Above Them Only Sky
At a destination wedding in Newport, Rhode Island, a Westchester family hosts an elegant (and very nautical) affair
Above them only sky
Water and sky take center stage at a gorgeous wedding in nautical
By Andrea Barbalich
Photography by Todd Shapera
Above: With the
When Gregory Kraut proposed to Haley Jordon in January 2006, he drew on the couple’s history, taking her back to
Above: The day before, Haley and Greg sailed with their guests around
Haley, 26, grew up in
Above: The reception took place at the
“We looked at four or five different venues, but as soon as we walked into the
Above: The couple's rehearsal dinner took place at the historic Chanler hotel, near the Rosecliff.
And so the planning began for their wedding for 180 guests. Although the event didn’t take place in Westchester, when possible the couple hired Westchester professionals to help bring it together, from photographer Todd Shapera of Pleasantville to Setsuko, a hairdresser and makeup artist for Jean Claude Salon in
Above: Touches of red coral, which Haley loves, brightened the table settings; a starfish provides a perfect nautical accent to the placecards; on the menu: a lobster clambake.
All the details were coordinated by Joanne Sabato and Claudia Sidman of Joi Us Events in
Above: Haley is escorted by her parents, David and Madelyn Jordon, into Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the
Good communication—and a clear vision—also helped. “From the very beginning, Haley made it clear to us that she and Greg both had traditional values,” Sidman says. Yet it was obvious that Haley also has a very modern sensibility: She works in fashion, as a buyer for Lucie Jordon Buying Office in
Above: Inside the historic temple, the wedding's 180 guests witness the marriage.
In selecting a color scheme to pull the wedding together, Haley wanted to take full advantage of the Rosecliff’s beauty. She focused on the ballroom’s breathtaking ceiling, handpainted in light blue with white clouds to resemble the sky. In very short order, Haley knew the maids of honor and bridesmaids would wear navy gowns (with navy handkerchiefs in the jacket pockets of the men’s tuxes), the flowers would be blue hydrangeas, white roses, and white peonies, and the table linens would be light blue dupioni silk. The fact that blue ties in with
Above: The bridesmaids wore navy gowns and carried bouquets of white roses and blue hydrangeas.
“Nautical” soon became a major motif. At the time they selected July 1 as their date, Haley and Greg had no idea that
Above: The happy couple kiss under the chuppah.
“The weather was amazing,” Haley says. “We couldn’t have had a better afternoon.”
The rehearsal dinner took place that evening at the Chanler at Cliff Walk, a historic hotel near the Rosecliff. “We went with the theme of
Above: The Rosecliff's ballroom, the largest in
During the planning, Haley felt the pull of tradition in her desire to have an elegant rehearsal dinner, but she also considered offering guests the casual feel of a clambake. Once the sailboat trip was planned, the problem was solved: “The boat trip was very casual, with snacks and drinks on board,” Sabato says. “And the rehearsal dinner became a very elegant, seated affair.” After dinner, the rest of their guests were invited to join them for cocktails and dessert at the Chanler.
Above: The chocolate wedding cake was decorated with buttercream seashells and starfish. Placecards trimmed in light blue matched the ballroom's sky-themed ceiling.
The wedding ceremony began the next evening at 5 pm. The choice of Touro Synagogue was meaningful to both families, particularly Haley’s mother. Her father had been the president of his temple, and seeing her daughter marry in a Jewish ceremony in such a historic synagogue was important to her. Haley’s grandfather was in attendance, in fact, and gave a blessing at the reception.
Above: Haley and Greg stroll on the grounds of the Chanler, where their rehearsal dinner was held the night before.
The ballroom sparkled as the 180 guests arrived at the Rosecliff. On top of the linens on half of the tables, Sabato and Sidman had placed round mirrors and a mix of votive candles at varying heights. “The candlelight reflected in the mirrors and the windows and everywhere,” Sabato says. “The room just glowed.”
Above: The groom gazes at his bride in her Vera Wang gown.
During the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed a raw bar featuring oysters, littleneck clams, and shrimp. The dinner menu included striped bass and shrimp and scallop brochettes (and filet mignon for non seafood lovers). Guests danced to Night Shift, a “phenomenal” band from
A highlight of the night was Greg’s speech, in which he toasted his new wife and mentioned his father, who died last year. “Greg didn’t have anything written beforehand, but it was the most amazing, heartfelt speech,” Haley recalls. He also dipped her successfully during their first dance, to “This Year’s Love” by David Gray.
Above: The groomsmen ham it up in football poses.
The wedding ended that night, but the nautical theme continued when the bride and groom left for their two-week honeymoon on the Tahitian islands of Bora Bora, Moorea, and Le Tahaa, where they savored memories of the night when their families and friends came together to celebrate with them in Newport. “You have to think about your guests, and ours had the most wonderful time,” Haley says. What about the bride? “That’s easy,” she says. “It was the most special day of my life.”
Haley and Greg's Wedding Sources:
Haley and Greg's Wedding Sources: