Shelter Island Wedding at La Maison Blanche from Dove + Sparrow
August 13, 2013
Tri State
Classic WeddingsRomanticBackyard
Have I mentioned just how much I adore Dove + Sparrow?  How I seriously jump out of my seat when I see their name pop up in my inbox; how I am downright obsessed with every single wedding they send our way?  Well, if I haven't, then consider this my official announcement: they are awesome and I love them with every ounce of my being.  Because when I see affairs like this sweet Shelter Island beauty, it's a full-blown obsession from the get-go.  One that has me swooning over darling DIY details, a breathtaking setting and one crazy amazing Pennington Flowers bouquet.  Click here for all of the pretty.
From the Bride... My husband, Nic, and I met in 2008 in Princeton, NJ. A few months later, he accepted a job offer and moved to Maine. Over the past four years, and despite a move to Boston on my part, we have never lived less than 200 miles away from on another. Our families are even farther away, with mine still in NJ and his in Sweden. Therefore, being able to host a wedding and have all of our family and friends together in one place was very special to us.

My great grandparents purchased a home off the coast of the Hamptons on Shelter Island, NY in the 1940s, which is now shared among my grandmother's siblings and used as a summer home among our families. Shelter Island is a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, and is only accessible by ferry. I have such wonderful, happy memories of Shelter Island from my childhood, so Nic and I thought it would be the perfect place to get married. With its small community and laid-back feel, it was a great setting for our intimate wedding.

Many of our guests traveled from Sweden to celebrate with us. Our friends' and family's presence meant so much to us that it became even more important to us to have a hand in the small details. I made over 100ft of pennants for the hotel's porches, as well as the programs, menus, cake topper, table numbers, and heart garland for the place cards (which our guests turned into name tags!). We spent the year collecting bottles for our flowers... we had about 250 of them. My bridesmaids and I had arranged about 60 jars of white roses for the rehearsal dinner the night before, which were repurposed for the ceremony. We realized that the chapel can be hard to find, so Nic and I made wooden signs pointing our guests in the right direction.

The ceremony took place at the Union Chapel in the Grove. Built in 1875, it is the quintessential Hamptons chapel, with its wooden exterior and colorful interior, complete with stained glass windows that incorporate actual local sea shells into the designs. Friends played acoustic guitar for the processional and recessional and our siblings did the readings. My father walked me down the aisle, and I held the cross necklace my late grandfather wore every day throughout the ceremony. Our best friends served as our bridal party, and our officiant read a prayer in honor of Nic's mother. The ceremony was very personal and intimate.

The reception was held at La Maison Blanche. We wanted it to feel like a big, end-of-summer back yard party. The cocktail hour took place on the front porch of the hotel, where guests could relax or play a game of petanque on the hotel's courts. Dinner and dancing took place on the back porch, with guests enjoying french bistro-style fare, such as lamb burgers and pomme frites. My good friend, Whitney of Whitney Stanek Photography, kindly donated her photo booth set up for the night, which was a huge hit.

Swedish weddings are typically very formal (men wear morning coats, women wear ball gowns and gloves), so our relaxed vibe was a change for the Swedes, but we did keep the Swedish tradition of speeches during dinner. Instead of toasts, friends and family give long (they can last over a half hour!) speeches, that can include anything from photo presentations to skits. In order to coordinate everything, the groom assigns one of his groomsmen to the title of "toastmaster," which is similar to the US title of best man. (Aside from toastmaster, we didn't have a best man or maid of honor, and chose to go with "best men" and "best ladies.") Those who could not make it to the wedding also sent in toasts to be read aloud during dinner.

I had very specific ideas about how I wanted everything to look, from the flowers to the place settings, and I couldn't have been happier to see it all executed. Specifically, Jeff Pennington's team at Pennington Flowers in Southampton, NY, did an excellent job. I said I wanted a h-u-g-e bouquet, and they delivered! They were also so easy to work with and the reception flowers were exactly what I wanted. I can't say enough great things about them! We were so happy to be able to host our family and friends in such a beautiful, happy setting.

Photography: Dove + Sparrow | Flowers: Pennington Flowers | Event Planning & Design: The Bride | Day-of Coordination: celebrated. | Officiant: Rev. Alison Cornish, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork | Wedding Ceremony Location: Union Chapel in the Grove, Shelter Island Heights, NY | Wedding Reception Location: La Maison Blanche, Shelter Island Heights, NY (Private Residence) | Wedding Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride's Dress: Casablanca | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy | Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Banana Republic (Suits) + Stroms Stockholm (Shirts) | Hair & Makeup: Kristen with MG Hair and Makeup | Wedding Cake: Butta'cakes | Wedding Rings: David Yurman (Groom) + E.B. Horn Boston (Bride)
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