It was a normal day in the office…phone calls, scheduling events in the calendar, and emails, upon emails! There was one email in particular that caught my eye “The Ocean House, VIP Event and an overnight stay”. Say what?! Bright eyed and bushy tailed, I continue to read on… “We are so excited to announce our annual 2015 Wedding FAM. We hand selected a group of industry friends to get away with us to highlight all of the incredible features of the Ocean House, Weekapaug Inn and Watch Hill Inn locations”.
All I could think was… little ol’ me just got invited to attend a two day event at The Ocean House, how exciting!? But, how and who did they decide to invite? Where does Blissful Events fall into the radar? Blissful Events has been up and running for four years now… people keep saying to me, “Girl, you’re running with the big dogs, when are you going to realize that”?! My response now: When Ocean House sends you a VIP invite!? With that said, I am truly blessed and more than happy with where the business is now- especially in regard to how fast it has grown. It all began after a lot of thought, long conversations with my husband and let’s not forget several glasses of wine; we decided it was time, time for me to go out on my own. I had lived in Rhode Island long enough, have a plethora of experience under my belt and strong relationships with Rhode Island vendors, it only seemed fitting to start my very own Event Planning business. After the initial startup, I remember sitting at my dining room table on quiet September day, thinking to myself…WHAT HAVE I DONE??
Getting there is half the battle…thanks to Ocean House, it was the only battle!
That very same question applied when I received my invite from The Ocean House. They were offering the Wedding FAM event on two different dates, so I checked my calendar. Determined the March dates were going to work best for me, I then sent my rsvp. Needless to say… the day of, I woke up knee deep in snow. A snowstorm was headed our way… who would’ve thought we would be getting MORE snow in March? Seriously?! Considering all the snow we had received thus far…I should have planned for it. Just another chapter to add to the book! Yes, one day I will write a tell-all about the crazies, and the craziness that comes along with being a Wedding Planner (there are some doozies!).
They were calling for 1-3 inches, possibly 6 near the coast. No problem, I can do this! I’ll take the hubby’s 4-wheel drive. A little snow isn’t going to stop this Kansas girl! Umm… Let’s just say it didn’t stop snowing and almost stopped me! I white-knuckled it all the way there; in what usually is a 35 minute drive turned into over an hour. When I arrived I was greeted by two very kind gentlemen, they asked me how I was feeling and the only word that came out of my mouth was, “Stress”! They helped me out of the truck, retrieved my bag, and walked me to the front door. From there I was taken to check-in where they asked me if I would like a bottle of water or a glass of champagne. “Champagne please!” I mean who doesn’t love a glass of champagne? Clearly I needed something to relax!
Due to weather, the day was naturally running behind. I was escorted to my room in a gorgeous elevator cart. The interior of the elevator was from the original hotel that was built in 1868. Walking down the hall to my room, I noticed all the beautiful art work and how quiet and cozy it felt. My room was absolutely beautiful! A king size bed, sitting area with a view of the ocean, and Taylor Swift’s house. I waived, but I’m not sure anyone was home? There was an opening in the wall with beautiful shutter doors showcasing a deep soaker tub, marble sink and glass closed-in shower. The honeycomb tile work on the floor was impressive, making it feel like a part of history, in a modern day design of course.
Once everyone was settled, we met in the lobby and were greeted by Tonianne Scotto, Senior Manager of Meetings and Special Events. Toni was an absolute delight; her personality was warm and welcoming. We started our afternoon in the Club Room with a wine and cheese tasting; three local wines paired with three complimenting cheeses, provided by local purveyors. Cheese and wine!…You are talking my language! At this time we were able to learn more about the hotel, the history and what they offer to their modern day guests. After the tasting we went on a tour of the hotel; viewing some of the residential suites. All I have to say is AHHHMAZING! The design, the layout, the views; were all meticulously thought out and executed to the highest degree.
We ended our evening with dinner in the ballroom. Cornel Mustard you may ask? No… the Butler service. Again, we were offered champagne and white wine. The room was beautiful! An orange glow from the uplighting provided by Jack Falvey Associates, instantly made the room feel warm and welcoming – exactly what everyone needed on that cold, snowy night. A long banquet table was draped in “Eden” and “Lane Venice” linens accompanying “Belle “elongated chairs from Rentals Unlimited. Beautiful flowers were arranged by Broadview Florist. Each place setting featured a menu card, showcasing not one but four courses we were about to experience from The Ocean House’s renowned banquet Chef, Michael Shields.
As we were wined and dined, the glowing lights slowly changed from one color to another, like magic. The presentation of the food was immaculate, showcasing exactly how they present during an event. The courses were not only pretty to look at but absolutely delicious! A conversation was had by all. I got to know Toni, Cindy and Bruno much better and more about their roles at The Ocean House as well as the many other vendors invited to the event; Amazing Celebrations, C&G New York & Falvey Associates.
The next morning we gathered bright and early to be shuttled over to the Weekapaug Inn, (the Ocean House’s sister property) for breakfast and a tour of the Inn by Mark Bullinger, Naturalist & Director of Recreation. Mark had a wealth of information about activities that the Inn offers; offering to both the guests of the Weekapaug Inn and The Ocean House. Having spent a lot of time on Block Island – living, working and marrying a BI local, it feverishly reminded me of the coast, the historical island itself, and made everything that much more personal!
On our way back to the Ocean House we had about an hour before checking out. I decided to soak up that last hour to myself and enjoy the beautiful room I had the pleasure of staying in. At the appointed check out time, I grabbed my belongings and headed down to the lobby. Upon check out I was given a large packet of information to take home and review. This included everything you need to know about hosting a wedding or event at The Ocean House.
As the sun was shining and the roads cleared, I drove back home feeling refreshed, and pampered with much more knowledge about what The Ocean House and it’s sister properties have to offer.