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A Summer Hail Storm Surprised This Couple at Their Wedding on The Chanler Lawn

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Erin McGinn Photography

Samantha Greymont, a professional dancer and teaching artist, and Nicholas Espinoza, who works in Intelligence and National Defense, had a New York City college romance. They went to different schools, but during the first weekend of freshman year, Sam’s roommate introduced them, since she and Nick grew up in Los Angeles. After a fun rooftop party in Brooklyn, where he was DJ-ing, he wasted no time and asked Sam on an “official” date the next morning. “I knew she was special from the first time I saw her but tried to play it cool,” he says.

We got coffee and sat at the pond in Central Park watching the turtles and sharing stories. Nick offered to walk me home all the way across town to the Upper East Side, and I knew then that I wanted to see him again,” she says. Because the two essentially felt like they grew up together, they were in no rush to get engaged, and after 10 years, he asked her to marry him under the arch in Washington Square Park. 

On her search for her gown, Sam always knew she wanted to wear a long-sleeved dress but didn’t want her look to be too heavy for her June wedding. Shay Yarbrough at Kleinfeld Bridal helped her find her Reem Acra dream gown. “The full, A-line gown had a skin-tone lining and high neckline and was covered by archival lace adorned with delicate pearls,” the bride says. The groom kept it simple with a custom tuxedo from Indochino with a bow tie.

For the wedding location, Sam had always loved Newport, Rhode Island, since her parents got engaged there, so they decided to have their big day in the romantic, seaside town. Overlooking Easton Beach, the couple fell in love with The Chanler at Cliff Walk, with its stunning grounds and gardens, and took over the entire hotel for the weekend. “Each of the 20 rooms in the mansion-turned-hotel are uniquely decorated in different period styles and have stunning views of the ocean. It was easy to play off of the tradition, romance, and classic charm of The Chanler. I drew from this while designing and styling the ceremony and reception alongside my vendors,” Sam says. The bride also relied on her aunt to help make sure everything came together perfectly. 

On the day-of, Sam’s makeup artist from Jennie Kay Beauty kept her makeup simple and natural and styled her hair in a sleek low bun with a middle part. The bridesmaids complemented the bride well in Lela Rose slip-style gowns with pearl necklines and drop pearl earrings by Cloverpost. And then it was time to head to the aisle!

Stoneblossom Floral and Event Design created a lush floral display for the ceremony with hydrangeas, peonies, ranunculuses, and other white flowers and greenery. However, the day took a turn when a surprise hail storm commenced, as the two were about to start their vows. In a last-minute decision, everyone moved from the lawn to the terrace, and their officiant, Nick’s mentor, Greg Barbaccia, continued in a drier setting. “A nautical saying from a family friend circulated during the ceremony— ‘A wet knot ties tighter.’ Thank you for that! I’ll admit that Sam’s vows choked me up. I think at one point I was gripping the handrail and trying my best to keep a straight face,” the groom says.

Once the two were announced as Mr. and Mrs., a cocktail hour on the terrace began with signature Aperol spritzes and gin and tonics. For dinner, guests moved under the sailcloth tent on the lawn. The Boston String Quartet played “All of the Lights” by Kanye West, as they newlyweds made their grand entrance, and they continued providing classical and contemporary tunes throughout the evening.

After dinner, everyone went back to the terrace, where the bride and groom cut their cake, with alternating layers of lemon chiffon and fresh berries and Oreo fillings, by Confectionary Designs. Before moving inside to start the party with DJ Mista Selecta, the couple had their first dance to “You’re All I Need to Get By” by Marvin Gaye. “We wanted to use an upbeat and fun song to dance to. Immediately following our first dance, the DJ played ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ by The Supremes, and all of our guests joined in dancing,” Sam says.

To keep everyone happy and fueled as it got darker outside, grilled cheeses with bacon and truffle french fries were available to guests as late night snacks. The night perfectly ended with a few close friends lounging in Adirondack chairs cozily around a fire pit.