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Kristen, who had spent years on Nantucket with her family, brought boyfriend Jonny along on a trip—stopping at Cisco Brewers together during the visit to the island. Since it's one of their favorite spots, they wanted to include it in their destination wedding weekend—hosting 140 guests on Friday, September 5, 2014, the night before they tied the knot. But that wasn't the only gathering held during their destination wedding weekend.
They kicked things off that Thursday with a tournament of champions since the competitive couple thought it'd be fun for everyone to have a chance to come over (to Kristen's parents' home) when they arrived on the island. Later that night, a group of about six dozen people hit the sand—Nobadeer Beach to be exact—for a relaxed rehearsal dinner. The public beach on the south side of Nantucket set the scene for the casual gathering, complete with lobsters and corn hole. And the weekend wouldn't have been complete without a boat ride on the open waters, for a deep sea fishing adventure the day before the nuptials.
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All Together Now
On the morning of Thursday, September 4th, 2014, close to 100 friends and family members came over for a tournament of champions. 140 guests—in a range of ages—joined in for the fun and games.
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Shirts made specifically for the tournament were rolled up and placed in baskets, along with baseball caps adorned with the island of Nantucket.
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The design on the back of the t-shirts incorporated a pair of croquet mallets, the month and year, and a combination of the couple's last names.
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A Game of Catch
Frisbees that were included in the welcome baskets were also on hand for guests to toss around for fun.
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Horseshoes, bocce ball, ladder ball, and cornhole were part of the day-long challenge.
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A bracket was kept on an oversized chalkboard.
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A family friend manned the grill, cooking up hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch. Candy kept the sugar levels up and the group kicked back with Grey Lady and Shark Tracker beers from Cisco Brewers.
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Kirsten's sister's pup, Splinter, joined in the festivities too.
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Jonny's twin cousins (who were the flower girl and ring bearer) got in on the fun. Just after lunch time, the wedding party headed to the chapel for the ceremony rehearsal, so the tournament wrapped and the kids were declared joint MVPs, winning hand-painted Nantucket signs for their rooms.
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Kristen and Jonny wanted to showcase their love of Nantucket and the activities they enjoy doing over their destination wedding weekend. "We thought it'd be fun to take our close family and friends out the morning before the wedding," says the bride. "We turned it into a competition and gave out prizes for first fish, biggest fish, and most fish caught."
Kristen (on the left) was joined by her sisters and best friend for the day's adventure. Many of the attendees wore the custom shirts they were given in their welcome bag.
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The Boat Trip
Jonny, his two best friends, and future brother-in-law, went out on one boat, while two other boats took the rest of the couple's families out on the water. The group traveled around Great Point toward Siasconset—the site of the wedding the following day—before heading back to harbor.
Everyone caught something—with Kristen's friend bringing in the first fish, and the flower girl reeling in the largest. Bluefish and striped bass were caught. Everyone went home and had an impromptu barbecue with the bounty reeled in.
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The Welcome Dinner
For the Friday night welcome party, Salt Harbor Designs filled amber bottles with arrangements of local wildflowers.
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In addition to beer, there was wine from nearby Nantucket Vineyard. All beers were made on site by Cisco Brewers. Guests could try anything on tap, and were encouraged to sample the duo's favorite beer-cocktail—the Blue Haired Lady. Made of Cisco's Grey Lady beer (named after the island's nickname because of the fog) and Triple 8 vodka, it's universally loved.
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The Rehearsal Dinner
"The evening didn't really feel about us two so much, as it did about all of our family and friends," Kristen notes of loving seeing everyone mixing together at the tables set out for their beachside rehearsal dinner.
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Utensils and Napkins To Go
To keep things easy for the diners getting between the buffet and their seats, Mason jars (that served as glasses) were filled with flatware and disposable napkins. Tags with their names on it also reminded them of the entrée they'd previously selected.
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Everyone picked up a mug of Nantucket clam chowder to kick off dinner.
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Guests could choose from a lobster dinner, swordfish, or barbecued ribs.
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Fun and Games
A custom game of cornhole made by the father-of-the-groom was set out on the beach. "We can't seem to go anywhere, especially the beach, without bringing cornhole along," says Kristen, who plays the game nearly every weekend she can.
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Photography: Millie Holloman Photography
Welcome Dinner Location and Beers: Cisco Brewers
Event Planning: Salt Harbor Designs
Rehearsal Dinner Catering: Sayle's Seafood
Rehearsal Dinner Rentals: New England Country Rentals
Rehearsal Dinner Music: P.J. Moody (508-221-8713)