Fashion Designers Wed in Glamorous Black-and-Gold-Themed Event

Kim & Janet

September 27, 2015 • Newport, Rhode Island

By Rachael Devaney | Wedding photography by Sara Zarrella Photography

While fashion designers Kim Barbieri and Janet Howard are longtime business partners, it wasn’t until same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide that the duo catwalked down the wedding runway.

For Kim, it was never a question of “if” she would marry Janet—it was “when.”

With plenty of peace of mind, Kim asked Janet to marry her five years and one day after they first met, and the New Yorkers moved forward with a lavish wedding ceremony and reception at Belle Mer. The venue offers dramatic views of Narragansett Bay, seven acres of perfectly manicured green lawns, as well as the Water Salon with 50-foot ceilings and crystal chandeliers. Kim and Janet’s 120 guests stayed at the venue’s Island House, described as having the “charm of the ocean” with a “modern flair.”

Chinese lanterns adorned the grounds, and there was a roaring fire for the ceremony. “Everything was stunning and fabulous,” says Kim. “It was like a magical fairy tale for both of us.”

During the cocktail hour, guests, who were all dressed in black, lounged on white leather couches paired with gold footstools. Designed to look like an enchanted forest, the lounge and reception space were filled to the brim with flowers.

As the evening continued with an elegant reception, the couple appeared at the top of the ballroom’s grand staircase and were introduced as “Mrs. and Mrs.” With the wedding party following close behind, Kim and Janet swayed slowly to Etta James’ “At Last” for their first dance.

“Janet and I waited half our lifetimes to even be able to consider getting married,” Kim says. “At last, yes, at last, we found love, companionship, and had all our closest friends and family there to support us and celebrate our love.”

Featured Vendors

PHOTOGRAPHER Sara Zarrella Photography

LOCATION Belle Mer, Newport, RI


LINEN RENTALS Rentals Unlimited

FLORIST Flowers by Semia


BRIDAL GOWN Vera Wang, NYC | ACCESSORIES Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Veil: Vera Wang, NYC / Jewelry: Tiffany & Co.

BRIDAL TUX Jack Silver Formal Wear | ACCESSORIES Barney’s New York, NYC

HAIR + MAKEUP STYLIST Ana Webber & Jen Ohl

RINGS Tiffany & Co.


ENTERTAINMENT Murray Hill Talent

TRANSPORTATION Newport Limousine Service, LLC


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