Victoria and Stephen married in June at Our Lady of the Highway Chapel in Yarmouth, Mass., followed by a reception at the West Dennis Yacht Club. The couple chose a “coastic” (coastal and rustic) theme to reflect their longstanding love of the Cape. / Images by Servidone Studios.
Says Victoria, “The words I use[d] to describe our day was “Coastic (Coastal+Rustic) Relaxed Elegance.” Cape Cod holds a very special place in our hearts as my family has summered on the Cape since 1975 and has been at the epicenter of our favorite memories as a couple. Our Catholic faith is important to both of us and I always pictured getting married at a quintessential summer chapel with the doors open, windows up and that ocean breeze wafting through the rafters as we exchanged vows. It was so magical.
I lost my Mom six years ago when I was 21 and my now husband was my backbone throughout dealing with her loss. Cape Cod was her favorite place. I honored my Mom in subtle but touching ways throughout the day. It was sunny but windy and the wind made everything feel so effortless and whimsy.
Next to the ocean is where we both feel the most relaxed and at peace. We knew we wanted a seaside venue for our reception that felt airy and relaxed but that we could customize with little details that spoke for our love of Cape Cod and touches of Nantucket as well (where we got engaged). We wanted our guests to feel like they were attending an intimate, seaside family gathering while being awestruck by the simple elegance of the Yacht Club and beauty of [the] backdrop of boats and the ocean. The venue perfectly complemented the organic elements of natural linens, greens, white flowers and pops of sea-inspired blues in the décor elements and stationery.
Favorite special touches?
My jewelry was simple but so sentimental. I wore the same bracelet my Mom wore on her wedding day … which I happened upon rummaging through her jewelry box one day. I was struggling to decide on which earrings when I coincidentally stumbled across my BHLDN Opal earrings called the ‘Wendy’ studs … a true sign that despite her passing six years ago she was with us on that day in spirit and there was no doubt I’d be wearing them on my big day.
The speeches! There were so many touching moments during our speeches, we laughed until we cried and the room was in a puddle of tears at some points. The one detail I didn’t have any control over ended up being one of my favorite aspects of the day.
The band! They were incredible. I asked them to learn several songs they had never played before. They played them all – my guests could not believe they were performing the songs for the first time and sounded like you were listening to the artists themselves. They learned our first dance song, Ever the Same by Rob Thomas, and you’d think you were listening to Rob Thomas himself. We had them tribute Sweet Caroline to my Mom (she was a huge Redsox fan) – the room went wild. I even grabbed a mic and sang one of my favorite Billy Joel songs along with them – it was unforgettable!
The décor/ subtle hints of sea-inspired blues: I knew I always wanted very classic whites and greenery for flowers, but wanted to tie in my love of oceany-blue hues in ways that added a touch of color to the day but also kept everything feeling organic, classic and relaxed. My candle votives were once candles I purchased at Homegoods (I couldn’t find any ‘standard’ votives that achieved my vision)! Stephen and I spent hours upon hours draining the wax out of 60 candles and using nail polish remover to remove the label from the glass. It was a lot of work but worth it as I was so ecstatic when I walked into the reception and saw it all tied together… I tied the same blues into my bouquet by using silk ribbon by Hey It’s Oh So Pretty and my incredible stationery artist, Holly Weaver, of Paper Refinery, brought the colors perfectly into my day-of-paper and invitation envelopes.
Tell us about the moment you knew you had found your dress. I walked into into the bespoke boutique called Ceremony in Boston and knew it was where I’d find the dress. Floor to ceiling windows let a constant stream of light in, making it feel like you’re in a dream trying on dresses. I was deciding between two dresses, both similar silhouette but two different looks. I went back to Ceremony try on both dresses again. I put my dress back on with the veil and tears filled my eyes and my mother-in-law started crying in that moment I felt and looked like an angel; ethereal and delicate. The dress just felt so effortless but elegant, classic and timeless, but like no other dress I’d ever seen. I could picture walking the beach arm and arm with my new husband and knew in that moment it had to be the one.
Favorite memories? My sister putting my Mom’s bracelet on me as I was getting ready was a moment that stands still in time for me. It was so touching to share that moment with my sister and to wear a piece of my Mom on my wedding day.
Our vows. My sister and Stephen’s best man put their hands on our shoulders as we recited them. I can still remember looking into Stephen’s eyes as we recited them and I still get chills thinking about it.
Stephen and I have recently become big fans of the band Queen. We entered the reception to a Freddie Mercury song and danced to it before we transitioned to our first dance. He twirled me around as our friends and family circled around us and I’ve never felt more on Cloud 9 than I did in that moment. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
It was extremely windy that day, which, thanks to my amazing photographer, made for windswept incredible photos. During our beach photos the wind was so crazy that it whipped my dress through the sand, so much so that I caught a crab along with a lot of seaweed in the tulle layers of my dress that my bridesmaid had to pick out on the trolley ride to the reception! During cocktail hour my friend got caught up in my dress as the wind drove it straight up into the air and tangled us together in my veil and train! We’ve never laughed so hard, and it was a true testament to how relaxed I was on the day, it didn’t even phase me and made for a great memory.
My Dad’s speech. He’s a huge reason we’ve gotten as far in our grief journey as we have since my Mom’s passing. I choked back the tears as he spoke.. it was so heartfelt and genuine.
Advice? I often wondered throughout the planning process if it was worth it putting so much time and thought into the ‘details’ of the day that made our day a reflection of us as a couple. I hear this time and time again after our day: that if our guests walked into our wedding not knowing whose wedding it was, they’d immediately know it was ours. Invest in the details that reflect your personalities, your passions, the things that made you fall in love with one another and that set your love apart from others’. Other more ‘generic’ elements of the day could flop and your guests won’t even notice because they are so focused on you both and those special elements.
Stephen and I are somewhat untraditional in that we got ready together in the same house before the ceremony. We woke up early, made coffee, and sat on the porch basking in the fact that our day was here. We spent priceless moments together before the hustle and bustle of all the vendors arriving began. Whenever it is in the day, take a few moments to yourselves to take it all in and appreciate all of your hard work coming together – you won’t regret it. Lastly, trust your vendors. There’s so much going on the day of the wedding and it goes by so fast that you have to relinquish control and enjoy the fruits of your labor – that’s what they are there for! If you don’t have a planner, print out/text your vendor names and numbers to your bridesmaids/groomsmen in case of an emergency and a vendor needs to be reached!
Photographer: Andrea Servidone Pelto of Servidone Studios | Ceremony Venue: Our Lady of the Highway | Reception Venue: West Dennis Yacht Club | Event Design Support: Michelle Chamoures and Carrie Turner, The White Box | Coordinator: Sonya Mitchell, West Dennis Yacht Club | Florist: Camille Broderick Rodier | Wedding Gown: the “Penny” gown by Christos | Groom’s Attire: Michael Kors, Milton’s ; Vineyard Vines | Bride’s Jewelry: Bracelet: Family heirloom; Earrings: “Wendy” studs by BHLDN | Bride’s Veil: Sara Gabriel | Bride’s shoes: Banana Republic | Bridesmaids’ attire: Dessy | Wedding Stationery: Holly Weaver, Paper Refinery | Cake: Montilio’s | Caterer: Scott Allen for West Dennis Yacht Club | Transportation: Cape Destinations | Hairstylist: Salon 700 | Make-up Artist: Keri Lareau for Eden Skin Care and Makeup | Videographer: Juharo Weddings | Band: Rare Form Band | Bouquet Ribbon: Hey It’s Oh So Pretty