an intimate wedding by the sea

Today I am very excited to share a wedding with you that I worked on for a client this past September.  This was not for just any client, it was for a couple I have known for over 7 years and previously worked with in the corporate world.  When they found out I launched my business they asked me if I would work with them on their wedding. I was beyond honored and over the moon excited to be working with this couple who I knew had great taste and dwells on the details as much as I do {which is a lot as an event planner}!!  Because of this I had no doubt their wedding would be a day to remember.

Their original plan was to host their wedding in Florence,  a place that is very special to them and a city with a culture they are both incredibly passionate about, however knowing that a destination wedding could potentially limit the attendance of some of their guests, they decided to host it in Massachusetts {where the bride grew up}.

The first step was helping them find the perfect venue.  It was important to them that it was a venue that would make an intimate group feel comfortable.  They had a very specific guest list comprised of the people who mean the most to them and their goal was to provide these guests with an unforgettable experience.

After looking at several stunning venues and even considering a renting out a very exclusive inn, nothing was standing out enough for this special couple. Until… A private home that I have long admired in Rockport, Massachusetts {that was formerly an inn many years ago} seemed like the perfect location.  Private, meticulous grounds, surrounded by water on 3 sides, a unique gazebo and a view that will take your breath away simply by walking into the backyard.  I knew in my gut that this would be perfect for them.  Having never met the owners, I wrote them a letter explaining that I was planning a wedding for a very special couple and wondered if they would ever consider renting out their home.  I left it on their doorstep, crossed my fingers, and worked on plan B.  Two days later, my phone rang; the couple that owned the home said that although they had never rented their home for a wedding, they would be open to the idea!!!!  I knew this was going to be perfect for my clients, and loved that it was an un- obvious choice for a wedding.  So we met with the owners, my clients saw the property for themselves, and the rest is history…they had their beautiful wedding on this beautiful property in Rockport Massachusetts.

When guests arrived, they entered through a gate leading to the backyard, and were greeted by the caterers offering champagne and a campari champagne cocktail to kick-off the festivities.   As you can see the view was spectacular.

All photography by:  Melissa Wagner Pavick Photography

The first part of the evening consisted of a poolside cocktail hour, which we set-up with lounge furniture, cocktail tables and a fire pit.  As I mentioned Robin & John are foodies and the talented Chef Barbara Lynch’s catering company 9 at home was an incredible partner in creating the perfect menu.  Passed hors d’oeuvres included saffron arancini, mini lobster BLT’s, and mini tomato tart tatin.

The rain plan and the beautiful day plan for dinner were the same.  We would build a tent in the stunning back yard to take advantage of the view and keep everyone comfortable.  Given that the wedding took place towards the end of September, we knew the night would be chilly so it would be utilized regardless. It was critical though that the tent was elegant, so we incorporated a tent with sailcloth fabric which is much more elegant both during the day and in the evenings when lit properly.  We also had a full hardwood floor built not only for a finished look but to level out an uneven yard and brought in chandeliers for added ambience {notice the view – we had the tent placed as close to the sea wall as we could to keep a view of the ocean at all times}.In terms of decor, we designed it with a rustic elegant theme throughout with hand made walnut tables, clean linens, bold colored centerpieces incorporating sunflowers {the groom’s favorite + think Tuscany}.  We added these brown vintage wine goblets which I sourced at a fabulous home boutique in my neighborhood and we incorporated ghost chairs to keep the look modern.

The tables were set in a t-shape to maximize the intimate setting and enable the bride and groom to see and interact with all of their guests during dinner {something incredibly important to Robin & John}.

As guests walked towards the water for a sunset ceremony, they were offered a bottle of vintage glitter to throw post nuptials.  The ceremony was beautiful, personal and held close to the sea wall which resulted in beautiful background sounds of crashing waves.

Post ceremony, guests were invited to the tent, where the groom gave a champagne toast and guests grazed on antipasto prior to getting seated for dinner.  We worked with the team at 9 at home to create a custom family-style tuscan themed menu where guests would enjoy a leisurely meal and have the opportunity to taste several different dishes which included, artichoke gratin, duck confit farro, ricotta gnudi, branzoni, braised chicken with garlic, and roasted pork loin with celery & walnuts;  all served with Italian wines that were selected to compliment the meal.

I just love candlelight both in my home and at events.  It is such an elegant way to illuminate an area both inside for a dinner party or al fresco.  We brought in over 60 lanterns to line the perimeter of the sea wall and around the pool. Once the sun had set the effects came through beautifully.We transformed the gazebo into a whiskey & cigar lounge.  Guests walked over a foot bridge to get to this special peninsula –  as the bride said at the end of the night “it was magical out there”.In terms of favors, each guest/couple was gifted with a personalized copy of Barbara Lych’s cookbook Stir.   Each book had a personalized message from the bride and groom, and was autographed by Chef Barbara Lynch in the hopes that guests would enjoy some of the recipes from the evening and other wonderful recipes far beyond their wedding

As you can see, it was a very special evening.  Guests really enjoyed themselves and post-dinner danced the night away.  It was a wonderful experience working this lovely couple.  Throughout the process I really admired their passion for creating an experience that was incredibly personal to them, while also making their guests feel special. They were in fact the host and hostess with the mostess that evening!


Vendor Credits:
Photography – Melissa Wagner Pavick Photography
Flowers – The Flowering Vine
Catering – 9 at Home
Furniture Rental – New England Country Rentals + Party by Design
Linen Rental – Table Toppers
Tent – Sperry Tents

About Emmanuelle

Event Planning & Public Relations in the Boston Area specializing in fashion, beauty, textiles & consumer goods.
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3 Responses to an intimate wedding by the sea

  1. Christiane says:

    It was a wedding to remember.
    Having seen the set up and all the work going into the smallest of details I was amazed .
    A magnificent evening indeed.

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  3. Pingback: weekend notes | a perfect day in Rockport, MA | Poise Boston

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