A Whimsical Wedding in Rhode Island
Jolanta and Thomas
After ten years of friendship -- many of them spent working together at the same magazine -- design director Thomas Alberty finally asked out photo editor Jolanta Bielat when he switched jobs. Not long after, he asked another question (this time with a ring involved), and the engaged couple set the date of August 3, 2013, to make things official. The Brooklyn-based couple’s destination wedding took place in Rhode Island, with guests traveling from around the States, Canada, and Europe to share in the festive one-of-a-kind celebration, steeped in Polish folk traditions.
A Handmade Save-the-Date
The father of the bride, a former folk artist in Krakow, Poland, picked up his brush and painted a design on glass that incorporated photos the bride and groom took of each other, floral illustrations, and a crest. “We gave him direction as to the elements we wanted in it and some references, and he took it from there,” Jola said. “We're so grateful for him gracing us with his artwork for the announcement.” The final piece (which now hangs in the couple’s bedroom) was scanned and printed on card stock, with the wedding information typeset in both English and Polish on the back.
Inspired by her cousin’s wedding that took place in a small village near Krakow a few years prior, Jola incorporated several Polish details into her New England fete, which took place near where her parents currently live.
Tom designed the invites, which were then letterpressed by Cranky Pressman.
The bride wore Chanel shoes with beaded flowers on the front.
Jola’s sister and maid of honor, Lucyna, gave her a delicate handkerchief and a leaf she’d hand-painted on the big day.
A Sweet Ride
The bride and her father took a vintage Rolls Royce to the ceremony.
Two Little Ladies
Flower girls Izzy and Ava carried baskets dressed with doilies and feathers down the aisle, scattering white petals as they went.
The bride, wearing a veil from Gabriella, entered the ceremony on the arm of her father, Walter, as Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” played.
The couple became husband and wife with a full Catholic mass, witnessed by 135 of their nearest and dearest, in Jola’s family parish, St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Central Falls, Rhode Island.
It was all smiles as the married couple walked up the aisle.
The Reception Venue
The reception took place by the ocean, at Stone House, in Little Compton, Rhode Island.
This Way to the Party
Colorful signage made by the maid of honor directed guests to the festivities.
The venue’s large porch was a picturesque backdrop for some formal portraits, taken by photographer Erin McGinn.
Just Plain Cute
The flower girls and the bride wore matching floral crowns. Jola’s cascading bouquet included vibernum berry, tuberose, dahlias, figs, variegated tree ivy, roses, pepper berry, scented geranium, and blushing bride.
Jennie Kay Beauty braided the bride’s locks into a partial updo.
As guests arrived on the grounds of Stone House for cocktail hour, they were greeted with cups of Del’s lemonade.
"I wanted to make coasters that looked like real beer coasters, instead of coasters with just our names on it,” Tom said. “Sto lat" was like the beer "brand name" (it's a Polish toast, similar to the popular “cheers!”). The backside of the printed coasters outlined other popular Polish phrases.
Custom Can Coolers
The groom also designed sleeves for the beer cans to add to the festive nature of the day. In addition to sporting the couple’s names and wedding date, they also read “To have and to hold and to keep your beer cold!”
Fish and chips in cones of newsprint were among the passed hors d’oeuvres prepared by Russell Morin Fine Catering. Others included avocado panna cotta with local Jonah crab salad, Mission fig pizza, short rib sliders, and mini lobster rolls. A New England raw bar was also set up for guests to enjoy.
For dinner, guests dined on Italian wedding soup, roast chicken Provencal, truffle-dusted filet mignon, and butternut and mascarpone ravioli. The menu itself was designed, carved, and letterpressed by bridesmaid Roby Newton and placed at each table setting with a sprig of lavender.
The Tented Reception
A Different Kind of Tent
A small tepee, made by Jola’s sister, was set up for guests young and old.
The First Dance
The newlyweds spun around the dance floor to Jack Johnson’s “Banana Pancakes.”
Guests danced all night, with an after-party in the historic speakeasy in the basement of the reception venue, and then more revelry on the beach with Chinese wish lanterns lit and released into the night sky.
The four-tier white cake was layered with lemon and raspberry filling and covered in buttercream frosting. A vintage topper and fresh sprigs of local rosemary and lavender finished it off.
It was served with vanilla ice cream and traditional Polish wedding pastries made by the bride’s godmother and family friend. As the evening progressed, attendees sipped on Boston cream pie martinis and “grown-up” root beer floats, and made s’mores by the bonfire.
Jars of honey from Betty’s Bee Farm were finished with labels designed by the groom.