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Blogger Bride Jessye of City Tonic’s Colorful DIY Wedding

We’ve had a front-row seat to our blogger bride Jessye’s wedding planning journey, and today is finally the big reveal. She’s sharing an inside look into her Martha’s Vineyard nuptials photographed by Ruth Eileen, and it’s the ultimate East Coast celebration with pops of color woven throughout. Jessye, it’s been a joy having you guest blog on our pages and your special day, simply put, is everything. Excuse us as we go spend the rest of the day pinning in The Vault.


From The Bride… I’m so excited to share my wedding with you today! When I think back on the crazy blur of our wedding, a few moments really stand out to me. On the morning of, I woke up to a crisp and cloudless blue sky and an adorable text message from Kevin – both of which put me at ease. After that brief moment of calm, all I can remember is the frenetic energy around me as I finished some last-minute DIY details with my bridesmaids (thanks guys!) and wrote notes to Kevin and our parents. Suddenly, the frenzy of the day came to a halt and I found myself looking at my dad as we were about to walk down the aisle, violin music floating in the background. I remember locking eyes with Kevin and watching a smile flash across his face as I approached. Somehow — even after anxiously waiting and planning and daydreaming about it for months — nothing really prepares you for how exceptional that moment feels.

When we first started discussing the big day, we agreed that we really just wanted everyone to have fun. We also hoped that our guests would be able to see all of the personality and love that went into the planning. My mom and I (and Kevin, at times) planned the entire wedding ourselves and the experience made me realize how lucky I am to have a creative and innovative mom and a supportive husband. Since the wedding involved plenty of sourcing and DIY elements, I thought it would be fun to break it down into pieces — in case anyone else is as obsessed with the details as I am! (And I owe a huge thank you to the immeasurably talented Ruth Eileen Photography for capturing all of those details and moments so beautifully.)

The venue

My family has a home on Martha’s Vineyard and the island has always been a huge part of my life — I spent a few glorious summers there waitressing and babysitting, and it’s probably my favorite place on earth. When I met Kevin (a native Californian), I made sure we visited MV early on in our relationship — luckily, he fell in love with it too! We chose to get married at a private estate in Edgartown where we could hold both the ceremony and tented reception — it was situated right on the water and surrounded by beautiful sea grass and Montauk daisies. As an added bonus, it was large enough to house the whole bridal party so everyone was able to stay in one place (and enjoy plenty of leftover fried chicken the morning after the wedding!).

The fashion

As a fashion blogger and overall style enthusiast, I was particularly excited about dress shopping. I eagerly scheduled appointments at multiple boutiques in Boston, and was pretty certain I knew what I wanted. My first appointment was at L’elite Bridal during a Reem Acra trunk show (one of my favorite designers). I’m generally a very indecisive person and I like to know all of my options before committing to one — so it was pretty surprising when I fell for the second dress I tried on (miraculously, I never second-guessed my choice either). The intricately embroidered bodice was peppered with just the right amount of sequins (although it’s hard to see in the photos!) and I loved the fluid movement of the skirt. I had small silk buttons added to the back as an homage to my mother’s wedding dress and a sequined belt for a little extra sparkle and texture. My favorite addition; however, was the beautiful diamond starburst brooch that was used to fasten the belt – it’s a family heirloom that’s been worn by every bride on my mother’s side since the early 1800s, and I felt very lucky to continue the tradition.


After learning calligraphy and designing our save-the-dates and invitations, I knew I also wanted to design all of the other stationery components (like table numbers, menus, directional signs, etc.) to keep everything visually consistent. Our wedding invitations were foil stamped in copper and rose gold, so I decided to incorporate these metallics throughout the wedding. However, professional foil stamping can be really cost-prohibitive when you’re printing menus, ceremony programs, table numbers and advice cards. It simply wasn’t in our budget, so I found a way to print DIY foil at home using foil transfer paper and a laminator. It was extremely time-consuming (I ended up printing a few hundred pieces, which I would not recommend!) — however, I’m one of those weirdos who thoroughly enjoys big craft projects so it all worked out.

In order to achieve the same rose gold theme in my wedding signs, I enlisted the help of my cousin who owns a custom print wear shop. I scanned my own brush script and designed the layouts — and from there, he came up with a way to print these beautiful banner signs in shiny foil. My mom and I constructed frames for the banners using copper pipes and fittings from the hardware store (I thought this added a bit of an unexpected edge to the look). We also made stands for the table numbers using thin copper pipes. For the escort card display, we wrapped an old door in that ubiquitous banana leaf print fabric — the same print I used for envelope liners in our invitations (it was like a little wink to… myself). I ordered a giant box of copper plant markers and wrote all of our guests’ names on the individual tags. My darling bridesmaids helped organize all of the tags by table number and attached them to the display.

The menu

Since we got married at a private venue, we had the freedom to customize everything. Instead of picking a few options from a fixed menu, we worked with an incredible local chef, Gina Stanley, to create our dream menu (think: sweet potato beignets, fresh island oysters, buttermilk fried chicken with Tabasco honey, braised short ribs and parmesan risotto). Kevin and I are huge foodies — and we especially looove comfort food, so we opted for a family style dinner made from all local ingredients. That way, everyone could try everything and the informal family-style meal facilitated more introductions and conversation between guests. (P.S. I always hear that brides forget to eat on their wedding day, but I definitely did not have that problem.)

The party

After all of the anticipation, stress and excitement that comes with wedding planning, we were so ready to unwind and have fun at our reception. I was laughing and dancing nonstop – catching up with friends and family, smooching Kevin and repeating “I can’t believe we’re married!”, not caring about my windblown hair or grass-stained dress. It was the perfect celebration. After dinner and our first dance, Kevin and his groomsmen changed into these crazy printed short-shorts (Chubbies) with socks, and danced like maniacs. I wasn’t sure how the outfit change would be received by all of our guests, but it was a hit and it totally kept the party going! After that, we had a sparkler and paper lantern release that, unfortunately, we had to cut it short due to a fire hazard with the surrounding sea grass. For all you brides-to-be: this is a perfect example of those inevitable wedding day blunders you’ll have to force yourself not to stress over! Luckily, no damage resulted and the ordeal was quickly forgotten as soon as the late-night donuts and apple fritters arrived!

Look Back on Jessye’s Journey:

Meet the Bride | Bridal Accessories | Bachelorette Getaway

Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Film: Patrick Cummings | Coordination: KG Events & Design | Floral Design: Krishana Collins, Tea Lane Farm | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra "Gorgeous Girl" | Cake: Cakes By Liz | Invitations: Jessye Aibel | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Rings: BRAG | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Catering: Artcliff Diner | Hair + Makeup: Caitlin Murphy Stylist | Band: Silver Arrow Band | Bow Ties: The Tie Bar | Groom's Attire: Blank Label | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Ceremony Music: Music Martha's Vineyard | Transportation: Stagecoach Taxi | Venue: Private Estate – Edgartown, MA | Banner Signs: Printed By Downtown Custom Printwear | Bridal Boutique: L'elite Boston | Coffee: Chilmark Coffee Company | Donuts: Back Door Donuts | Groomsmen's Shorts: Chubbies | Photo Booth: Ruth Eileen Photography | Raw Bar: Vineyard Sound Raw Bars | Rentals: Big Sky Tent & Party Rentals | Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Table Numbers, Menus, Banner Design + Programs: Jessye Aibel | Tent Rentals: Big Sky Tent & Party Rentals | Wedding Website: Squarespace

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Jessye Aibel

Blogger Bride
Martha’s Vineyard Summer Engagement Session

While we may be enjoying the glories of fall at the moment, winter isn’t far off and jumping into feet of snow is just not as fun as jumping into a pile of leaves. So in this state of denial that I’m fully embracing, I’m quite happy to go back to the sweetness of summer with this seaside e-shoot from Jocelyn Filley and soak up every last second of sunshine and saltwater kisses in our VAULT right this way!

From the Bride-to-be… Claire and Alex met on an otolaryngology (ENT) residency interview at Tulane University School of Medicine during their fourth year of medical school. Claire was a student at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA, and Alex was a student at UCONN School of Medicine in Farmington, CT. They had a lot in common, including UCONN – Alex had rotated on Claire’s father’s psychiatry service (Claire’s dad is a psychiatrist at UCONN) as a medical student! Days after the interview, Alex got Claire’s phone number from a mutual friend and sent her a text.

Not only were Claire and Alex smitten, but Tulane was too! They both matched at Tulane for their residency. Alex was thrilled when he found out Claire had also matched at Tulane, texting a friend, “Stop it! I love her!” when he discovered they matched together. They were a support system for each other by phone, email, and text over the coming weeks as they each prepared for a big move to New Orleans.

Sparks flew instantly once the two arrived to New Orleans. They shared their first kiss seven days after residency started and have been inseparable ever since.

While Claire and Alex were on vacation at Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark, MA during the spring of their intern year, surrounded by views of the Atlantic and the Allen Farm, Alex told Claire he knew where and how he was going to propose to her.

Two years and much teasing from their residency attendings later, while on a Vineyard vacation with friends Thérèse and Grayson Gremillion, Alex planned to propose. He wanted to surprise Claire and so he picked the only rainy day of the trip, when she would least suspect it. Claire, Alex, Thérèse, and Grayson went on a drive to the Menemsha fishing village. On the way, Alex suggested going for a walk on Lucy Vincent Beach – to which Claire responded, “No! It’s raining!” He had originally planned on proposing at the beach that inspired him two years before. But Claire drove them up to the Gay Head Lighthouse and cliffs. Though Alex had never been there before, as soon as he saw the beautiful brick red lighthouse and clay cliffs, he knew this was the perfect place. With Thérèse and Grayson snapping pictures, Alex told Claire he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. After he asked her to marry him, Claire was so excited that she jumped up to hug him. Alex had to ask if that meant yes! Which it did, of course.

Alex and Claire will be getting married 6/11/16 at the Allen Farm in Chilmark, MA on Martha’s Vineyard – right by Lucy Vincent Beach. After they selected their wedding photographer, Jocelyn Filley, they took more traditional engagement pictures in Edgartown, MA on Martha’s Vineyard. Claire wanted just a few shots where she wasn’t crying or looking completely shocked!

Peruse more engagements here!

Photography: Jocelyn Filley Photography | Ring: Friend and Company, New Orleans, LA | Venue: Fuller Street Beach | Attire: Lilly Pulitzer | Men's Jacket: Arcteryx | Men's Shirts: Rubensteins New Orleans | Woman's Jacket: Barbour

Rustic Martha’s Vineyard Summer Wedding

As a Massachusetts resident, I may be a little biased but New England weddings, especially those that embrace the oh so special style of the region, have such an incredible charm to them, that it’s impossible to not fall head over heels. With pretty details at every turn and views off the Vineyard coast that grab ahold of your heart and don’t let go, this season celebration captured by Adachi Pimentel has me pretty darn happy. See it all in our VAULT right this way!


From Adachi Pimentel… From childhood art and memorabilia to the hand drawn and painted details made by the bride herself, Tom and Ashley’s wedding was beautifully nostalgic and perfectly intimate. They aimed to create a weekend wedding-vacay for their closest friends and family. The night before the wedding day included a locally sourced clambake, with cocktails for their guests and lawn games for them to enjoy. The wedding ceremony and reception was hosted at a private residence overlooking the ocean. The tables and details were lavished with summer flowers, with a delicious variety of local pies and comforts. Ashley incorporated her knack for design by hand-drawing and painting the weekend agendas, and creating a beautiful paper cone background for their DIY photobooth.

Peruse more New England weddings here!

Photography: Adachi Pimentel | Coordination: Emily Coulter MV Wedding Co | Floral Design: Morrice Florist | Catering: The Kitchen Porch | Band: Sultans Of Swing | Desserts: Morning Glory Farm, Martha’s Vineyard | Furniture Rental: Suzanne Wesley Of HALFACRE Vintage Rentals