Even though fall is arguably the best season, we’re not ready to let go of summer just yet. Until those first leaves fall and that autumnal equinox knocks on our doors, we’re going to be over here appreciating bright and sunny nuptials like Cody and Ted’s. Jump on the denial train with us and keep reading to learn more about this cheery couple’s colorful day.
How did you two meet?
I am a true Rhode Islander, born and raised! I grew up in Little Compton; Ted is from West Boylston, MA. We met more than eleven years ago while studying abroad in St. Andrews, Scotland. We were neighbors in a foreign city, acclimating to European life. Somewhere between purchasing sheets at Woolrich’s and groceries at Tesco, our friendship morphed into a romance. We spent some time backpacking in Europe together before wrapping up our studies and returning to the U.S. I remember leaving Scotland back in 2007, not knowing where this budding relationship would go. Fast forward to 2019, and here we are — celebrating two years of marriage!
How long were you together before you were engaged? How did you get engaged?
Just shy of a decade! Our engagement story is pretty hilarious. I had planned a big brewery tour of Boston with our friends for Ted’s birthday and he had planned to propose. I threw a wrench in his secret plans for breakfast in bed and a nice romantic morning by getting up early to clean our apartment and subsequently putting him to work scrubbing down the bathroom/toilet in preparation for hosting a party. I then proceeded to somehow unwittingly do everything possible to derail the proposal. Eventually, he proposed with an heirloom diamond in the middle of our apartment — me in my bathrobe and hair up in a towel. It was very different from what he had envisioned, but it was also very us: goofy and private in the home we share. And, as an added bonus, the birthday party doubled as an impromptu engagement party, so we got to celebrate with our friends later that day!
Tell us about the planning process.
Planning is hard work! My least favorite part was the decision making…I’m a perfectionist and meticulously consider all of the “what if’s” of every decision, so that drew out the planning process a bit. My favorite part was figuring out how to personalize our wedding and make our day reflect who we are both as individuals and as a couple.
Our theme was “things we love,” although it definitely developed over time. Surprisingly, I had wanted a very informal event (think backyard clambake) and Ted had envisioned a more formal/traditional day. I think we kind of met somewhere in the middle, and the end product was really true to who we are: outdoors, craft beer, so much delicious food, homegrown flowers, ice cream cones and an eclectic playlist in coastal Rhode Island with our closest friends/family.
We love, love, loved your flowers! Would you say that you went in knowing they’d be a big focal point?
We were totally blown away when we saw the flowers at the venue! Sayles Livingston Design did such an amazing job. Initially, the plan was to grow our own flowers and we planted a very colorful, very large-cut flower garden at my mom’s house in preparation for the big day. The medical director at my work caught wind of this and also planted a bunch of dahlias for us in the lot behind our office. Sayles Livingston, who is a good friend, stepped in and offered to help design the arrangements and decor at the Meeting House. She took all of the flowers we had grown (and then some) and curated all of the jaw dropping floral pieces. The end product was so much more beautiful than we could have envisioned; She really outdid herself!
How did you come across Danielle for your photographer?
We have a mutual friend who connected us (to whom I am forever grateful!)
What drew you to the Meeting House?
It just seemed to check all of the boxes. We loved that it offered both an indoor and outdoor space. The Meeting House itself was a wonderfully intimate site for our ceremony and the meadow behind the building offered such a peaceful backdrop for cocktail hour and dinner. Plus, it’s so close to my hometown which we were eager to share with our out of town guests!
I also really loved your bridesmaids’ dresses — they were so unique! What made you decide to go with white for their gowns? What are your connections with each of them?
Thank you! I wanted something simple and knew that our flowers were going to be VERY colorful so I thought it would be a nice juxtaposition. Initially, the plan was to have the bridesmaids choose any white dress, but they both liked that one, so we went with it! The dresses were from French Connection and we ordered them off of Amazon (of all places).
My sister and my best friend from college served as my bridesmaids. My brother and two of Ted’s best friends from home were the groomsmen. Ted and I are both lucky to have many close friends from different phases of our lives, so instead of having a large bridal party, we opted to choose a few individuals to represent our families and larger friend groups.
Was that your red car that you were taking pictures with?
The Scout! We borrowed it from a friend for the day as our getaway car, but it sure did make for some awesome photos.
What was your first dance song?
Did anyone’s reception toast really standout?
We were so lucky when it came to our toasts… We may be biased, but we really had THE BEST speeches at our wedding. Each was special for different reasons. I think our guests probably remember our best man’s toast…errr ‘roast’… most. He had everyone laughing so hard we were crying. We’ve had multiple people, months later, say they still think about his speech when they are at other weddings and wonder if anyone could possibly top it!
Did you run into any issues while planning or on the day of? If so, how did you overcome them?
My wedding gown was a real issue. It still didn’t fit three days before the wedding, and I ended up ordering a bunch of next-day delivery white cocktail dresses in case things didn’t pan out. It was definitely a little stressful not knowing what I was going to wear to my wedding seventy-two hours before, but thankfully, the alterations were finished just in the knick of time!
If you had to narrow it down, what would you say were each of your favorite moments from that day?
Cody: We have a close family friend in his nineties who wasn’t able to attend due to some medical issues. As we were driving to the venue before the ceremony, I made a split-second decision to take a detour to his house. Ted and I, clad in our suit and gown, surprised him on his doorstep. I will never forget the look of love and disbelief on his face. He sent us on our way to our wedding, wishing us a lifetime of happiness together. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the day, and this pit stop allowed us to pause and reflect on the real meaning of joining in marriage. It was such a poignant and heartfelt moment; I still tear up thinking about it!
Ted: Dinner hour (even though we didn’t get to spend that much time eating). Seeing all of our closest friends and family under the same tent, exchanging stories and laughing together — it was pretty incredible. There was a lot of love under that tent.
Do you have any advice for recently engaged couples?
Try to keep your guest list to a manageable size. We ended up with 104 and it felt perfect. We were a little cut throat, which was tough, but it was the right decision.
How’s married life treating you?
It’s been amazing. Not much changes on the day-to-day but there is a certain comfort in knowing that you’re fully committed to each other on a whole new level. It sounds cliche, but ‘nothing changes while everything changes.’ We’ve shared a lot of amazing experiences in the past two years (a week in Martha’s Vineyard, five weddings, a trip to Israel and Croatia, our nephew’s first Christmas…) and each has been made richer knowing that we are enjoying them together.
Photography: Lefebvre Photo // Ceremony & Reception: the Meeting House // Caterer: Blackstone Catering // Hair & Makeup: Invidia Salon // Bride’s Dress: Mon Cheri, Alexandra’s Bridal // Bride’s Shoes: Nine West // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: French Connection, Amazon // Groom’s Suit: Calvin Klein, Men’s Wearhouse // Cake: the Provender // Ice Cream: Bliss Ice Cream // Floral Arrangements: Sayles Livingston Design // Officiant: Emily Lehman (Ted’s Sister) // Reception Music: DJ Lee Mastermind // Favors: Scottish Shortbread (Kathy Lehman, Ted’s Mom, baked them) // Guest transportation: Signature Limousine // Tent Rental: Newport Tent // Wedding Bands: Pucci’s Jewelry