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Years After Sparks Flew on “The Perfect Date,” This Couple Exchanged Vows in Newport

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Stephanie Vegliante

|Planning by 

Leila James Events

If you have ever seen Miss Congeniality, you’d know that April 25 is the perfect date according to Miss Rhode Island. Genevieve Begy, general manager of The Kit, and Michael McCann can verify firsthand—it’s also the day they had their first date after meeting at an underground craft beer food hall in Toronto.

Two-and-a-half years later, Mike surprised Evie with a proposal at the Driehaus Museum in Chicago. Evie turned around to find him in front of Charlotte Major Wylie’s Wanderer in Elysian Fields. He explained how the painting reminded him of her: strong, independent, forging her own path. It symbolized an equal partnership. “We walked into the museum [as] boyfriend and girlfriend and left engaged,” she recalls. “Mr. Driehaus sent us a thoughtful congratulatory gift. It was so special.”

Choosing a destination for their wedding proved to be a unique puzzle to solve. Tradition suggests selecting the bride’s hometown, but Evie grew up all over the world. The closest place to that feeling of belonging was Newport, Rhode Island. Her great-grandparents first moved there after WWII. Her grandparents may have lived in Canada, but they would always bring her and her siblings back to Rhode Island for the summer. Since Mike’s parents live in Vancouver and love the ocean, they both agreed that Newport would be the perfect destination for both sides to enjoy.

During those Rhode Island summers, Evie and her parents would tour the Newport mansions through the Preservation Society of Newport County. In 1997, while visiting Rosecliff Mansion, seven-year-old Evie declared to her parents that she would someday get married on the heart-shaped staircase. In 2022, her prophecy came true.

It should be noted, though, that their date was originally scheduled for 2021, but the pandemic forced them to reschedule. “Our wedding planner, Sarah Heaney at Leila James Events, had every vendor rebooked within 24 hours for August 12, 2022,” Evie says. “The power of an extraordinary planner should never be underestimated!”

“Our entire wedding experience was rooted in memories—memories of the past and present, and things we hope to experience in our future,” Evie notes. Every decision behind the black-tie event was purposeful. The Sayles Livingston florals were chosen to resemble the blue hydrangeas outside of Evie’s aunt’s inn on Pelham Street. “Sarah and I built a cohesive concept where the blue hydrangeas would balance the sky mural in Rosecliff, and the white hydrangeas on the terrace would balance the clouds outside,” she adds. “The creative concept—from monograms to linens and vases—was developed around the various shades of blue you see in a New England summer.” To balance the casual, relaxed tone of hydrangeas, they created a dichotomy with gilded glamour: gilded gold accents, textured white and cream linens, tonal blue rentals, and maroon touches.

“From there, all of the details were cheekily tied back to us and our relationship: our monogram had a subtle shark fin from our first couple’s Halloween costume, which carried over to stir sticks, napkins, and menus; the tables were named after our favorite Newport mansions, each tied back to the personality of the people at the table; the brownie on our dessert table was the recipe gifted to us from the Palmer House Hotel from our engagement celebration; the cake had secret love notes hidden inside it that we had written to each other,” Evie explains. The wedding resembled the de facto theme of “whimsical elegance.”

Evie honored the people and places integral to her life through her bridal wardrobe. “The president of the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards, Vicky Milner, gave me a shortlist of Canadian designers to explore for my gown but specifically told me she thought I would love Ines Di Santo,” she recalls. When she visited their headquarters in Toronto and tried on an ivory Alençon lace gown with a cathedral train, she knew it was “the one.” Her mother’s wedding dress even featured a similar silhouette, 42 years earlier. Evie slid on golden Louboutin heels and her white gold earrings from her 21st birthday to pull the traditional—with a twist—look together.

Her bespoke veil was constructed from her mother’s veil, which had been worn by her aunt and sister as well. By now, it was damaged and a shade of white that didn’t match her gown, but Evie had to wear it. “I worked with a local Canadian veil designer for more than a year, as she painstakingly took every appliqué from my mother’s veil and re-envisioned it into a 2022 piece,” she divulges. Her second dress of the evening honored her parents’ town of Chicago. Designer Azeez Khan personally created the celestial-themed number with under-layer tulle from Evie’s mother’s veil.

Evie got ready in Sleeper pajamas, Nicola Bathie x Antonio Melani shoes, and an appropriate “BRIDE” bracelet from Over The Moon. Cassandra Broccoli styled the bride’s hair in glam waves, and Glamour Cosmetics made her eyes pop.

The bridesmaids stood by Evie’s side in navy Amsale dresses. Mikey sported a Ralph Lauren Purple Label. Their flower girls and ring bearer donned outfits from Monsoon London, another nod to Evie’s upbringing.

The bride’s 93-year-old grandfather opened the procession with a big smile and a hydrangea on his cane. The meaningful 35-minute Catholic ceremony followed with Father Mark Sauriol of St. Mary’s Church as their officiant. The bride and groom spent the entire service beaming, as seen in the photos by Stephanie Vegliante.

Trollies transported guests to Rosecliff for an oceanside cocktail hour. Once there, guests entered the grand ballroom for speeches, dinner by Blackstone Caterers, cake by Confectionery Designs, and dancing. The music for the wedding was key, and Mike expertly found the band, Sound of Newport. The newlyweds shared their first dance to Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The party closed with chants of “One more song, one more song!”