Marissa Giammarco & Kyle Sawaia

Follow the adventures of our Diary of a Newport Wedding, featuring an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look into all of the coordination, planning, and excitement leading up to Marissa Giammarco and Kyle Sawaia’s big day!

October 2017

Who we are and how we met

My fiancé, Kyle, and I met in 2007, when we were both performing in Providence bands. My pop/rock band was looking for a new drummer, and one of my bandmates suggested Kyle because his drumming skills were very impressive. Kyle decided to join our band and that was it. We fell in love with each other’s creativity and passion for the arts.

In 2010 Chloe Grace Sawaia was born and our beautiful daughter became our number one priority and the light of our life. Since then, I put down the microphone, picked up a makeup brush, and I became a certified makeup artist for M.A.C. Cosmetics. During my time there I’ve had the opportunity to work on numerous major motion pictures that filmed in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Being a computer science major, Kyle works as a senior programmer for a mental health facility, still plays drums in many bands, and most recently started his own custom music company called Flexotracks, creating music for television and film.

I believe our creativity truly brought us together. We’re parents, business associates and most of all best friends that can’t wait to be husband and wife.

Where I said, “yes!” 

Christmas Eve has been my favorite day of the year ever since I can remember. I usually never do, but this particular Christmas Eve, I had to work right up until the festivities began. Anxiously driving home that evening, I had to pick up pies and wrap my head around getting myself and our six-year-old daughter “Christmas party” ready within an hour. As I stumbled up the steps with my pies, Kyle said, “Come and see the tree; Chloe made you a special ornament.” I walked over to the tree in a hurry and started looking around in almost a frustrated way….IMG_2633

Read the full October Diary entry here.


November 2017

Choosing our venue

From the moment I stepped foot in Belle Mer I knew it was where I was meant to get married. A venue by the ocean is so serene and comforting and Bell Mer’s clean look is the perfect blank slate for our personal touches. As for the date, we agreed upon May 12, 2018. May in Newport is ideal because it’s not too hot, not too cold, the flowers are starting to bloom and spirits are starting to lift after the long winter months.



Picking a photographer

For us, picking a photographer was a simple task. We knew right off the bat Mel Colvin was the way to go considering she shot many of our friends weddings and we have always been impressed by her beautiful work. She did a stunning job with our engagement photos and I’m looking forward to meeting with her to come up with ideas for our big day!

Read the full November Diary entry here.

December 2017

Save The Date

Thanks to Park Printers, our Save the Dates came out absolutely amazing. Its a family owned shop run by Kyle’s father, Peter Sawaia, and uncle, Mark Sawaia, in Pawtucket, RI. I simply described my vision and they ran with it! I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. We sent them out mid-November, six months ahead of our big day. I felt that was enough time in advance without it being “too soon.”

Newport Wedding Magazine



We heard from friends and relatives that Golden Gate Studios was the way to go for floral arrangements, and after seeing that they dress Belle Mer quite often, we decided to have a meeting. Before we went, Kyle and I knew literally nothing about flowers. What I did know is that I wanted lanterns, lanterns and more lanterns.

Read the full December Diary entry here.

January 2018


Joining Kyle and I for the tasting were my mom, Dianne, stepmother, Johanne and my dad, Frank. To begin, we sat at the table and went through the sequence of events with our Belle Mer planner, Ashly, before delving into the samples we picked out a few weeks prior.
As soon as they brought out the hors d’oeurves selection, we knew it was going to be good. Every single thing we chose to try was phenomenal. We went with crab crusted local cod and grilled filet mignon for the entree, and they did not disappoint! We tried four different cake flavors and ended up going with the “Lemon Love” cake. It’s light and fluffy, ideal after a decadent meal. We were stuffed to the brim by the end.
We recently met with  DJ Kenny Ferrara. Kenny owns Elite Entertainment, RI and is a favorite to many wedding couples both past and present. He’s providing us with beautiful up lighting that will add to Belle Mer’s beauty and elegance during the reception.
What I love about Kenny is he really gets my “vibe.” I want certain styles of music played for the ceremony and cocktail hour, as well as many surprises throughout the night. I know he’s on it!

Read the full January Diary entry here.

February 2018

It’s official
One chilly morning we drove up to North Shore, Massachusetts, to meet with our officiant, Mr. John Cena Sr. He walked in the door and immediately greeted us before walking up to the counter in the coffee shop to pay for every single person’s order in line behind him. This is the kind of man Mr. Cena is, and exactly what we were looking for in an officiant: charming and kind.  He’s also pretty hilarious. Most people know him as John Cena, the “wrestler’s dad,” as did Kyle and I until that day. We talked for more than two hours, going over different ceremony ideas as well as chatting on a personal level. You can tell he truly loves what he does. I don’t know if people typically get that close and comfortable with their wedding officiant, but we had an awesome experience with him and cannot wait for him to marry us. After our meeting we went outside and snapped a picture with John Cena’s championship belts. So many more fun surprises are in store with him.
Diary of a Newport Wedding
Flower girl fitting
Chloe was in heaven when we went to find her dress. She tried on about ten different styles and of course loved every one. I on the other hand, fell in love with just one. I wanted her dress to reflect mine without it being exactly the same. I think we conquered that goal with her white princess-style dress and pink flower details. She can’t wait for everyone to see the one we chose.
Diary of a Newport Wedding
I had way too much fun shopping for my decor at PEAK Event Services. I wanted to keep the colors simple and elegant, but also want everything to sparkle and shine during the reception. I chose a white, lightly-patterned tablecloth with a slight silver shimmer. I brought in a modern feel with the clear silver beaded charger plate and incorporated blush pink napkins. We picked out modern furniture to fill the spaces in Belle Mer’s Island House and chose a farm table for the sweetheart table. I was really digging the rustic vibe with the farmhouse table! The flowers and centerpieces will bring in additional colors and complete the look of the room. I can’t wait to see it all come together.

Read the full February Diary entry here.

March 2018

Bridal Shower Weekend
I can’t remember the last time I beautified myself as much as I did the day before my bridal shower. Friday consisted of a full set of nails and pedicure, followed by an amazing hair appointment and ended with a golden spray tan. That night I was restless and didn’t get much sleep due to the exciting thoughts going through my head about the shower.

Saturday morning came and the beautification process continued with getting my makeup done. I’m a professional makeup artist, so beautifying other people is what I do for a living. However, when it comes to important life events, sometimes you just need the pampering for yourself. After I was done, I got Chloe party-ready, jumped into my dress, tousled my hair and ran out the door.

We arrived at Cafe Nuovo in Providence at 11am and the guests were due to arrive at 11:30am. The minute I entered the room I felt surrounded by pure beauty and elegance. My mother and sister did a phenomenal job of decorating while keeping it simple and tasteful, much like what I’m going for at our wedding. Speaking of tasteful, the gourmet brunch was outstanding. There was everything from french toast and eggs to salmon and pastas. My maid of honor and sister took over with having everyone play the “what’s in your purse” game. My mother in law-to-be won by a landslide!

The afternoon continued with opening gifts and a decadent dessert buffet. Of course, Kyle fulfilled his duties and showed up to help transport all the decorations and gifts back home. I’m so grateful to all my amazing friends and family that came to celebrate my day. I was truly showered like a princess.
The day after the shower, Chloe turned 8 years old. We had a movie party for her at the Showcase Cinemas. It ended up being a wild weekend full of gifts and celebrations.
Life in Newport
Newport is becoming a second home for me. I had the opportunity this past month to work on the movie, Anastasia, which was filmed in Rosecliff mansion. It was a chance to experience a fairytale come to life and it felt symbolic of my wedding journey. As I drove down Bellevue Avenue in the morning all I could think about was my upcoming nuptials, primarily about how close they are and the fact that I’m getting married exactly where I always dreamed.
First Dress Fitting
I trusted my alterations with Sewing Creations by Rose in East Greenwich. Rose has a beautiful space to work with and she was delightful. She told me she has yet to see someone in my Hayley Paige gown and that it’s truly one of a kind. That meant a lot to me coming from someone who sees her fair share of dresses. She had me wear my wedding shoes while she cut the length of the dress and soon after, I could practically run in it.
Next up…
Rose will be taking my dress in a bit. I can’t wait to see how it looks at my next fitting in April. My mother and sister will accompany me and they’ll get fitted for their dresses, too!

Stay tuned each month for Marissa & Kyle’s adventures in wedding planning!