Driftwood and oyster shells added natural elegance to this nautical wedding.
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Emily and Justin
In the summer of 2008, Emily Taylor and Justin Assad met while working the shores of Nantucket, Massachusetts, as sailing instructors—he was coaching a university team, and she was helping out a local high school. They became friends, went out a few times, and assumed their budding relationship would end with the season, when they would go their separate ways: Justin to Vermont and Emily to Boston. But they kept in touch with ever-more-frequent phone calls and, says Emily, "as we slowly realized how much we actually had in common," they upgraded to visits. Two-and-a-half years later, the duo finally settled in the same state, New Hampshire (Emily works as the program director for a community-sailing nonprofit, and Justin coaches Dartmouth College's sailing team). Five years after their summer romance began, Justin proposed in a winter wonderland. During a ski trip to Vermont, they climbed to the icy peak of Camel's Hump. Emily paused to look at the view, and, "when I turned back, he was on one knee," she recalls.
When it came time to plan their wedding, the pair took inspiration from the place that had brought them together: the water. On May 10, 2014, they wed on the grounds of a private Cape Cod estate, on a bluff overlooking the bay where Emily first learned to sail. The misty morning clouds cleared by the afternoon, just in time for the Jewish ceremony, as 175 guests watched the couple tie the knot beneath a chuppah made from driftwood. Though the rain held off, there wasn't a dry eye in the place. "The image of Emily and her father coming down the aisle, and looking in her eyes during the ceremony, are moments I'll cherish all my life," says Justin.
Postceremony, the newlyweds joined guests under a sailcloth tent outfitted in aquatic shades of blue, with pops of pink, for a sit-down dinner of roasted beef tenderloin and scallop-and-shrimp kabobs. But no one was seated for long. "The band brought the house down," says Emily. "Many of our parents' friends, who hadn't danced in years, were on the floor," she says. "It was a total blast." A fitting start to a lifetime of smooth sailing.
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A Coastal Save the Date
Letterpressed save-the-dates with a mussel-shell and driftwood motif were first hand-drawn in pen and ink.
Photography: Meghan McGovern Hamilton
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Finding the Way
The bride's mother collected driftwood for signs that were painted with the day's details, including the location coordinates.
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The Couple and Their Pup
Millie, the couple's Bernese mountain dog, played ring bearer and, as if on cue, "barked when people clapped," says Emily.
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The Bride's Bouquet
Emily carried peonies, garden roses, scabiosa, ranunculus, dusty miller, berried eucalyptus, jasmine, succulents, and air plants.
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Bridesmaids chose their own dresses in shades of blue.
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The driftwood chuppah was adorned with eucalyptus, peonies, and gauzy fabric.
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Seaside Escort "Cards"
Oyster shells hand-written with names and table numbers helped guests to their seats.
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Ikat runners, rattan chargers, and bright blooms decorated the long reception tables.
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Photography: Meghan McGovern Hamilton11 of 12
The pair augmented a small buttercream-frosted vanilla cake (for slicing) with dozens of cupcakes.
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Event Design and Styling: By Emily B. Event Design
Catering, Cake, and Cupcakes: The Casual Gourmet
Flowers: Fancy Flowers by Meredith
Photography: Rodeo & Co. Photography
Officiant: Rabbi Sol Goodman
Stationery: Printerette Press for Gus & Ruby Letterpress
Music: The Sultans
Hair: Libby Boardman Muto of The Hair Company
Groom's suit and Menswear: Indochino