Guests were welcomed through old picket gates weathered by years of salt and wind. Vintage depression glasses placed on an old farm table allowed guests to sip lemonade and sparkling water as they wandered through the gardens on their way to the ceremony. An emotional wedding ceremony took place under strong, centuries-old trees nestled right next to the historic shingle-clad home. Just a few Asian paper lanterns were hung here and there for a pop of whimsical color. Having their wedding outside, and not in a church or synagogue, allowed the bride and groom to get creative with their wedding ceremony. Not only did the bride’s aunt serve as the officiant, but the couple’s friends and family members took turns sharing beloved readings, book passages and poems. As it should be, music was an important player in the ceremony as well. From strings to flute to guitar and even a gospel choir, secular and non-secular music was interspersed throughout the ceremony as emotional punctuation.
Inspired by her grandmother’s journal, wedding planner Melissa Paul created a “wedding journal” to be used by the ceremony participants that would later serve as a lovely keepsake of the day.
The bride, a former wedding photographer herself, wanted to infuse the wedding with happy colors that would bring to mind the her family’s nostalgic love for the beach. Mixing soft shades of yellow, pink, blue and aqua with crisp white and warm ivory proved charming in every subtley-designed wedding element. From yellow and white check ribbon to pale pink cocktail napkins and sky blue striped neck ties, the seaside color palette worked beautifully. Ocean-related details, such as sea shells and sand, were used sparingly but specifically throughout the wedding design.
The bride and groom incorporated the light and breezy summer tones and textures into their bridal attire, encouraging their bridal party, family and friends to embrace the entire color palette. The bride wore a custom-designed yellow and lace gown and sassy gold metallic Gucci platforms. Bridesmaids carried small bouquets of early summer blooms, including peonies, chamomile, garden roses, lady’s mantle, and veronica.
After the ceremony, guests wandered down to the family dock on the canal for cocktails and conversation. White market umbrellas were placed over cocktail tables dressed in ocean blue linens and square glass vases filled with seasonal blue, white and green-gray flowers. The brides’s starfish motif was used on everything from the playful beach-themed welcome canvas tote to a “wedding memory” station contained in a personalized galvanized bucket on the dock.
An existing gazebo paid tribute to family weddings: the bride’s mother’s wedding gown was on display, as were family wedding photos and painted portraits. While visiting the gazebo, guests were invited to leave their wishes and blessings for the bride and groom on deckled cotton paper cards. As the sun went down, the entire orchard was lit up by dozens of suspended muslin lanterns. Brought down from New York for the party, the rockin’ awesome dance orchestra, Soul System, kept the party on the dance floor until the wee hours of the party.
One of the most important elements to incorporate into the wedding design was the bride’s extensive collection of vintage cake toppers. Collected over twenty years, the cake toppers were displayed on seven different fondant-covered weddings cakes that were set out on a long antique plank table. The old-fashioned “cake walk” display of butter yellow, pale pink and warm ivory wedding cakes allowed guests to sample multiple flavored cakes cut-to-order.
- At the end of the night, all the guests surrounded the bride and groom’s vintage 1974 Mercedes convertible for a big end of the night send off with sparklers! Yes, it’s been done, but it’s still one of the most playful ly effective moments you can capture of the day! Thank you Mother Nature for keeping the rain at bay for this outdoor celebration!