After their August 2013 engagement, Andrea Benetti and Christopher Byrne knew they'd host their wedding in their hometown of Boston. "We wanted to celebrate our marriage right where we live," the bride says. Another perk of a tying the knot in their beloved city? "We were able to support local businesses, which is something Chris and I are passionate about." They set the date for May 30, 2015, and started planning a church ceremony at St. Mary-St. Catherine Siena Parish in Charlestown, Massachusetts followed by a party for 136 guests in downtown Boston at the Marriott Long Wharf.
Aside from showcasing their hometown throughout the day, Andrea and Chris wanted their reception to feel clean, modern, and very chic. "We used very neutral colors, like gray, green, and white," Andrea says. "We wanted to showcase the spring season after a very long, hard winter in Boston." Keep reading to see all of Rachel Red Photography's gorgeous photos of their day.
The couple worked with Goosefish Press, Inc., a local Boston stationer, to create their elegant invitation suite. Light gray letterpress and an illustration of the city skyline gave a refined and modern twist to the classic style. As a fun twist, Andrea and Chris ordered custom picture stamps of their English Bulldog, Frank, for the invitations and reply cards. "I thought it was a great way to include Frank in the day!" the bride says.
Andrea tried on just six dresses before she knew she had found her gown. She fell hard for a strapless chiffon and lace Adrienne Paloma stunner, complete with a sweetheart neckline and modified trumpet skirt. "I tried on three others just to appease my mother and friends, but I knew this was the dress," she says. And while she was totally certain, her mother wasn't. "My mom kept asking I was sure it was the one and that I could bring it back and look for another," the bride remembers. "I finally asked, 'Mom, what's wrong? Do you not like the dress?' She responded, 'No, I do! I guess I wasn't ready for you to pick a dress today because this means you are really getting married and you won't be my little girl anymore!' I will always cherish that moment we had together because it made me realize how the wedding was affecting her emotionally."
She accessorized with Jimmy Choo sandals and a pair of J.Crew earrings that she had purchased six years before for a friends wedding. "I've never been able to keep a pair of earrings for longer than a year," she says. "These are my favorite pair and the fact that I have been able to hold on to them this long is a miracle. They were my something old."
The groom wore a blue suit from Hugo Boss and a sunny yellow tie. As a nod to his late grandfather, Chris wore the very same pin he had worn 60 years ago at his own wedding. "We were so happy to have a little piece of him with us on our wedding day," Andrea remembers.
Another family member that they were glad could take part in the festivities? Frank! The couple's pup joined them in at the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown (clad in a bowtie!) for photos.
Chris and Andrea's wedding party looked just as stylish as the bride and groom. The men wore gray suits and blue ties while the ladies donned a chiffon Jenny Yoo gown with a strapless neckline. Andrea's maid-of-honor stood out in a beaded Adrianna Pappell gown.
The bride carried an all-white bouquet of peonies, while her 'maids toted mixed arrangements of champagne Victoria roses with greenery.
For this couple, the easiest part of planning the wedding was choosing their ceremony venue. "As newer residents to Charlestown, we were eager to visit St. Mary's Church and meet the community. Once we stepped inside, we were taken back by its beauty and loving welcome from the people," Andrea remembers of their first visit. "We immediately fell in love with the church and knew that's where we wanted to get married."
Andrea and Chris exchanged traditional vows, but personalized the ceremony by asking her godmother and his aunt to each share a special reading. During the ceremony, the couple chose live music in the way of a violinist, pianist, and the bride's mother, a singer. "My mom has been a music director for over 20 years in different churches," Andrea says. "She has the most beautiful voice and I couldn't imagine anyone else singing at our wedding. I had to pinch myself while she sang so I wouldn't cry!"
The party then moved to the Boston Marriott Long Wharf, which is nestled in the city's North End where Andrea lived for seven years. Gray linens covered round tables and arrangements of white peonies with seasonal greens served as centerpieces. As another nod to the couple's love of Boston, Andrea and Chris named each table after different city neighborhoods.
After an allergy-friendly gluten-free dinner, which included tasty options like pan-fried risotto cake, brick roasted chicken, and butter poached Filet Mignon, guests dug into layers of carrot, vanilla, and mocha cake covered in buttercream frosting. They topped their confection with two blue love birds, which include their initials and wedding date.
Andrea and Chris enjoyed a night of dancing with their loved ones before heading off on a mini-moon in Nantucket. This couple advises future brides and grooms to determine what is important to you both as a pair and follow your heart. "We tried not to focus on a theme, but instead incorporating items that were meaningful to us and our families," Andrea says. "We thought of our guests throughout planning and kept in mind that if something didn't feel right us we didn't have to include it."
Ceremony Venue: St. Mary-St. Catherine Siena Parish || Reception Venue: Boston Marriott Long Wharf || Bride's Wedding Dress: Madeline's Daughter || Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair: Miriam Meza || Makeup: Dani Wagener Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Adrianna Papell; Jenny Yoo || Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss || Invitations: Goosefish Press, Inc. || Florist: Bow Street Flowers || Wedding Cake: Glutenus Minimus || Videographer: Creative Eye Productions || Photographer: Rachel Red Photography
Did you love this Boston wedding? Then check out another Massachusetts bash in the video below.