It wasn’t the wedding we originally planned but in retrospect, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Our family and friends came together to share the love and make the day special for us and it has left us speechless. All we can say is thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Planning a backyard wedding and a honeymoon to Maine is no small feat of logistics, but luckily it really wasn’t that stressful. With all the help and some planning on our part, we were able to spread it over the weeks ahead, and it all came together in the end.
However, we couldn’t have done it without our family and friends who turned up to help. Just to name a few in no particular order:
- Brandon’s dad, Doug, and his partner, Leslie, painted our decks, picked up booze, ice, and handled the coffee.
- His mom, Margaret, hemmed my dress, sewed runners for the tables made from fabric showcasing all our adventures, and is making a quilt guest book. Then clean up!
- My parents, Mary Jane and David, helped with rentals, the raw bar, and napkins. Then clean up!
- Our friend Cassie Minto, a “recovering event planner” thought of ALL the details that made the day work along with creating beautiful flower arrangements for my bouquet and Brandon’s boutonnière. Then helped with clean up!
- My college roommate, Marilyn, volunteered to get a Covid test, then fly from LA to utterly shock and surprise me. THEN immediately helped me landscape, and do grunt work around the yard. She also helped make the day run so smoothly and with the clean up!
- My old colleague and friend, Beth Holland, brought over buckets of hydrangeas from her garden and helped make arrangements
- Our friends Danielle and her boyfriend Neil for also helping with so many of the little things the day of including parking everyone.
- Our neighbors, the Pushee’s, lent us their entire driveway for our guests to park
- Mike Ferrizolli made our wedding rings from family heirloom jewelry and knew us so well to know what we wanted before we did
- Diane and Jim Archibald made our both beautiful and DELICIOUS 3-tiered cake. Jim has worked with Brandon at the yard for 14 years and they have both been great friends to us. Diane unfortunately broke her leg last week, yet they still made the cake! Two layers of mocha cake with espresso and caramel cream then another layer was coconut rum cake with grapefruit curd.
- Jordan Shoener was the most supportive and enthusiastic DJ friends could have.
- Maria Coughlin took our engagemet photos last summer and now helped planned an amazing day with more photos balancing on boats, rocks, and docks while being pregnant!
- Dave, our caterer, and his staff at Greenwich Bay Oyster Co. who we canceled on when the first wedding was off but then called him back when it was on. He pulled off a great event in the end with delicious food. His staff made sure I always had a cocktail or a plate of food in hand!
- Nick at our local liquor store (Kingston Liquor Mart) who hooked us up and took care of us through all the changes.
- And lastly – and this one is the most important – thank you to Morgan (Baird) Everson, our “best person” who got officiated to make the most heartwarming ceremony and start this next chapter for us on the right foot. I will publish her remarks at our ceremony so everyone can have the chance to read them. They were truly amazing. She also gave a great speech during the reception as well. Thanks, Morgs.
The day was beautiful. We couldn’t have asked for better in the middle of the summer. Sunny skies and not too hot or humid. The morning started off with just the two of us making breakfast and ticking off the last few things on the list around the house. By this point, we had decided we would be leaving the next day for the honeymoon to Maine to get ahead of an impending storm so the last minute packing was part of the morning. I attempted to cut the grass one last time but that actually failed halfway through as the engine died. Brandon had to come with the big tractor and pick up the little tractor. This side project made me a few minutes to get my hair done just down the road at Salon Stella.
When I got back from getting my hair done, I was pleasantly surprised that it was an empty house, Brandon left to get ready on the boat and finish up getting it ready for the cruise (and write his vows) and friends had not arrived yet. Scruffy and I took advantage of the peacefulness to walk in the woods and I also wrote my vows. (Nothing like waiting until the last minute!)
Soon after my gallivant, friends and family started to turn up to help setup. From there, I got ready and then Morgan and my parents headed to JBY for “a first look.” We met Maria, our photographer, and did photos before the ceremony. I’m so glad we did, it was nice to get these done.
Morgan drove me out in the JBY workboat to our boat. This was fitting on so many levels because Morgan used to work at Jamestown Boat Yard as the launch driver where she met Brandon and eventually introduced me to him! Brandon and I also drove her dads Whaler for her first look with Jay at her wedding.
Brandon stood on the bow with his back turned then I got on the boat and he saw me in my dress for the first time. Seemed fitting as well because we first met on a boat in 2012.
Next we headed ashore and drove up to a Fort Wetherill where we had our private ceremony on a rocky overlook. Scruffy and my dad walked me down the aisle/ path. My dad said this was the wedding he always imagined me having since I was 6. He couldn’t be more right. It was perfect.
At our ceremony, I held Scruffy’s leash but he settled in the shade of my dress. Brandon and I exchanged vows we wrote and Morgan said some amazing things. (Again will post below). Then we took family photos, popped some bubbles, Scruffy laid down in poison ivy and we headed back to the house. (I also should mentioned scruffy rolled in something horrid about 10 minutes before we left the house… so he was a happy dog).
We arrived home to our friends socially distanced in an aisle clapping as we entered. Brandon and I danced into “shut up and dance with me” – which he didn’t know I did but was fitting from our first date. Then we segwayed into a first dance, “Your smiling Face” by James Taylor. We are not dancers but it was more amazing to see all our family and friends faces. The smiles might the have been covered by masks but I know they were all there!
My dad and I did another quick dance to “Here comes the sun” by the Beatles before we scattered to now enjoy the evening. Having a small gathering meant i got to talk to everyone. We had a raw bar, cheese table, and plenty of apps.
At 7 we gathered around the cake and my computer and held the toasts over Zoom giving our friends and family a chance to join in. Seeing everyone from all over the world was one of the best parts of the day. We had France, Washington, California, Vermont, Colorado, London, New York, and Boston. Brandon’s aunt, Eli, wrote the most beautiful poem. (Will also post that). A surprise was seeing Julia and Bill our in Washington joining my aunts and uncle. That’s when I couldn’t stop the tears, they represented just all the love that was out there and reminded me of my grandmother, Betsy Wilson, who passed in January. We toasted using the glasses from her and my grandfathers wedding in 1955 then cut the cake. (Again, thank you Diane!)
The rest of the night continued as magically as the rest. And I will leave it at that. It seemed everyone had a great time.
We woke up to miraclly not the biggest mess but was told by friends and family to not touch any of it. So we got up, showered, ate cake for breakfast, reminisced with those who did crash upstairs about the after party then got going.
By 1130 we were dropping the mooring lines and headed on the next adventure…