A Natural Midsummer Wedding on the Rhode Island Coast

Gay Marriage, Real Weddings

Rachel's sister-in-law spent years trying to get her to meet Jenny. "We both worked in event production, and she thought we'd hit it off," says Rachel. After evenings spent with Rachel's brother, sister-in-law, and nephews over the course of almost three years, the two women finally realized they had something more than a friendship brewing. Rachel was about to go on the road as assistant tour manager for Jay-Z's Blueprint III tour, so the relationship blossomed via text and phone calls. On December 26th, 2011, after two proposal plans that didn't pan out, Jenny and Rachel found out that two of their friends had just gotten engaged in Thailand. "I couldn't wait any longer," says Rachel. "I grabbed the ring and, still in our pajamas and with messy hair, in the most seemingly average of moments, I asked Jenny to be my wife." Jenny said "yes" without hesitation.

Since both women work in the event industry, they took it upon themselves to plan a midsummer garden party for 59 guests at Castle Hill Inn in Newport, Rhode Island on July 25th, 2013. Even pouring rain couldn't put a damper on the day, as the women and their team of vendors rolled with the punches and brought the whole bash indoors. It was still everything they'd dreamed — take a peek at Michelle Gardella's photos below to see what we mean.

It all started with sleek invitations with a subtle ocean theme. Kraft paper envelopes and subtle gold details suggested a natural, yet refined, theme.

While their young ring bearer couldn't make it down the aisle on his own, his peach linen shirt, nautical tie, and sweet fedora stole the show.

Both women get a gold medal for their choice of footwear, with Jenny in Badgley Mischka sandals and Rachel in metallic Sam Edelman wingtips. Bouquets of peach and white roses, tied with burlap and gold ribbon, were wild and organic, which Jenny matched in her Grecian-style J.Crew gown and voluminous curls.

Rachel wore a blush Ted Baker jacket with a pleated tuxedo shirt. "It was the perfect bridge between masculine and feminine," she says.

While an outdoor celebration was the original plan, Jenny and Rachel moved everything inside when the clouds opened up. Their flower girl, with a bowl of hydrangea petals, led the way down the aisle to an altar flanked by wild arrangements of hydrangeas, roses, ferns, and Queen Ann's lace.

Instead of writing their own vows, Rachel and Jenny read from their gilded ketubah, and invited sisters, brothers and cousins to do readings such as "i carry your heart with me" by E.C. Cummings and "Touched by an Angel" by Maya Angelou.

The reception took place in Castle Hill Inn's Chalet, a structure built with the same engineering principles as a boat, but upside-down, with wood ribbing across the ceiling and sailcloth stretched between the beams. Tables were topped with burlap linens and centerpieces of garden roses, dahlias, and seeded eucalyptus. The brides' chairs were tied with ferns and trailing green vines, complete with burlap ribbons.

Though they had to move everything inside, Rachel and Jenny still treated guests to a classic Rhode Island "a href="http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2015/05/creative-wedding-food-pairings.html">clam bake. Lobster bibs added a playful touch to the place settings, and guests indulged in lobster, clams, chorizo, and boiled sweet corn and potatoes, served with drawn butter and cabbage slaw.

Rachel's family has a favorite cake that's made at a local farm, so they served that instead of a more traditional wedding cake. The white cake was filled with strawberry and coconut cream, and topped with cream cheese frosting.

In addition to the weather, the wedding was full of some fabulous surprises. Rachel recorded her own version of "Everything" by Michael Bublé, then put together a flash mob with the help of her professional dancer pals. "We had separate parts for the pros and for other family members, and they sent out videos to everyone to rehears at home. It was spectacular, and Jenny loved it!" says Rachel. The brides also competed in an informal dance-off, hitting the floor with their brothers and doing flips and lifts.

The brides waited a year to head to Maui for their honeymoon. "Waiting was such a great decision. We were able to save for it, and weren't exhausted from the wedding festivities, so we were able to enjoy it with lots of energy and excitement," Jenny says.

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Castle Hill Inn || Jenny's Wedding Attire: J.Crew || Jenny's Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Rachel's Wedding Attire: jacket - Ted Baker, pants - DKNY || Rachel's Shoes: Sam Edelman || Hair: Ananda Hair Lounge || Makeup: Spa Yadira || Wedding Bands: Grace Lee Designs || Floral Design: Stoneblossom || Invitations & Paper Goods: Presshaus LA || Music: PRG Worldwide Entertainment, DJ Adrian Govind || Catering: Castle Hill Inn || Cake: Highland Farm || Favors: Sweenor's Chocolates || Photography: Michelle Gardella

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Want to see more seaside nuptials? Check out the couple below exchange vows near the water in the Hamptons!

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