As you know, we always rave about the personal touches that our couples infuse into their weddings… and today’s feature has some really unique touches. When choosing a wedding venue, they fell in love with Nantucket – and all the details ended up in a day filled with love and laughter and a party-all-night vibe. The invites from East Six coordinated beautifully with the floral design from Soirée Floral. The bridesmaids’ Jenny Yoo dresses set the stage for the bride’s elegant Lhuillier wedding gown. The sand ceremony, the on-site artist, the personalized-custom ceremony (written completely by the bride and groom) and the river rocks collected lovingly by the bride’s mom – all set the tone for this love-til-you-drop celebration at The Galley. Captured brilliantly by LifeFusion Studios, this outdoor-beachside wedding will inspire and delight! See more in the full gallery right here.
From the Bride…We knew we wanted to pick a location that would bring our friends and family together for a weekend. After looking at a few options on the Cape and Vineyard, we took a ferry ride to Nantucket with my parents on a crisp day in January. Words can hardly describe the feeling that instantly hits you when you arrive on Nantucket – it is the coolest combination of calm, fun and freedom. When we stepped off the ferry and onto the cobblestones that day, Stephen and I both instantly knew without a doubt that Nantucket was where we were going to get married. The same feeling fell over us when we visited the Galley. Although the restaurant was boarded up, the furniture was covered and the sand was piled halfway up the outside of the building, we knew it was the perfect setting for our wedding – classy but laid back, privately situated on the beach and known to have really, really excellent food. The Galley, with its chic outdoor lounge furniture, cool inside décor, open airy feel, amazing staff, tasty signature beverages and superb food far exceeded our very high expectations.
Many people choose to get married on Nantucket because they grew up on the island. Even though we had spent some time on Nantucket together, relatively speaking we made this choice as “Nantucket newbies” but that was one of the incredible bonuses – as part of planning our wedding, we had the chance to really get to know and fall in love with Nantucket for its beauty, beaches, people, food and so much more. We feel so connected to Nantucket now and know it will always be a part of our lives.
Planning our wedding was much harder than I thought it would be, mostly because it became quickly apparent that I have a very, very hard time making decisions. But as the planning process went on, I slowly started to learn (thanks to the incredible support of my fiancé, my parents, my sister/matron of honor and my incredible bridesmaids) to trust my gut, believe in our vision, and keep focused on what was most important: planning an intimate and fun event to celebrate our marriage with our family and closest friends. I cannot say enough about how much our wedding planner Maureen Maher did for us. She made the process unbelievably simple and stress free – she kept us on track with decisions, gave us honest feedback, coordinated meetings with hard-to-nail down vendors and seamlessly planned the flow and sequence of our event.
We wanted our wedding to evoke simple, romantic elegance and compliment the gorgeous natural backdrop of Nantucket. Our color palette was blush, ivory, and a “not quite navy” blue. Our wedding planner Maureen Maher and florist Dawn Kelly helped us bring this vision to life. Our invitations from East Six helped set the tone for our vision – a pocket fold invitation with tone-on-tone ivory flowers accented with a beautiful silver satin ribbon. They were so beautiful and we received many compliments on them. My bouquet and my bridesmaids’ bouquets were soft and beautiful with blush garden roses, calla lilies and hydrangea – a perfect compliment to the setting and the bridesmaids’ “capri” colored Jenny Yoo dresses.
We had our ceremony on the beach with the waves crashing just feet away from us. We wanted a very soft and intimate feel for the ceremony. The aisle was lined with white orchids in galvanized buckets and flowing white curtains on bamboo framed the altar. Smaller galvanized buckets with petals for tossing hung from aisle chairs. We added a pop of color to the setting with baskets placed at the start of the aisles filled with turquoise blue throw blankets rolled up with twine for guests to use in case they were chilly.
Our reception was held in a tent on the beach outside of Galley Beach, the most spectacular place in the world. We were inspired by a “Grey Lady” tablescape photo shoot that floral designer Dawn Kelly had collaborated on last year and we pulled several elements from that for our décor – including light grey table cloths, crisp white plates, beautiful orchids and a splash of blue on the tables.
Dawn complimented this with absolutely stunning floral arrangements… three different “looks” graced the tops of the square and round guest tables including different combinations of white orchids and calla lilies accented by candles, twine and river rocks. The long head table had a gorgeous collection of flowing pink orchids and candles. The tent was accented with playful string lights, white paper hanging stars and vintage marquee rusted “LOVE” letters that we bought from a vendor on ETSY to hang in the tent (and later served as a focal point for our afterparty).
Stephen and I are huge foodies and didn’t want the typical surf and turf wedding fare, which is one of the reasons we selected the Galley. During the cocktail hour, freshly shucked oysters at a raw bar and delicious passed apps including escargot in puffed pastry and lamb chops. Our dinner menu included a warm crab cake starter and a choice of scallops with a vanilla bean sauce or the Galley’s signature veal chop for the main course. The entire room’s plates were clean at the end of the meal! Our cake by Jodi’s Cakes was not only delicious (not one slice remained!) but beautifully tied into our overall feel with simple silver ribbons tied around each tier.
Making sure our friends and family had fun was really important to us and our choices for music reflected that. We had an excellent laid-back artist from the Cape, John Beninghoff, playing acoustic guitar on the beach for the ceremony and through the cocktail hour. And our band, Joe Bachman & the Crew, who I would describe as not your average wedding band, absolutely rocked the house. A highlight of the night was a full-house sing/scream/jump along to Nirvana’s Teen Spirit. (Everyone including our fathers were hopping three feet off the dance floor.)
It was really important to have sentimental and personal touches throughout our day. To name a few…
We wrote and selected our entire wedding ceremony ourselves and my life long friend Avery, who was also one of my bridesmaids, officiated and married us so it was extremely personal. Putting the ceremony together took a lot of time and hard work but it was absolutely worth it as every word had incredible meaning – from the heartfelt personal introduction by Avery to our vows. The readings also had significance with one being a passage called “Time with You” from a newspaper clipping that we found in an anniversary card that my grandfather had given to my grandmother on their first wedding anniversary.
We incorporated a Sand Ceremony to represent the joining of our families. For this, we collected sand from beaches in different geographies that had meaning including where we live now, where I grew up, where Stephen’s parents fell in love and, of course, Nantucket. During the ceremony our families combined the various containers of sand into a large glass globe that we had made by the Sandwich Glass Studio on Cape Cod. A “Stephen & Ryan’s Wedding” welcome sign was made by our Jr. bridesmaid and Ring Bearer (with help from their mom and dad) and was placed outside the Galley to greet our guests.
For something old and new, I had a custom bridal cuff made by genius jewelry designer Courtney Prince of Doloris Petunia. I sent her pieces of my grandmothers’ jewelry and she incorporated them into the design with the clasp being from a bracelet that was my paternal grandmothers and a deconstructed brooch from my maternal grandmother accenting the overall cuff. It looked spectacular and was incredibly special as neither of my grandmothers were at our wedding. I also had a cuff made for my mother that featured a large green stone from a pendant of her mothers. My bridesmaids’ gifts, jeweled Nantucket rope bracelets, and my headpiece were also designed and made by Doloris Petunia.
For our table seating cards, we tied twine around river rocks that were collected one-by-one with much love by my mother on the beaches of Cape Cod. For our guestbook, we really wanted something that would always remind us of Nantucket and so we had guests sign a poster-sized, vintage map of Nantucket that we now have framed and hung on our wall at home.
For some fun, we had temporary star tattoos made up (that matched the matching permanent tattoos Stephen and I have on our wrists) and handed them out to guests at the rehearsal dinner so nearly every guest donned a star on their wrist at the wedding the next day!
And last but not least, Stephen surprised me by bringing artist and friend Odin Smith to Nantucket to paint two canvases that captured the beautiful beach setting where we were married. Odin took actual sand from the exact spot where we were married and pressed it into the paintings.
Photographer: LifeFusion Studios | Wedding Venue: Galley Beach | Wedding Coordination: Maureen Maher of Nantucket Island Events | Floral Design + Decor by Dawn Kelly of Soirée Floral | Wedding Invitations: East Six | LOVE Letters: VintageMarqueeLights | Wedding Cake: Jodi’s Cakes | Hair: Timothy Johnson of Red Carpet Hair | Makeup: Kerri Herlihy Boston Makeup Artist | Jewelry: Doloris Petunia | On Site Artist: Odin K Smith | Band: Joe Bachman & The Crew | Ceremony + Cocktail Hour Music: John Beninghof | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo |Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss | Groomsmen Ties: Hugo Boss