Winter Wedding at Ocean Cliff in Newport, RI

Melissa and Justin wed during the holidays at OceanCliff in Newport, RI. Justin’s grandfather officiated the ceremony surrounded by several twinkling Christmas trees. The florals by Sayles Livingston echoed the frosty winter white theme with ivory arrangements. / Images by M. Studios.

Says Melissa, “Justin and I knew we wanted to get married in Newport. We spend most of our summer down there so it was a no brainer for us. OceanCliff was the first venue we looked at and it set the bar really high. When we left, I knew that’s where I wanted our wedding to be. We looked around at all the different venues but nothing compared!

Melissa & Justin’s Love Story | It’s a really funny story! He went abroad to Denmark with some of my roommates in the fall semester of our junior year. I remember looking at their pictures and thinking how cute he was. One day I was in my apartment at school and there was a knock on the door. When I opened it up, Justin was there and used a great pickup line … ‘Hey, do you have a plunger?’ (I wish I was making it up …) That was the very first time we met! As the weeks at school went on we spent more time together and the rest is history!!!

We had a couple ‘special touches’ that made our day a little extra special. Justin’s Poppop (grandfather) officiated our wedding and it was a surprise for all of our guests. We had asked him months before to marry us and he was so thrilled that we had asked. It was so special for us to have the patriarch of Justin’s family make our marriage official. It’s something we will never forget!

My mom found [my wedding dress] … online!!!! She knows my style and I remember coming over to her house and she said, ‘Melissa, I found your dress.’ I looked at it and was like ‘Yup, that’s it!’ We called around and found the dress at Alexandra’s Bridal Boutique and made an appointment right away. I tried on a few other dresses before I tried on ‘the dress.’ When I finally put it on and showed my mom, aunt and cousin I was so excited I had tears! We bought it that day and I never looked back! Every time I put it on I fell in love with it over and over again.

Favorite memory? Our first look… it still gives me goosebumps! We got married in December and I was hoping and hoping for it to snow. I told my mom before the wedding that I wanted some snow and she said ‘If it snows, it’s Nana and Papa letting you know they are there.’ They passed away in 1997 when I was just 6 years old. My Nana left me a ring and its the ring that Justin asked me to marry him with. So, as we had our first look, all of a sudden, it started to flurry. It was the lightest, most angelic passing snow. I know it was them making a guest appearance!

One of our very best friends from college is an aspiring country music artist in Nashville. He used to play at all of our college events and we just love his music. We asked him to sing our favorite song, ‘Tennessee Whiskey,’ for our first dance and IT WAS AMAZING. Our guests had no idea that Nick was going to sing for us so when he got up there to sing they were all shocked. I remember dancing with Justin and thinking ‘Oh my God, this is so amazing.’ I have a feeling more of our friends will be asking Nick to sing at their weddings!

Melissa’s advice? Take it all in. Wedding planning is stressful but enjoy it while it lasts! Some of my girlfriends are planning their weddings now and I can honestly say I miss it! During your reception, step away for a second to just watch. All of your hard work has paid off and now it’s time to enjoy it. It’s so surreal!
The couple honeymooned in Costa Rica.

Credits: Photography: M. Studios | Ceremony & Reception Venue: OceanCliff | Florist: Sayles Livingston | Wedding gown: Alexandra’s Bridal Boutique | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Bill Levkoff | Wedding Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Cake: Newport Sweet Shoppe | Hairstylist: Kylie O’Connor



  1. Ginny McGibbon
    June 27, 2017 / 12:10 PM

    Your wedding was AMAZING! A special wedding with details everywhere! We were so happy to be able to share “your ” day with you.

    Ginny & Russ

  2. Gazzelle Champy
    July 31, 2017 / 2:08 PM

    The wedding was beautiful and a great time of year.