When Cara McLaughlin and Brandon Kenyon first began planning their wedding, one of the easiest decisions they made was choosing a location. South County, after all, is a place that’s been special to them for their entire lives.
“This is where we were born,” Cara recalls. “Most of our friends and family live here. We love the beaches and the people and the history of the area.”
Narragansett Beach, she says, is where her family surf, swim and go paddle boarding, and sharing the most special day of their lives away from that location just didn’t seem right.
“The North Beach Clubhouse was the first and only wedding venue we looked at,” she said. “It was intimate, it was on ‘our’ beach, and allowed for both indoor and outdoor views. We loved that the space held only 88 guests. It allowed for us to have an intimate ceremony with immediate family without giving up our ‘place’.”
Family was a theme of this wedding day and has been for the entirety of Cara and Brandon’s relationship. The pair was raised in South County and they met through mutual friends. And when Brandon got down on one knee and proposed during a house party for a Patriots game, all of their friends and family were there to witness it, including Brandon’s daughter Tayden, who held Cara’s hand as she said ‘yes.’
Cara and Brandon had a straight-forward vision for their wedding day. They were married at Hope Valley Baptist Church and they kept their focus on what mattered most: the start of their life together as a family.
“We wanted it to be local, special, and be us,” she said.
For Cara, that meant choosing a classic, 3/4 length lace gown with lace sleeves and a sweetheart neck line that was perfect for a November wedding on the beach. She found it at a trunk sale at Couture Bridal in East Greenwich. She kept the color scheme a simple emerald and gold and let her bridesmaids choose their own dresses as long as it matched the color scheme. The bride made her own centerpieces, based on beaches in Rhode Island, and even made the groomsmen boutonnieres herself.
As for the wedding day? Even though it was in the middle of November and a bit chilly, the sun was shining, everything went perfectly and Cara and Brandon had a day they will never forget.
Brandon says his favorite part of the day was his first dance with his new bride.
“I looked around and saw everyone we loved happy looking at us,” he recalls. “It was a solidifying moment.”
Cara, meanwhile, had two favorite moments on the happiest day of her life. The first was seeing her new stepdaughter’s face as she walked down the aisle. The second was later that night.
“We went into the bridal suite and ate pizza as husband and wife,” she said. “It was perfect, unexpected, and us.”