Tell us about your day: The ceremony officiant was our mutual friend Paul who was present for many of the milestone moments in our relationship. The ceremony and cocktail hour music was performed by my friend Chris Capaldi and a few accompanying musicians. Sam and I wrote our own vows and exchanged them in front of our family and friends at around 4 p.m. on an unseasonably warm November day.
The ceremony was followed by an all-guests group photo outside with our photographer clicking away on the balcony of the Casino. This allowed the caterers to transform the auditorium style ceremony set-up into the raw oyster bar and cocktail hour. We took our pictures as the guests arrived so we were able to enjoy ourselves with our guests. Sam’s family is from Texas so having Shiner Bock beer there was important to help the reception feel more like a casual home affair.
Dinner was upstairs. It was pizza and salads. When Sam and I were brainstorming the wedding we weren’t excited about the dinner part but when Sam mentioned having pizza, something just clicked. They were delicious. Plenty of other dishes were served to accommodate my skeptical mother. Each setting had a jar of honey from my parents’ bee hives. It was a bumper crop that fall.
The decor was provided mostly by my mother. She had little guidance from me as I did not think the casino needed much to make it beautiful. We made terrariums in various glass bowls that were collected from craft stores and discount shops. There were so many terrariums. They were everywhere. I made pennant banners to guide the guests to the photo booth, the oysters, the guest “tree,” and the pie and cookies. There was no cake. There was pie. Lots of pie. A few friends helped and with my mother and I we had over thirty pies — five different kinds. My mother also made about twelve different kinds of cookies that we laid out with wax paper bags so people could take some home.
Our first dance was to “Pennies from Heaven” which is the first song we danced to on the night my car was stolen in downtown Providence and Sam waited with me for an officer to arrive. We chose the Louis Prima version to entertain the guests and keep everyone smiling. Sam swung me around and I genuinely think we looked like we knew what we were doing. The pictures came out great.
The dancing continued, cigars were enjoyed on the deck outside, the photo booth got a work out, and the evening brought a chill to the air. The reception concluded as “Total Eclipse of the Heart” came on and Sam and I found ourselves in the middle of all of our friends and family serenading us in a most epic sing along of my life. I cried for maybe the fortieth time that day, but it was all happy tears. Overwhelmingly happy. I felt so lucky to be surrounded by so many familiar faces celebrating two people falling in love.
Bride’s name: Sarah Paquet
Groom’s name: Samuel Laidlaw Hogg
Venue: Roger Williams Park Casino
Catering/Cake: Atomic Catering
Photography: Brittany Leigh Photography
Bride’s dress: Ana’s Bridal Boutique in East Providence
Bride’s hair: Twirl Hair Salon in Smithfield
Bridesmaid dresses: Various
Men’s Formalwear: Groom’s suit from Franklin Rogers Ltd. in Providence
Music: Chris Capaldi and guests for the ceremony and Cocktail hour, Dee Jays Etc. for the dinner and dancing.
Transportation: 1997 Honda Accord Coupe, Bride’s