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Chatham Bars Inn Beach Wedding from Corinna Raznikov

Happy Independence Day LBBers! Hopefully you’re fully enjoying the fireworks, BBQs, and swimming pools Fourth of July always has to offer. We’ve got a special Americana affair for you today. I’m not going to lie, when it comes to weddings, my personal taste changes with every single batch of wedding photos we get. Every wedding becomes my favorite, every detail the best, every venue is the best place to hold your big day. But I’m pretty sure, no, positive, that the Massachusetts coastline really is THE spot. If you question this statement at all, just feast your eyes on the refreshing images Corinna Raznikov sent our way. The cool blues, the salty water, the sweet dog – it’s all no-doubt-about-it perfect. Like a breath of fresh ocean air. Or like the sea breeze blowing in your hair. It’s just perfect. So, when you’re ready, meet me in the gallery for more of this flawless fête.

My family has been a Chatham family for over 30 years, and it was only natural that we should plan a wedding at the Chatham Bars Inn.  A favorite family story is that, while driving past Chatham Bars Iinn when I was three years old, I told my Dad that this was where I wanted to have my wedding.  So, having our wedding reception there was a dream come true.

Joe and I grew up together in a small town in New Jersey a small bike ride away from each other.  We went through grammar school together, where we had a brief “romance” in elementary school. Joe and I began dating in high school.  You might say we were high school sweethearts – although we attended different high schools.  During our college years we had many miles between us – I attended Boston College and Joe completed a tour in Iraq with the United States Marine Corps.  It was right before Joe left for his second tour that he asked me to marry him on a rainy evening while walking our dog.

The inspiration for our wedding was casual seaside elegance, and this is exemplified by Cape Cod’s blue hydrangeas.  The flowers at Holy Redeemer Church in Chatham were baskets of hydrangeas tied to the end of each pew, and wreaths at the front doors.  The wedding party had starfish boutonnieres.  Following the ceremony the Trolley from Chatham Bars Inn took us to the beach for pictures – we walked along the beachfront to the reception itself.

In lieu of favors, Joe and I chose to donate to a charity that is very close to our hearts – American Cancer Society.  My father passed away when I was young and we wanted to honor his memory, along with the memory of other family members who have passed.  We made the donation in loving memory of those who have fought and lost, in loving appreciation of those who have fought and won, and in loving support of those who are still fighting.

Our wedding could not have been a more perfect day – the weather was gorgeous, our guests enjoyed themselves and most importantly, Joe and I enjoyed ourselves.  We chose vendors that made our day easy –Corinna Raznikov, Patrice Milley, M. Smith & Company, and Flipside.  Chatham Bars Inn was the perfect backdrop for a seaside wedding.  The whirlwind weekend ended with a brunch for our guests on Shore Road – the house my new in laws rented for the week.

Florist: Patrice Milley / Location: Chatham Bars Inn / Band: Flipside / Bridesmaid Dresses: LuLaKate / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Photographer: Corinna Raznikov / Stationery: M. Smith & Company

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Cape Cod Wedding by Lisa Berry Photography

What do you get when you mix two high school sweethearts, a bed and breakfast, and one amazing photographer like Lisa Berry? Give up? You get one of the sweetest and most charming weddings ever! I’m seriously loving the au natural simplicity of the surroundings. And the fact that it’s on the Cape? Well, that just makes it even better! Head over to the gallery for even more summertime sweetness.

Click here to see entire image gallery!

From Lisa Berry, Photographer: Both creative RISD grads, these two managed to tame their perfectionist, project oriented tendencies, and worked hard to keep their wedding very simple. I was impressed by their restraint when it came to the details.  They focused on the big picture, on their relationships and the things that really mattered, and the day felt substantial and joyful. They were high school sweethearts, so the wedding was a long time coming!
Emily knew just where to splurge and where to hold back and managed this sweet wedding on a modest budget. The whole event felt balanced, and in perfect proportion, much like the bride herself. They invited a small gathering of best friends and family and held the ceremony in the garden behind their Cape Cod Bed & Breakfast. Jon’s step-mother made the flower arrangements with Emily’s ideas, and they added a soft subtle color to the reception rooms. The garden basically adorned itself, and they added only the white japanese lanterns and a very natural arch at the front. Photography was a splurge for them, and they brought in a film photographer and fellow RISD grad.
Cupcakes were brought in from their favorite bakery in NY – taste over looks with these little cakes, possibly the most scrumptious I have ever had and I eat a lot of wedding cake.  The men intentionally left off having boutonnieres, and it gave a clean look to their suits.  The maids were chic in short midnight blue sheath dresses, and held small bouquets of gathered roses. While dressing, Emily wanted to recreate a b&w photograph of her mother putting on her veil from a few decades back. In the frame, you can see Emily with her veil in the mirror, and also the original print in the shot.

Photography : Lisa Berry / Venue: Old Sea Pines Inn / Flowers: Jan Saunders and Deb Zoutendijk / Cupcakes: Sugar Sweet Sunshine Dress: Amsale

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Cape Cod Airfield Wedding by Desiree Spinner Events

You know a wedding is going to be good when the bride makes her surprise entrance on an airplane. You also know it’s going to be good when it’s planned by Desiree Spinner Events. You know it’s going to be down right blog worthy when the bride is part of the Desiree Spinner Events team. Buckle up, this wedding is full of personality and style so you’ll want to be sure and check out the gallery for all the lovely images by Hike Photography.

Click here to see the full wedding gallery!

Working in the wedding industry while planning my own wedding has been such a fun experience, and I feel so lucky to have had Desiree and Sara alongside me to help with the day! My fiance is a youth pastor, and so we knew we wanted everyone from our church to be able to come to the wedding–the airfield seemed like a great place to put so many people! From there, my father and I came up with the idea of flying into the ceremony as my “entrance”. We took off 45 minutes before the ceremony started, and circled Cape Cod until it was time for us to arrive. The landing was one of the most magical times of my entire life. Hike Photography captured the moment perfectly—the guests were not told about the surprise landing, and so the entire crowd jumped to their feet and began cheering the moment the plane touched the ground. It was such a cool moment to get out of the plane with my father, and immediately begin our walk down the isle. Sara from DSE hand-stamped all of the birdseed packets which we attached the the programs I designed, and after everyone had a chance to enjoy a snack from a signature DSE dessert table, everyone lined up for the big send off.

The wedding was filled with small, eccentric details—which is exactly how I wanted it. When one of our groomsmen’s vests didn’t arrive on time, we replaced it with the most ridiculous vest we could find…mickey mouse! The groomsmen played a bit of  a prank on Josh, pretending to throw the ring across the field when it came time for the exchange (the real ring was safe and sound in the best man’s pocket!). All of the bridesmaids (and my “bridesman”, Dave!) were invited to wear whatever shoes they felt most expressed their personality—and I was so thrilled to see everything from gold sparkly pumps to brown chuck taylor’s on my wedding day! The reception took place in an antique auto museum, playing into the “planes, trains and automobiles” theme, which we carried throughout the wedding using stationery that my fiance and I designed.

From Desiree of Desiree Spinner Events: When Kaleigh got engaged last winter I could not have been be happier, not because I knew I would be helping, but because she has become like a little sister to me here at the DSE office. She works so hard for all our clients and I knew I wanted to work that hard for her with her wedding. The airfield was the perfect place for her HUGE guest list,and even more perfect is that her dad is a pilot for the Air Force and said he would fly her in on the wedding day. Kaleigh came up with the planes, trains and automobile theme for the wedding and her save the dates and invitations (all handmade by her) reflected the theme from a train ticket save the date, to an “airmail” invitation. Kelly Hike from Hike Photography was so amazing, she captured Kaleigh and Josh’s love and laughter so perfectly I was so glad she was there. Sara and I designed a little tented area for the guests with dessert and cider to snack on while Kaleigh and Josh greeted every one after the wedding. We covered the poles in satin ribbon and hung paper flowers from the tops of the tent as well. Every one really came together for this amazing day from the florist to both the families, to make this wedding gorgeous for such a sweet couple. Sara and I hope that the day was magical for Josh and Kaleigh and we had a blast helping. xoxo Desiree and Sara”

Photography: Hike Photography / Flowers: Hobart’s Fine Florals / Wedding Cake: The Scratch Cake / Bridesmaids dresses: Alfred Sung via Dessy Group/ Tent, Chairs, Linens: Taylor Rental / Dessert Table Design & Desserts: Desiree Spinner Events / Stationery: Kaleigh Adams of Desiree Spinner Events / Ceremony Venue: Cape Cod Airfield / Reception Venue: Heritage Museums and Gardens / Plane Rental: Pat Walsh/ Officiant: Benjamin Feldott / Reception Catering: Casual Gourmet / Coordination: Kaleigh Adams, Sara Hamilton and Desiree Spinner of Desiree Spinner Events

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Hello Super Studios ~ Provincetown Wedding

The backdrop alone for today’s wedding…is basically as good as it gets. And when we saw the entire wedding unfold through the lens of Hello Super Studios, we completely fell in love. It’s the most intimate, sweet, absolutely lovely affair we’ve seen in a long time and we are thrilled to be able to share it with you today. From the bride’s Audrey-ish gown to the peonies lining the tables, every little bit of this wedding is SMP gorgeous.

images courtesy of Weddings By Two

from Megan at Hello Super Studios

This is the super 8 wedding film of Sari & Holly, two professors from Skidmore College in upstate New York. They had a wonderfully intimate wedding at the tip of Cape Cod in the beautiful location of Provincetown, MA. The attention to detail was incredible… from the gorgeous flowers, to the lovely dress and shoes, to the handcrafted rings, to the perfectly quaint setting on the water at the Red Inn. This was a particularly special wedding for us as we are big supporters of marriage equality. And the love between Sari and Holly was simply undeniable.

from Sari …

Holly and I have been spending summers in Provincetown- at the tip of Cape Cod– since we first started dating and always knew we wanted to get married there. Our venue, the Red Inn, is a small restaurant and inn at the far end of town, nestled up against the water, with some of the best food in town, and it provided the perfect canvas for our aesthetic, which we thought of as “nautical romantic modern.” Our flowers were peonies, garden roses, and sea star fern. We used gold flatware on linen tablecloths with vintage grain sacks as table runners to capture a faded, weather-worn look, and our menus and paper goods were all navy and white with pink accents. The whole planning process felt like a collaborative art project, and we truly enjoyed developing our vision and watching our amazing vendors turn it into a reality. The day could not have been more glorious.

You can see more photos from this beautiful wedding on 100 Layer Cake!  Our thanks to Hello Super Studios for sharing the film and our congratulations to Sari & Holly!

Venue: The Red Inn / Cinematographer: Hello Super Studios / Photographer: Weddings By Two / Hair & Makeup: Anna Jackson (from studio 110) / Favors, invites, menus: Float Paperie / Florist: Bow Street Flowers / Dress: Amsale / Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Rings: Stuart Moore

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Cape Cod Wedding by Corinna Raznikov

Now that I am officially a Boston resident as of Tuesday, I feel a bit of community pride for this next wedding.  It was held at the Popponesset Inn in Cape Cod and it boasts a girly color pallet (no navy blue in sight), a delectable dessert table and an adorable couple…the flower girls happen to be insanely cute as well. This is a recipe for all out gorgeous beach goodness. You can see the full wedding photographed by Corinna Raznikov and designed by Desiree Spinner Events right here.

{click here for the FULL wedding gallery}

Cape Cod Weddings are known for their casual beachside feel, and so with this event we wanted to create something that was more elegant, while staying true to the seaside traditions of old Cape Cod.

Starting with the tables, DSE combined flax linen tablecloths with elegant pink peonies and opalescent plates, along with crisp pink & white accents, for a beach flair with a clean twist. Under each plate was a menu created by Beau Inc., which also brought in beige & white accents, along with a little piece of nautical rope as a nod the seaside location, and on top of each place was a matching napkin folded into a special shape called “the lover’s knot”. This color scheme was continued on the dessert table, which brought in clean white display trays, stocked with an assortment of treats from Delicious Desserts. The bubble sugar coral accents in the cake, along with the white chocolate seashells, brought in elements of the sea, while breaking free from the typical blue & white color palette. The backdrop was created especially for the event from plywood and ribbons, once again emphasizing the coming together of elegant and earthy accents.

The prop tables were both decorative and functional, with the take-out boxes serving as place cards and “clam-bake kits” for each guest to use with their entree. The custom made guest book by Paula Madonna featured mounted enveloped containing multi-colored cards for guests to write their wishes on. Corinna Rasnikov’s photos served to capture the free-spirited feeling of a Cape Cod Wedding. The bride and groom move back and forth between dining their elegant reception and playful jaunts on the beach, making sure to take time to enjoy the scenery (and one another!) and fly a kite! Karen from Lilacs’ flowers served as the perfect accent for this set up, bringing in the pink accents needed to bring this reception to life, while maintaining the muted delicateness of a beachside affair. The delicate peonies and billowing white curtains set against the grandeur of the ocean brought perfect balance to the day.

Photography: Corinna Raznikov /Flowers: Lilacs / Desserts: Lisa Raffael of Delicious Desserts / Tables, Chairs, Linens: Be Our Guest / Wedding Dress & Flower Girls’ Dresses: Coren Moore / Suit: Puritan Cape Cod / Guestbook: PM Designs / Dessert tags & Menu: Beau Inc. / Venue: Tent at Popponesset Inn / Makeup: Emma at Eden Skin Care Studio / Jewelry: Courtney’s Jewelry Box / Hair: Kacey at Beyond Beauty / Votives: Object Splendor / Place card boxes: Desiree Spinner Events / Parting gifts & dessert table backdrop: Desiree Spinner Events / Banner: Courtney Toney from Joyful Weddings and Events

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Cape Cod Wedding by Davina + Daniel Photography

I have a serious soft spot for whimsical weddings. Whether it’s the playful details, the fun fashion, or the unconventional charm, I get totally inspired by the creative couples behind the event. So when Davina + Daniel sent us this darling DIY wedding on Cape Cod, they had me hook, line and sinker. I’m honestly not even sure where to start… awesome invitations, cute shoes, colorful wooden signs, sweet-as-can be tabletops, and you don’t even want to get me started on the super cool rosette name tags. Trust me, this is just the beginning… you have to explore the gallery and read up on the bride’s delicious details below.

{Click here to see the SO much more of this Wellfleet wedding}

From the bride, Alicia…

When Shez and I got engaged we started talking about what kind of wedding we wanted to create.  We wanted: a good measure of lovey-doveyness, delish food, booze, silliness and a blending of traditions (English and American/Jewish).  We didn’t want: uncomfortable clothes, pomp and circumstance or feeling obliged to do “wedding things” that didn’t feel authentic.

Given how spread out everyone in our lives are (guests came from England, Australia, California, Texas, New York etc.), we knew anywhere we got married would be a long journey for most.  So we decided to have the wedding someplace special to us, and that would make for a fun vacation for all and decided on Cape Cod, where I’ve spent part of the summer most of my life.  Though we were worried that Icelandic volcano eruptions might keep us from our wedding site (we live in London), Shez joked that I was sewing enough bunting that we would be able to swing across the Atlantic if the need arose.

We incorporated some secular Jewish traditions (in particular writing our own ketubah, which was a deeply meaningful part of the process, especially as it was illustrated by our dear friend Hannah) and included several nods to English weddings in the ceremony.  The more we talked about it, the more we started to describe our wedding festivities as a sort of “New English village fete.” We had bunting, freshly baked cakes made by guests, rosettes instead of escort cards, and fun lawn games of both English (croquet) and American (horseshoes) varieties.  Many of my friends in London I met through crafting so we had a veritable army of incredible helpers sewing and gluing and baking and grilling and tying and hanging things all week.  It was unbelievable to see everyone in action.  My mom, sister and I share a love for vintage knick knacks and my mom hunted down vintage glass bottles and 50’s tablecloths, while I sewed table flags with adorable fabric from Sew Mama Sew.

One of the best bits of wedding planning was working with lovely artists and independent businesspeople.  Our friend Paul, an illustrator, painter and graphic designer ( illustrated the invitations (printed by our friend Kate on her gocco), created the website, drew the menus and program covers and wrote out every name on for the rosettes.  We worked with the talented artisans at Bario Neal for our rings, and at Blue in New York for my dress.  In fact, nearly everything came from small businesses or artists that we respected (many of whom I found on etsy or wedding blogs), this wedding was not exactly “budget” but we both felt great that the money went to people who were passionate about creating beautiful things ethically.

Though the weather was less than perfect on the day of the wedding I felt so surrounded by overwhelming joy and love, from Shez, from our families (especially my sister who was incredible throughout), and from our ridiculously hard working and good-natured friends.

Vendor Credits: Photography: Davina+Daniel Photography / Venue:  The Holden Inn Cape Cod – MA / Planning & Decor: Bride & Groom / DJ: Computer / Florist: Flowers by Mary / Table flowers arranged by my mom and friends / Cakes &  Cupcakes: Guests / Bride’s Dress: Custom Made in NYC, Christina Kara at Blue / Bride’s shoes: Shoes of Prey / Bridesmaid Dress:  Vintage dresses collected / Groom’s suit: Diverso / Groom’s vest/waistcoat: Buckleigh of London / Groom/groomsmen’s ties: Me & Matilda / Flower girls’ headbands: Bean & the Sprout / Wedding bands: Bario Neal / Engagement ring: vintage from Tail of the Yak in Berkeley, CA / Catering: Terra Luna in Truro, MA / Invites, most of the paper goods, and couple’s website drawn and designed Paul Andrews / Invites printed by: Kate Hibbs on a Gocco / Guest Book: Krank Press

Casual Gourmet ~ Cultural Cape Cod Wedding

We’re starting off this week on The Little Black Book Blog with a charming wedding filled to overflowing with love and tradition! Olive from Cape Cod’s The Casual Gourmet, and Katie, the bride have graciously shared all the lovely details and so I’m just going to step aside and let them fill you in!

Katie and Maz’s wedding blended a contemporary twist on classic New England fall with the bride’s Jewish and the groom’s Persian heritage. The bride is from Colorado, the groom is from Washington DC, they planned their wedding while attending grad school in Philadelphia and they currently live in San Francisco. And … they chose to have their wedding on Cape Cod, where the bride’s family has a house. “You can’t beat Cape Cod in the fall,” said the bride.

The day of the wedding dawned dazzlingly bright and sunny, but also unseasonably cold for October. The ceremony was planned for outside, but there was no way the guests would be comfortable without some added source of warmth. The morning of the wedding, the plan to serve champagne before the ceremony was scrapped in favor of hot chocolate and tea, and the bride’s mom rounded up her extensive collection of quilts – many of which she had made. They were laid out on the chairs, and guests cuddled underneath them during the ceremony.

The bride and groom were married under a chuppah made with silk from the bride’s grandfather’s WWII parachute. They faced their guests for the ceremony, and spread out in front of them was an elaborate display called the Sofreh-ye Aghd, a Persian wedding custom. The mother and sister-in-law of the groom carefully arranged the Sofreh in the hours leading up to the ceremony. Traditionally Sofreh-ye Aghd is set on the floor facing east, the direction of sunrise (light). Consequently when bride and bridegroom are seated at the head of Sofreh-ye Aghd they will be facing “The Light”.

The Sofreh was comprised of a gold embroidered cloth, handed down from generations to symbolize family and tradition; Kalleh Ghand, two large sugar cones that are ground over the couple’s heads to shower them with sugar, symbolizing sweetness and happiness; a ‘mirror of fate’ called the “Aayeneh-ye Bakht” and two candlesticks to represent the bride and groom and brightness in their future; a specially baked and decorated bread “Noon-e Sangak” that symbolizes prosperity for the feasts and for the couple’s life thereafter; a basket of decorated eggs and a basket of decorated nuts in the shell to symbolize fertility; a basket of pomegranates for a joyous future; a cup of rose water extracted from special Persian roses to perfume the air; crystalized sugar “Kaas-e Nabaat/Shaakh-e Nabaat” to sweeten life for the newly wed; a brazier “Manghal” holding burning coals sprinkled with wild rue “Espand” to bring health; a bowl of gold coins representing wealth and prosperity; a copy of Koran “Ghoraan-e Majid” (the Moslem’s holy book); and an assortment of sweets and pastries to be shared with the guests after the ceremony.

The ceremony started with a symbolic “meeting of the families.” A member of a different branch of each family would meet in front of the bride and groom and feed each other, often with amusing results. This was repeated a dozen or so times – cousins, aunts and uncles, siblings up to parents. For the bride, it was one of her favorite parts of the day. “We wanted something lively,” said the bride. “And we really saw our marriage as an opportunity to spend time with people we love. Making our family join the ceremony felt right for us.”

The rings were presented on a tiny pillow needle pointed by the bride’s sister with an image of a Nantucket Lightship basket, an iconic Cape & Islands image. Right after the couple was married, they dipped a pinky finger into a cup of honey and fed it to one another to sweeten their life and matrimony. The groom then, per Jewish tradition, broke the glass and the crowd shouted “Mazel Tov!”

Little pops of red were used throughout the wedding, starting with pomegranates used in the “Sofreh-ye Aghd” and ending with the bride’s Stuart Weitzman shoes. Finding the perfect shoes was one of the hardest parts of the wedding, said the bride. “I knew I would never wear white satin shoes again.” She loves the perfect shade of red of these shoes and she still wears them to parties and other weddings. “I love looking down and know I’m wearing the ‘ruby slippers’ from my wedding.” The bride’s dress is Amsale. She had fallen in love with it, but she knew a couture gown just wouldn’t fit into the budget. So she picked out another dress from a boutique but she couldn’t make herself order it until she had at least tried on the Amsale. As she was searching the internet looking for a place to try it on, she found it – on Craigslist. She was able to buy it and have it taken in a size for about 1/5 the price of a new gown. For some of the outdoor photographs she added a red pashmina to tie in with the groom’s red tie.

Amy Riley of Painted Light Photography captured the images, including a series at the beach with the most amazing colors and light. “That’s what made her stand out to us from other photographers,” Katie said. The ceremony took place on the front steps of the Cape Cod Museum of Art, and afterward everyone moved inside for the reception in the museum’s main galleries. The bride thought originally she wanted the wedding in some sort of charming barn, but that would have been a bit too casual for the groom’s family. The museum, with a gorgeous soaring beamed ceiling, was the perfect compromise of rustic and modern. “It’s a very unique, dynamic building,” said the bride. “From the outside it looks like old Cape Cod but inside it has contemporary touches.” So much of the wedding was a fresh take on old New England, but Katie wanted to avoid being overly kitschy or quaint. Instead of using the more commonly seen seashells in their decor, they used cranberries, which are grown all across the Cape. They also added another splash of red. The floral arrangements, casual arrangements in vases filled cranberries or tiny white stones, were made by Betsy Butera, who is a florist more by hobby than by profession. “We heard about her through another florist who wasn’t able to do our wedding,” said the bride. “She came to my parent’s house and used our hydrangeas and greens from the backyard. It was very fall, very organic. I loved it! ”

The menu was also a reflection of classic New England with a twist. The Casual Gourmet provided food for the cocktail-style dinner, which included an extensive array of passed hors d’oeuvres and three food stations. “We wanted to create a menu that featured all the fall comfort flavors Katie and Maz wanted, but also offer enough variety to provide something for everyone,” said the Casual Gourmet. The highlight was a Fall Risotto station, which allowed guests to pick from a display of ingredients – ranging from butternut squash to shrimp – that they wanted to add to their made-to-order risotto. “You’d think the Risotto Station was the best thing that happened to them,” the bride said of her guests. The format of the reception was carefully designed to allow guests to eat when as they wanted and start dancing as soon as possible.

This flexible, constantly-moving eschewed many traditional elements but the flow really fit the crowd. People danced all night. DJ’s Brian Delac and Scott Arrington from Murray Hill Talent played everything from the Hora to Persian club mixes. Everyone was exhausted at the end of the night. “You want your guests to have a good time,” said the bride. “For everyone it was a great exhausted!”

photography courtesy of Painted Light Photography

You can see the whole gallery of images from Katie & Maz’s wedding right here!  Congratulations!!

The Casual Gourmet are true experts at destination (and Cape Cod!) weddings and they have a terrific feature on their blog ~ A Wedding Reception Site Map for Cape Cod! Take a peek!

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Cape Cod Wedding with Sweet Charm

There is just something so sweet about this next wedding. The undeniably gorgeous bride, the pretty vintage styling, the total understated elegance. Sent us by Olive, at The Casual Gourmet, this wedding is pure yumminess. To see the full wedding click right here.

cape code wedding

casual gourmet

cape cod wedding

{click here to see the full wedding gallery}

I really wanted the entire day to be a romantic, glamorous, garden affair with vintage touches. We chose to get married in Chatham, on Cape Cod. My parents bought our house in 1982, the year I was born, and moved to Chatham full time when I graduated from high school.  We spent most of our holidays growing up at the house, and have so many many wonderful memories there. There is no place I’d rather be than at my home in the town by the beautiful ocean I love.  As it was where we were engaged, and a place where we fell in love, Dave and I knew it would be the perfect setting for the wedding.

I decided to wear my mother’s dress, and to have her walk me down the aisle. We went to Priscilla of Boston – same salon my mother went to and had a seamstress named Lula (who has been at Priscilla for over thirty years, and may have even worked on my mom’s dress originally!) work on the dress.  She removed the neck area to make an open sweetheart neckline. 

I knew the flowers had to be beautiful, graceful and welcoming. I wanted the softness of blooming garden roses and peonies, all loosely put together and looking fresh and just snipped from the garden. Nestled in my bouquet of white hydrangea and pale pink roses was a tiny picture of the my father, who had passed away a few years ago. He and I had many times looked out to our lawn together and talked about how beautiful a wedding at the house someday would be. It was so important to me that he be included in the day. The necklace that I wore was a gift from my father.

The food, provided by the Casual Gourmet, included both traditional Cape Cod favorites and upscale, elegantly presented cuisine, with many items sourced locally.  A raw bar, displayed in a charming little  dory, featured oysters and littleneck clams harvested on the Cape, an hors d’oeuvre of fresh caught local lobster with tobiko caviar and wasabi foam, a salad of organic greens and herbs from a nearby farm, and a dinner of Chatham haddock.

I’ll never forget how wonderful I felt the morning of the wedding. It had been raining for all of June, and I rolled over in bed to see the most brilliant, hot sun shining in on me. Dave’s family was staying at our home for the weekend, and that morning they, and my family, and the bridal party all came together to hang the lanterns and ribbons in the trees, and to place the paper butterflys in the trees.  I was wandering around taking photos of it all happening, and I just remember being totally overwhelmed with happiness, that these two families were coming together into one, and that we had such a beautiful happy day ahead!

Venue: Bride’s family home / Caterer, Cake & Event Coordination: Casual Gourmet / Florist: Katie McConnell of the Wild Bunch Studio / Photography: Paul Morse & Ralph Alswang / Band: The Mac Chrupcala Orchestra / Bridal attire: Priscilla of Boston, dress circa 1973-1974, Modified and tailored for this wedding also at Priscilla of Boston / Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Vineyard Collection from Priscilla of Boston / Flower Girl dress: US Angels / Ring Bearer dish: Paloma’s Nest / Tent: Undercover Tent / Tablelinens: BBJ Linens / Tableware Rentals: Rentals Unlimited / Calligrapher: Sharon Morgera

Wedding Tablescape by Desiree Spinner

I putting my pride on the shelf and literally begging one of you super chic brides, planners or florist out there to design a wedding that looks just like this. The super clean palette, the simplicity of the design and yet the utterly fabulous execution…every little bit of this is so me. Designed by the fabulous Desiree Spinner with flowers by Patrice Milley, I am so loving this little piece of wedding heaven. Click here to see more.

wedding tablescape



wedding tablescape




Click here to see more images. Photographs by Bello Photography.

From the mind of Desiree Spinner comes this seaside-inspired tablescape, which combines the beauty and elegance of the ocean’s hues with the  bright freshness of spring. The prop table served as the inspiration, with the lemon jar complementing the daisies and brightly colored favor boxes to capture the cheery atmosphere of spring on Cape Cod. The table itself combined towering branches and low sitting floral arrangements to give the impression of a season in transition: hibernation is over, flowers are in bloom and the first hints of summer are making their way into the branches of  the trees. The beaded linens worked with the sea glass inspired place settings to create an understated elegance that is quickly becoming Desiree’s trademark. The personal apple pies, created in the local Centerville Pie Shop served as a quaint reminder of the spirit of the Cape: sophisticated, but always warm and welcoming. Together, the elements come together to provide a portrait of the Cape itself: rich, but friendly; cultured, but relaxed.

Design: Desiree Spinner / Pies: Centerville Pie Company / Flowers: Patrice Milley / Table: Rentals Unlimited / Chairs: Rentals Unlimited / Linens: Wildflower Linens / Plates: Rentals Unlimited & Be Our Guest / Flatware: Rentals Unlimited / Menu Cards, Place Cards & Invitations: Ladyslipper Stationery / Ribbons: May Arts

Cape Cod Wedding with Serious Style, II

Here’s what I love about today’s wedding. The bride and groom managed to capture the essence and the innate beauty of a cape style wedding while still infusing it with funky, style-driven details that allow for their personalities to come shining through. From the peacock features to the crazy groom’s socks…there are little bits of spunk sprinkled in to every corner. And I love that. Photographed by Michael Howard, I’ve fallen hard for this wedding.

cape cod wedding

cape cod wedding

cape cod wedding

Thank you so much to Michael Howard for sharing this with us…make sure to check out his awesome blog that has tons of weddings just as gorgeous as this one.

Cake toppers: Tessa Barr, artist, San Francisco / Gown: Nicole Miller / Bride’s shoes: Poetic Licence / Groom’s suit: Calvin Klein / Tie: Cyberoptix Tie Lab / Groom’s socks: Uniqlo / Bridemaid dress: Komarov Pleated Flutter Sleeve Dress  from Nordstrom / Paper Star Lanterns with LEDs: hand made by Chip and Lisa / Porcelain Boat Place Cards: hand made by Chip and Lisa / Sign “The Wedding of Chip and Lisa”: hand made by Chip and Lisa / Caterer & Cake: Casual Gourmet, coordinator Cheryl Stewart / Florist: Bee and Blossom / Tent: Undercover Tent / Music: Maggie Mackay and the Whiskey Boys bluegrass trio

Cape Cod Wedding with Serious Style

It’s rare that I get to see a classic Cape Cod wedding with major spunk and style. Usually they are a bit more tailored, a bit more preppy. But this wedding, that Michael Howard photographed and sent our way, is the perfect balance of understated elegance and pure style. Plus, I am kind of nuts about the cake toppers…

cape cod wedding

cape cod wedding

cape cod wedding

The wedding was held at a private residence on the cape, with both the bride and the groom being artists.

Cake toppers: Tessa Barr, artist, San Francisco / Gown: Nicole Miller / Bride’s shoes: Poetic Licence / Groom’s suit: Calvin Klein / Tie: Cyberoptix Tie Lab / Groom’s socks: Uniqlo / Bridemaid dress: Komarov Pleated Flutter Sleeve Dress  from Nordstrom / Paper Star Lanterns with LEDs: hand made by Chip and Lisa / Porcelain Boat Place Cards: hand made by Chip and Lisa / Sign “The Wedding of Chip and Lisa”: hand made by Chip and Lisa / Caterer & Cake: Casual Gourmet, coordinator Cheryl Stewart / Florist: Bee and Blossom / Tent: Undercover Tent / Music: Maggie Mackay and the Whiskey Boys bluegrass trio

Backyard Chic Wedding by Spruce Floral, III

Thank you so very much to John and Nikki, of the FABULOUS Spruce Floral, for letting us showcase their wonderful wedding on SMP. It’s backyard chic to perfection.

john spruce floral

Because of Nikki’s design background we were now fortunate enough to have friends that were professional photographers. In fact, there were no less than five in attendance – one being an old friend who, at the age of 72, had been a photographer for 50 years. Long-time friends, Michael Robinson of Robinson Photography and Tanya Lacourse of Violet Marsh Photography, took candid photos of the event both before and after.

Family and friends and spruce staff helped set up, cook and decorate the tent. A “wishing tree” made of manzanita branches was arranged so that guests could write wishes to the bride and groom and hung on the branches with ribbons ribbon.

My sons gave Nikki away, dressed in custom Converse Chuck Taylors (designed by Nikki) in lime and olive with black distressed jeans, black jacket & vest, white shirt and white tie, loosely undone. Nikki wore a vintage inspired gown with subtle beading on the empire breast and a handmade lariat designed and made by her godmother. Nikki’s brother performed the ceremony – the choice based on her close relationship to him and his wild sense of humor (which was in keeping with the vibe of the day). In fact, he stopped mid-ceremony and put out a tip jar for guests…and then asked if anyone else would like to be married while he had the power to do so that day.

spruce floral

The day was filled  with great food custom cocktails in coordinating hues (pineapple kiwi  martinis and blueberry cosmos) and  lots of dancing .We ended the night (appropriately) with hundreds of sparklers a real testament to how we felt.  A candlelit path led guest safely home from a perfect day.

Backyard Chic Wedding by Spruce Floral, II

There is something so incredibly charming about this wedding. It might be the fact that the couple did everything themselves or the fact that it was held it in the groom’s (John) aunt’s backyard. Whatever it is, I am completely smitten.

John is actually one of the founders of the incredible floral studio, Spruce, here in Boston. They did my own wedding so I have had a love affair with all things Spruce for a long time. I am so thrilled to be able to show their gorgeous wedding!

john spruce floral

photography by Michael Robinson Photography and Violet Marsh Photography

From the bride and groom…

The mood of the event was fun, but sophisticated. We took our time to develop a menu that would be complex but easy to serve and prepare with this in mind – gourmet comfort food was the perfect answer. We spent a year testing the menu and then spend days in the kitchen prepping. Macaroni and cheese became Four Cheese & Lobster Mac and Cheese with Black Truffle. Our version of the cheese sandwich was Brie, Fig Jam and Arugula on fresh sesame ficelle. The roast beef sandwich became Mini Filet Bites with Carmelized onion and Salsa Verde on crusty baguette. Individual chicken pot pies. Crab cakes were served with a fresh, Asian chili sauce. A friend who is a professional baker provided baked goods such as rosemary & carrot scones, fresh ginger cookies and gourmet whoopee pies ( a HUGE hit!) The cake was a cupcake tower with cupcakes from a local baker – decorated with ribbon and edible sugared pansies, which Nikki spent the summer making by hand.

The flowers were designed by Sarah (Miles) Matteson, my partner and the Creative director at  Spruce Floral. Nikki deferred to Sarah for all creative direction, saying that while she was a graphic designer she knew that Sarah’s expertise in floral design would supersede her wildest expectations. Her only request was that the flowers have a modern garden feel, with unusual elements such as fiddleheads and rich, bold colors.

Guest entered though a winding path of hanging jars of hydrangeas in greens lavenders and plums. Two huge arrangements of hydrangeas and trailing autumns clematis framed us  as wed exchanges vows. The reception was filled with small tables high and low covered with plum & chartreuse linens – glazed ceramic bottles of fiddleheads and dahlias, stone compotes of  dahlias and licorice vine, sweet peas and ruffled heuchera leaves. Each table was different. Nikki carried a bouquet of lavender sweet peas and lady slippers peppered with fiddleheads. Satin ribbons trailed as she walked down the aisle…

Backyard Chic Wedding by Spruce Floral

Last week, we featured the BEAUTIFUL wedding of Sarah Matteson, designer behind the beautiful Boston floral studio, Spruce. Well, this week…her business partner, John, is sharing his own gorgeous backyard nuptials that the pair designed with the same TLC, the same attention to perfect details.

spruce floral blue hydrangeas Cape Cod

photography by Michael Robinson Photography and Violet Marsh Photography

From John and his ridiculously gorgeous bride, Nikki…

Our wedding was a second for both of us, so we wanted it to reflect our personalities and the personality of the location where we were having it – not so much about all the traditional bells and whistles of a first marriage.

I took Nikki to Nantucket for the first time one month after we met for a weekend away at my aunt’s island home. It was the place where we first professed our love for one another. She in fact, told me that very weekend that she would marry me if I were to ask her right there while we were having our morning coffee (I waited 2 more months). That turned out to be the very spot, on the back yard patio, where we exchanged our vows.

blue hydrangeas cape cod nantucket

Nantucket became a magical and special place for both of us, as a result.

When I proposed, it seemed only right that we would get married at the spot where we first told each other we loved one another. My aunt’s home was the perfect spot for a wedding – traditional Cape Cod colonial surrounded by lush blue hydrangeas. A long, winding driveway, lined with olive trees and covered with crushed white oyster shells.

Real Wedding: Sarah and Reid, V

Amanda Herzberger of Orchard Cove Photography sent us today’s featured wedding and it’s just lovely. Sarah is one of those brides that reminds us of what is really important in planning a wedding…to not sweat the small stuff, to show a sense of grace and elegance even when the skies rain on your parade…

orchard cove photography real wedding

A few last words from Sarah…

Off to the reception! What would a Cape Cod wedding be without East Dennis Oysters?? We served tapas, family style on the tables in multiple courses. Chef Paul Lively of Brewster did a fantastic job with the food. For dessert, again, we went against tradition and did without a cake. Instead, my Mom made cookies, Reid’s uncles made their famous family Ice Cream, and we had cupcakes. We had a self-serve dessert bar. Reid is a musician and we both love Latin jazz, so we hired the fantastic Carlos deLeon Band from Providence, RI, to provide the salsa music. Everyone had a blast. It was such a relaxed, enjoyable, intimate party!

Thank you so much to Amanda of Orchard Cove and to Sarah and Reid for sharing their day with us!

Oh and by the way, if you haven’t already checked out Sarah’s absolutely beautiful line of children’s clothing, Sarah Waldo, it’s so worth the trip. You’ll see that her laid back chic style really touches every part of her life!

{to see the full gallery, click here!}

Real Wedding: Sarah and Reid, IV

A bit more from Sarah, the gorgeous bride from today’s featured wedding…

orchard cove photography real wedding

Children made up our wedding party; all kids I have nannied for; two from NYC while I was a student at Parsons and the other two from the Cape, whom Reid had taught tennis to as well. I made the girl’s dresses using styles from my children’s clothing line in silk the color of sea glass. I added bolero jackets in with beading the like the inside of seashells to dress them up a bit. Noah, our ring bearer, wore seersucker pants from Crew Cuts and a boy’s linen guayabera from My Cuban Store. While we were all getting ready, he spotted a boater hat of my father’s and it was the perfect addition. I got ready with my family and the kids – even doing my mom’s hair and my own.

More to come!

{to see the full gallery, click here!}

Real Wedding: Sarah and Reid, III

Today’s Cape Cod wedding is exactly the kind of wedding that guests love to attend…it’s laid back, it’s full of beautiful, personal touches and it’s all about family and friends. Wait until you hear how funny their day-of tale is…


all of the absolutely perfect photographs were shot by Orchard Cove Photography

From Sarah…

We thought that a ceremony on the beach, in front of Reid’s family’s cottages, followed by the reception under a tent in my parent’s front yard would be just ideal. And, it was, until Hurricane Hannah showed up!

Despite on-and-off rain showers throughout the day of our wedding, neither of us wanted to make the call to Plan B, which was the local town church for our ceremony… after all, we were all SO excited to be having a barefoot wedding! Literally, the decision was not made to head to the church until we pulled into the beach parking lot 15 minutes before the ceremony and it started to downpour! Off to the church it was, followed by the wedding guest caravan.

Once inside the church, the children in the ceremony and I decided that we would stick with the original plan and have the ceremony barefoot.  My dad may be the only father to ever walk his daughter down the aisle of a church barefoot, but it made everything so much more special.

I had decided early on in the planning process that I did not want to have bridesmaids in the traditional sense. Most of my friends were either pregnant, photographing (!) or had many other bridesmaids duties this summer and I just didn’t want to ask these great ladies to all buy matching, expensive dresses.  I wanted their individuality to shine and to let them sit and enjoy the ceremony with their significant others.  So, instead, I asked my nearest and dearest to be my “bouquet girls;” I came down the aisle with my dad without a bouquet. Our minister offered a lovely welcome and expressed that everyone was here with us because they had been such an important part of our lives- both individually and together. To signify this, a few of my closest friends, came from their seats, one by one, with a single flower to give me with a hug, kiss, whisper for both Reid and I. These flowers formed by bouquet! My 94-year-old Grama tied them together with a ribbon.

My heart literally just skipped a beat! I really can’t say how much I love the way that this bride approached every element of her wedding…with a relaxed, totally involved, completely loving personality. It seems that her heart and soul were in every detail, every flourish. Love.

{to see the full gallery, click here!}

Real Wedding: Sarah and Reid, II

Okay, now on to the fun stuff. I thought that rather than leave you hanging, we could jump right into the DIY details from today’s real wedding (which was sent to us by Amanda at Orchard Cove)!  Before I start though, I have to tell you that I love the subtle elegance of this wedding. The DIY touches only add to the beauty of the day with their simple, elegant style that truly embrace the natural surrounding of the affair.

orchard cove photography real wedding

From Sarah, the bride…

We wanted the wedding to have a SUBTLE beach-theme. I have always loved turquoise and blue, so we went with those colors. Reid and I designed our invitations, maps, etc. and worked with the FANTASTIC Providence-based letterpress master, Dan Wood.

After meeting with our tent company, I decided, insanely, to make the napkins for the event, as I wanted just a little color. I was literally seaming these 250 linen napkins into the wee hours of the night just 2 days before the big day. Thank goodness for all my friends who pitched in tying the nautical knots.

My mom and I are real do-it-yourselfers, so all of the centerpieces, decorations, etc. we put together. My mom also makes Nantucket Lightship Baskets, so she made small ones for the flower girls and a dish-shaped basket for our rings. Traditional scrimshaw adorned the baskets with the child’s name personalizing them. My sister knitted the pillow for the ring basket. I did not hire a florist, as I knew pretty much what I wanted in terms of flowers.  A friend helped put together the adorable flower girls baskets. It was certainly a family affair!

So much more to come!

{to see the full gallery, click here!}

Real Wedding: Sarah and Reid

Amanda Herzberger of Orchard Cove Photography sent us this wedding and I thought that today was the perfect day to feature it…it’s all about beautiful DIY projects that the bride and her mom crafted to make the day seem oh-so-personal. Before I get into the details, though, I just wanted to share a few pics of the bride and groom…

orchard cove photography real wedding

From the lovely bride, Sarah…

Before Reid and I were even engaged we talked about getting married on Cape Cod. I grew up on the Cape and Reid had spent summers less than a mile from my home in a string of cottages on the beach that his great grandfather had built in the 1940s. Dennis (small town on the Cape) was also the perfect place to celebrate our union, as we met there when Reid was giving tennis lessons to the children I nannied for (they were our flower girl + ring bearer).

More to come from this lovely affair!

{to see the full gallery, click here!}

Karen Wise Photography, IV

We have one more of Karen’s weddings to show you today. The colors that Kristen & Dave used for their September wedding in Chatham Massachusetts are simply gorgeous.

Kristen Dave Cape Cod Karen Wise

You’ve gotta love fall in New England!  Be sure and visit Karen’s website and blog for tons of wedding inspiration.