A Nautical-Inspired Navy-and-White Wedding in Connecticut

Photo: Ingalls Photography
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Gillian and William

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Gillian Jayson, a school art teacher, and William Graves, a portfolio manager at a hedge fund, were "just friends" until a romance developed. The coupe dated long-distance (she in NYC; he was in Wisconsin) for a year. In the summer of 2010, Will moved to NYC, and during a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, he professed his love for her. The following summer he proposed on the Pont des Arts spanning the Seine in Paris.

Both avid sailors, the couple married in a nautical-themed celebration at Gillian's parents' waterfront home in Connecticut, on July 28, 2012, in front of 185 guests.

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The Invitations

Gemma & Andrew Ingalls

The invite featured stars and stripes, both the name of the America's Cup team that Will sailed with and a nod to the wooden stars on the steps at the Jaysons' home.

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The Aisle

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Gillian planned to arrive at the ceremony by boat, but on the wedding day, hard rain made them change plans. From a nearby marina, the bride arrived at her parents' dock -- lined in nautical flags -- by wooden skiff.

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The Bride's Entrance

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Gillian's dad met and escorted her down the dock, or "aisle". A family friend officiated, then a reverend made it legal.

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The Groom and His Girls

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Gillian, Will, and Elizabeth Graves, the editor in chief of Martha Stewart Weddings.

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The Ring Pillow

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The embroidered ring pillow held the couple's bands (from Suzy B) well enough for Gillian's baby niece, Harper, to hold.

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Welcome Bags

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Guests staying in the hotels received welcome bags filled with sailors' goodies to enjoy, including Mast Brothers Chocolate, Anchor Steam beer and an anchor bottle opener, Blue Crab Bay Co. sea-salt nuts, Mount Gay rum, Life Savers, and water bottles.

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The "Almost" Getaway Car

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En route to the event, guests passed the getaway car with its "Almost Married" sign that was later turned around to reveal "Just Married."

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Mother of the Groom

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The groom with his mother, Grace, and his new bride.

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The Bride's Parents

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Gillian's parents, William and Anne, in a Kirribilla dress, hosted and helped plan the nuptials -- from exciting start to sweet finish -- at their home.

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Ship's Bell

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The newlyweds rang an engraved ship's bell, a day-of present from Will's family.

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The Guest Book

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The guest book was an embossed ship's log.

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Cheese Plate

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The cocktail hour paid homage to Will's Wisconsin roots by featuring the the state's best cheeses selected from Foster Cheese Haus. The custom boards, outfitted with boat cleats from handles, were made by their dear friend Grant Tankoos of Soundview Millworks.

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The Escort Cards

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The calligraphed and blind letterpressed escort cards were attached to a fabric-covered board using pins pushed through inexpensive anchor charms.

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The Reception

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Tables were covered with natural linen and topped with overflowing arrangments of white hydrangeas and garden roses. Each number was crafted from seashells by Gillian's mom, who also designed shell frames for the celebration's signage (say that six times fast!).

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The Cocktail-Hour Eats

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Cocktail fare also showcased plenty of seafood to pay tribute to the coastal locale, including mini lobster rolls, tuna tartare, crab cakes, and shucked oysters.

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Special Guests

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From left: Lauren Hokin, a friend of the bride's since childhood, gave a toast at the reception; Laura, Gillian's sister and maid of honor; and Kevin Casper, Will's best man.

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Sweet Sailors

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The happy couple took a post-ceremony spin around Farm Creek in the wooden skiff the bride arrived in.

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Ice Cream Cart

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Gillian's sister and maid of honor Laura, a pastry chef, stocked her bike cart with ice cream sandwiches for late-night snacks.

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Frosty Treats

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Laura's ice cream sandwiches were served in striped bags.

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The Cakes

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Laura also made three towering delights, including carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate with buttercream, and vanilla with fresh strawberries and buttercream.

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The Favors

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And the MOH baked butter cookies "embossed" with anchors for favors.

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Newlywed Chairs

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Before a dinner of filet mignon, the newlyweds enjoyed the father-of-the-bride's toast.

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The Party

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Guests danced under a tent into the evening.

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Gemma & Andrew Ingalls

Wedding Production: Alison Events Planning & Design
Catering: On the Marc
Flowers: Flowers & Flowers
Wedding Photography: Mel Barlow & Co.
Officiant: Reverend John Livingston of the United Church of Rowayton Sationery: Lion in the Sun
Calligraphy: Cathy Volpe for Lion in the Sun
Desserts: Dough Girl Baking Company
Music: Eric Nicolas & One Love for Elan Artist
Rentals: Party Rental Ltd.
Tent and Lighting: Sperry Tents
Bride's Gown: Elizabeth Fillmore
Accessories: J.crew (wellies); Prada (sandals)
Hair: Michelle Leone from Fredric & Company
Makeup: Andrea Bunny Clark from Laura Mercier
Groom's Attire: Giorgio Armani (suit, shirt, tie); Seize Sur Vingt (shoes) Menswear: Vineyard Vines (ties)

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