A Whimsical, Vintage Teal-and-Pink Wedding in New Hampshire
Vanessa and Michael
Like a scene straight out of "Gossip Girl," Vanessa Steckman and Michael Finger met as teenagers in the halls of a New York City prep school. But unlike any fling on the TV show, their relationship endured the test of time.
After a garden ceremony in the quaint town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where they now live and own a marketing and communications company, the newlyweds biked to their reception on the Piscataqua River. There, a palette of deep teal, vivid pink, and silver colored every detail, including the napkin rings and the candy buffet.
The "largest undertaking" for the bride, who's a graphic and web designer, was the stationery she created and letterpressed in hot pink, deep teal, and gray. Portsmouth’s lighthouse, where Mike proposed, adorned the RSVP cards.
Portsmouth-themed postcards with the weekend’s itinerary on the flip side were also tucked into the gift bags. Maps, sent out with the invitations, familiarized guests with the lay of the land.
Peonies, roses, and lisianthus in pale shades of pink make up Vanessa’s clutch.
Bridesmaids were free to wear any teal dress they wanted, but ultimately decided on the same Watters & Watters design. "Go figure!" says Vanessa.
The Ring Bearer
Six-year-old Matthew, Mike’s brother, shows off a pillow stitched by Mike’s stepmom.
Neither time nor distance nor Hurricane Katrina (which stranded the pair in a room for four uncertain days) rattled Vanessa and Mike's eight-year courtship. The wedding finally happened on June 4, 2011, in a restored Victorian garden at the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Variegated ivy, Italian ruscus, white spider mums, magenta peonies, and spray roses in both pale and fluorescent pink festooned the huppa.
A Quiet Moment
Vanessa and Mike come in for a smooch. For the ceremony, the bride wore a satin cream bow with snap-on birdcage veil that was custom-made by ban.do design. She pulled off the veil for the reception.
Escort cards peek out from wooden shutters that Vanessa found in her florist’s basement and painted.
Tables were set with flower-filled jars and a sign bearing a Portsmouth neighborhood in lieu of a number.
Custom Cocktail Napkins
To match the cheery drinks, Vanessa set out napkins in two color schemes during cocktail hour: gray with teal foil and pink with silver foil.
The cake’s exterior was modeled after a wedding dress, but inside it was all about flavor: chai batter with hazelnut filling, and chocolate with Baileys liqueur.
Floral Cake Topper
"I didn’t want to do the standard couple on the top of the cake," says the bride. So Jeanne Kalman of The Well Dressed Cake fashioned a sugar peony that ended up matching those in Vanessa's bouquet perfectly.
The "Guest Book"
Friends and family autographed a teal guitar with a silver marker. It now hangs in Mike's office.
Rather than printing the couple's full names and wedding date on the drawstring gift pouch, Vanessa hid a subtle “M” and “V” in the stars on the Portsmouth banner. "I wanted the bag to be something people would actually use in the future," she says. Each one was filled with a chocolate starfish, New England whoopie pie, and bag of maple caramel corn, all locally made and sourced by Deborah Bouchard-Smith of Maine-ly New Hampshire.
The Perfect Sunset
Shutterbugs at the reception couldn't have asked for a more snap-happy moment than the sublime sunset, which even mirrored the day's palette.
Wedding Coordination: Diana Johnson of Diana Ma Weddings and Events
Photography: Meg Hamilton of Rodeo and Co Photography
Flowers: Flower Kiosk
Stationery and Paper Goods: Giftable Designs (the bride’s company)
Cake: The Well Dressed Cake
Catering: Flavor Concepts
Rentals: Be Our Guest
Tent: Sperry Tents Seacoast
Signature Drink Machine: The Margarita Man
Bride's Shoes: Something Bleu for Bhldn
Hair: Jenn Macek Conway
Makeup: Joya Beauty
Bicycles: Borrowed from Ale House Inn