A Traditional Nautical-Inspired Navy-and-White Wedding in Connecticut
Haylee and Franklin
Fate seemed to want to bring Franklin Shipman (known as Shippy) and Haylee Rothschild together, but the pair took a while to realize it. Both grew up in Wilton, Connecticut, and attended the same high school, but their paths never crossed. In 1991, they dated for a few weeks but weren't looking for a serious relationship at the time. Nine years later, they reconnected and were "completely enamored," says Haylee. In 2001, Haylee came home to a candlelit apartment and music playing softly on the stereo. Shippy walked her to the couch, knelt on one knee, and proposed.
For their monogram, the couple used nautical flags that stand for their fist initials. Invitations were letter-pressed in navy and red, and envelopes were lined in yellow.
White hydrangeas burst out of a galvanized tub at the entrance to the church.
Wearing navy-blue shantung shells and skirts by Simple Silhouettes, bridesmaids carry hand-tied bundles of stark white ranunculus and narcissus.
A groomsman wears a boutonniere made of aster and Italian pittosporum, and a tie patterned with tiny life preservers.
Haylee's bouquet combines canary-yellow lilies, tulips, ranunculus, mimosa, and narcissus and is wrapped in a satin ribbon.
The Ring Bearers
Young members of the bridal party bear rings and wear matching striped sweater vests.
The bride's great-aunt Rose Hibo and mother, Vido Rothschild.
Programs are bound with a thin rope-style cord.
With a thumbs-up, the Rev. Douglas Abbott ends the ceremony.
Guests wave paper flags as the newlyweds leave their October 12, 2002, ceremony.
The couple leaves for their reception in a 1929 Packard sedan; nautical flags along the hood spell out the words "just married."
A grand reception tent sits waterside at the Riverside Yacht Club, allowing guests to enjoy views of the Long Island Sound.
A foam-lined galvanized tray covered with a layer of white stones displays an original twist on table assignments: Guests locate their seats by matching the flags with their names to the ones that are tucked into the table napkins.
At each place setting, skewered flags stand tall in coiled crisp white napkins. Galvanized buckets in various sizes filled with white dahlias, tulips, hydrangeas, and chrysanthemums make fresh, fragrant centerpieces. Nestled in between are small lanterns, conveying the charm of an old lighthouse.
The couple selected a towering four-tiered chocolate cake by Sandee Martensen covered with butter cream frosting and decorated with colorful white-chocolate flags.
A nautical rope, coiled and hot-glued in place, serves as the tabletop for the keepsake guest book; the title is a play on the couple's name.
The favor is a muslin pouch filled with sailboat-shaped sugar cookies and saltwater taffy; it's tied with grosgrain ribbon, and an Irish toast to friendship is printed on a tag.
Metal trays hold sparklers along with matches; during the reception, bridesmaids passed them around to guests to wave at the couple at the end of the night.
A canvas flag with felt lettering made by friends decorates the vessel on which Haylee and Shippy will set sail at the end of the evening.
Guests gather to bid a special farewell to the newlyweds. "The most magical part of the night was the send-off," says Haylee. "It was surreal walking past the sea of lights and the smiles of the people we love the most."
Ceremony: Wilton Congregational Church
Reception: Riverside Yacht Club, 203-637-1706
Band: AZK Band, contact Kenny 718-481-7133
Flowers: Dorris Moss of Floral Designers, 203-637-4635
Bride's Gown: from Paula Varsalona
Invitations: Julie Holcomb Printers, 877-654-2595
Car: Col. Norman B. Hathaway, 914-669-8953