A homespun wedding in a historic Rhode Island port town. (I decided to feature my own wedding this week for two reasons. One, because I’m running low on weddings to feature, so if you have one, please let me know. And two, because I didn’t feel it would be appropriate to follow a post about my great-grandmother with anything less personal.)
Who: Celeste Sunderland and Rama Gottfried
When: July 28, 2007
Bride Wore: A strapless, floor-length Angel Sanchez gown, covered in a layer of tulle that she found at a sample sale in New York during her lunch break. The cathedral veil she borrowed from her friend Michelle matched perfectly.
Bridesmaids Wore: Celeste had seven bridesmaids, her three cousins who she grew up with, her three sisters, aged eight to 14, and her 16-year-old sister-in-law. They wore pale pink cocktail dresses and strappy gold shoes of their choice. The younger ones wore white dresses with pink sashes and ballet shoes.
Flowers: The night before the wedding the mothers of the bride and groom, and Celeste’s godmother Lark purchased armloads of roses from Stop & Shop, which joined hydrangeas, sweet peas, and ferns from Lark’s garden, as well as buckets of roses and snapdragons from the farmer’s market, in the cool interior of Lark’s pottery studio. The next morning the studio became a floral workshop, as everyone joined in creating bouquets and boutonnieres.
The Ceremony: Celeste wanted a beautiful, old, gothic-style church. She found one in Bristol, just over the bridge from Portsmouth, the town where she grew up. Her family’s very good friend Father Chris, who baptized her, and married her parents and several of her aunts, officiated.
Parade Town: After the ceremony, the bride and groom led a parade from the church to the reception. as a tribute to Bristol’s Fourth of July parade, the oldest in the nation. Their guests were invited to bring small instruments to play, and Celeste made parade sticks with plastic balloon holders and pink and gold ribbons.
The Reception: Guests were guided through Linden Place, an 1810 Federal style mansion, during the cocktail hour, which featured the music of Portuguese Fado singer Amalia Roderigues before sitting down to dinner in the ballroom. After the bride and groom cut a chocolate cake with pink and white buttercream icing, homemade by Celeste’s cousin Trisha, they headed to the dance floor, under a tent in the courtyard, where DJ JC Svelte was spinning MIA and Michael Jackson mash-ups.
Favors: Donations were made to Heifer International, which went toward the purchase of flocks of chicks for family’s in need. Ram and Celeste tucked tiny yellow, chenille chicks into the napkins of each place setting, along with a note about the donation.
Kids Tables: It was important for the bride and groom to be able to have children at their wedding. They placed a table for children on one side of the head table, and a table for teenagers on the other side. The kids table had a pirate theme, with a treasure chest filled with “crepe paper surprise balls” that were unwrapped to reveal plastic rings, stickers, animal figurines, and eye patches.
A Family Affair: Both families put lots of effort into the wedding. Besides all the moms doing the flowers, and Celeste’s cousin making the cake, aunts were in charge of things like booking the Del’s Lemonade truck, bringing a roll of scrap newsprint for the kids table, and baking cupcakes and creme puffs for the dessert buffet. Ram’s uncle brought his sound system down from Vermont, and Ram’s stepmother rolled lots of napkins. Ram’s mother created a mermaid motif for the wedding invitations, Celeste’s mother calligraphed the wording, and her father printed each one by hand on a letterpress printer. In each guest’s hotel room, a welcome bag included a brochure that listed things to do in the Newport area, created by Celeste’s cousin Rachelle.
Favorite Memory: “When my dad and I started walking down the aisle everyone stood up. I had forgotten that you do this at weddings, and it was a surprise. I couldn’t stop smiling.”
See more photos from Celeste and Rama’s wedding. And don’t forget to let me know if I can feature your wedding on Tidepooler. Thanks so much!