Newport Marriott Wedding Photos
Melissa & Patrick
Newport Marriott, Newport, Rhode Island
December 3rd, 2021
A funny thing happens when you sit down with a bride and groom planning their second marriage. Because they've already been through the process once, typically when they were much younger, these couples know exactly what they want from a wedding day and know what the most important keys are to planning an event they will never forget.
That's why, when I first sat down with Melissa and Patrick to discuss their December 2020 wedding, they stressed that their "I do, take two" New Years Eve event would be all about having an "all out party" that would make the pandemic-ruined 2020 an afterthought. What they didn't know was that the coronavirus pandemic would push that wedding back A WHOLE YEAR and their "I do, take two" was going to become quite literal.
No matter though. Because, even though it took an extra 12 months, Melissa and Patrick's December 2021 bash was so, so, so worth the wait.
My time with Melissa and Patrick began with bridal prep at the Newport Marriott hotel. I always love going to this venue because it's one of the most spacious I've had the pleasure of working at. While I was a bit disappointed we weren't finishing Melissa's hair and makeup in her hotel suite itself (because the rooms in this hotel are gorgeous), I never mind going into the dedicated bridal suite at this venue because it is massive and I have more than enough room to capture everything that's going on.
When I arrived to see Melissa, she was in great spirits and I knew she wasn't stressing the day. Even when the timeline fell a tiny bit behind, there was no panic to be found on this bride's face. The only emotion she had was excitement and plenty of it.
Melissa and Patrick chose to do a first look prior to their wedding ceremony and I'm so glad they did as their wedding was in early December and the number of hours we had for sunlight on their big day was limited at best.
More importantly, though, I loved seeing the way this bride and groom interacted in a moment just made for them. It doesn't hurt, of course, that the Newport Marriott has one of my favorite set of indoor stairs that are perfect for a first look. This was definitely a highlight of the day for me, so much so that I even used a photo of Melissa coming down the stairs for this first look in my portfolio update for 2022 a few weeks later.
With their first look finished, it was time for Melissa and Patrick to pose for some bride and groom portraits. I'll be honest: This was the part of the day I stressed out about the most.
For one thing, Melissa and Patrick were getting married on a cold and windy December afternoon. For another, we were doing their bride and groom photos outside near sunset. For a third, we were in Newport, a chilly city on a good day.
I won't lie. It was cold. But Melissa and Patrick did an amazing job no selling the chilly wind and breeze and in the 20 or so minutes we were outside, we managed to get a ton of different looks for this bride and groom without going very far from their hotel itself.
I especially loved how beautiful the sunset was on Melissa and Patrick's wedding day. It was the perfect cap on a great portrait session.
To say I was excited to go inside for family photos is an understatement, though, and while it may have taken me some time to feel my toes again, I loved working with Melissa and Patrick's family and wedding party for their portraits in the bar area of the hotel before we got ready for the big ceremony about a half hour later.
Speaking of their ceremony, I don't know if Melissa and Patrick could have chosen a nicer location to say "I do" than Newport Marriott. In particular, their wedding ceremony area is a truly unique one that is set up unlike any I've seen before. It's in a huge lobby area yet feels intimate. There's room to move around but you never feel too far from the bride and groom.
Suffice to say, I was looking forward to Melissa and Patrick's exchanging of rings and vows and I knew right from the moment I saw how excited the groom was to see his bride walk down the aisle that this would be a really beautiful ceremony to shoot.
Melissa and Patrick's ceremony was a fitting tribute to a love defined by celebrating life's new chapters together. While it wasn't overly religious, there were religious themes throughout Melissa and Patrick's ceremony and I was especially touched by how personal everything felt, particularly a special prayer and blessing issued to the bride and groom by their officiants.
I love that Melissa and Patrick never took themselves too seriously during their ceremony yet paid a healthy respect to both the pasts that brought them down the aisle and the future road they will travel together.
As fun as their ceremony was, however, I knew Patrick and Melissa's wedding would be defined by the party that capped their night off and it sure was.
The moment I stepped into their wedding reception and saw the beautiful decorations on display, I knew Melissa and Patrick spent a lot of time making this reception as perfect as it could be and it showed. And, from the moment they walked into their cocktail hour to greet friends and family, this party was ON.
Melissa and Patrick made quite an entrance into their reception and set the tone of the night beautifully and if there was any doubt how much fun this evening would be, it was gone immediately as the bride and groom rolled right into their first dance, set to "There She Is" by Frank Turner.
Melissa and Patrick chose to have a live band at their reception and that move paid off handsomely as it clear right from the get go this would be a night where EVERYONE was on the dance floor.
One of the little things I noticed and appreciated the most about Melissa and Patrick's wedding reception was they chose to have all of the formalities of the event as soon as we walked in. This included a pair of sweet parent dances and four touching toasts from the maid of honor, best men and groom's father.
Taking care of all the formalities of the evening right off the bat meant more time for relaxing and partying and Melissa and Patrick took full advantage of that.
There are few things in life I love more than a good live band at a wedding — and that statement is double true when said live band is ALSO an 80s music band — and Melissa and Patrick's choice of Fast Times 80s Music to provide the soundtrack to their reception was one of my favorite choices of the 2021 season.
These guys were AWESOME and not just because we got a little Bon Jovi, some Journey and more banger hits than I could keep track of. What made this group so good, besides their killer rendition of classic tracks, was the party vibe they kept up all night long.
This dance floor was slamming right from the moment the evening began and the photos tell a story better than any words I could string together to do the same.
My absolute favorite moment of the night, without question, was when the band asked Patrick and Melissa to take the stage and sing a song with them.
I loved how Patrick just leaned right into it and sang his heart out ... and the way Melissa tried not to look like horrified by the idea of being the center of attention for a live music performance. Add in some amazing lighting behind them and you've got all the makings for a wedding moment to remember forever.
Even after their surprise performance, the party never let up for Melissa and Patrick as the pair spent the rest of the night making sure to grab photos with all the important people in their lives while also never straying too far from the dance floor when the mood struck.
It was, in essence, the exact party this bride and groom always pictured for their wedding.
As my time with Melissa and Patrick came to an end, I left the Newport Marriott with a huge smile on my face, content in the knowledge that the coronavirus pandemic may have booted Melissa and Patrick's wedding from its original New Year's Eve 2020 date but that didn't stop this pair from celebrating like they were at Time Square.
I don't do a lot of December weddings but, when I do, I'm always a little extra pumped when it's clear the crowd in attendance is rocking like it's the middle of the summer and that's exactly what happened on this beautiful night in the City by the Sea.
So, thank you Melissa and Patrick for allowing me to document such a beautiful and fun wedding day. I wish you the best as you begin your life together as husband and wife.
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Erin Divine from Impulse Hair Design, Providence, Rhode Island; Bride's Make-up: Jen Hodge from Spectrum Makeup Artistry, South Kingstown, Rhode Island; Bride's Dress: Melissa Ashley Brides, Westerly, Rhode Island; Groom's Suit: Jose from Tux Towne, Taunton, Massachusetts; Florist: Rebecca Silva; Ceremony and Reception: Newport Marriott, Newport, Rhode Island; Live Band: Fast Times; Photo Booth: Photo Mirror Imagery Entertainment; Cake: Scrumptions, East Greenwich, Rhode Island; Violin (Ceremony/Cocktail Hour): Big Lux.