A Late-Summer Wedding in Cape Cod

bride and groom posing in field of tall grass
Emily Wren Photography

When Elizabeth "met" Greg in the summer of 2008 while studying abroad in London, she had forgotten that they had taken a freshman English class together back home at Fordham University in New York City. Greg made it his mission to ensure that she'd never forget him again—and it worked. Ten years later, while on vacation in Hawaii, the couple pulled off the road to watch the sunset. There, Greg dropped to his knee and proposed.

The couple decided to marry in Cape Cod, one of their favorite vacation spots and a drivable destination for their New England-based family and friends. On August 18, 2018, the college sweethearts said "I do" in front of 140 guests at the Wychmere Beach Club in Harwich Port, Massachusetts. Following a romantic outdoor ceremony, everyone moved inside where a playlist of songs (handpicked by Elizabeth and Greg!) set the mood for the black-tie celebration to come.

As for the theme of the night? Classic with a twist. "I tried to include things that weren't overly trendy so I wouldn't look back in 25 years and say, 'What was I thinking?'" says Elizabeth of the celebration's décor. Instead, she looked for ideas that might become "new classics," such as greenery in the floral arrangements, bridesmaids' dresses that coordinated instead of matched, and soft, timely colors, like varying shades of pale blush, which added a hint of warm color to the event.

For other couples planning their wedding, Greg offers these words of wisdom: "Don't be afraid to make your wedding everything you want it to be, regardless of other people's opinions. It is easy to get caught up in trying to make everyone happy, but you never will. The best thing to do is keep you and your husband or wife happy and everything else will fall into place."

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The Classic Invitation

white stationary suite with wax seals
Emily Wren Photography

The gold-foil and cream invitation suite by Michaela McBride Calligraphy introduced the couple's custom monogram: A floral wreath inspired by the large petals of garden roses and peonies. "I believe circles symbolize 'wholeness' and are another source of good luck for a marriage—kind of like the wedding ring," says Elizabeth of the crest's unique shape.

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Homemade Treats

burlap welcome bag with water and snacks
Emily Wren Photography

Guests received burlap totes filled with necessities for the weekend: an itinerary, bottled water, Cape Cod potato chips (a nod to the location!), and a hangover kit. Each welcome bag also included gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and white chocolate starfishes baked with love by Greg's mom.

03 of 20

Mother Knows Best

bride and groom smiling at one another in field of tall grass
Emily Wren Photography

The bride wore an Eve of Milady wedding dress with hand-beaded Italian sequins and a chapel-length train; she added a Swarovski crystal belt for sparkle. While shopping at Kleinfeld Bridal in New York City, Elizabeth's mother saw the gown on display at the front of the store and thought it was a very "Liz" dress. "I love that my mom wound up choosing the right dress for me," says Elizabeth.

04 of 20

Peonies, Please

bride holding bouquet of white peonies
Emily Wren Photography

Peonies are no longer in season at the end of August, but Elizabeth made a special request to her florist Jill Landry of Beach Plum Floral to include them in her bridal bouquet. Specifically, she wanted white peonies, which symbolize a happy marriage. Jill managed to source them from an Alaskan farm that grows peonies off season and paired them with other white flowers such as hydrangea and a variety of roses. She also used white hypercium berries for texture and lemon leaf for a pop of green in the classic round bouquet.

05 of 20

Something Blue

groom wearing sunglasses smiling
Emily Wren Photography

Wearing a navy blue Indochino tuxedo with a black shawl collar lapel, Greg looked dapper as he waited on the beach for his first look of Elizabeth in her wedding dress. "I remember pulling up to the boardwalk and catching a glance of Greg with his back to me," Elizabeth says. "It was the first time all day I got welled up and little bit nervous!"

06 of 20

Blushing Bridesmaids

pale blush bridesmaids dresses hanging from copper clothing rack
Emily Wren Photography

Olivia's ten bridesmaids coordinated in pale blush dresses from Amsale.

07 of 20

Cheers to the Groomsmen

groomsmen cheersing with leather and needle point koozies
Emily Wren Photography

Each of Greg's groomsmen received a Smathers & Branson leather can cooler with a hand-stitched needlepoint design befitting his personality or interests.

08 of 20

The Ceremony Aisle

flower girl wearing white dress and flower crown
Emily Wren Photography

When the flower girl, who wore a baby's breath crown by Beach Plum Floral, saw that the aisle was already strewn with rose petals, she worried that somebody had taken her job.

09 of 20

A View of the Water

wedding ceremony setup white floral arch and aisle with flower petals
Emily Wren Photography

Morning rain made the sand too wet for the couple to marry on the beach as planned, so the ceremony was moved to Wychmere's Hydrangea Lawn. Guests sat in clear Chiavari chairs facing the Nantucket Sound and a lush arbor of white flowers and greenery.

10 of 20

Traditional Vows

wedding ceremony bride and groom beneath arch of white flowers
Emily Wren Photography

"I think there's something so special and beautiful about saying the same words that countless couples have said to each other for centuries," says Elizabeth of her and Greg's traditional promises.

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The Recessional

guests throwing white flower petals during wedding recessional
Emily Wren Photography

Coldplay's "A Sky Full of Stars" played as guests tossed rose petals at the just-married newlyweds.

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Around the World

transparent seating chart surrounded by white flowers and greenery
Emily Wren Photography

Instead of table numbers, the couple "named" each table after a location that had meaning to them, including where they met (London, England) and where they got engaged (The Big Island, Hawaii).

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Literary Quotes

framed calligraphy passage
Emily Wren Photography

Elizabeth and Greg asked Michaela McBride Calligraphy to handwrite a few of their favorite quotes, including this passage from "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens, for display during the cocktail hour and reception.

14 of 20

A Room with a View

reception hall with white round tables
Emily Wren Photography

The reception was held in the Harbor Room at the Wychmere. With French doors overlooking the harbor, the space "gives the illusion you are floating on the water," says Elizabeth.

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Floral Centerpieces

gold and white place setting on round table
Emily Wren Photography

Beach Plum Floral created full table centerpieces using the same white flowers and leaves in the bride's bouquet, plus blush and champagne blossoms for a hint of color. Gold-rimmed chargers, flatware, and a menu wax seal (complete with the couple's wedding monogram) added a touch of glamour to each place setting.

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Words of Wisdom

wedding advice cards on wood table with candles and white roses
Emily Wren Photography

In lieu of a guest book, Elizabeth and Greg set up a tray of notecards so friends and family could jot down marriage advice and well wishes for the newlyweds.

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The First Dance

bride and groom sharing first dance
Emily Wren Photography

The couple danced to "Ends of the Earth" by Lord Huron. "It's been 'our song' since we first heard it, and Greg actually had it playing while he proposed," says Elizabeth.

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An Elegant Cake

white wedding cake with gold monogram
Emily Wren Photography

Elizabeth and Greg chose two different wedding cake flavors from The Bashful Tarte: vanilla Prosecco cake with vanilla buttercream and chocolate buttermilk cake with ganache.

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Traditional Greek Favors

wedding favors boxed and tied with gold ribbon
Emily Wren Photography

Greg's Greek grandmother made baklava that his mother boxed individually for guests to enjoy at home. His yiayia also crocheted pouches filled with five sugar-coated almonds called koufeta, representing five wishes for the newlyweds: health, wealth, happiness, children, and a long life. "The odd number of almonds is indivisible, just as the bride and groom will remain undivided," explains Elizabeth.

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bride and groom embracing in field of tall grass
Emily Wren Photography

Photography, Emily Wren Photography

Venue and Catering, Wychmere Beach Club

Flowers, Beach Plum Floral

Officiant, Cape Cod Ceremonies

Stationery and Calligraphy, Michaela McBride Calligraphy

Cake, The Bashful Tarte

Music, Night Shift Entertainment

Rentals, Peak Event Services

Bride's gown, Eve of Milady

Bride's accessories, Toni Federici veil; Jimmy Choo shoes

Hair/Makeup, Special Event Beauty

Bridesmaids' dresses, Amsale

Groom's suit, Indochino

Menswear, The Black Tux

Groom's shoes, Johnston and Murphy

Lighting, HSP Event Production

Transportation, Cape Destinations

Groomsmen' gifts, Smathers & Branson

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