A Playful Summer Wedding on Shelter Island, New York
Rachel and Andrew
Rachel and Andrew found love in Brooklyn, New York, where the East Coasters' love flourished over time and led a romantic marriage proposal.The pair's love of New York's natural beauty inspired them to pick a venue on Shelter Island for their colorful summer celebration.
On July 12, 2014, Rachel and Andrew said their "I do's" before 175 of their closest friends and family in a garden party at Sylvester Manor. The expansive property's secret gardens, scenic views, and sentimental value to the couple, made for an enchanting and vibrant event canvas. The duo incorporated creative and artistic elements into the day, such as a custom wreath symbol and the musical talents of their friends from Australia and Brooklyn.
Rachel and Andrew collaborated with their friend and illustrator, Edwina White, to create the custom stationery suite. Edwina created a collaged wreath image, which was paired with calligraphy and nautical code flag imagery to round out the design.
Rachel and Andrew were a comfy-cool bride and groom—with Rachel rocking her self-made backless gown and delicate silver bracelets from the groom himself, and Andrew in a dark blue suit and tie.
Being a costume designer, Rachel couldn't resist the opportunity to create her own dress. "I made it from a ramshackle Edwardian tea dress and contemporized it by layering it with chiffon and grossgrain ribbon," says Rachel.
Rachel told her florist, Peartree Flowers, to use "whatever looked the most beautiful in the flower market that day." The end result was a lush bouquet of mostly pink and red blooms—including ranunculus, roses, lisianthus, astilbe, and peonies.
The Flower Girls
The sweet flower girls, in white eyelet dresses from Gap, were the daughters of a lifelong friend of the groom, who also served as the officiant at the ceremony.
Andrew's close friends wore either a dark navy or gray suit with a white shirt and their own tie, making for a fun, mismatched group of groomsmen.
"I asked my bridesmaids to wear long floral dresses. I didn't give them any other guidelines beyond wanting them to find a dress that they would wear many times over," explains the bride.
Rachel and Andrew wanted to enjoy as much time as possible with their friends and family and opted for a portrait session prior to the ceremony.
Amaranth Wedding Photography photographed the couple in various spots on Sylvester Manor's lush property.
Rachel's father escorted her down the aisle to Bach's "Cello Suites No.1" during the garden ceremony.
"We stuck with traditional vows; it's nice to think of the same vows repeated over many generations," says Rachel. The ceremony readings included excerpts chosen from Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, and Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.
The Seating Chart
Bethany Siekmeier wrote the seating chart on a giant chalkboard, which was set out on the lawn at the cocktail hour.
The organic dinner menu was written on the other side of the chalkboard seating chart. Both sides of the display included a special detail from the customized invitations—the colorful, collaged wreath.
The reception was held under a large sailcloth tent filled with both rectangular and square tables set with a plethora of votives, floral arrangements, and vintage white lace table clothes that Rachel and her mom collected six months leading up to the big day.
Long tables boasted petite arrangements of pink blooms created by Peartree Flowers.
The duo shared their first dance to Neil Young's "Harvest Moon," ironically, under a full moonlit sky.
Into the Night
The night was topped off with a surprise belated Fourth of July firework show on the horizon while the celebration and dancing continued on late into the night.
Photography: Amaranth Wedding Photography
Location and Catering: Sylvester Manor
Flowers: Peartree flowers
Stationery: Edwina White
Calligraphy: Bethany Siekmeier
Makeup: Mandy Bisesti
Flower Girl Dresses: Gap