Editor’s Note: Sharing this post from the 2016 archives.
Mary Elizabeth and Tim both love spending time on Cape Cod so when it came time to plan their wedding, they had little trouble choosing Chatham Bars Inn for their November union. The couple wed at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church Orleans and then embarked on a celebratory trolley ride with their guests to the reception. Mary Elizabeth planned the wedding with the help of Designers Touch Florals and her mother’s beautiful antiques. / Images by Kelly Cronin Photography.
Says Mary Elizabeth, “Late November in Chatham may not evoke the beach vibe, but the Chatham Bars Inn with its dark wood and many fireplaces was the perfect spot for a nautical, romantic, and classic seaside wedding. I grew up coming to Cape Cod not only during the summer months but also well into late fall for Thanksgiving. Fortunately, Tim loves fishing and he and my three older brothers enjoyed tuna fishing on the Cape together all summer and into the fall. The Chatham Bars Inn has a huge porch where we would all go for twilight drinks in the summer time, and hot chocolate in the colder months. The minute Tim and I were engaged, we knew the romantic and cozy ambiance of Chatham Bars Inn paired with our mutual love of Cape Cod and the ocean was the perfect venue for our wedding.
A special touch that was personal to me was my wedding band. My wedding band was actually my grandmother’s and engraved on the inside is my grandparent’s wedding date: 11.20.1939 (just one day off from our own date!) I also wore an emerald bracelet that belonged to my great grandmother. I found my dress alone and off the rack! I was walking home from work in NYC and a friend texted me that Saks was having a bridal sample sale. I decided to pop in quickly to see what they had. To my astonishment, there was a Jenny Packham gown called ‘Mimosa.’ I had seen it on Pinterest and it was exactly what I was looking for for a late fall wedding on Cape Cod. It was a light flow-y lace with long sleeves and some beading that I knew would catch the candle light in the evening. Thanks to a magnificent tailor in the West Village of NYC, she made a dress with extensive lace and beading fit perfectly. Mary Elizabeth & Tim’s Love Story | Tim and I were set up by his older brother and a friend of mine from high school. We grew up a few towns apart in Connecticut but never met. Shortly after I moved to New York City, a friend of mine from high school (who happened to be friends with Tim’s older brother) asked if I wanted to go to a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. The only catch was … she wasn’t going. Her friend’s younger brother (Tim) would be taking me. I didn’t think too much into the date, per the advice of my roommate, I had been saying ‘yes’ to events all over NYC, trying to get to know the city and meet more people. I had a great time at the concert with Tim, but didn’t think too much about it after. Except, he was persistent! It only took a few more dates, and I knew he was the one. He has a happy core, no matter what goes wrong, you can count on his laugh, great smile, and optimism. We spent that summer enjoying the beach on the Cape on weekends, and eventually traveled to Jackson Hole in August. The rest is history!
We had a big white trolley that drove my husband and I, the bridal party, and our entire family away from the church after the ceremony. Right after we walked down the aisle, we all piled in and popped the champagne! The Chatham Bars Inn itself has a rich history and has classic remnants from ships throughout. My mother has always been an antique collector and admired the history of Chatham Bars Inn, so when she thought to include some of her antique vases for our flower arrangements, and antique gold frames for our family photos, we thought it was the perfect touch. Memories of the day? All of our family together and the sheer happiness of the occasion. To see both of our families smiling, joyful, and truly happy on our wedding day is our greatest memory. The smiling faces, laughing, and general ease and love we both felt that day were overwhelming. A favorite moment was right after we were married, we walked out of the church and our entire family and bridal party piled into a white Cape Cod trolley. We popped champagne and the celebration began!
Other special touches included the antique gold frames that were spread throughout the venue and on the welcome book table were one favorite. When I looked at them, I knew my mom had hand picked each of them over the years and there was a sense of familiarity when I looked around the candlelit room. My other favorite special touches from the wedding were the ‘Dark n’ Stormy’ signature cocktails we had for guests and the raw bar. While these might seem fairly standard, food and drink are particularly important to my family. It was not uncommon to see my older brothers shucking oysters in our kitchen, or preparing raw clams they had spent all morning collecting. The Dark n’ Stormy’s are my husband’s favorite drink after spending all day out tuna fishing. So, to have the raw bar and favorite drink at the wedding was meaningful and brought to light our family time spent sharing both.
Mary Elizabeth’s advice? I planned my wedding in six months, without a planner, and you can too! Don’t forget the ultimate heart of the wedding – it’s a big party to celebrate your love with another person. Once we were engaged, we were ready to throw the party. I searched wedding blogs, pinterest, and sought the advice of friends – and everything worked out perfectly … we’re married!
Mary Elizabeth and Tim honeymooned in Moorea, French Polynesia.
Credits: Photography: Kelly Cronin Photography | Ceremony Venue: St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church Orleans, Mass. | Reception Venue: Chatham Bars Inn | Florist: Designers Touch Florals | Wedding Gown: Jenny Packham (Mimosa) | Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers | Bride’s Jewelry: Emerald bracelet family heirloom | Bride’s Veil: Ann Hamilton Bridal NYC | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Anthropologie Fleur Dress | Wedding Stationery: Cassandra Flinn | Wedding Cake: Chatham Bars Inn | Transportation: Cape Destinations | Hairstylist: Heather’s Hairport