai. In Chang Mai we went to an elephant sanctuary and rode and took care of “our elephant” that got assigned to us for the day. Definitely the coolest experience ever! Phuket was just beautiful – we stayed at a resort called the Pavilions and had a giant villa with our own private balcony and pool. I didn’t want to leave. We even had our own spa in our villa where the massage therapists would come and give us treatments.
Our wedding month was busy. We adopted a new dog about a month before the wedding – he was a rescue – approximately 9 months old, male Pitt, and as stubborn as they come but a total love. His name is Logan and he’s finally coming around. We also closed on our first house on Oct. 1st so needless to say October was a bit of a stressful month – well leading up to the wedding anyway.
Do you have any tips you can share?
Jaime gave us a tip at our rehearsal. She said before we walk back down the aisle (after they announce you as husband and wife) to just pause and wait a minute. That was the best piece of advice! That was the only time you have to absorb it and take it all in. The rest of the night everyone will be coming up to you so this is the one time you can just stand there and look out at the crowd. Do it … don’t rush back down the aisle, just pause, take a few deep breaths and enjoy it!
Special thanks to Amanda Albertian for being my wonderful second shooter for this Belle Mer wedding, and for capturing some of the images above, including the three photos from cocktail hour.
Ceremony & Reception Belle Mer, Newport ~ Hair & Makeup Jennie Kay Beauty ~ Coordinator Jaime Nelson at Eventfully Planned ~ Band Hudson Project ~ Officiant Tony Simonelli ~ Cake Isis Cafe Cakes ~ Florist Dawn Moniz ~ Bride's Dress Maggie Sottero