We have another lovely Massachusetts wedding for you today! From the waterfront ceremony to the narwhal escort cards, it was a perfectly Cape Cod celebration. Plus, brides Tracie and Nellie kindly shared tons of details about their planning and the day with us (love that they walked down the aisle at the same time – what a great idea!), so be sure to read on for the full story.

Photography by Love Me Do.

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From Tracie & Nellie:

 

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony?  I am fortunate enough to have spent every summer of my life on Cape Cod, where my family has a house in Wellfleet, a town 20 minutes south of Provincetown. I have always felt connected to Provincetown, an artist’s community and gay enclave that seamlessly mixes a deep reverence for the natural world with glitter and cabaret. When I got the chance to introduce Nellie to the Cape, she fell in love, too. We knew we wanted to get married on the Cape, and Provincetown felt like the perfect place. It was so exciting to see our friends and loved ones experience such a unique place, and one we love so much.

Pilgrim Monument itself is spectacular. The Monument stands like a shining beacon on the Provincetown skyline, welcoming us every time we pull into the harbor. However, I hadn’t been on the grounds of the Monument since I climbed it as a little kid. As soon as Nellie and I walked up the path toward the monument on our first visit, I knew we had to get married there. The grounds are so beautiful, and perfectly capture the wild beauty of the Cape. I cannot imagine a more perfect backdrop for our ceremony than the Provincetown harbor.

Your ceremony in three words.  Personal. Poetic. Joyous.

How did you go about planning your ceremony?  Our officiant gave us a ceremony book she uses, and we laid out a blanket at a park near our home and read different parts of the ceremony to each other, customizing and changing where needed. We cried and laughed and crafted the perfect ceremony for us and the way we wanted to feel on our wedding day.

Who officiated your ceremony?   Joan Gilbreth, an amazing minister who also happens to be our wedding planner’s mother. When we described who we wanted to officiate the ceremony, Jamie knew that Joan would be a perfect fit – and she was! Joan radiates warmth and sincerity, and her reading at the ceremony felt so caring. We were so grateful to have her as a part of our day.

Did you include any traditions in your ceremony?  Our officiant opened the ceremony with a poem, and both of our readings were poems that were meaningful to us. One of the poems was written by Mary Oliver, an incredible poet and Provincetown resident.

What was your ceremony music? 
Processional – Forever by Ben Harper
Recessional – Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder

What were your ceremony readings?  
Opening poem read by the officiant: i thank You God for most this amazing by E. E. Cummings
Reading 1: [i carry your heart with me (i carry it in)] by E. E. Cummings
Reading 2: Coming Home by Mary Oliver

What were your vows like?  We wrote our own vows, which we read to each other the day before to try to take the edge off. (It didn’t work; we both bawled). We also included a traditional exchange of vows after the personal vows that struck a cord with us. (READ TRACIE AND NELLIE’S VOWS HERE.)

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  It’s hard to pick one thing! My favorite thing was watching Nellie during the different parts of the ceremony, and feeling so present and deeply connected. I asked Nellie (without showing her my answer) and she said that for her it was watching me and holding my hands during the ceremony.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  It was very important to me that Nellie and I be able to walk down the aisle at the same time. The Monument provided the perfect opportunity: the two walkways along each side of the Monument joined together in front of the ceremony area. We were able to sneak peeks at each other as we made our way toward one another, and it was so beautiful and exciting.

We were each walked down the aisle by both of our parents. It was important to us to acknowledge the significance of our mothers and our fathers in that moment, and to reframe the notion of being “given away” to instead symbolize the role of each of our parents in bringing us to that point in our lives.

Another fun detail is that we hired pedicabs to bring our guests up the hill the Monument sits on, so they weren’t exhausted and sweaty before the ceremony. We didn’t expect it, but Nellie and I hitched a ride on the way to the ceremony too!

 

How would you describe your reception?  Romantic, whimsical, and a fantastic party!

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We wanted the ceremony space to look romantic, organic and a little bit playful. We used farm tables with lace runners, a variety of different lanterns, oil lamps, and glass bottles filled with Juliet roses and more wild looking blooms. There were also touches of gold throughout, including gold Chiavari chairs, gold flatware, and gold-rimmed glassware and china.

We also wanted to include fun, personal touches that referenced our love of the sea and our Cape Cod location without resorting to traditional motifs. Our directional signs were in the shape of whales, and our escort cards were in the shape of whales and narwhals, which were displayed on twine wrapped around a huge tree in the cocktail area and secured with mini clothespins. Our cake toppers were two mini narwhals too.

Our open air photo booth really helped keep the mood fun and playful. It was so great to look over from the dancefloor to see our guests goofing around in the photobooth with all of our nautical-themed props.

What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  My favorite moments were our first dance, and dancing all night with my beautiful wife! Honestly, as silly as it sounds, I loved running back and forth from the tent to the little cottage on the grounds that only she and I had access to. Running hand in hand, giggling, and smiling ear to ear. It was perfect.

Any special dances?
First Dance – “That’s Where It’s At” by Sam Cooke
Father/Daughter Dance (Mike and Nellie) – “Silver Wings” by Merle Haggard
Father/Daughter Dance (Jeff and Tracie) – “Daughter” by Loudon Wainwright III
Last song – “Sail Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison

Menu:  Raw Bar: Wellfleet Oysters shucked to order // Passed Hors d’Oeuvres: Polenta Cakes with Sun-dried Tomato Tapenade / Cosmos Clam Chowder passed in Demi Tasse Mugs / Smoked Local Bluefish Pate in Profiterole / Curried Vegetables wrapped in Scallion Crepes with Coriander Yogurt / Zucchini and Carrot Fritters with Charred Tomato Jam // Salad Course: Garden Green Salad with Citrus Shallot Vinaigrette, English Cucumbers, Carrots, and Walnuts // First Course: Butternut Squash and Parmesan Ravioli, sage brown butter, oven-dried tomatoes with asiago cheese // Second Course: Butter Poached Cape Cod Lobster Tail with Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetable Bundles / Cosmic Filo Purse filled with Three-Grain Pilaf with Fresh Herbs, Shiitake Mushrooms and Summer Squash and Seasonal Vegetable Bundles

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Our wedding cake was a beautiful textured pink ombre strawberry shortcake wedding cake (citrus olive oil cake, vanilla pastry cream and fresh strawberry filling with vanilla buttercream frosting). We also served a dessert table with strawberry rhubarb crostatas, mini vanilla cheesecakes topped with raspberry, mini key lime pies, and s’mores tartlets.

Did you have a signature cocktail?  We had two: The Fitz, a classic Mint Julep with Bulleit bourbon, based on Nellie’s own recipe, and The Palmer, a sparking Cape Codder with cranberry juice and vodka, and topped with Prosecco.

Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception.  Both of our fathers gave wonderful speeches, and my cousin noted that neither of us could help but sing along to the music during our father/daughter dances.

 

Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  Yes! We both did the something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

Tracie: Old and blue: a beautiful antique blue brooch from the 1800s that my aunt gave me for my 30th birthday. Our florist fastened it to my bouquet. // New: pretty much everything! Though I count my Jimmy Choo shoes with crystal clusters. // Borrowed: The rosary beads that my grandmother, my father’s mother, who passed away when I was 13, used everyday. My father loaned them to me to wrap around my bouquet to represent both of my father’s parents.

Nellie: Old: A gorgeous antique pin that Tracie’s aunt gifted Nellie for the wedding. // New and blue: Adorable blue narwhal cufflinks. // Borrowed: a gold coin that Nellie’s grandfather gave to her mother, and her mother kept in her shoe at her own wedding. Nellie put it in her shoe and wore it during ours!

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Be present and enjoy every second. It truly does go by quickly. That, and I read an article during the planning process that advised not to overly restrict your parents’ guest lists. A wonderfully unexpected part of the wedding day was seeing how much fun our parents had celebrating and reuniting with dear friends. It’s you and your partner’s day, but your parents’ joy adds so much.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Stay true to yourselves and don’t get overly concerned with convention. And always be each other’s allies. It’s a long and sometimes stressful process, but the key is to make your shared vision come alive and, of course, to get married!

Also, get a planner! Jamie was invaluable to us every step of the way. We went with a full service package, because we are both busy attorneys and Type As who lived outside the area where the wedding was being held. Jamie not only brought such wisdom and expertise, she was also a calming force (and often the voice of reason) throughout the entire process. By the end, it felt like we planned our wedding with a friend, which is more than we could have asked for.

Relatedly, make sure you really hit it off with your beauty team – your hair and makeup artists will be a surprisingly intimate part of your day. Ours were warm and wonderful and added to the happy excitement of the getting ready process.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  The budget advice I would give other brides is to have one! Nellie and I came up with a number at the beginning, but then never took the next step to breakdown how much to allocate to each item (floral, venue etc.). Although it was truly worth every penny, we ended up spending much more than that first number we threw out during our initial meeting with Jamie. Also, spring for videography! Our highlights video is so amazingly beautiful, and I still can’t watch it without crying. Getting to see the day captured on film is priceless.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  Wherever it felt right, Nellie and I bucked tradition and went our own way. After some thought, a “first look” didn’t feel right to us. As two women, we didn’t want it to seem like one of us was being revealed to the other. We were both the bride! Instead, Nellie got dressed at her parents’ cottage and then she came over to our hotel where I was getting ready. My hair and makeup was done, but I was still in my robe when she arrived. She helped me put on my dress, sash and veil and I pinned on her boutonniere. It felt perfectly us.

Photography: Love Me Do / Venue: Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, Massachusetts / Event Planning & Design: Cape Cod Celebrations / Floral Design: Designer’s Touch / Dress: Watters via Lovely Bride / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Veil, Hairpiece: Twigs & Honey / Earrings: Lovely Bride / Suit: Enzo Custom Clothiers / Shoes: Paul Smith / Accessories: Narwhal Cufflinks: RachelOs / Stationery: Chick Invitations / Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Donna Cella / Hair: Stacey Kuehn / Makeup: Kelly O’Keefe, Blush/Tryst Studio / Rentals: Rentals Unlimited, Undercover Tent, True North Rentals / Officiant: Joan Gilbreth / Music: Scott Arrington at Murray Hill Talent /  Catering: Cosmos Catering / Cake, Dessert: WildFlour Bakery / Photobooth: Seacoast Photobooth / Potted plants and Flowers for Ceremony: Garden Renovations / Escort cards: JonNi Paper Goods

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Modern, Secular Wedding Vows

I have known you since the beginning of time, [NAME],
and loved you longer still.
I am so happy, so blessed,
that I found you here in this life.

I promise you that I will never take this great love for granted;
I will always nurture our love
and be awed by its power.

I vow to you that every day,
I will hold this marriage sacred,
for you are the greatest gift of my life.

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Decorating your holiday table doesn’t need to be difficult! Planner Jenna Lam and photographer Meg Smith have stopped by today to show you that with the right accents, using your own china, flatware, and glassware can make for a simple, elegant, and perfectly festive table.

 

From Jenna: “The Heath Ceramics plates and Riedel glassware are a staple in my household. By bringing in metallic accents like the gold flatware and gold mercury-glass votives, we instantly made simple everyday items feel more luxurious. The exquisite hand-painted ornaments by Priti Ornaments, doubling as a place cards, added a personalized touch. We also wanted to put a more modern spin on typical Christmas colors.”

 

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“Don’t be afraid to use what you already have! Your everyday china and glassware can look unexpectedly elegant with the right tweaks. Similarly, don’t feel like you need to use evergreen to get the holiday feel. Use what’s in your garden or yard. We love incorporating boxwood and rosemary into our holiday arrangements.”

 

 

 

 

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More tips from Jenna:

– If you’re not savvy with flowers, bring in color through the table linens or through touches like an ornament place card.

– Think beyond the tabletop – we hung mini boxwood wreaths from the backs of the dining chairs which is a great alternative to a floral centerpiece is you’re short on space.

– I say you can never have too many candles. It’s the holidays! Break out the tapers, votives, pillars. It will make your entire table feel cozy and festive.

 

 

We’d love to see your holiday tables, so share your pics with us on Instagram and tag us @snippetandink for a chance to be featured. And thank you to Jenna and Meg for stopping by with this lovely table!

Photography: Meg Smith / Event Planning & Design: Jenna Lam Events / Hand-Painted Ornaments: Priti / Name Tags: PS Paper / Plates: Heath Coupe / Flatware: Frances Lane, purchase similiar ones at West Elm / Linen: La Tavola, purchase similar at Williams-Sonoma / Napkins: Kim Seybert / Mercury Glass Votive Candles: West Elm / Glassware: Riedel / Champagne Coupe: Sur La Table / Floral Design: Lexie Brooks for Jenna Lam Events / Brass Vase: Jamali Garden

 

Meg Smith is a Snippet & Ink Select vendor. This post contains affiliate links. 

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This is our last week of real wedding features of 2015! Today we head to Massachussetts for Meg and Bryan’s backyard wedding, and all I can say is… how incredible is Meg’s heirloom veil?! Also, read on for a hilarious story about their vintage wedding day transportation (thank goodness for a backup plan!).

Photos by Olivia Rae James.

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From Meg & Bryan:

 

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony?  Meg: Since we decided to get married in my hometown, it was only fitting that we get married in the church I grew up in, St. Anthony’s. I was baptized, had my First Communion and confirmation there, so there was just a lot of meaning behind it.

Your ceremony in three words.  Personal, Musical, Joyful.

How did you go about planning your ceremony?  Meg: Bry is Episcopalian and I am Catholic, so we kept it simple and didn’t do a full mass. We wanted it to have a personal and intimate feel, even though it was in a big church, so we asked Bry’s cousins, Winslow and Roz if they would play the violin and piano and some of our closest family member to speak, including Bry’s 85 year old Grandfather who was a former Reverend. Having those personal elements to the ceremony really changed everything for us. It was just so special and powerful.

Who officiated your ceremony?  Meg: Father Mulvehill officiated our wedding and was my Priest growing up. He also happened to be my mom’s childhood Priest in another Massachusetts town, purely a coincidence. So he holds a special place in my family’s heart.

What was your ceremony music?  Meg: Our ceremony music was a mix of traditional and non-traditional. We had the classics like Canon in D for the bridal party and Trumpet Voluntary for my dad and me, but the violinist also played All You Need is Love by The Beatles during seating and my favorite, The Lover’s Waltz, was incorporated throughout the ceremony. I didn’t just want an organ, so we incorporated violin, piano and trumpet.

What were your vows like?  We said traditional vows, which I think are so sweet. Bry was strong as an ox and I of course got emotional the second I opened my mouth.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Meg: Having Bry’s cousins, Winslow and Roz playing violin and piano was really special to me. Just hearing them play together makes me emotional. It’s so beautiful. Also, being able to wear Bry’s family veil was such an honor. Bry: When my grandfather did his reading. I loved how he didn’t use a mic and just got up and belted it. And then walking out after we were married to all of the applause and seeing all of our family and friends for the first time.

 

How would you describe your reception?  Our reception was relaxed, romantic and overall just felt magical. One of our friends told us, she felt like the whole night “sparkled” and for some reason that feels perfectly accurate in our memory. We had the time of our lives.

Why did you choose this location for your reception?  We knew we didn’t want to do a traditional “venue”, so we scoured the internet for New England farms/barns/you name it, but never found anything that got us excited. So when Meg’s dad jokingly told us to get married in the backyard, he didn’t realize we would actually end up taking him up on it, and we are so happy we did.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  Meg: I of course looked at Pinterest and every wedding magazine on the shelf, but at the end of the day, I just wanted something timeless and elegant, without being too over the top (it was a backyard wedding after all). I wanted everything to have a very natural and easy feel, so being in the backyard, it only made sense to incorporate greens, whites and wood (and lots of twinkly candles), and I think it really worked.

Any special songs?
Our first dance song: “Blue Sky” by the Allman Brothers
Father/Daughter: “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison
Mother/Son: “Bright Side of the Road” by Van Morrison

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  We had carrot cake (Bry’s favorite) and mini ice cream cones (Meg’s weakness).

Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception.  Our band was a band we saw in Martha’s Vineyard two summers ago and absolutely fell in love with, so it was really cool to have them and they are just ridiculously talented and have the same taste in music as we do. At the end of the night, the sparklers were lit for our exit from the tent, and then the band surprised us with one final song (Shout), so naturally, everyone went back into the tent, sparklers lit, to dance to Shout. It was equal parts amazing and equal parts dangerous. But it was definitely memorable (and made for a great picture)!

 

Did you include any special traditions in your wedding?  My something old was a family Veil which is about 100 years old, and my something borrowed were the earrings of my best friend’s mother. She was someone who really changed my life, and she passed away from breast cancer when we were in high school, so it was really special to be able to commemorate her in a small way.

Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  For all of the tables, we had wooden boxes for the centerpieces, which my dad, Bry, a bridesmaid, and I made one weekend in our garage. They were a labor of love, but totally worth it in the end – I loved how they came out! For the place cards, we used an old lobster trap, and secured every card to it with a miniature wooden clothes pin. Totally inspired by Pinterest, but ended up looking great! My bridesmaids were still pinning on the names the morning of the wedding, so I owe it all to them!

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  When the day comes, just sit back and enjoy it. At least one thing will go wrong, but it won’t matter.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Take deep breaths and remind each other that you love them as often as possible!

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  One of the best things we did was think about the things that were most important to us, and then cut back in areas that didn’t matter to us or our guests. So for instance, we knew the music was something we both cared about, so we went big with the band. We also knew people generally threw out invites the moment after they RSVP’ed, so we went with the thinner paper. I don’t think that ruined anyone’s evening.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  One funny story – we had an old car to take my dad and me to the wedding and Bry and I back from the ceremony, and although it looked beautiful, it was a little touchy. So, as my bridesmaids go off in the trolley and my dad and I get into the car, we think “Everything is going smoothly, the weather is perfect, we are so lucky!” And then BAM! The car doesn’t start. So we sat there and tried, but nothing. It was one of those moments you know you won’t forget. We just looked at each other and laughed. Luckily my brother saw a text from my dad to have the trolley come pick us up, and we ended up getting there just in time for the 3pm start! Once the ceremony was over the car decided to work again (after a few pushes) and Bry and I had such a fun joy ride along the Cohasset coastline to the reception! It was heaven being able to get that time together before the craziness started!

Photography: Olivia Rae James / Venue: Private Residence in Cohasset, Massachusetts / Event Planning & Design: Joanne Winters / Floral Design: Consider the Lilies / Dress: Monique Lhuillier via Klenfield / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid Dresses: Dessy via Bella Bridesmaids / Suit: Mr. Ned NYC / Tie: J.Crew / Shirt, Groomsmen Attire: Charles Tyrwhitt / Shoes: Del Toros / Stationery: Laura Kaesshaefer / Hair: Marina Melnikova / Makeup: Blush / Rentals: New England Country Rentals, Chase Canopy / / Ceremony Music: Winslow and Roz Brokaw / Reception Music: Mike Benjamin Band / Catering: Lavishly Dunn / Cake, Dessert: Cove Cakes

Dessy is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.

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