Alice and Ben met on Martha’s Vineyard in August 2001, on the eve of Ben’s 21st birthday, at a concert performed by Alice’s college singing group. Both were undergraduates at Yale (he a senior, she a sophomore), and they began dating the following school year. Martha’s Vineyard carries additional meaning for both of them, as their families have spent time on the island over the years. Alice’s mother’s home is perched on a hill in Chilmark with splendid English gardens throughout, as well a 180-degree view of the lush New England greenery below and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. When Ben proposed almost nine years later, there was no question where the wedding would be held.
With the indispensable help of wedding coordinator Julie Hatt, the couple set about organizing a ceremony and reception that combined simple elegance with the natural beauty and intimacy of the property. The bride chose a color palette of vivid purples, magentas, and blues, which went beautifully with the lush greenery and bright colors of the gardens. Stone walls are ubiquitous in Chilmark, and the stone wall that runs parallel to the ocean in the backyard of the house became a motif of the exquisitely designed and elegantly produced paper goods by Bryn Chernoff of Paperfinger. Alice and Ben recognized the risk they took in planning a summer wedding on an island in the Northeast, but as it turned out, the weather was absolutely perfect the entire weekend. The incredible team of photographers, led by Shawn Connell of Christian Oth Studio and supported by second photographer Glen Allsop, captured every detail and moment of the day to perfection.
As guests arrived for the ceremony, they were greeted with lemonade in mason jars and were provided shade under parasols that had been used previously at the weddings of two of Alice’s close friends. The simple ceremony celebrated the warmth and familiarity of the occasion. After the ceremony, guests milled about the grounds for an extended cocktail period before heading to the dinner tent where they were served a delicious meal of summer gazpacho (Alice’s mom’s recipe), local striped bass with island vegetables and corn pudding, and individual servings of mixed berry shortcake. The escort card table displayed wedding photographs of the couple’s parents and grandparents. Instead of a guest book, guests were invited to write personal message on simple cards, which the couple plans to incorporate into a scrapbook. As the sun went down, many guests sat perched along the stone wall chatting and enjoying the striking Vineyard sunset over the Atlantic. Ben and Alice departed through a path lined by sparklers waved by all of their friends and family who were given little boxes of chocolate for the journey home.
Wedding Photography: Shawn Connell of Christian Oth Studio / Second Photographer: Glen Allsop / Wedding Venue: Home of Bride’s Mother in Chilmark, Massachusetts / Wedding Coordination: Julie Hatt / Wedding Flowers: Lynda Dandeneau / Wedding Officiant: Cantor Theodore Aronson / Wedding Calligraphy, Save-the-Dates, Menus, "Guest Book" Cards, Escort Cards + Programs: Bryn Chernoff of Paperfinger / Wedding Invitations: Dempsey & Carroll / Catering: V. Jaime Hamlin & Sons / Desserts: Val Cakes (508-274-0396) / Entertainment: The Sultans of Swing / Tents: Big Sky Tent & Party Rentals / Event Rentals: Big Sky Tent & Party Rentals + Be Our Guest / Wedding Dress: Carolina Herrera / Wedding Dress Steaming: Elinor Corfield / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bride’s Jewelry: Jamie Wolf / Bride’s Hair + Makeup: Maysoon Faraj / Bridesmaids' Hair + Makeup: Mary and Gretchen of Boucle / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Men's Suits: J.Crew / Men's Ties: Paul Stuart / Transportation: Stagecoach Taxi / Wedding Favors: Chilmark Chocolates (508-645-3013)