When Matt and I first got engaged (in Jamaica actually), we seriously considered having our wedding in the Caribbean. We ended up doing some research and getting feedback from our family and friends. Reactions were mostly positive, however after some reactions that were less than thrilled, we decided to scrap the idea and we moved forward with planning a wedding on our home turf.
With two years to go until our wedding, we felt that we had plenty of time to research and make our decisions. First, we viewed several ceremony/reception sites including Belle Mer and Ocean Cliff in Newport, RI, Glen Manor House in Portsmouth, RI and Blithewold Mansion and Arboretum in Bristol, RI. Matt and I both grew up on the ocean so our requirements we specific, yet simple- an oceanview. All of the sites we spectacular, if not outrageously expensive, and possibly overpriced for the New York crowd.
In the end, we selected Glen Manor House. We could not have gotten a better deal because Matt's parents are Portsmouth residents. Chairs and tables were even included in the deal! How could we resist. We loved the look of the mansion and planned to have our ceremony in the garden facing the water.
We decided to wait until after the holidays before researching and visiting caterers. The Glen has a list of preferred vendors so we selected three on the list and set up appointments. The first was Simply Devine, a couple from Barrington who only commit to a certain number of weddings each year. We visited their office and were fed some delicious appetizers while we discussed our needs. Our second visit brought us to Attleboro, MA to the highly regarded and well-known Russell Morin. We were very impressed from the moment we sat down. They were able to give us a unique offering that was flexible enough to fit our budget. I dare say that if we were getting married in Rhode Island we would have used Russell Morin. Finally, our last appointment was with Blackstone Catering in Newport, RI. Over and over again, we had heard the same thing from people about Blackstone. "They're really good, but really expensive." Honestly, their quote was pretty close to the other three but it was the feeling like they weren't listening to what you wanted. By the middle of the first meeting I knew it wasn't a match made in heaven by any means.
Somewhere between catering appointments, dress shopping, and bridal shows we had an epiphany one day. "Is this really what we want?" Does this really reflect our personalities and the way we want to celebrate. Once I got past the image of my ceremony in the garden at The Glen I realized that no, this just isn't right. In the end we decided together that we wanted to celebrate our marriage in a way that worked for both of us. We ended up going back to our original plan of a destination wedding to Jamaica. We had such an amazing time when we vacationed there last March that we knew it was the perfect place to celebrate with our friends and family.