Casey and Ross's Relaxed Wedding in Montauk
Newlyweds Casey Debois and Ross Mopsick first bonded over a celebration (a football victory for the future groom-to-be's coed football team, that is). Three years following that initial introduction, they planned a wedding weekend full of everything worth commemorating: treasured loved ones, favorite foods, fun and games, and childhood memories. The pair's destination fête at the Solé East Resort in Montauk, New York, was "everything we hoped it would be: a relaxed yet glamorous party with all of our favorite people," says Casey, an interior designer. And relaxed is the very word to describe how the duo's relationship came into being.
One Saturday afternoon, Ross, feeling confident about his intermural team's win, chatted up Casey and invited her to hit the field with them for a game sometime. But Ross's pass went incomplete when he left the bar later that day without Casey's digits. The future bride-to-be finished the play and wrote her contact info onto a napkin and handed it off to a teammate to deliver to Ross, who works in business development. Casey played football with the team the following week and, shortly after, the two went on an actual date.
Tapping into their easygoing personalities and love of the locale, Casey and Ross opted for the beachy destination because of its laidback, small-town feel. Additionally, as a little girl, Casey spent many summers camping with her family in the area. 143 guests joined the Manhattan-based couple for an afternoon ceremony on May 17, 2014.
A bright blue sky and 70-degree weather set the ideal backdrop for the wedding at the Solé East Resort, located within walking distance of Montauk's village.
"One of the first things we decided was that we wanted everyone to stay in close proximity, preferably at the same hotel," says Casey of their room block. "We think of weddings like reunions of old friends and family. Our experience has been that when people are scattered across multiple hotels, you lose part of the communal vibe and energy. We didn't want people to have to go out of their way to find each other. Instead we hoped that guests could walk out of their rooms and immediately bump into people they knew in the hallway or hanging around the pool."
Suite and Simple
Confetti Grey designed the couple's invitation. The card popped against the envelope's black-and-white-striped lining and gold trim.
Welcome to Montauk
Guests were greeted when they arrived in Montauk with sentimental goodies in a canvas tote. Heart-shaped cookies baked by a family friend, a custom matchbox, and a hangover kit including Pellegrino and Advil provided invitees with weekend essentials. The vintage nut bags were filled with Ross's dad's hand-roasted trail mix that derives from a secret family recipe and, ironically, does not include peanuts.
Another touch? "If you've ever been to Montauk, you've undoubtedly seen postcards, signs, and T-shirts reading, 'Montauk—The End,' because it sits at the very end of Long Island," explains the bride. "It's a distinctive Montauk adage, but not exactly fitting for the start of our new lives together. So we took some liberties and created bumper stickers that said, 'Montauk—The Beginning.'"
Turnkey Ready (to Party)
Although Solé East Resort is decidedly upscale, the duo instead played into the relaxed, come-and-go atmosphere characteristic of the lodge (and of Montauk) by gifting old-school motel keychains, customized with the wedding date as the "room number." Confetti from The Confetti Bar included mini cutouts of the couple's wedding hashtag as a reminder for invitees to share the weekend's photos on social media. A few friends threw handfuls of the glittery bits onto the couple during their processional.
Happy Whale Designs created a map of Montauk for guests so that even first-time visitors could navigate the island.
Both sets of the couple's initials, along with the wedding date, were embroidered inside Ross's Bespoke by Louis Purple suit jacket.
The Bridal Party and Co.
Gifts for the Gals
To thank her bridesmaids, the bride gave them gifts of Kate Spade earrings and bracelets.
The First Look
Casey and Ross had a "first look" at the bathhouses at Hither Hills State Park Campground, a meaningful place to Casey because of childhood memories made there with her family.
With pictures wrapped, the duo hopped into a custom 1972 Ford Bronco that they rented locally to head back to the wedding venue, but not before posing for a few playful shots, as Casey admittedly adores vintage beach cruisers.
Ross's father walked both mothers down the aisle. "We thought it was a nice symbol of our families joining together," notes the bride.
Tuck, the couple's dog, was slotted in the processional line with Jackson, Ross's nephew, as his escort. The couple thought to strap a GoPro camera to the pooch's back to capture the celebration from a dog's-eye view. Casey's sister later edited a time-lapsed version of the ceremony as seen from Tuck's perspective, including him lying down in the grass and then quickly standing at attention when the newlyweds leaned in for their first kiss.
Although Ross's nephew Trent was scheduled to play a piano instrumental of "With a Little Help From My Friends" by The Beatles just once during the processional, he saved the day by covering the recessional tune, too, when there was a musical glitch.
Here Comes the Bride
Rather than having a traditional ceremony, Casey and Ross encouraged their two speakers to share something unique with guests about what makes for a successful marriage, and they did with funny and heartfelt deliveries. Ross's sister-in-law officiated, as she has always been one of Ross's most trusted confidants and has supported Casey from the moment she first met her.
After exchanging self-penned vows that the pair waited until the ceremony to unveil, the two recessed together down the aisle as husband and wife.
The bride's dad tapped into his crafty side by creating wood signage that pointed guests in the right direction following the ceremony.
In keeping with the playful vibe of the celebration, a canvas teepee stood on the reception grounds, which Tuck quickly claimed as his temporary home.
Three vases centered each reception table, and vintage restaurant-style numbers by That Girl Press directed guests where to sit. Casey selected all of the flowers and sourced them online from wholesalers in Ecuador and California. Arrangements were comprised of Billy balls, aster flowers, monstera leaves, baby's breath, ranunculus, peonies, and hydrangeas.
The First Dance
Casey and Ross danced their first dance to Katie Sky's version of Jack Johnson's "Better Together."
Toast From the Team
The couple's parents; Ross's brother and best man, Adam; and Casey's sister and maid of honor, Morgan toasted the newlyweds. Here, Adam's son, Colton, played sidekick, injecting jokes into his dad's speech to keep the audience laughing.
The bride saved all things nautical for the party's photo booth props. Invitees made snapshots memorable with life jackets, captain and first mate hats, coconut and seashell bras, inflatable whales, beach balls, lobsters, and more.
Napkins in the Air
One of the bridesmaids initiated an impromptu celebratory napkin toss and other guests joined in without hesitation.
How Low Can You Go?
Once invitees warmed up on the dance floor, group ensembles ensued, like this human limbo line. Not pictured: the "invisible" double-Dutch, whereby participants spun imaginary ropes for dancers to jump through.
Break It Down
With Colton's duty as ring bearer behind him, he could finally let loose on the dance floor.
Smorgasbord of Sweets
The pair's most-loved goodies—macarons, cotton candy, candy buttons, M&Ms, caramels, and lollipops—were arranged on a gold, glittery tablecloth.
A professional-grade karaoke machine and six microphones provided the after-party entertainment. Casey and Ross included song request slips with their wedding invitations to help them build the playlist and to give guests fair warning that the party would require audience participation. Ross was first to take the stage, singing "The Humpty Dance," which has become his signature song at weddings after spontaneously freestyling it at his brother's wedding 12 years prior. Casey, ever the good sport (and not knowing the words herself), decided to dance along—this time, in an Allison Parris frock.
"We had a small fire pit outside for friends that might want a quiet moment away from the after-party," Casey says. However, when the couple stepped outside with their photographer for a few last pictures, they were shocked to find themselves completely alone. "No one wanted to miss a minute!" Casey adds, which is the sign of a good party.
Photography: Flora + Fauna
Location and Catering: Solé East Resort
Event Planning: Whimsy Weddings
Event Design: DeBois Design
Videography: Rob Cleary
Stationery: Confetti Grey and Emblem
Cake: A Piece of Cake
Music: DJ Jon Blak of Scratch Weddings
Hair: Amber Young and Michelle Manno of Three Ways Beautiful
Makeup: Knight Beauty
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