When Samantha Ogir and Kenny Botello went to a college party on February 14, 2010 during their freshman year at Boston University, neither of them had Valentines. Once they locked eyes, they knew that would no longer be the case. After taking a tequila shot to ease their nerves, the two spent the rest of the party talking before Kenny walked Samantha home. “When it was time to say goodbye, we shared our first kiss on the bench outside of my dorm and both agreed we didn’t want the night to end,” the couple reflects. “So, we spent the rest of the night talking and watching the sun rise together.” A few days later, they went on their first date. Five days after that, they were an item.
The couple decided to return to their old collegiate stomping grounds for a getaway with their friends over Labor Day weekend in 2018. On one of the evenings, Kenny planned a date night with Samantha in Boston’s Seaport district. Once they arrived, Kenny wanted to take some photos of the two of them while the sun set. “When I looked up, Kenny was on one knee, holding the most stunning ring,” Samantha recounts. “At this moment, I completely lost track of where we were or who was around us. I said ‘yes!’” The couple celebrated over dinner, and Samantha’s family even paid a surprise visit.
Samantha and Kenny knew they wanted Keri Ketterer Walter of Always Yours Events to help orchestrate their big day. “Keri is so much more than a wedding planner to us,” Samantha shares. “She’s known Kenny and I since we started dating over 11 years ago at Boston University, so we immediately knew she was the perfect person to help us plan our dream wedding that would reflect our love story.”
When a global pandemic interfered with their timeline, the couple was able to persevere thanks to their planner. “She was a calming and uplifting presence for us during a time when we needed exactly that,” Samantha reflects. “When our wedding day finally came, she went above and beyond to bring our vision to life and give us the happiest day of our lives.”
On July 2, 2021, Samantha and Kenny said “I do” in front of 140 guests at Rosecliff in Newport, Rhode Island. Keep reading to see the stunning details behind their big day, which was planned by Always Yours Events and photographed by Jessa Schifilliti.
The couple envisioned a romantic wedding with lush flowers, elegant décor, and personal details at the heart of their event. “We tried to make our wedding unlike any other by intentionally curating an awe-inspiring experience for our guests that featured little moments inspired by our love story, personal tastes, and favorite things,” the couple shares.
Drawing on inspiration from florals, the couple selected tones of white, cream, ivory, blush, rose, gold, and green for their color palette. Pale pink invitations, featuring their monogram and affixed with a wax seal, set the tone.
For the big day, the bride embraced a natural makeup look, with eyelash extensions and glowy highlighter adding a touch of glam. She wore her hair down in cascading curls and had a few strands pinned back with a Swarovski crystal hairpiece. “I knew I wanted a classic hairstyle that made me feel glamorous yet still like myself,” Samantha explains. A few coats of OPI Bubble Bath on her nails and a spritz of Chanel Chance Eau Tendre completed her beauty prep.
Samantha donned an off-the-shoulder lace ball gown featuring a sweetheart neckline and beaded embroidery by Eve of Milady. “I knew my dress was the one by the way it made me feel when I tried it on for the first time,” she reveals. “The intricate, stunning details on my dress invoked a feeling that made me feel like a beautiful bride. After trying it on, no other dress came close.”
The bride accentuated her gown with diamond drop earrings by Bridal Styles Boutique, a diamond tennis bracelet that Kenny gifted her for Christmas, a cathedral-length veil from Boutique de Voile, a monogrammed beaded clutch, and Christian Louboutin strappy heels.
A meaningful moment for Samantha was showing her dad the dress she was going to wear before they walked down the aisle together.
Samantha held a heart-shaped bouquet filled with white and light pink garden roses, quicksand roses, cathedral roses, spray roses, ranunculus, and sweet peas with a hint of greenery. She had the assortment tied with a silk dusty rose ribbon and an heirloom gold bracelet that belonged to her grandmother.
Kenny sported a custom-made black tuxedo by Joseph Abboud and patent leather tuxedo shoes by Christian Louboutin for his attire. He paired his look with a Rolex watch, a wedding present from Samantha. One essential part of his wedding prep was Elysium Pour Homme by Roja Parfums. “Kenny is a fragrance enthusiast and collector, so selecting his wedding day fragrance was something he was really excited about,” Samantha notes.
Our first look was so special because it gave us a moment to just be with each other and take it all in.
Before the ceremony, the couple shared an intimate first look in the venue’s gardens. “Our first look was so special because it gave us a moment to just be with each other and take it all in,” Samantha remarks.
Samantha’s bridesmaids complemented the color scheme and aesthetic in “whipped apricot” gowns by Jenny Yoo. “I encouraged my bridesmaids to choose a dress style that made them feel beautiful because it was important to me that they all felt beautiful and confident on our wedding day,” Samantha mentions. For accessories, they coordinated in nude block heels and pearl or gold studs.
The groomsmen were all clad in classic black tuxedos with matching bow ties from Men’s Wearhouse. Their white floral boutonnieres with a sprig of greenery coordinated with the bridesmaids’ elegant bouquets.
The duo held their ceremony in one of Rosecliff’s lavish rooms, complete with Gilded Age architecture. Pink and white roses, hydrangea, and larkspur with a touch of greenery lined the aisle. Gold chiavari chairs faced a deconstructed floral arch, which was arranged beneath a grand chandelier.
Samantha’s dad escorted her to the altar while Kina Grannis’s rendition of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” from Fools Rush In filled the room. Samantha’s walk down the aisle was the most memorable part of the day for her. “This moment was super emotional for me because it was highly anticipated, and the sentimental and magical feeling in the room from our loved ones confirmed that it was so worth the wait,” she reminisces.
The couple worked with their officiant to infuse the bride’s Mexican heritage and other personal elements into their ceremony. After reciting traditional vows, they shared love letters that they wrote to one another while sipping on a handpicked bottle of wine.
The newlyweds rejoiced as “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer wafted around them.
Mini bottles of champagne on a geometric gold shelf, adorned with greenery and floral arrangements, welcomed guests. Each boozy escort card invited guests to “Pop Botellos,” a nod to the groom’s last name. “Kenny’s last name, ‘Botello,’ sounds similar to the Spanish word, ‘botella,’ which means ‘bottle,’” Samantha explains. “Since we are champagne and tequila enthusiasts and both our families speak Spanish, we loved using these play-on words to personalize some elements of our wedding.”
The drinks didn’t stop there. The duo served up three signature cocktails, all inspired by special moments from their relationship. Kenny’s “Mango Mojito” represented their favorite date night cocktail in Boston when they were in college. Samantha’s “Pomegranate Margarita,” topped with an edible custom crest, replicated their favorite drink from Disney World—a spot they often visit together. Finally, Sophia’s “Rosé Sangria” captured their love for their puppy. Samantha and Kenny topped off the abundance of drinks with a champagne tower.
The newlyweds hosted their reception in the mansion’s dazzling ballroom. “Rosecliff is truly breathtaking and unlike any other venue in the Northeast,” Samantha expresses. “From the stunning marble and ornate details in the home to the dreamy ballroom and lush gardens set against the backdrop of Newport, it was the perfect location that would truly wow our guests.”
On round tables, tall floral arrangements popped against white tablecloths. Low centerpieces with neutral blooms and sandstone taper candles were scattered across the head table. Each place was set with gold-rimmed chargers, gold flatware, and monogrammed menu cards.
For their first dance, Samantha and Kenny swayed to “Speechless” by Dan + Shay.
“The easiest and most fun part of planning our wedding was partnering with our caterer, Russell Morin, to create our custom menu and signature cocktails,” Samantha says. Since trying new restaurants has been a pivotal part of their relationship, the duo knew they wanted the food at their wedding to make a splash. Guests dined on a caesar salad for their starter, followed by grilled ribeye steak with chive chimichurri and crispy onion (Kenny’s favorite meal), roast chicken provençal, or wild mushroom ravioli for the main course.
To satisfy their sweet tooth, the couple chose a four-tier floral confection with crème brûlée cake (their favorite dessert), pastry cream custard filling, and caramel buttercream.
At the end of the night, Samantha and Kenny fueled their guests with New York-style pizza, which they named “Sophia’s Pizza” after their dog. They served the slices with custom napkins that included a “note” from Sophia, which said “I Love You With Every Pizza My Heart.”
After laughing along to speeches and dancing the night away, the couple jetted off to Cancun for a minimoon and Italy for their honeymoon. While Samantha and Kenny had a blast at their wedding, what made it such a fulfilling experience was bonding during the planning stages. “My one piece of wisdom to couples currently planning would be to enjoy every moment planning with your fiancé,” Samantha advises. “While it could get overwhelming at times, we made it fun by celebrating with a glass of champagne or date night every time we crossed something big off our to-do list.”