WEDDING | Autumn Themed Harbor Lights Wedding

Our last wedding of the 2017 season wrapped up with Steven and Nancy for their autumn themed wedding at Harbor Lights in Warwick, RI. Steven and Nancy both really love fall and going to vineyards which made for the perfect theme for their wedding. Since the weather was cool, their wedding ceremony was inside but they still served spiked apple cider; their wedding cake was a wine barrel and wine themed. Their favors were mini bottles of their favorite apple cider wine from a local vineyard with a personal label placed on each bottle.

autumn and wine themed wedding cake and favors
Wine barrel and autumn themed wedding cake; fall colors on napkins and florals; wine bottle mini favors

While their love story began on a late July day in 2008, their actually engagement started November 5, 2016 which gave them one year and one week to plan their perfect day.

Steven’s version of the proposal: I actually came upon this accidentally…I found a B&B Yacht docked in Newport.  Since we both love Newport very much as well as we love the water we would be able to have the best of both worlds.  I booked our stay on the yacht and proceeded to call the owner of the boat to inform him what I had planned and he was very helpful as well as excited to assist me in setting up things to pop the question.  All Nancy was told a few days beforehand was to pack an overnight bag and include nice clothes and that I wouldn’t answer any questions whatsoever.  On November 5, 2016  a couple of hours before we left for Newport Nancy had sent me over to her sister’s house to obtain an evening bag for her.  I had the ring on me so I showed it to her family and warned them not to say a word to her at all.  In the late afternoon we headed to Newport.  She didn’t have any idea of what was going on except that she knew it was probably going to happen.  We arrived at the Goat Island marina (she thought we were first staying the night at the Hyatt) until I turned towards the marina).  Got out of the car and stated we were getting on a boat at the end of the dock.  We got to the end of the dock and to the right was a very big beautiful yacht and to the left was an old wooden boat (she thought she was spending the night on the wooden boat) until the Captain came out and addressed me by my name.  She stood there stunned as to why would a man who owns this big beautiful boat know me by first name.  She thought that I had set-up something through the assistance of Paul from Baxter’s Jewelers on Jefferson Blvd. in Warwick because who would I know that owned a yacht.  We boarded the boat and got the grand tour and then brought to our lovely state room.  After unpacking it was starting to near sunset so we went up to the fly bridge to get a full 360 view of Newport Harbor.  Nancy kept running back and forth on the fly bridge checking out all she could see, so this made it very difficult to obtain her attention long enough to get down on one knee and propose, but I finally managed to do it and as the saying goes the rest is history!

Nancy’s version: How can I add to Steven’s beautiful retelling of our magical engagement on November 5, 2016.  What Steven didn’t mention was that for two weekends in a row I received beautiful bouquets of red roses.  Of course I was going to suspect something!!!!!!   I mean the man gives me lots of rose bouquets but not week after week.  The roses were as always amazing, the twinkle in Steven’s eye had my heart racing and the proposal was more than anything I could ever have imagined!  And I had nine long years to imagine!!!!  After enjoying our moment on the fly bridge and posing for photos we headed out for an amazing dinner on the wharf.  The weekend was PERFECT!  The proposal was PERFECT!

When asked what attracted them to our photos they said, “Nicole’s photos were very tasteful and well done. We loved the wedding album she had on display. The images were bright and you could feel the love coming off the pages that the couples had for each other!”

After Steven and Nancy reserved us for their wedding, I asked them why they decided to hire us for their wedding day? Nancy said, “We met Nicole at our first bridal show after we got engaged.  Besides her friendliness and beautiful pictures displayed she remembered our names as she passed us in the parking lot at the end of the event as we were leaving the show.  That truly impressed us since she had only just meet us and for only a brief moment.  Nicole has the type of personality that Steven and I draw out of each other.  Nicole was relaxed, knew her business and really took an interest in our conversation.”

Steven and Nancy advise other engaged couples to shop around and really do their research when hiring a wedding photographer. “Don’t just go based on price. Ask many questions and get the full answers you seek.”

Their favorite moment working with us?  “During our engagement session in Colt State Park Paul and Nicole were photographing us and had us get on an unstable cart. (not known to any of us at the time) Nicole, myself and Nancy were first on one side of the cart with Paul on the ground.  Nicole wanted us to go to the other end of the cart and as soon as we began to move the cart began to tip the other direction.  Luckily Paul caught it in time so nobody got hurt and amazingly none of us fell.  Quite the experience! {Thanks Paul!}  This the bride’s favorite moment too but she has to add, our first look down on the docks at Harbor Lights!  It was an emotional, personal moment but through it all it was only the bride and groom.  Paul and Nicole were there capturing the moment but we had no idea.”

In getting to know Steven and Nancy, we learned it was very important to that hired a photographer who had experience photographing weddings both indoor as well as out. AND who was familiar with photographing different religions and customs that one might incorporate into a wedding ceremony. “It also helped that Nicole has a great relationship with our venue.”

Their favorite wedding day moment? “I think both Nancy and I would agree, that our favorite moment was our first look.  The long awaited anticipation that we finally made it to this point in our lives and that we were venturing into a new chapter of our relationship and all our hard work of planning for a year had finally come down to this very moment.  It was both exhilarating and scary at the same time, but it was truly amazing!”

Steven and Nancy honeymooned in Aruba thanks to Lynn Johnson from AAA.

Venue: Harbor Lights
Wedding Photographer: Nicole Gesmondi Photographer, LLC
Wedding Cake: Antonio’s Bakery
Wedding Florals: Golden Gate Studios
Uplighting & DJ: Music Machine
Photo Booth: Smashing Photo Booth
Hair: Creative Corner {Coventry RI}
Make Up: Sara Bliss
Harpest during ceremony: Theresa Trafuri
Bridal Gown: purchased at Spark Bridal
Groom’s Attire: Aldo’s House of Formals
Wedding Rings: Baxters Jewelry {Warwick, RI}
Wedding Accessories: Ti’adora {earings & bracelets}


Nicole Gesmondi Photographer, LLC is a wife-and-husband photography team located in Providence, Rhode Island. We’ve been providing wedding and portrait photography services in and around Providence and Newport, Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, Boston and more for over a decade.

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