Photography by
Rebecca Arthurs Photography


Shannon Rigell & Taylor Smith

October 31, 2015 in Newport, Rhode Island


Shannon Rigell first spotted Taylor Smith outside the cafeteria when they were both students at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.

“I had never seen him before, and thought he was so cute and wondered who he was,” she says. “That following weekend, I was at a friend’s house and noticed the cute guy from the cafeteria was there too!”

After a brief introduction through a mutual friend, the two began seeing each other everywhere–from a Super Bowl party to a concert, where Shannon gave Taylor her phont number. On St. Patrick’s Day, they both ended up at a Waffle House and talked for hours. That night, Taylor realized he had found someone special; and for the past five years, the couple have been going to the Waffle House for dinner every St. Patrick’s Day.

Four years after their initial enounter, the two were celebrating a February engagement at a beautiful ranch in Franklin, TN.

“Taylor knew I had always wanted to get engaged after it had snowed, because I love the snow,” Shannon explains. “In Tennessee however, snow is a rarity. But Taylor made my dream come true regardless, by renting a snow machine and proposing in a perfect, snowy gazeebo.”

The wedding planning process began immediately, and the couple decided to host an October destination wedding at Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, RI.

“It was honestly the most beautiful and romantic place I think either of us could imagine,” says Shannon. “The inspiration for our wedding was timeless elegance. We were extremely lucky to work with such an incredible team of vendors, planners, and artists with amazing visions that helped make our day so personal and so incredible.”

The wedding day was surprisingly stress-free, with everything being perfectly planned out and organized. With feelings of butterflies and an overwhelming sense of happiness, the bride and groom were able to fully enjoy every part of their special day. The wedding décor included floral arrangements of white hydrangeas and peonies, and guests enjoyed tasty entrée options like braised short ribs – one of the couple’s favorite meals that they cook for each other on special occasions.

“One of the best moments was our first dance to ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ by Frank Sinatra,” Shannon says. “We hadn’t choreographed or practiced, so I was a little unsure of how it was going to go. The band did a fantastic job covering it, and the dance was so fun and ended in a dip and a kiss. We are truly grateful to have such a wonderful wedding at such a special place.”

>Written by: Lauren Malamala

Location: Rosecliff, The Preservation Society of Newport County Newport, RI; Caterer: Russell Morin Catering & Events Newport, RI; Planner: Wendy Joblon Events Newport, RI; Floral Design: Stoneblossom Floral & Event Design Warren, RI;
Rentals and Linen: Rentals Unlimited Newport, RI; Entertainment: Night Shift Entertainment Boston, MA; Wedding Dress: Oscar de la Renta; Hair: Jennie Kay Newport, RI; Makeup: Kim Wadsworth Norfolk, VA;