📸: Austin Gros Photography // @austingros
Join us in swooning over this classic fall Newport wedding, complete with two wedding gowns and lots of family.
Our love affair began in the modernest of ways … with a dating app. Andrei was intrigued by Sean’s emotional openness, strong values and love for family. Sean assumed Andrei’s profile was fake because, c’mon, isn’t she too perfect? Two weeks later, after several long text conversations, we finally met in person and had our first date in Nashville, Tennessee at a restaurant called Fin and Pearl.
From the very start we were enthralled in conversation. From turning our waiter away half a dozen times because we just couldn’t find a moment to look over the menu, to overstaying our welcome after the restaurant closed, we were in our own world. Since that first night we’ve found more than love. We’ve found in each other a best friend, our most fervent supporter and a true partner. We are excited to continue the journey ahead.
The proposal revealed every bit of the romantic in Sean. He booked us for a week long vacation at the Four Season in Lanai, Hawaii and promised a week of relaxation. Two days before we left for the trip, he started leaving me hand-written letters in places he knew I’d find them — in the car, on my desk, on my plane seat, in the hotel. We had been very interested in the Enneagram, a system of personality typing that describes patterns in how people interpret the world and manage their emotions, so each letter corresponded to each number on the Enneagram and how different sides of my personality showcased each number. There were nine letters in total and his tenth offering was the proposal, explained how my personality and his created synergies that made each other better and our relationship stronger. The proposal itself occurred on the beach front of Lanai on a bed of petals near sunset.
The Wedding Plans
The planning process was a whirlwind, given that we had about a year to plan and venues and vendors were already booked to accommodate the post COVID backlog. Planning a destination wedding in Newport while we were based in Nashville added another layer of complexity, but I had a very clear vision for the aesthetic of the wedding and created a number of PowerPoints and mockups to ensure that all our vendors were on the same page during the wedding weekend. While I’m glad the planning process is over, I am beyond thrilled with the way the wedding came out!
The wedding ceremony was held in St. Barnabas church in Portsmouth, RI. The ceremony was particularly meaningful because Sean converted to Catholicism just prior to the wedding to ensure that we could have a full Catholic mass. I am Filipino and there are a number of culturally significant traditions that occur only during the wedding mass, so it was so special that we were able to have a ceremony that combined both cultures. The ceremony was also special for me because the officiant was a priest from my alma mater, Yale University, who drove down specifically for the event.
Many of my Filipino cultural traditions were incorporated into the Catholic mass, like the unity cord and the giving of the arras, to symbolize unity and prosperity respectively. During our rehearsal dinner Sean and I also wore traditional Filipino attire — a barong for Sean and a jacket with Filipiniana sleeves for me, both of which were made out of finely woven pineapple fibers. Lastly, we incorporated a nod to Filipino culture by including lumpia, a Filipino egg roll, into our passed hor d’oeuvres for cocktail hour.
Sabering the Moment
I LOVE champagne! I was first introduced to Champagne sabering as part of a Champagne club in Nashville called the Sabrage Society. It was a group of friends who would meet, saber wonderful bottles of Champagne and share in food and great conversation. I loved it so much that I actually bought my own sword, the one I used at the wedding. Anyone who knows me is very familiar with this activity and it’s often included in our dinner parties and holiday events. Our guests, especially ones who are based outside of Nashville and aren’t as familiar with my drink preferences, were surprised and thrilled! It’s not every day that you see a bride bring her own sword to her wedding!
The Post-Wedding Sail
Ceremony: xxxx | Reception Venue: Rosecliff Mansion, Newport | Caterer: The Catered Affair | Bridal Hair: Hair by Aferdita | Bridal Makeup: Beauty by Lo | Bridal Attire: Francis Libiran, Phillippines | Groom’s Attire: Canali (Nashville, TN) | Florist: Sydney Smith Design | Music: Luke Renchan Entertainment | Transportation: Rockstar Limo | Videographer: Artistic Wedding Films