When thinking about their summer wedding, Martha’s Vineyard was an obvious choice for Hans and Meghan. Says the bride, “Hans grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, and after college we moved there for the summer and worked at his parents’ bed and breakfast. That summer we decided if we ever got married, we would have the wedding on the island.”
Meghan wore a veil made by her sister, and chose flowers for their meanings: “The bridesmaids carried pale pink roses, which symbolize joy. I had an all white bouquet composed of lily-of-the-valley (purity), ivy (fidelity), stock (happy life), and gardenias (hospitality; they are also my grandmother’s favorite).”
Says Meghan, “We focused on creating an atmosphere that would bring all of our friends and relatives together. As many of our guest had to travel a long way to get to the Vineyard, many made a mini vacation out of it. We arranged to have bonfires, dinners, trips to the beach, and boat rides in the days leading up to the wedding. This gave everyone a chance to get to know each other long before the wedding. By the time the big day rolled around, everyone knew everyone else and it was a great big party.”
Navy blue and white striped tablecloths fit the setting perfectly!
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? There were two guiding principles: First, we wanted a wedding with details that were symbolic, not only of what we hoped for in the future but of all of the wonderful experiences that we have already had as a couple. Second, and most importantly, we wanted the emphasis to be on having everyone we loved together. As a result, we had a very simple wedding, but every detail we incorporated was special. I chose the flowers for their meanings and received help from my wonderful aunts in arranging them. We also wanted the menu to reflect some of the places we had been, so we had mini fried shrimp po’ boys (we did Teach for America in New Orleans) for the cocktail hour and paella (a nod to my time studying abroad in Spain). The groomsmen were all given ties from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland (where Hans and I met), and I walked down the aisle to “Loch Lomond” (a song about Scotland that my mom used to sing to me).
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? I was unexpectedly nervous right before I had to walk down the aisle, however, once the doors opened and I saw Hans standing at the top of the alter, smiling at me, all of the fear melted away and I was filled with the most intense sense of joy and calm.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? We used the Bible verses that my mother and father used at their wedding and I carried gardenias in my bouquet as a tribute to my grandmother’s favorite flower.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Every 30 minutes try to stop, look around, and take in the scene. I have so many wonderful mental pictures from the day because of this advice!
What advice do you have for other brides? Pick a few things that you want to make really meaningful and focus on those. We put a lot of thought into how to incorporate the things we care about into the flowers, music, and events leading up to the wedding.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? My dad thought that he was going to wear one of the St. Andrew’s ties for the wedding and didn’t pack a spare. When he realized (the morning of the wedding!) that there were only enough ties for the groomsmen, he decided to go for a run, thinking to himself, “I really have to get this tie situation worked out.” We were 30 minutes from the nearest store so he decided to stand at the entrance to a private road and wait until someone pulled up. When a car finally turned into the drive, he flagged them down. When they stopped and tentatively rolled down the window my dad said: “This is going to sound crazy, but my daughter is getting married in two hours and I forgot a tie. Do you have one I could borrow?” The man turned to his wife in the passenger seat and said: “What kind of guy doesn’t bring a tie to his own daughter’s wedding.” Without missing a beat his wife said: “You.” Turns out that the guy had forgotten a tie for his daughter’s wedding and had to borrow one from a waiter. My mom told the story to our guests at the reception and the tie my dad borrowed from that neighbor became the joke of the whole wedding.