Courtney & Heitor

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“I grew up at my family’s cottage in Middletown and Heitor grew up in Portugal and spent most of his time on the beach,” says Courtney. “There is no better place to get married than on the waterfront.”

Heitor Santos & Courtney O’Neill on June 16, 2017

Originally published in the 2018 issue of Newport Wedding Magazine.

Virtual Cupid hit his mark when Heitor Santos, a native of Olhao, Portugal, met Weymouth, Massachusetts’s hometown girl Courtney O’Neill via an Internet dating site. “After connecting, we had our first date at the former People’s Café on Thames Street,” recalls the bride. “Our love grew over multiple fun and exciting dates and adventurous vacations.” After four years of dating, during a vacation to attend a friend’s wedding in Charleston, South Carolina, where the bride attended college, Heitor tried three different locations to pop the question. “First he was denied access to the rooftop of the Wentworth Mansion Inn, then the iconic pineapple fountain was closed for repairs,” she says. “Finally, we found ourselves [at] the beautiful Battery Park where, to my surprise, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Third time’s a charm!”

Beach Chic

While the couple didn’t start off with a specific theme, by the end of planning their wedding day, which took place eight months after getting engaged, most elements pointed to a coastal beach soiree. The bride’s family’s Middletown beach cottage served as the ceremony venue, while the reception was located down the street at The Newport Beach House. The creative groom designed and created the starfish boutonnières for himself and his groomsmen, whom he also gifted custom octopus cufflinks. The reception was sprinkled with blue wine bottles filled with twinkling lights and blue and green sea glass. Even the cake was decorated with edible sea glass!

Rosé All Day

The bride chose to complement her groom’s navy suit and rose bowtie with a bouquet of pink peonies, which she tied with a piece of her mother’s veil as her “something old.” The three-tiered wedding cake’s flavor was Rosé All Day and was made from Farmers Fizz sparkling rosé from Westport Rivers Winery. To keep things personal, the bridesmaids chose their own dresses. “Their guidelines were: it had to be short and within the rose gold and champagne family with some sequins.”

Fun & Games

The couple kicked off their festivities with a pedicab ride to the reception, complete with a “Just Married” sign. There, guests were greeted with a wedding day cornhole game and fun props for pictures, which were placed and signed in a scrapbook. The bar sported a fun-loving warning that read, “Our wedding will have an open bar. It will also be heavily photographed. Any drunken shenanigans will be documented and thoroughly mocked for years to come. Proceed with caution.”

Where Are They Now?

A resort in Antigua and Barbuda was the sunny location for the couple’s honeymoon. Afterwards, they returned to their home in New Bedford, Massachusetts, where Courtney is a trade show coordinator for the National Fire Protection Association and Heitor is the lead designer at Niche, Inc.

Featured Vendors

Bridal Gown: Madison James

Rehearsal Dinner: Salvation Café

Reception Venue: The Newport Beach House

Flowers: Ray’s Florist

Cake: Wingate’s Cake Design

Transportation: Newport Pedicab

Photographer: Maria Burton

Accommodations: The Atlantic Beach Hotel & Suites, Cambria Hotel & Suites

Tent Rental: Newport Tents

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