Colleen & Sean

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Colleen Riley & Sean Thompson on October 24, 2018

By Nolan Christopher Wills / Originally published in the August 2019 edition of Newport Life magazine

They say the most enduring relationships blossom from a foundation built on friendship. This proved true when Colleen Riley moved to Providence and met Sean Thompson through a mutual friend and spent the ensuing year as friends. Around Colleen’s birthday, however, Sean asked her out on a date. From that laugh-filled evening on, the two were inseparable, eventually moving in together and even adopting a puppy named Beckham. On Colleen’s 30th birthday, Sean booked a romantic dinner at the Castle Hill Inn, and it was there that he popped the question. After a big “YES!” from Colleen, lots of happy tears and a little champagne, the newly engaged couple headed to Colleen’s parents’ house to continue the celebration. They shared the news with friends and family the next day at a surprise party Sean had planned at Newport Polo.


“When it came to planning the wedding, Newport was an obvious choice. Sean’s family had spent a little time there already and quickly fell in love, just as much as Colleen’s family.”

Honoring The Past

Colleen and Sean decided to exchange vows at the same location where her parents got married decades earlier, Our Lady of Mercy Chapel. Colleen’s alabaster satin gown by Stella York suited the regal setting, and was complemented by Sean’s navy blue Tommy Hilfiger tuxedo — both looks reflecting modern elegance.


At the Atlantic Resort in Middletown, the tables were set with tall metal pedestals cradling dark greenery and pops of red and ivory roses, while gold place settings and other metallic elements complemented the overall ambience. Guests were invited to affix their wishes for the couple to a charming gold Wish Tree, while a floral wall featuring an initial T set in flowers stood behind the sweetheart table.

Dance It Off

The 250 guests enjoyed a celebratory dinner followed by a heavenly cupcake bar. Those calories were immediately burned off on a packed dance floor. The good food, charming décor and pulsating music proved potent enough to cancel out the alarming weather outside. “It was terrible weather, almost hurricane status,” Colleen recalls. “But that didn’t stop us — we danced through the rain!”

Where Are They Now?

After an unforgettable honeymoon in Bali, the Thompsons returned home to Providence. Colleen works as a Brand Manager for UNFI, Inc., while Sean serves as a Director of New Student Programs at UMASS in Boston.

Featured Vendors

Photographer: Tiffany Axtmann
Bridal Gown: Stella York
Tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse & Tommy Hilfiger
Rings: Brilliant Earth
Invitations: Christine Skibski
Rehearsal Dinner: Salvation Cafe
Ceremony Venue: Our Lady of Mercy Chapel at Salve Regina
Reception Venue & Caterer: The Atlantic Resort
Hair, Makeup & Nails: B Lovely Studios
Flowers: Creative Ambiance Events
Cake: Cupcakes by Sugar Mamas
Reception entertainment: DJ Corey Young
Videographer: Jesse Dufault
Wedding Night Stay, Guest Accommodations: The Atlantic Resort

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