A Boho Wedding on a Private Island in Connecticut
Katie and Simon
It was a cold, Sunday morning in February when Simon and Katie went for a walk with their dog on the seaside path by their home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. Simon insisted they stop to take a photo with the still sea and white snow as the backdrop. He then dropped to one knee, opened the pup's backpack, and pulled out a ring he'd customized with a friend. Champagne was hidden in the snow, behind a tree, and the rest was history.
The global marketing manager bride and sales director groom set out to tie the knot 16 months later, on June 18, 2016, about two hours away from that special spot—on a private island off the coast of Connecticut. 130 guests gathered on the sunny afternoon for a chic celebration infused with indigo dip-dyed details, leather and gold accents, and plenty of love.
Lucinda Wesson of Chocolate Creative Design was the mastermind behind the save-the-dates. She designed special boxes wrapped with shibori fabrics and printed belly bands with dip-dyed edges, sent with postage stamps featuring the work of Mexican artist Martín Ramirez—in honor of the groom's roots.
Some guests later used that fabric to make pocket squares and bow ties for the big day.
Inside the Save-the-Dates
Lucinda conceptualized the pieces so that they would truly give clues to what the wedding would be like, what elements would be incorporated, and also to bottle up the island's charm and atmosphere.
Inside each box's lid was a black-and-white photo from the couple's engagement session on Elihu Island, taken by ali + julie. A dip-dyed save-the-date card featured a digitally-printed bespoke monogram on the watercolor paper, which sat atop white Krinkle Kut with a heart-shaped rock (Katie's father collects them) and local sprigs of greenery nested inside.
Katie's cousin told her about a remote island off the coast of Connecticut called Elihu Island. After lots of searching, the couple found it and visited a month after their engagement. Even with three feet of snow on the brisk, winter day, they fell in love with it and knew it'd be the spot they'd become husband and wife, booking Island Farm for their big day.
The invites were a bit simpler than the save-the-dates, with a classic and clean card outlining the details. The all-capitalized typography was printed on watercolor paper, with deckled edges, that were once more dipped in blue dye. Leather cording bundled the pieces together before they were inserted into large envelopes lined with shibori fabric.
Christen DeLaney of CAM Jewelry designed the engagement ring and wedding bands. Simon and Christen worked together on Katie's brilliant-cut diamond, bezel-set in matte, yellow gold.
Katie's mother advised her to "Put your face to the sun, slow down, and take it all in."
The Ceremony Setup
Hana Floral Design added silver eucalyptus, ruscus, and clusters of flowers like protea, garden roses, and viburnum, to an arch of bittersweet vines constructed by the groom himself. It was set on a place the couple called "the love rock," which can be reached by walking through a field of sea grass to a spot overlooking the water.
Katie and her father entered the ceremony as a friend sang "Leather and Lace" by Stevie Nicks—a song the bride has loved since she was a little girl. It was even more symbolic as Katie wore a lace gown and carried a bouquet wrapped in leather. As she approached the guests, she could see Simon's eyes watering as the breeze blew and the warm gazes of loved ones shone on them.
The Flower Girls
Clad in white gowns and head crowns, the flower girls scattered white rose petals down the aisle.
The couple embraced (with a dramatic dip, too) at the ceremony's conclusion. "It wasn't planned," Katie notes of the big moment. "We didn't practice, we were just us. Simon took the lead there."
The service included a reading by a good friend of the lyrics to Bob Schneider's "40 Dogs," and ended with an acoustic performance of "If Not For You" by Bob Dylan as the couple recessed. But in between, the duo exchanged vows they'd written to one another, first speaking to each other's mothers—Katie talking to Simon's mom in Spanish, promising to always love her son, and Simon saying his own words to Katie's mother before reciting his vows to his wife-to-be.
Katie's bridal party was comprised of sisters and friends, all clad in twobirds dresses tied in different fashions. As for the bride, she donned a Sarah Seven lace gown with a slit to the thigh and carried a bouquet of king protea, ranunculus, sweet pea, clematis, thistle, anemones, blushing bride protea, nigella, and greenery, tied together with leather by Hana Floral Design.
The Bridesmaids' Bouquets
A custom copper pipe trellis held dip-dyed escort cards that resembled bookmarks and a sign with the newlyweds' logo.
During cocktail hour in the gardens, guests chose from a trio of cocktails at the tequila bar and also visited this moss-embellished bar (made by the groom) for wine and beer. As guests made their way over from the reception, the couple's wedding planner took their photos with a vintage black-and-white instant camera before they wrote well wishes to the newlyweds in gold pens on cards to pair with the pics.
A mix of long tables filled the sailcloth tent, from which rattan light fixtures (which were repurposed in the couple's home post-wedding) hung.
The Place Settings
Tables were set with gold flatware and simple white plates. Menus sat atop dip-dyed napkins, tied together with either leather cord or monogrammed silk ribbons. With a mix of tables, the arrangements also differed, varying between low planters of white and blue flowers, all greenery (like ruscus, bay leaves, and olive branches), and small white vases with single blooms. Each of the tables also boasted a different runner—some dip-dyed and others with a shibori print.
Modern, gold table numbers and plenty of white pillar candles added to the ambiance.
Time to Dance
The couple chose Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is" for their first dance. Everyone joined them on the dance floor until the last song of the evening—"We Bid You Goodnight" by the Grateful Dead.
A One-of-a-Kind Lounge
A geodesic dome set with eclectic furniture, rugs, and pillows offered a quiet spot for guests to relax—and a good place for the couple to take some time out together during the night, look at their loved ones celebrating, check out the stars, and reflect and feel the love. Another lounge area boasted some of the couple's chairs, which had been reupholstered in fabrics (like an African mudcloth) that tied into the day's décor.
Photography, ali + julie
Location, Island Farm at Elihu Island
Event styling, planning, and coordination, Ruffles & Tweed
Catering, B&M Catering
Videography, Forged in the North
Stationery, event stying, and décor, Chocolate Creative Design
Bride's gown, Sarah Seven
Bride's Reception Dress, Stone Cold Fox
Hair, Posh Salon
Makeup, Jennie Fresa Beauty Bar
Bridesmaids' dresses, twobirds
Groom's tuxedo, J.Crew
Transportation, First Student
Restrooms, United Site Services