A Vintage Outdoor Tent Destination Wedding in Massachusetts
A California couple pour a whole lot of love -- for handmade details, travel, and each other -- into a heartfelt destination affair at an oceanside family home on Martha's Vineyard.
The couple married at the home of the bride's mother and stepfather, actors Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson. The groom, who grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, felt a special connection to the area as well.
Here, the couple take a moment to celebrate their new status. Her dress is by Carolina Herrera; he is wearing a Sam Elsom tuxedo.
The Invitation Suite
Event planner Emily Kelly printed "memorabilia," including nautical-themed invitations, air mail envelopes, and RSVPs scanned from old postcards.
A sign at the entrance to the property.
A view of the Gay Head Lighthouse, near the ceremony site.
Ring Pillow Redux
The couple's rings were carried in a box inherited from the groom's grandfather.
Lilly attached her grandmother's locket to her bouquet of anemones and roses.
The programs and toss had a nautical theme.
The groom was escorted down the rustic aisle by both his parents.
One of the bridesmaids provided live accompaniment for the bride's walk down the aisle.
The bride's stepfather, Ted Danson, officiated the ceremony.
"I loved reading the letters we wrote to each other as vows. Mine was about how we met, our relationship, and how we got there," Lilly says. "But Charlie's was totally not what I imagined. It was all about our future."
Lilly and Charlie embrace during the ceremony.
The Wedding Party
Lilly's stepsister and matron of honor, Kate Danson, watches with Lilly's mother, Mary Steenburgen.
"During the ceremony, Lilly's veil was whipping around in the wind. All of a sudden she just said, 'I don't think I need this,' and took it off. It made the day seem much more real," says Charlie.
Champagne was served on eclectic trays.
Catering, including these mini cocktail-hour bites, were provided by V. Jaime Hamlin & Sons Catering.
Focaccia was set out on boards made from wine crates.
A guest enjoys a Dark 'n' Stormy.
Blackberry-mint lemonade fills a glass beverage dispenser Lilly bought at Costco.
Welcome bags, printed with a friend's artwork, contained local Cape Cod potato chips, Chilmark chocolates, the island's newspaper, and schedules printed to look like telegrams and airline tickets.
Father of the Bride
Lilly's father, actor Malcolm McDowell, with his son Seamus.
The couple with (from left) Lilly's stepsisters Katrina and Kate Danson; brother Charlie McDowell; former president Bill Clinton, a family friend; Mary Steenburgen; and Ted Danson.
Lilly's brother Beckett peeks through a telescope.
Some young guests played lawn games.
Postcards of Martha's Vineyard served as escort cards and were displayed with a map of the couple's favorite places.
"I had no idea the tent would come with flags! It was an amazing surprise," says Lilly.
A Look Back
Family photos were strung together to provide decorative garlands.
Lilly sewed garlands, made of circles cut from old book pages, for her chair and Charlie's.
The newlyweds share an intimate moment on the dance floor. The Mike Benjamin Band provided the music for the reception.
Charlie dances with his mother, Adelaide.
Lilly used ticking from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores on the tables, plus linen napkins stenciled with words and locales significant to the couple; the candle favors were custom "Atlantic" and "Pacific" scents.
Dahlias and anemones were clustered in simple glass vases. "I loved getting my girlfriends involved in all the details," says Lilly. "To make these napkins, I had a stenciling party. I've always been very visual and hands-on, so this wedding was a dream come true!"
A mirror was decorated to look like a French menu.
Instead of a cake, the couple served berry pies and tarts from a local baker.
Little brother Beckett serenaded the crowd with his favorite Elvis Presley songs.
"I wanted to be really involved from Day One," says Lilly. "Luckily, I have an amazing group of girlfriends whose idea of a perfect evening is to open up a bottle of wine and create something." One such wine-and-craft night involved labeling custom candle favors from Nell's Compass, owned by Lilly and her mother.
Event Planning and Stationery: Emily Kelly of Unscene Inc.
Catering: Jaime Hamlin & Sons Catering (food), Our Market (bar)
Flowers: Marlene DiStefano of Island Ambiance
Music: The Mike Benjamin Band
Rentals: Big Sky Tent & Party Rentals
Linens: Party Rental Ltd., BBJ Linen Rentals
Restrooms: Dottie's Potties, 508-693-1135
Wedding Photography: Tec Petaja, Jessica Antola
Gown: Carolina Herrera
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Woodford & Co.
Menswear: Sam Elsom; Prada
Hair: Jennifer Keeler from Krimson Hair Studio
Makeup: Troy Surratt