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An Elegant Wedding at Rosecliff That Weaved Jewish, Catholic, Chinese, and Thai Traditions Together

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Snap Weddings

There was never a formal proposal between Tanatee Timothy Dejsiriudom, a chef at Nougatine at Jean-Georges, and Jonathan Michael Lewis, a marketing director at Revlon. After first meeting at one of their favorite nightclubs, XL, the years passed by, and the two understood that they were soulmates. Once the two moved in together, they had their families fly in and meet each other. Toward the end of the visit, both sides toasted Tim and Jonathan’s upcoming marriage.

In the early years of their courtship, the couple visited Newport, Rhode Island for Tim’s birthday and found themselves at Rosecliff. The two joked that it would be a dream to get married there one day, and eventually, they made it a reality. “Rosecliff, which looks a bit like an angel food cake, was built in 1902 and was purposed to be the party house of Newport’s Gilded Age,” Jonathan explains. Designed by Stanford White, the home was also used as Jay Gatsby’s home in the 1974 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

Once the Rosecliff was booked for November 2, 2019, the pair worked with Sayles Livingston Design for a year to “mirror a Dutch master painting come to life as a 21st-century wedding,” Tim notes. In the reception space, pink, blue, and yellow florals complemented gold chandeliers illuminated by snowy white crystals, and Tim added still life scenes of fresh fruit, seashells, birds, and butterflies in bell jars to the tables. To get guests excited about the big celebration, Peach Tao illustrated beautiful save the dates, and The Whitney Shop made a lovely invitation suite.

On the Friday night before the ceremony, the couple hosted their welcome party at The Vanderbilt. Tim and Jonathan wore custom jackets from one of Bangkok’s most notable Sukhumvit tailors, Beethoven, made with butterfly pea-dyed fabric purchased from Tim’s father’s hometown in Thailand. Jonathan put on a blazer, while Tim donned the traditional Thai suea phraatchathan (royally-bestowed shirt). Kicking off the party with a Chinese tea ceremony, the couple paid respects to their elder family members and received red envelopes in return. This was followed by the lighting of the Shabbat candles and blessings over the wine and bread. After speeches and dancing later that evening, the two retired to prepare for their big day.

As Tim and Jonathan shared an aesthetic vision rooted in American classicism and timeless elegance for their wedding, they chose Brooks Brothers to outfit them in two black tuxedos with satin lapels. “To add a little twist, I wore a pair of fun Gucci black patent leather lace-up shoes, while Jonathan wore a pair of minimalistic Ferragamo black leather shoes,” Tim shares. “The shoes were a way for us to subtly cue our different personalities.”

On the day-of, the grooms got ready with The Best of You, who gave them both polished and handsome beauty looks. For their “something old,” Tim wore pearl cufflinks from Jonathan’s Greek-Israeli grandmother and Jonathan had gold Mexican peso cufflinks from his Polish-Israeli grandfather. Tiffany & Co. necklaces from 1837 were gifted by Jonathan’s father and his wife to be their “something new.” Tim’s parents’ let the couple borrow their diamond wedding bands for “something borrowed,” and finally, Tim’s mother gifted her son her sapphire engagement ring on a silver chain as “something blue” and Tim lent his midnight blue Chopard watch to Jonathan.

The ceremony—officiated by Jonathan’s mother’s fiancé Dr. Robert Wachbroit—included a harmonious mix of Jewish and Catholic traditions. Harpist Hyun Jung Choi played Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major,” as everyone descended the heart-shaped stairs to the altar. “The overwhelming feeling for me during the ceremony, and for the entire weekend, was a deep, deep satisfaction,” Jonathan explains. “Early in my life I had forsaken the idea of marriage, mostly because it was not an option. Once I met Tim, I understood that by forsaking marriage I was shortchanging my own life experience.”

Near the end of the service, the two exchanged engraved Cartier Trinity wedding bands. “These three colored rings represent values we choose to cherish in our marriage: Yellow gold for fidelity, white gold for friendship, and rose gold for love,” Jonathan explains. After joyously stomping the glass, the married couple exited the salon room to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

On the back terrace, cocktail hour began, and guests had fun at the photo booth with a pink sequin backdrop. Then Jenny Zuerner from the Newport Preservation Society opened the ballroom doors to reveal the heavenly reception space. The newlyweds took to the middle of the room for their first dance to “Thank You For the Music” from the Mamma Mia! film soundtrack. And then they started the Hora that swept the whole room into a frenzy. After the festive Jewish dance, everyone was hungry for the multi-course meal, prepared by The Catered Affair.

Following dinner, Tim and Jonathan thanked their family and guests and surprised everyone with a duet of Kacey Musgraves’s “Rainbow” at the piano. Afterward, Jonathan’s mother joined him for a dance to Billy Joel’s “Love You Just the Way You Are,” followed by Tim and his mother dancing to beloved Chinese song “The Moon Represents My Heart” by Teresa Tseng.

Later on, the dessert room was opened, revealing the sweet treats that the couple worked with Confectionery Designs for months to curate. Guests enjoyed plates full of mango sticky rice with jasmine coconut creme, swan eclairs with rose cream, and the wedding cake—made up of vanilla pound cake with rose cream and rainbow Funfetti and chocolate cake with orange blossom cream and fresh strawberries. “We fed each other slices of happiness as ‘Moon River’ played, and our friends told us that we looked Kennedyesque at this moment,” Tim recalls.

Following the celebrations in the dance hall with DJ Vito Fun, the new mister and mister headed back to The Vanderbilt to change into disco chic outfits. Once ready, they joined the Saturday night revelers at the local club The Boom-Boom Room. Jonathan concludes, “There, we thrashed and together we all moved as if the sun would never rise.”