January 1, 2017
By Kaitlyn Murray
I sabella and Ethan’s wintry wedding was always a family and friend-fueled affair. After meeting during a church service and dating for about a year and a half, Ethan decided to enlist the help of his parents to pull off the perfect proposal. He lured Isabella out to their favorite trail — Tillinghast in Coventry — on September 11, 2016 under the guise that they would be taking a Sunday evening hike. But when they got there, the couple came across a seafood dinner setup bathed in the glow of sparkling string lights on the wooden walkway over the area’s serene pond. Ethan fibbed and told Isabella that he and his parents had arranged the surprise as a thank you for taking care of him while he was sick with pneumonia in the months prior. “In my head, I was like, ‘Alright, I have to be okay with that if that’s the only reason,’” Isabella laughs. But then came time for dessert. Drawing from the couple’s tradition of eating Chinese food with Isabella’s family every Sunday, Ethan handed over a fortune cookie. The message inside revealed not a cheesy saying, but the life-changing question: “Will you marry me?” Ethan then presented her with a custom ring adorned in diamonds taken from Isabella’s great grandmother’s (after whom she was named) wedding band. Isabella of course said yes, and Ethan’s parents, who had been waiting patiently nearby the whole time, were finally able to join their son and his new fiancée to celebrate.
The couple next wasted no time when it came to planning. “We had thought we were going to be moving soon due to Ethan’s job in the Coast Guard, so we wanted to have our wedding while we were still in the area and all of our local loved ones could attend,” Isabella explains. “Ethan likes to say we chose January 1st specifically because then he could never forget the date.” That’s right; the twosome were able to plan and execute everything in just under four months. Isabella praises Ethan for completing somewhere around 75 percent of the work in the first two weeks of their engagement, which involved booking the Towers for their reception and finding a suitable caterer (his favorite deli shop from growing up, Michelangelo’s). “Even though it was quick, we both really loved the process — it was essentially just planning a big party with all of our favorite people,” she says. “We were more focused on that and the fact that we were getting married than anything else.”
And they still got everything they wanted. A North Kingstown native, Isabella had grown up summering on Narragansett Town Beach and so she was partial to the idea of saying “I do” right on the sand. “We would have done it rain or shine, but luckily it ended up being 45 degrees and sunny,” she recalls. “And then our guests played a huge part in making the rest all come together.”
“Walking down the aisle was exciting; I was a good mix of nervous and happy. Just seeing him there at the end waiting for me felt surreal… like, “It’s finally happening.’” – Isabella
It’s true: Isabella’s elegant wrap? Her mother found it at a consignment shop and gifted it to her on the morning of the wedding. That beautiful seaside arbor? Isabella’s father and grandfather assembled it from scratch — Gramps even made sure to dutifully stand by and keep an eye out for curious polar plungers (of which there were plenty on New Year’s Day) prior to the couple’s arrival. Those luscious, rich bouquets? Her aunt arranged them and even sourced the evergreens from a South County favorite, the Farmer’s Daughter. That impressive cookie bar display? All made and supplied by aunts and grandparents. The awesome dance photos? Prompted by dedicated friends that took it upon themselves to man a curated playlist. Plus, while the couple and their super gifted photographer, Lauren Fletcher, left to take more model-worthy portraits at nearby Hazard Rock, the kick-ass bridal party went and set up all of the reception decor and rentals at the Towers.
“It was such a great day,” Isabella reflects. “It was cool to soak in all of the love and support we were getting — which started from day one of our engagement — from all of these people that are so important to us. We will never be able to thank them enough.” Yes, thank you, Isabella’s and Ethan’s family, friends and vendors, for helping this awesome couple put together such an inspiring occasion.
Photography: Lauren Fletcher Photography // Ceremony: Narragansett Town Beach // Reception: The Towers // Dress: David’s Bridal // Makeup: DIY // Hair: Advanced Hair Design // Catering: Michelangelo’s Deli and Catering // Groom’s and groomsmen suits: J.Crew // Desserts: DIY by family members // Ceremony Music // Ben Sienko // Shoes: Suede vans from DSW // Bridesmaid dresses: Various shops // Officiant: Pastor Tanner Green of SouthPointe Christian Church