Any wedding where the motto happens to be Bowties Encouraged, Dancing Shoes Required automatically gets filed under parties I wish I could have gone to. It’s a theme I can totally get behind, and when you add the fact that this pretty party took place on Martha’s Vineyard, well you can just consider me smitten. It’s was a party planned to perfection by ZBR Events (complete with late night donuts from Back Door Donut), and even though I wasn’t able to be there in person, I am sure glad we all have the images from Jocelyn Filley Photography to attend this fabulous purple-infused party virtually. Do so here.
From the Bride… Blake and I met on our very first day of college. A few months into freshman year, we began dating and have been together ever since. As a result, when we got engaged over 8 years later it was certainly not a surprise to any of our friends. We decided we wanted our wedding to be a party to celebrate the love and support of our friends and family. From the very beginning, we knew we wanted to get married on Martha’s Vineyard. My family had gone on vacation there and Blake had spent time in the chilly springs biking around with his brothers. After college, in an attempt to avoid the real world, we both got jobs on Martha’s Vineyard- he at a golf course and I at a clothing store and art gallery. We made just enough money to cover the rent of a room in someone’s house and had the time of our lives. To us Martha’s Vineyard is the happiest place on earth and we wanted an opportunity to share it with all of our friends.
The most important thing in choosing the Vineyard was that the wedding reflected what we loved about the island. We wanted island vendors and the opportunity to show people all of our favorite places and things. On Friday night we held a “welcome pig roast”for all of our guests at Sailing Camp Park near Oak Bluffs with a delicious pig raised on the island from Local Smoke. On Saturday morning, we encouraged our guests to “take the plunge with the groom” and go swimming in Menemsha- which over 40 of them did. We helped folks get around the island and rent houses for additional days so they could fall in love with it, just as we had.
When it came to the wedding, we knew that there were three things that mattered- friends, food, and an amazing band. We were lucky to work with Mike Benjamin who has been a staple on the island for years. He played an acoustic version of “Stand by Me” for the processional and we danced down the aisle to “Higher and Higher” on the way out. He even learned and beautifully performed Ben Folds’ “The Luckiest” for our first dance. The Beach Plum Inn provided outstanding food and helped us accommodate some of our other favorite island snacks- skewers of marinated chicken from Shiretown Meats, pies from Morning Glory Farms, and late night donuts from Back Door Donuts.
Our dress code was “Bowties Encouraged – Dancing Shoes Required,” as an homage to both of our fathers who wear bowties frequently. We found great gingham bowties on Etsy for the bridal party and even included instructions for how to tie a bowtie on our website. Almost all of our male guests ended up wearing one! We went with shades of purple (rather than two colors) as our color scheme and it helped everything look unified, vintage, and not too matchy. The bridesmaids picked their own dresses from J. Crew in purple and my maid of honor was in spiced wine. I gave each bridesmaid a necklace or bracelet depending on their dress and a handkerchief for “happy tears”- it was a good thing I bought one for myself too since I certainly needed it during the ceremony! Blake’s suit carried our shades of purple color scheme with a glen plaid and light purple window pane. I fell head over heels in love with my lace dress the first time I put it on. My mother’s wedding dress was also lace and I tied a small piece of the fabric around my bouquet as a tribute to her. I used my grandmother’s, her mother’s, beaded clutch from the 1940’s which meant a lot that I could include something of hers, even though we never met.
We wanted the feel of the wedding to be rustic but elegant. Zoé of ZBR Events was a magician and worked to coordinate all of our vendors and requests. She could not have been more spectacular. We worked with Big Sky Tents to have hanging lanterns in the upper tent and bulb lights for dancing. They set up large farm tables and we created runners out of lanterns, candles and spectacular flowers from Krishana Collins. One of the most memorable moments from the weekend was going with Krishana into the fields to pick the flowers used in the wedding- it meant so much to us that they were grown only a few miles from our ceremony and made our decorations blend in seamlessly with the surroundings. She also created lovely herb boutonnieres for the men and stunning bouquets for me and my bridesmaids. Since we were getting married outside at a lighthouse, we were aware of the chance it could rain so we bought umbrellas and rainboots for the wedding party just in case. Luckily, the weather cleared up right before the ceremony and we all stayed dry (and in our anticipated apparel).
Overall, we used many vendors to get the exact look that we wanted as well as save a few dollars by shopping around. To that end, we used the amazing artwork and images created by Mr.Boddington for our invitations on our welcome letter, for stamps on programs and favors, our welcome bags, and the cups that we had at the pig roast. I made 120 soy lavender candles in our kitchen (which was a bit more work than expected) but made me so happy to use them as both favors and place cards. Since we had kraft paper envelopes with white calligraphy for the invites, we continued with kraft paper accents for the reception. Nellie Barker of Whoa Nellie Press did spectacular calligraphy and even humored our desire to put nicknames on all of the place tags- which made everything feel a bit more personal. She also designed the inside of our programs and the wedding party graciously helped assemble them using stamps and ribbon a few nights before the wedding. We used Big Sky’s mismatched plates for the cake and cake stands I hunted down on Ebay to create a vintage feel.
The best piece of advice we got was to take a step back at some point in the night and take the whole scene in. Our wedding was the most wonderful day of our lives. It is humbling to look around a party and realize that everyone has travelled so far just to celebrate with you. While we remember that moment vividly, we never would have such amazing memories if it were not for Jocelyn Filley and her unbelievable photography. The whole day feels like a dream and her photography makes it look like a spectacular one. From the ceremony, to photos on the docks in Menemsha, to the reception, dancing, and late-night sparklers, we had one giant party. We tell everyone who asks- we would do it all again tomorrow!
Wedding Photography: Jocelyn Filley Photography | Ceremony Venue: Gay Head Lighthouse | Reception Venue: The Beach Plum Inn | Wedding Planner: ZBR Events | Flowers: Krishana Collins | Invitations + Artwork: Mr. Boddington’s Studio | Rentals: Big Sky Tents | Catering: The Beach Plum Inn | Pies: Morning Glory Farm | Donuts: Back Door Donuts | Favors: Candles made by the Bride | Calligraphy: Whoa Nellie Press |Hairpieces: Bella and Beya + Alice Hart Couture | Hair + Makeup: Panache Salon | Wedding Cake: Cakes by Val | Stamps: Stamp Couture | Bags: Motivators.com |Tags: Kats Paper Trail | Car: “Daisy” 1940 Oldsmobile woody wagon | Buses: Vineyard Sightseeing | Handkerchiefs: Greatlookz | Spotted Rainboots: Chooka | Sparklers: Sparklersonline.com | Straws + Napkins: BHLDN | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier via Carine’s Bridal, Washington, DC | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid’s Dresses: J. Crew | Bridesmaid’s Jewelry: Sabtis Designs | Groom’s Suit: Brooks Brothers | Bridal Party Bowties: Me and Matilda | Bride’s Ring: Blue Nile | Groom’s Ring: The Clay Pot | Band: Mike Benjamin