{real weddings} vintage inspiration on the great south bay

We look forward to having more beautiful weddings to post, but Heidi and Christina asked me to kick-off the first one with my own October 17 2009 wedding.  It became a breath of fresh air for all of us, as it was the reality that weddings could truly be personalized, unique and affordable on Long Island.  But in order for other brides to achieve the same, a local resource seemed to be lacking for ways to discover this approach to planning – enter, the creation of Marry Me Lovely.  We hope you enjoy the weddings we feature and truly feel inspired!

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My husband Chris and I purchased our first home before we were married – even engaged.  However, shortly after settling in we adopted a puppy, who arrived with my engagement ring tied around her neck.  With a mortgage now part of our monthly expenses, I knew I would have to work hard and be reasonable when it came to planning my dream wedding.

LOCATION | As someone who has set up many weddings, I’ve seen my fair share of beautiful venues – but I have yet to see anything like the Masury Ballroom (click here for a great history).  It fit our personalities perfectly in many ways – on the water, historic – and has sentimental value (my husband grew up boating around the corner and my in-laws are members), but the best may be that it has yet been invaded by a large catering company (believe me, they’ve tried).  I was always told that the second I stepped foot, I would fall in love; and I did – hard.  I can truly appreciate how it is mostly used for birthday parties and showers, since you can rent it for a rock bottom price.  That on Friday nights the locals drink at its bar, referring to it as their “clubhouse” after spending many years restoring the property.  I knew the Masury was long overdue for a formal event and I was certainly ready to give it one.

STATIONERY| Knowing I had the Masury booked, I started searching for our invitations.  One evening while on etsy.com, I discovered its range of graphic designers offering beautiful invitations in every style imaginable.  After browsing hundreds of pages, I stumbled upon Raspberry Creations and their ‘music poster’ design.  Rachel (the owner) lives in Nashville, TN – but I probably received some of the greatest one-on-one service anyone could ask for.  The more I read about the history of the Masury, I became confident that our invitation was not only perfect, but almost meant to be; after all, the ballroom often hosted popular bands and dances during it’s heyday.

GOOD EATS AND TREATS| Posh Palate’s menu had my mom, sisters and I mmm-ing and ahhhh-ing from our first meeting.  As sweet as can be and incredibly laid back, I think it is impossible to rustle owner Karen Poor’s feathers.  I loved how grounded she kept me through the whole process – we both agreed that the Masury stood out in itself and less was more when it came to linens and rentals.  The staff and food at our wedding was phenomenial – seasonal touches such as the pumpkin raviolis are still talked about to this day.  Mini pulled pork sandwiches and burgers were served as hot appetizers, amongst other comfort foods.  A steakhouse station also included kielbasa and onion rings.

Our best man Tyler is a bartender and created 2 signature drinks for us – the most popular being the “Strong Island Ice Tea” (Tyler is from CT and likes to tease us about being Long Islanders) was a shade of blue/green to match our wedding colors and was a huge hit, along with Shipyard Pumpkin Beer and a fully stocked bar.

Briermere Farm pies in a variety of flavors were baked fresh the morning of and picked up by my father.  Karen supplied my love for cupcakes with red velvets and double chocolate flavors and my mother baked her famous chocolate cheesecake for Chris and I to cut into – adorned with miniature replica’s of his ’98 blue Mustang and my ’82 yellow Jeep, which we drove when we first met each other four years prior.  My husband was serving his last year with the USCG in Cape Cod and we’d drive 5 hours one way each weekend to visit one another in these two ridiculous vehicles…ahhh to be young and crazy again…

MUSIC BECOMES THE THEME| I couldn’t choose between a band and a DJ, so I had both!  My mother introduced me to a friend of hers, David Brenner and his band Plan B after I told her I didn’t want a traditional wedding band – instead, more like one you’d find at a really great bar – to play during cocktail hour.  Their playlist included the Temptations, Stone, Beatles and my favorite – Led Zeppelin.  Yes, “Livin’ Lovin’ Maid” was the way to this girl’s heart!  One of the biggest hits at the wedding, I was so excited to hear Plan B has since broadened their gigs to include events.

Another special request was to have Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love” played in place of the wedding march during our ceremony.  David, along with his band member and a cellist learned and perfected it a few months before, making the moment completely unforgettable.  To honor my husband’s Irish and Scottish roots, we had a piper from the FDNY Pipes & Drums play before and after the ceremony.  After Plan B performed during cocktail hour (which was not a scheduled hour – more like two!), we entered the ballroom for the reception where our DJ played an eclectic mix of new and old tunes the rest of the night.

THE LITTLE DETAILS| I see so many beautiful flowers come through Sugar Magnolias every wedding season – how could I possibly make a decision on my own?  I looked to the Masury for inspiration – original white moldings, gold detailing, egg shell blue walls – after discussing with Heidi, we agreed all white flowers would make a huge statement.  White hydrangea, white Escimo roses and white carnations with a touch of eucalyptus were used in all the arrangements.  My bridesmaids carried the only color with bouquets of all Super Green roses.  Heidi created my bouquet entirely of white dahlias – my absolute favorite flower.

My husband and I purchased our home in Patchogue because of all the positive changes occurring in the area, thanks to current Mayor Paul Pontieri.  When we asked if he would officiate our wedding, he was more than excited to do so – it was such a perfect way to personalize our ceremony.

To keep details memorable for our guest, we created unique interactions with typical wedding traditions.  Instead of a guest book, we provided a Polaroid camera and asked our guests to take pictures and write messages to us (which are so much fun to read through now!).  For place cards, I was looking for something unique.  The way I saw it, our wedding was a vintage, musical event, so what better way to introduce guests to the party than with a ticket and a classic bottle of Coca-cola?  I tied tickets with our guest’s name with twine to each bottle.  It’s funny to see that so many of our friends kept the bottles after.

Cigars were set up at the bar for guests to help themselves and enjoy on the wrap-around porch.  I contacted Raspberry Creations once again to create full size posters announcing our musicians, the bridal party and special guest (the mayor!), which could be displayed around the Masury.  Last, we thanked our guests with mini apple pies.  Angelo, the owner of Rigogliosi’s Bakery had just opened when my mom and I stopped in to grab a treat – and spotted the lovely little pies, that were a perfect touch for a fall wedding.  Cream colored pumpkins were collected by me and my bridesmaid out east a few days before, rounding out the autumn decor.

Chris and I both agree it flew by way too fast, but in the 4 years we were a couple before getting married, we never imagined we would be so nervous.  I had butterflies.  His hands shook.  I spoke ahead of the mayor during my vowes – those are the moments most engraved in my memory and I keep them in mind every time I meet a bride and attend or set-up a wedding.  A beautiful wedding is an amazing way to start a life together, but it is happiness and love from family, friends and between a couple that matters most in the years to come.

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Location |The Masury Estate Ballroom, Center Moriches
Photography |Christina Bohn Photography, Stony Brook
Catering |Posh Palate, West Babylon
Desserts/Favors |Briermere Farms, Riverhead; Rigogliosi’s Bakery, Coram
DJ | Celebrity Music, East Patchogue
Band | Plan B
Florist |Sugar Magnolias, Stony Brook
Bride’s Dress |Bianca Nero, purchased @ Debra Canavan Classics, Sayville
Bride’s Accessories | Birdcage veil,pishposhes@etsy; Shoes, Seychelles
Hair & Make-up|LaCole Salon & Spa, Seaford
Groom’s Suit | Calvin Klein
Bridesmaid’s Dresses |JCrew
Stationery | Invitiations, poster & thank you’s, raspberrycreations@etsy