An Organic Wedding on the Beaches of Massachusetts
David and Elaine's New England wedding was meant to be—but the now-couple didn't always know it. The duo, who lives in the Boston area, first met through work over 17 years ago. It wasn't until 13 years after their initial meeting, however, that they finally got together; but once they did, they knew their relationship was something special. After dating for almost four years, they took a trip to Portugal, and David saw this as his chance to pop the question. On a clifftop in Algarve, he got down on one knee and proposed with a ring he'd picked out at an antique shop on Charles Street in Boston. "It was perfect," remembers Elaine.
During their 12-month-long engagement, the couple planned a wedding on the ocean. On September 22, 2018, 100 guests gathered at Wingaersheek Beach in Cape Anne, Massachusetts—which Elaine and David chose because of its unique waterfront beauty. The atmosphere that day was wholly New England, complete with an organic, seasonal color palette and a reception with views of the water.
"It was a dream day spent with friends and family who came from all over the world," recalls Elaine. "[We were] surrounded by love, laughter, and music." Beyond a special guest list, the couple's wedding stood out for its distinct personality. "It had our touch, it was very personal," continue the bride. "We planned and selected every detail for the wedding—where on the beach, what kind of chairs and tables, the charger for the tables, the shell for each place setting."
As for her best advice for couples currently in the planning phase? "Don't sweat the small stuff and double your budget," she advises.
A Beach House Beginning
Both Elaine and David got ready at their friend's home, conveniently located on Wingaersheek Beach.
Simplicity Is Key
Elaine wore a BHLDN wedding dress that matched the beachy New England theme. She kept her accessories simple and walked down the aisle barefoot sans headpiece or veil.
As for David's big-day attire? He went with a suit from Keezer's—a well-known store in Cambridge that's been around since 1895.
New, Blue, and Borrowed
The couple incorporated something new, something blue, and something borrowed into their nuptials. Elaine got David new cufflinks from Cartier and wore her mom's earrings during the ceremony. Their something blue was David's eyes—"and they are something," says Elaine.
The Wedding Bands
Three weeks before the wedding, Elaine and David realized they still hadn't picked out their wedding bands. "We almost forgot!" the bride remembers. They ended up choosing the rings during a lunch break, but Elaine still had time to get David's ring engraved with the phrase, "Plus qu'hier, moins que demain," which means, "I love you more than yesterday, but less than tomorrow."
An Organic Aesthetic
Natural and seasonal touches served as the inspiration for the big day's aesthetic. The colors of the dunes and wheat that framed the aisle, Elaine's neutral dress, and the dark blue water played off one another.
Elaine and David wanted their friends and family to be comfortable, so they offered blankets during the ceremony and reception—they were perfect for guests who got cold on the beach.
First Look on the Beach
On the morning of September 22, 2018, the weather was windy and cold, but the sun came out just in the time for the 4 p.m. ceremony. Guests gathered on the beach to watch Elaine and David say "I do."
Elaine walked down the aisle, lined naturally by the dunes, to the sound of acoustic guitar and bongo drums. It was David's favorite part of the day.
A Special Celebrant
Elaine's best friend's husband took courses so he could officiate the wedding. "It made that day even more personal and special to have our friend be the master of ceremony," says Elaine.
With a love story nearly 20 years in the making, Elaine and David were married at last—after sharing a kiss, they walked back up the sandy aisle to applause from their loved ones.
Throwing the Bouquet
After the ceremony, Elaine's friends eagerly gathered on the beach to catch her bouquet by Les Fleurs.
During the cocktail hour, guests feasted on mini lobster rolls and mini gazpacho shooters and drank Veuve Clicquot.
The reception took place under a tent on the beach. The natural space was filled with organic elements, including simple flowers and tonal seashells. Marble dinnerware and pillar candles housed in hurricanes polished off the earthy look.
Every detail that went into the celebration was personal—even the minutiae (each setting was marked by a shell, for example). "Everything had our touch," says Elaine.
Elaine and David kept their place cards, which featured barely-there calligraphy by Kerianne Nelson, minimal.
The centerpieces, comprised of white and blush roses and blue thistles, were a nod to the event's neutral color palette.
A New England Menu
The five-course dinner began with a choice of salad; later offerings included New England staples, like clam chowder, trou normand, and either sliced sirloin or baked stuffed haddock.
A Special Sunset
Guests enjoyed a picturesque sunset, which signaled the end of Elaine and David's celebration.