Charming Backyard Wedding On The Water
March 21, 2017
Tri State
This bride always knew she wanted a wedding by the sea and the groom's parents' backyard made for a seaside venue you could only dream of! From the bride's romantic Monique Lhuillier gown to the tented reception with beautiful details from La Tavola, this day fully encapsulated elegance and charm. The lush floral designs by Studio Blush enhanced the backyard setting with perfect pops of summer color. Head over to The Vault now to browse the entire gallery!
View as
From the bride... Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted a wedding by the sea. Blue and white stripes, boats, a lobster bake, and waves in the background on a warm summer day… it would be perfect. It became even more perfect the day my best friend asked me to marry him, and I finally had the perfect guy to round out my perfect day.

Jake proposed to me on the steps of Sacre-Coeur in Paris. We’d met 10 years earlier in college while we were both on the crew team at University of California - Berkeley. We spent the first 6 years of our relationship as good (if not best) friends, 3 years living our lives separately, and 1 year dating after a fateful meeting on a street corner in the Mission District in San Francisco. We decided to get married within the year and immediately knew where we’d wed - Jake’s parent’s house on the Connecticut River in Old Saybrook. Since we’d known each other for so many years, I’d been there several times previously and had known his family for years. It met all our requirements with the added benefit of being a destination for the majority of our friends, and so it was decided that we’d do a wedding weekend on the water incorporating all the aspects we both loved about our hometowns in New England - especially, the blue and white nautical stripes - love those!! :)

Our first decision was hiring a wedding planner. We’d heard from friends that it wasn’t always 100% necessary, but especially when planning destinations, it was critical. We wouldn’t have survived without all of Sarah’s recommendations. She had tons of contacts, was “johnny on the spot” at all our meetings, and kept me breathing in the moments leading up to my big walk down the aisle… I was almost certain I was going to fall on my face! We then focused on hiring the essentials - photographer, caterer, music and florals. From the start, flowers were always going to be my “splurge” item. Our wedding was in August and outdoors, so flowers were key to the ambiance I was trying to create. Beth was amazing. It took all but a quick phone call, a Pinterest board, and a handful of meetings for her to grasp my vision, and boy did she deliver. Every detail was flawless. Her flowers in combination with our beautiful Sperry tent and Ryan Designs decor brought my vision to life. Couldn’t have asked for better!

On the photography front, we relied on reviews. I found Emily on a wedding blog, checked out her portfolio and gave her a call. Being a Boston girl myself, we immediately clicked. Her energy and attitude were spot on. I remember hanging up the phone and saying to Jake, “She and I need to be friends.” That’s exactly what you want on your wedding day. She took the time to get to know me and subsequently felt more like a friend snapping candids than a formal photographer reminding me to stand up straight. As a result, you get what you see here - stunning photographs.

Next, we selected our music. I was adamant about having an band, not a DJ. Live music always spoke to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the luxury of traveling around to see a bunch of bands play at venues being so far away, so I, again, relied on reviews. Immediately after checking out their website, I fell in love with the Metropolitan Players. The lead singer literally sounded like Adele’s doppelgänger :) They were super accommodating, agreed to drive up from New York, and knocked everyone’s socks off. My father is still talking about their set. What an epic performance!

Last we selected our caterer. This was a little more stressful than the others. For me, food quality carried some underlying pressure for some reason. The last thing I wanted was bad food! We took our time evaluating vendors, and ultimately decided on A Thyme to Cook. Lexi and her team did an excellent job careering to our needs before and during the wedding, and the appetizer selection was excellent. I still crave the lamb meatballs!

If I could offer three pieces of advice beyond hiring ALL my vendors (because they were seriously awesome!), it would be the following:

1 - Don’t let your guest list get out of control - your wedding is supposed to be special. Be selfish and invite who YOU want and not who everyone else wants you too.

2 - Dance your face off at your reception and don’t be afraid to get your dress dirty.

3 - Let yourself cry on the alter - you and he only get the moment once. Let everything around you fade away and embrace the emotion. You won’t regret it! PS - For all the readers that were wondering whether or not I got my lobster bake… sure did! Clambakes of Connecticut threw a killer rehearsal dinner on the lawn with lobsters up to my eyeballs :)