Chatham Bars Inn Wedding from Michael Barnholdt Photography
July 19, 2013
New England
Classic WeddingsCasualBeach Weddings
Yesterday we gave you a peek into this couple's perfectly New England rehearsal dinner, and today we get to devour every last detail of their dream Cape Cod day. And boy is it a dream day. Hosted at none other than the gorgeous Chatham Bars Inn, it's seaside chic from start to finish. So ladies and gents looking to plan such a fête - you can thank Michael Barnholdt Photography for this gorgeous gallery of images. See them all here.


And just when you think it can't get prettier, Brighter Lights Media steps in with their film...

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From the Bride...Before my fiance even proposed he had booked the wedding location with my parents and had a date set. Most brides would not be so understanding but to get married anywhere other than Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod felt strange and we knew the summer dates would fill up fast. He had to book the date a year in advance, and the engagement was not planned for a few more weeks. After a few quick calls, asking my dad for permission, and a ring in hand Clint proposed in Napa Valley in October 2011 at Groth Vineyards, and the date was set we would be married August, 11th, 2012.

My husband grew up in Chatham, playing on Hardings beach, eating lunch at the Squire, and attending elementary school down the street. As we started dating in college we began summering in the cape every August together with his family and I fell in love with him as well as the relaxing feeling of being so close to the ocean. We had always envisioned a wedding at the cape but the moment " I knew" I want to marry this man, was while sitting in the exact white chairs pictured here. Looking out at the Atlantic Ocean, glass of champagne in hand and a fresh summer breeze did it for me. After 5 summers in Chatham, I could not wait to plan our wedding here and share it with friends and family who would travel from all over the country and the world. It was important to my fiance and I that we share what we love about the cape with our friends and family and spend as much time leading up to the wedding with those visiting for the first time. We wanted a wedding as elegant as the historic Chatham Bars Inn but we also wanted to enjoy the smell of the salt water and to stick of feet in the sand.  

We were living in Minneapolis, MN while planning a wedding from a far but with the wonderful help of the CBI staff and daily calls to vendors, we managed to pull of an incredibly special, intimate and lovely summer cape wedding. I wanted natural colors; local hydrangeas, and soft ivory's. The inspiration for the entire day were the hydrangeas on the property of Chatham Bars Inn, and those line almost every house in Chatham. Big, overflowing bundles of soft flowers, a classic Amsale ivory dress and similar blush Amsale bridesmaid dresses made for the light and muted color scheme I had imagined. Michael Barnholdt, our photographer, traveled from Minneapolis to Chatham to capture our day, and was amazed at the beauty of the cape. I remember Michael saying "pretend I am not here unless I ask you to look my direction," and I believe that is the reason we have such natural photographs. When I look back I think "wow, that really looks like us" and that was our goal the entire time. I wanted this wedding to be a time to celebrate the next chapter of our lives but also to reflect our relationship and upbringing.

Many of the small decorations and details were purchased on Etsy and sent to my mother-in-laws home in Boston. Without ever seeing most of them first hand, the week before the wedding allowed us to get organized and take a look at everything we had ordered all year long. One of my favorite purchases were the cards that gusts could sign instead of a traditional guest book. The vintage cards read "Marriage is an adventure, what should we add to our bucket list." This idea produced so many fun ideas for our lives ahead of us, and our love for travel.

A few special touches that I wanted to incorporate into the day were a garter made from the lace of my mom's wedding dress, 30 years earlier. My late grandmother's wedding ring on my right hand, my maiden name initials sewn into my dress as my "something blue", hand made jewelry and and a little surprise for the groom. I knew Clint would be nervous with all eyes on him as the bridal procession began so I had a wooden sign made that our ring bearer, his nephew would carry down the isle. The sign read "Uncle Clint here comes your girl," hoping this would bring a huge grin and relax him just a bit before I made my walk down the isle. The bridal party confirmed, this did the trick. One moment that I will never forget is as I was about to walk down the isle, about hundred hotel patrons were gathered to watch the ceremony, something I had also done in summer's past. As we were lining up out of view from our guests, a little girl yelled to me " good luck Cinderella." and my bridesmaids, dad and myself began to tear up. I had always loved the movie Cinderella growing up, wishing to be a princess every day of my child hood, and at that moment I really did feel like a princess. We also used an old sailing tradition to tie a sailor's knot as a symbol of our love and commitment, and wrote our own vows that we shared out loud to one and other during the ceremony. This was the most meaningful part of the day for both of us.

One of the most important a entertainment aspects of the wedding to us was the band. We knew we wanted live music, and people up dancing every moment of the evening. This was achieved by the talent and energy of Stardust Band and left many guests saying that is not only the best wedding band I have heard, that is one of the best bands I have ever heard live. We danced all night long, including special songs from Chi Omega sorority sisters, our Alma Mater, and a sparkler exit to the after party as we left the beach.

I get butterflies every time I think back to this special day and will forever cherish that special celebration. For us the smell, sound and gorgeous beaches of Cape Cod can not be matched anywhere in the world. For my husband it is childhood home, for our families is was quality time together and for our friends it was a first but hopefully not the last trip out East.

Photography: Michael Barnholdt Photography | Floral Design: Flowers and Finery | Ceremony + Reception Location: Chatham Bars Inn | Invitations: Dajana Bartulovic | Cinematography: Brighter Lights Media | Band: Stardust Band | Make Up + Hair: Lisa George | Shoes: Kate Spade | Dress: Amsale via L'atelier Couture Bridal | Groom's Tux: Hugo Boss