Wyndham Newport Hotel Wedding
Bethany & Thomas
October 25th, 2019
There are a lot of emotions that go into planning the perfect wedding day. From choosing the right dress to scheduling enough time for photos and making sure all your decorations arrive to the venue, wedding days have a seemingly unending number of parts that have to all come together for things to run smoothly.
But no amount of planning in the world could have prepared Bethany and Thomas for the biggest issue they faced in the days leading up to their October 2019 wedding at Wyndham Newport Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island.
Three weeks before they would become husband and wife, Bethany suffered a tragic loss as her father passed away suddenly. While no one is ever truly ready to lose a parent, to have a bride experience such heartbreak weeks before one of the most significant days of her life is simply unfair.
And I think that's why her wedding day was so moving.
With her grief still fresh and her family still processing their loss, Bethany did the only thing she could do on her wedding day: Turn to her husband for support and honor her father's memory the best she could.
It's safe to say she succeeded and Bethany and Thomas' wedding, despite the challenges, was truly inspirational.
As I prepared to begin my coverage of Beth and Tom's wedding day, I genuinely had no idea what to expect. Walking into the Wyndham Newport Hotel, I hoped Beth would be the same person whose engagement session I had photographed earlier this year and, to my relief, she was.
Beth had a huge smile on her face as she finished her hair and makeup and I truly believe that set the tone for the afternoon that followed.
Of course, the day was not without its struggles but we knew that going in and I had a feeling one of the toughest moments of the day for Beth would be when she put her dress on for the first time.
But even I had no idea how hard it would hit her.
As Beth got into her dress, a flood of emotion overcame her and she briefly began to tear up. As painful as the photos of this part of the day are, I feel they're important to have and I'm glad I was there to capture them. Weddings are full of good and bad moments but this moment was, to me anyway, a powerful tribute to the love a daughter felt for her father and a reminder that he was never far from her mind.
After giving Beth a moment by herself in front of the mirror to really reflect on the day and what it meant to her -- a moment I could tell she needed -- I was excited to bring the bride outside for her first look with her soon-to-be husband as I knew it was exactly what she needed.
And boy did she.
The moment this bride and groom saw each other, the entire mood of the day swung and it was really touching to see just how much Thomas brightened the world around Beth and how happy they both were to finally experience a day they've waited their entire lives for.
Beth and Tom's first look was a beautiful moment to capture but it's what came afterwards that had me most excited as these two planned out their day perfectly and gave me all the time I could have ever wanted and then some for their formal photos.
We started at the site of their first look itself which, thanks to the nice overcast sunlight, was just about perfect for bride and groom portraits. Afterward, we would make our way to the steps of the Cliff Walk and stop along Ocean Avenue in Newport.
Suffice to say, I could have worked with these two all day.
Of all the stops we made, though, my favorite was definitely Breyton Point as we found a nice little area near the rocks and the water that served as the perfect backdrop for some of my favorite photos of the entire day.
Later, we would head back to the hotel for Beth and Tom's family photos and a couple extra bride and groom portraits -- including one of Beth in a leather jacket that I just swooned over.
Pound for pound, I may have had more time with this bride and groom than any other couple I worked with this year and I was totally fine with that. Beth and Tom were a blast to work with and an even more adorable couple to photograph.
After nearly three hours of formal photos, it was time for us to get to the reason everyone was gathering for Beth and Tom's big day: their actual wedding ceremony.
Beth and Tom chose to get married indoors at the Wydnham and, given that the temperatures were steadily dropping on this late October night, that was probably a good call. What I liked about the room they got married in, though, was how intimate it felt as Beth walked down the aisle and her friends and family members looked on.
Though she lost it a little bit in this moment, it was only fitting and, after a brief tribute by stopping at a chair left in her father's memory, Beth and Tom had a touching ceremony that centered around their bond together, a bond that showed itself in spades in the weeks leading up to the big day.
Following Beth and Tom's ceremony, I hung back a little bit to finish some post ceremony formal photos with the newlyweds and their extended family. The moment that was over, though, I couldn't wait to make my way into the ballroom where the reception was planned.
And, once I did, I was floored by how beautiful it all was.
The Wyndham Newport Hotel, formerly known as the Atlantic Resort Newport, is truly a stunning place to get married and the orange uplighting Beth and Tom chose to accentuate their room really made things look amazing.
The beauty of the room was on full display once Beth and Tom entered. Launching right into their first dance, I couldn't help but notice how big the smile on Bethany's face was.
Suffice to say, these photos were some of my favorite all day and not just because of the pretty lighting.
The one part of the night I was worried about the most for Beth and Tom were their designated parent dances. While the loss was too fresh for Beth to plan anything too specific to take the place of what would have been her father-daughter dance, I feel the couple handled it all perfectly anyway.
Tom danced with his mom for a song and then the room transitioned into an open dance floor for the next song. The dancing helped keep the mood positive and Beth did a wonderful job of keeping her spirits up during what could have been a really challenging part of the night.
And, because it went so well, I knew the rest of the night would be a breeze.
With the formalities of the reception done, Beth and Tom opened their dance floor for the evening and I knew we were in for some fun as the pair had hired DJ Ramu and the Crew to oversee the music and fun and once the party started, it never let up.
As my time with Bethany and Thomas came to an end, I was relieved at how great everything went and how happy the bride and groom seemed in each other's arms.
Beth and Tom are an amazing couple and two of the most fun people I've worked with in quite some time. Getting to see them celebrate a day that I knew wasn't always easy, but was still somehow just about perfect, was simply delightful.
More importantly, though, their wedding served as the perfect example of why marriage is so special and so important. Life is not easy. It has ups and downs. But choosing the right person to be by your side makes it possible to overcome any obstacle.
Beth and Tom found that in each other and, because they did, I have nothing but confidence their wedding day is just the beginning of a beautiful life together. Forever and for always.
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Stephanie Lusignan; Bride's Make-up: Makeup By Samantha Brotman; Bride's Dress: Morilee by Madeline Gardner; Groom's Suit: Men’s Warehouse; Florist: Golden Gate Studios, Cranston, Rhode Island; Ceremony & Reception Location: Wyndham Newport Hotel, Middletown, Rhode Island; Officiant: Alan Chianese; DJ: Ra-Mu & the Crew; Jeweler: Long’s Fine Jeweler’s, Burlington, Massachusetts.