Editor’s Note: Sharing this post from the archives.
Mary and Sean wed at Mary’s hometown church, St. Mary’s, in Ridgefield, Conn., followed by a grand reception at the nearby Inn at Longshore in Westport. The bride incorporated her favorite color, orange, into a traditional nautical color palette to create a vibrant and cheerful feel. Mary also sourced countless ginger jars that made the reception space pop with preppy perfection! / Images by Amy Rizzuto Photography.
Says Mary, “Despite living in New York City for almost ten years, Connecticut will always be home to both my husband, Sean, and myself. It was a lifelong dream of mine to be married in my hometown church, St. Mary’s, in Ridgefield, Conn. Sean, being from coastal Fairfield, grew up with a love for the water so, naturally, we chose our reception venue to be The Inn at Longshore in Westport, a coastal Connecticut town in close proximity to both of our hometowns. The Inn at Longshore’s long driveway leads down a lush pasture of golf greens to a beautiful white historic Inn situated along the picturesque Long Island Sound. It was the best of both worlds in combining a golf club wedding with a coastal feel. There was no other venue in the area that could remotely compare.
I overdid it on the dress shopping. For some reason I pictured my moment of finding ‘the dress’ to be like something in the movies so I must have tried on hundreds of dresses. I dealt with many pushy bridal consultants trying to get me to make a sale, but in the end found my dress at Mark Ingram Bridal Atelier in New York City where my bridal consultant, Marah, was a godsend! I told her what I liked and didn’t like about the dresses I had seen already, and she said ‘I know just the one!’ Sure enough, she pulled my Monique Lhuillier Laurence gown and I knew the second I put it on my body that I had to get married in this dress. The intricate lace, tight corseted top and gradual flow through the hips made it perfection in my eyes.
I was ecstatic to get married in my hometown church, which was just as beautiful as I remember it growing up. I hired the cantor from our NYC church to sing at our ceremony so I mixed our two worlds. A bagpiper welcomed and dismissed guests before and after the ceremony to showcase our Irish heritage. I wore my mom’s cathedral veil and my great grandmother’s engagement ring as I walked down the aisle to meet my groom.
Favorite memories? September 24th was a perfect 72 degrees with sunny skies and warm water breezes. I was 45 minutes late to my ceremony due to a hair snafu, but when the church doors opened I linked eyes with Sean and he immediately started beaming. He cried tears of joy as I walked down the aisle to my favorite song, ‘Falling Slowly’ from the musical Once. At the reception, my favorite memory was the dance with my dad. Since we did a funny choreographed dance we had practiced several times with a dance instructor. At first I felt hopeless as we failed to succeed in nailing any of the moves during practice, but after several sessions of practice we finally got it. The dance was fun, but the bonding time with my dad made all of those practice hours worth it. We had the absolute best time hanging out together just the two of us. I will forever cherish those moments.
Mary & Sean’s Love Story | Mary and Sean met when Sean interviewed Mary at GE Capital Real Estate. Mary was previously working at a real estate development firm and was ready for a change. After hearing initially about the position at GE from their mutual friend and former GE employee, Kelly, Mary decided to apply and was selected for an interview. She had interviewed with three executives at the firm and had her last interview with Sean who was instructed to walk her through the company’s database. After meeting with Mary for 10 minutes, Sean left the interview not knowing if Mary would be hired or if he would ever see her again, but instinct told him otherwise. He immediately told his colleague, Brian, that day ‘I just met my wife.’ Mary joined the real estate team several weeks later and lucky for them both, Sean was in charge of training her. The two became close friends, but kept it at that for the months working together. Mary was offered an opportunity at her current employer, First Sterling, which she could not refuse and was reluctant to leave GE only because she realized she would miss seeing Sean every day. Little did she know Sean felt the same way. On her last day of work at GE with her hands full of her belongings and one foot out the door, Sean stepped up to the plate and asked Mary out to dinner. Shortly after, the two became inseparable. A little over four years later, Sean’s first impression of Mary became his reality. On the NYC High Line on June 11, 2015, he asked Mary to be his wife (or in reality just nervously stared at her and said nothing while down on one knee) and she said YES! The couple dined at their favorite restaurant, Del Posto, and Sean surprised Mary with both families waiting to celebrate with them at The Tippler after dinner. The two spent their engagement weekend at their new favorite location, Greenport, Long Island. They could not stop smiling despite their champagne hangovers…
As guests arrived for the reception, they were greeted by driving down the half mile driveway with the trees canopying the road adorned with large satin white bows directing the way to the Inn. I thought this was a very creative way to welcome the guests to our wedding, especially since the driveway splits and it can become confusing.
Our classic, preppy wedding was filled with personal touches. My favorite color is orange and I have always been in love with a blue, white and orange color theme. To me, it is nautical and preppy. Not to mention I collect ginger jars so I wanted to combine all of these elements in our centerpieces. Each table was labeled with a navy and white striped table number balancing on a large sailor knot to match the striped classic wedding invitations, programs, and dinner menus. I hand selected the ribbon for the invitations and grabbed a few bridesmaids to DIY the ribbons around each individual invitation! I also purchased white sailor knots to wrap around each individual guest’s navy napkins. I hand selected each blue and white chinoiserie vase and ginger jars used for the centerpieces by collecting them from visits to NYC’s Chinatown and various antique stores over our 15 month engagement. I made several shopping trips with both my mother and future mother-in-law, which was especially important in my bonding with my new mother-in-law. The elegant blue and white vases sat in stark contrast to the bright orange and peach hues of the roses hand selected so that each centerpiece was slightly different. Candles galore perfected the tables with dim orange hues to add to the romanticism of the night.
Upon entering the ballroom, a large two and a half foot blue and white chinoiserie vase with bright orange tall roses with table cards below greeted guests as the statement piece. Alongside at a nearby table, guests could sign the guestbook, which was a rustic painting of Connecticut with a heart at the Westport, Conn. coordinates.
Even though the day was steeped in tradition, we made sure to make the wedding FUN! Sean and I jump started the night by starting our first dance using our signature dance moves. After the first dance, Sean led the crowd to tears with a moving speech to me where Sean admitted to falling in love upon first sight. The night was filled with more surprises such as the choreographed dance with my dad that ranged from starting with a slow dance and broke into a series of funny dance sets to MC Hammer, Beyoncé and more, and my brother-in-law got up and played the drums to a set with the wedding band. The dance floor was packed to the brim as Lost in Paris band, my favorite cover band since I was in college, played a wide variety of sets geared to all ages. Personalized selfie sticks with the couple’s hashtag #maryingsean were handed out. The night was filled with intricate decorations, personal touches, tears of joy, lots of laughs, crazy dance moves, and a whole lot of love!
Mary’s advice? Everyone tells you that the day goes by fast, but it’s the absolute truth! Make sure to steal moments with your new spouse during the day, whether that be a kiss or a quick chat, because guests will pull you in different directions. You have to remember that the day is really about just the two of you.
The couple honeymooned at Il San Pietro in Positano, Italy.
Credits: Photography: Amy Rizzuto Photography | Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Church | Reception Venue: The Inn at Longshore | Wedding Planner: The Bride | Florals: Braach’s Flowers | Wedding gown: Monique Lhuillier, Laurence Gown | Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers Tuxedos | Bride’s Jewelry: J. Crew | Bride’s Veil: Vintage – Mother’s Veil | Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Bill Levkoff from Bella Bridesmaids | Wedding Stationery: Carlson Craft | Cake: DiMare Pastry Shop | Caterer: On the Marc | Transportation: County Coach Corporation | Hairstylist: Dana Bartone