Classic Cape Cod Wedding at The Dennis Inn

Heidi and Chris married at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Harwich Port, Mass., followed by a tented reception at The Dennis Inn. Both Heidi and Chris grew up summering on the Cape and Islands and cultivated a love for the area that they knew they wanted to celebrate with friends and family when they wed. / Images by The Gowans.

Says Heidi, “Chris and I have always been summer people. Our idea of the perfect day is plopping down our beach chairs to soak up the sun and waves. Growing up, we both vacationed on the Cape and the Islands. As kids, the time we spent with our families here gave us the happiest memories and thus, we wanted to plan one of the best days of our lives in a place we truly cherished. We also wanted our friends and families to feel like they were on vacation coming to our wedding! When we started looking at venues on Cape Cod, we made sure we chose one that gave us the same ‘cape-y’ feel we knew and loved. The Dennis Inn, with its cape style shingles, manicured lawn, welcoming staff, gorgeous hydrangea bushes, and close proximity to the beach was everything we wanted. 

I went into my day of trying on dresses thinking I wanted one style, but chose something I never thought I would! I truthfully didn’t know the Blush by Hayley Paige Perri gown that I wore was ‘the one’ until I turned around and saw the faces of my friends and family when I had it on. As soon as I saw their jaws drop, I felt like a bride. The dress has sparkle, movement, and an airiness to it that was perfect for a Cape wedding. 

I took a lot of time leading up to the wedding to make some of the small “cape-y” details, including a hand-drawn and painted map of our favorite places on the Cape for the wedding invitations. Each person also got a piece of sea glass as the name card for their table. We also named each table after beaches that we’ve been too. Our wedding planner Jyl did an awesome job scattering photos of Chris and I throughout certain places in the venue. For example, photos of us drinking cocktails were at the bar. Our guests loved that!

Favorite memories? Chris loves acapella. Every year when we are on the Cape and the Islands, we make a point to go to a show. In February, I made a call to the Hyannis Sound to see if they would make a surprise appearance during our cocktail hour. I was so thrilled that they were able to surprise Chris and our guests, but keeping this secret for the months leading up to the wedding was SO HARD. The Hyannis Sound gave us such a wonderful performance, and Jyl, Nicole, and Zac did an awesome job helping to keep the surprise and made sure the timing of it was just right. Chris was shocked (he cried) and we had lots of fun dancing with our guests right on the driveway and lawn of the inn during cocktail hour. 

Advice? Some of the best advice we got was to stick together during cocktail hour. That time is so busy talking to different guests and if we had separated we knew we wouldn’t have seen each other for the rest of that time. Also, brides, go to the bathroom before your ceremony! I didn’t and had to have my bridesmaids help me find a bathroom at a small jewelry store across the street from our church right before the ceremony. It makes for a funny story now, but it was NOT fun in the moment!

Photographer: The Gowans | Ceremony Venue: Pilgrim Congregational Church, Harwich Port, Mass. | Reception Venue: The Dennis Inn | Event Planner: Jyl Deering | Florist: Designers Touch | Wedding Gown: Perri gown by Blush by Hayley Paige, purchased at Madeleine’s Daughter Bridal in Portsmouth, NH | Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein | Bride’s hairpiece: BHLDN | Bride’s shoes: Betsy Johnson | Bridesmaids’ attire: Bill Levkoff | Wedding Stationery: made by the bride! Printed through the Scarlett Letter Press | Cake: Cake and the Islands | Caterer: Venue- Dennis Inn | Transportation: Cape Cod Jeep Rentals; Platinum Auto Service | Hairstylist: Courtney K. Peck | A Capella Group: Hyannis Sound | Band: Closing Time Boston