This Thoughtful Wedding on Long Island Was Filled with Handmade Details and Plenty of Florals
Shortly after they connected on OkCupid in 2015, Elisabeth Engelhart and Felix Albahae knew that "this was a different kind of relationship," as Lis puts it. One that was meant to last. They quickly met each other's families, started traveling together, and developed their own traditions, including this one: "Every time we go on a trip, we take what we call 'nature selfies,' where Felix sets up his camera on a rock or tree limb," says Lis. So she wasn't one bit suspicious when, over Memorial Day weekend on Long Island's East End in 2018, he suggested they dress for dinner, walk on the beach, and snap some photos. As they posed together, he knelt down, pressed the remote shutter hidden in his pocket, and proposed, presenting a ring he had designed with his great-grandmother's diamond.
Lis, an art director and stylist who has worked at Martha Stewart Weddings and is now the editorial styling director at Good Housekeeping; and Felix, a software account executive, planned their wedding with a lens on nature, too. They decided to host it on Shelter Island—where Lis spent summers and holidays growing up—at the Ram's Head Inn. The bride-to-be designed a crest of their monograms surrounded by plants, flowers, shells, and critters native to the area (including deer ticks!), plus a few meaningful additions. "There were tulips and goldfinches, which are symbols in Dutch art, because Felix's family is from the Netherlands," Lis says. "And a butterfly, because ever since my dad's mom passed away, butterflies have been a symbol of her." Lis's mom, an artist, painted the crest and had it printed on invitations and the aprons worn by the ring bearer and flower girls, Lis's youngest cousins.
The ceremony, presided over by the Catholic priest who married Lis's parents, took place on October 5, 2019, on the inn's waterfront lawn. The bride and her father walked down the aisle as the band played "Edelweiss," a song her dad used to sing to her when she was little. "I didn't tell him beforehand," says Lis. "And as soon as he heard it, he started crying, and I had to support his body weight!" Lis and Felix exchanged vows they'd written themselves. Then it was time for cocktails on the lawn—where guests played bocce, strolled down to the beach, and noshed on mini lobster rolls, crab cakes, and warm mushroom tarts. A seated dinner that included local duck breast and striped bass followed inside, before dancing in the inn's barroom.
During dance breaks, the bride and groom cut into fruit pies from local favorite Briermere Farms, and captured pictures in the "photo booth," an area Lis's mom had decorated with another surprise: a floral backdrop she painted for the day. "It was such a nice touch," says Lis. "She saved it for us, so we could bring it to the house we moved into nine months after the wedding." There, it will undoubtedly be the backdrop for many a "nature selfie" to come.
Here, radiant in the golden October light—and her custom Sarah Seven gown—Elisabeth sealed the deal with her new husband, Felix, who wore a bespoke suit by Indochino. Lis's vision for the day: "A modern Secret Garden." Her bouquet spilled over with 'Koko Loko' roses, Queen Anne's lace, scabiosa, and local grasses and greenery, which friend and Weddings style director Naomi deMañana sourced locally. Naomi also made the archway of rosehips and greenery in front of the inn.
A Warm Welcome
When guests arrived for the weekend, they received a muslin bag filled with the pair's custom guide to Shelter Island, bug-repellent wipes, pain reliever, and treats including potato chips from a nearby farm.
The bridesmaids wore various styles of Dôen dresses that Lis had coveted, then scooped up at a sample sale. She got one for herself to wear to the after-party, too.
The wedding crest graced the invitations and the on-site paper goods, all designed by Lis.
Her somethings old, borrowed, and blue represented both sides of the newlyweds' families. She wore her mother's pearl drops to recall the painting Girl With a Pearl Earring, by Johannes Vermeer, in honor of Felix's Dutch relatives, and paired them with an antique silver, diamond, and sapphire bracelet that had been her paternal grandmother's.
Lis's mom sewed aprons for the flower girls from linen printed with the floral painting she made for the wedding.
One flower girl had a swinging time at cocktail hour on the lawn of the Ram's Head Inn. To keep little ones happy, Lis's mom set up a picnic play area with art supplies, games, and handmade paper dolls.
Centerpieces at each table were filled with local dahlias, euphorbia, roses, and flaming-bush greenery, displayed in vessels the bride and her mother and aunt collected at yard sales, thrift shops, and floral-supply shops.
The bride and groom packaged so many stroopwafels as favors that Felix hasn't been able to eat one since—and the Dutch cookie used to be his favorite treat
Stand by Me
For their first dance, Lis and Felix swayed to "Stand by Me," a song they'd heard a band play at a New York City bar once a week while they were dating.
During a dancing break, guests gathered on the inn's lamplit porch for blueberry crisp and raspberry-peach and apple pie à la mode from local legend Briermere Farms.
Venue and Catering, The Ram's Head Inn
Photography, Julia Elizabeth Photography
Floral Design, Naomi deMañana
Flowers, North Fork Flower Farm
Bride's Attire, Sarah Seven (dress and veil); Loeffler Randall (shoes)
Hair and Makeup, Sally Biondo
Groom's Attire, Indochino (suit); Dazi (tie); Allen Edmonds (shoes)
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