Linda and I met when we were put in the same transfer-orientation group at Roger Williams University. Honestly, Linda didn’t want anything to do with me. About four months later, I finally got her to agree to go on a date with me. Funnily enough, after our first month of dating, my best friend told me Linda, and I were going to get married. I definitely brushed it off at first, but after a lot of persistence and a summer of dates, we were officially exclusively dating by the fall of 2016.
We shared a love for arts and traveling by making small masterpieces in our apartment and scraping together pennies to go to the next destination on our list. In the fall of 2017, when we were both studying abroad, we took a weekend trip to my favorite place in the world – Venice, Italy. During a gondola ride, Linda handed me a note to read about how much she loves me and when I looked up, she had a ring box in her hand. Of course, I said yes immediately!
Since then, we have shared many more adventures together and have grown individually and as a couple. Linda is now an Architectural Designer with a Master of Architecture, and I’m finishing my Master of Arts in Book Publishing and Writing while I pursue a career in marketing. During COVID-19 lockdowns, we decided to get a Goldendoodle puppy named Louie and jumpstarted our wedding planning!
About The Wedding Day.
After drinking with our friends and bridal party who had arrived the night before, we fell asleep together in the beautiful NYLO hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island. We chose this hotel for its modern feel and the cement and iron details found throughout the common spaces and hotel rooms. Seeing it in person made us so excited to take getting-ready pictures with each other and our loved ones!
Keeping some small aspects of tradition, we got ready in separate hotel rooms: Linda was in one room with her mom; bridesmaids, Emily and Jessie; flower man, Josh; and best man, Ricardo – who was ordained to be our wedding officiant! I was in another hotel room with my two bridesmaids, Abby and Natalie. We blasted music and danced around as we got ready for the big day. Of course, this involved mimosas — our signature drink at the reception — to set the vibe for the rest of our special day.
Our photographer, Lindsey, took turns with her assistant, Brian, bringing us to the common spaces with our parents and bridal parties for photos. The photos and the midday energy was exactly how we wanted to start the best day of our lives. The photography sessions were full of smiles, laughs, and nervous energy even before heading to our wedding venue.
Linda arrived at the venue, The Farmers Daughter, first – which we chose because it felt like we were in the middle of a beautifully wooded area with a clearing for the wedding of our dreams! Linda and her bridal party even had time to pose for bonus group session photos on the property, plus extra time to say hi to family and friends that had arrived early! During planning, we took a lot of time to make sure we would actually have time to enjoy the day without feeling like we were rushing from moment to moment.
When I arrived with my ladies, it was time for the first look! Our photographers moved us to a fenced field of flowers where I could hardly contain my nervous-excited energy. Who gets nervous to see their partner of five years? Me apparently. From the moment I turned around to see her beautiful smile, I was overcome with love and happiness – ready for this day to finally be here so we could share our union with everyone we love!
The ceremony was a mix of both old and new traditions. Josh, our flower man, danced down the aisle to “Come and Get Your Love” from Guardians of the Galaxy. Giving our guests a performance that set the tone for the rest of the day. We each walked alone down the aisle to “Conversations in The Dark,” which I edited. So my walk down the aisle was to a piano version of the Star Wars theme song – Linda’s favorite movie series.
Linda’s best man, Ricardo, gave a heartfelt ceremony as our officiant, centered around our love for each other and our chosen family. Being spiritual rather than religious, we decided to have a ring passing. First, Ricardo passed my ring to Linda’s bridal party and her parents so they could give their good energy and well wishes to our symbol of love. Then, he did the same for Linda’s ring: passing it to my bridal party and my parents. We wanted the love we share with our parents and chosen family to be the foundation of our first day as a married couple.
I, of course, couldn’t keep myself together and sniffled back tears throughout the entire ceremony, especially during our vows. Linda’s words were heartfelt, romantic, and ended in Spanish – her native tongue. Mine was a bit lighter, garnishing a few laughs, but ended in another surprise for Linda. I have always struggled to learn other languages and have been teaching myself Spanish since 2018 to be able to speak with Linda’s family. Of course, it has been slow going, but I can manage a few simple sentences. With the help of a few of our Spanish-speaking friends, I ended my vows with a few sentences to Linda, declaring our love. I accomplished my goal of making my stone-faced partner smile and cry in about five minutes. Not your typical relationship goal, but it made us both happy.
Our couple’s session with Lindsey and her assistant Brian was magical. Lindsey worked her camera magic to capture our love. Linda and I effortlessly found ourselves directed into poses and scenarios that made us feel like ourselves. We wanted to work with Lindsey immediately when we found her work because it was so clear she sees humans as they are — unique in their emotions and experience with this moment in time — rather than as objects that need to be posed in front of a backdrop. I’ve never had so much fun having my picture taken, and I know my camera-shy partner feels the same.
The cocktail hour and reception were centered around food and good times with even better people. Our guest list included fifty of our chosen family members. And although it was sad that many people couldn’t attend because of the pandemic, it did mean that we were able to have an even more intimate affair than initially planned. The silver lining of a smaller guest count was that we could connect with every guest at our wedding instead of just being rushed amongst our guests to say a super quick hello.
Being a professional dancer, it was a given that our first dance would be choreographed. I’m not sure how much of a surprise it actually was, but we kept our first dance a secret so everyone would be surprised. It certainly worked because some of my family had no idea that Linda could dance!
The remainder of the night was spent on the dance floor. The love and respect in the room was palpable as the tent transformed into our own personal dance party. Our phenomenal DJ Krissy, who is also a talented dancer that helped us choreograph our first dance. Kept everyone on the dance floor and knew exactly what the crowd needed. She even came out from behind her booth to dance with us!
Our photographers, Lindsey and Brian, being the amazing humans they are, fit in with our friend group even better than we could have imagined. Not only did they take the best pictures we have ever seen. But they also stayed until the end of the event to party with us!
Without a doubt, this was the best day of our lives. We often look back on it and talk about having a vow renewal one day. But, of course, with the goal of topping our wedding day – if that’s even possible!
Do you have any advice for other couples who are planning weddings? Would you have done anything differently in retrospect?
We really think our entire day was perfect. Even though I’m a type-a planner, that didn’t matter because we were with our loved ones who were there to celebrate our love for each other. My suggestion to couples planning weddings is to start early! Especially during COVID, it’s important to book your favorite venue ASAP for your favorite time of year. My other suggestion is not to sweat the small details. Working as a wedding event manager, and after having my wedding, I know that no one really cares about the tiny details brides want to obsess over. Instead, create a day that you and your partner will love and have fun!
Dancing With Her Recommended Vendor
Photography by Lensy Michelle
Bouquets Forever Floral
Boutonnieres Teton Wood Blooms
Cake Bean Counter Bakery
Catering Blackstone Caterers
DJ Kdf Beats
Dresses Flair Boston
H&MU The Best Of You, House of Color Salon
Hotel NYLO Warwick
Rings Kay Jewelers
Shoes Dr Martens
Suits 9 Tailors
Table Florals Blooming Blossoms
Wedding Venue The Farmers Daughter