This Couple Hosted a Colorful Wedding Celebration By the Water in Oyster Bay, New York

bride and groom near water
Lance Nicoll

One morning in May 2019, Ashley Yaraghi awoke to her boyfriend of three years, Dan Felder, jumping on their bed. "I'm not a morning person, and sleep like log," she says. "I thought he'd just got back from a run or something, since he had so much energy." Dan wasn't returning from a run: He was home from an early morning trip to Union Square Market, where he'd bought every variety of Ashley's favorite flowers and used them to turn the roof of their building into a lush garden. He urged Ashley to join him for coffee on the roof before a forecasted thunderstorm. "Reluctantly, I followed him up to the roof in pajamas and a raincoat," she says. "When we got up there, he started some sort of speech, but the way he started, I thought for a moment he was about to break up with me!" After a quick pivot from Dan, Ashley realized what was going on. "Thankfully, he quickly steered the speech in the other direction, got down on one knee, and and asked me to marry him," she says. "What's funny is that the doormen in our building were watching all of it on the security cameras live!"

Ashley and Dan hoped to tie the knot in Spain, but after rescheduling twice due to COVID-19, they decided to keep things closer to home: They chose the bride's parents' property in Oyster Bay, New York, for a 220-guest outdoor fete on September 18, 2021. "As they say, third time's the charm," says Ashley. But the switch had unexpected benefits: "My grandmother is such a monumental figure in my life, so to have her attend was so meaningful, especially during the different waves of COVID-19," says Ashley. "In addition, my sister-in-law was eight months pregnant at our wedding, so having it local made it possible for her to get to—we couldn't imagine having the wedding without her."

When they switched locations, Ashley and Dan also had to switch wedding planners, hiring L. Marie Events to take over. The bride's mood boards detailed three different color palettes for different parts of the day: "romantic pastels" for the ceremony, "bright and punchy" shades for the cocktail hour, and "delicate rainbow" hues for the reception. "Since I'm half Chinese and half Persian, and Dan is Jewish, we wanted to somehow incorporate all of our cultures," adds Ashley, whose family owns the Safavieh rug and furnishing company. "We decided to design the ceremony using different traditions from our Persian and Jewish sides and gave the décor, florals, and paper items a Chinese twist." After dealing with a range of logistical challenges, from building a platform that could support their reception tent on the hilly property to replacing 500 damaged chairs the week before the wedding, Ashley and Dan found joy in spending time with their bridal party and family, locking eyes as she walked down the aisle to meet him the altar, and relishing in the love that surrounded them during their after-dinner dance party. "Take it one step at a time and be patient," says Ashley. "Don't forget that the wedding is first and foremost about the two of you getting married, and your love and commitment towards one another."

01 of 21

Blue Mood

blue wedding invitation suite
Lance Nicoll

Adrienne of Ipanema Press created the couple's blue floral invitation suite, which included a bamboo border on the information card and a custom wax seal with the Chinese sign for double happiness. "Adrienne did a beautiful illustration of hand-pressed flowers on watercolor blue vellum, which encapsulated the actual invitation, RSVP card, and information card," says Ashley. "She then carried that into the invitation by incorporating the pressed flower, embossing the textured paper with the botanical border. It was so elegant and timeless. The blue was used for all of our printed pieces and we based the color palette around the hue to make sure it was properly complemented, but also stood out."

02 of 21

Flower Power

bride wearing an off the shoulder, extra-textural dress
Lance Nicoll

Though Ashley had a silhouette in mind when she began trying on wedding dresses, her 3D-appliqué Mira Zwillinger gown was a surprise favorite. "Originally, I was looking for a V-neck with no texture—but I ended up with an off the shoulder, extra-textural dress," she says. "Once I tried it on, it felt so romantic, feminine, and ethereal, but when I saw the back of it and the train, I really fell in love. It looked like someone poured a bucket of little white flowers down the back." She added custom flower-shaped diamond earrings—a gift from her mother on Ashley's 30th birthday—and Loeffler Randall heels chosen for comfort: "I knew I was going to dance all night long!" she says.

03 of 21

Bright and Beautiful

bride with bridesmaids with variety of dresses
Lance Nicoll

Ashley gave her bridesmaids only one direction before encouraging them to choose their own gown: No black. "My bridesmaids are all so beautiful and each have their own unique style, so I decided to let them pick their own dresses and colors. I wanted them to wear something that made them feel comfortable and beautiful," she says. The resulting combination of gowns was better-suited to the day's aesthetic than Ashley expected. "I think my friends also know me so well and what colors I gravitate to, and without further instruction they ended up matching my color palette and each other completely, which was really funny."

04 of 21

Timeless Tuxes

Groom and groomsmen
Lance Nicoll

Dan and the groomsmen kept their wedding-day attire classic and sophisticated, with the groom in a bespoke tuxedo from Enzo Custom and the rest of the men in formalwear of their choice. "Since the wedding was black tie, it was pretty easy for them," says Ashley.

05 of 21

Home Sweet Home

wedding ceremony space near coast
Lance Nicoll

The bride's parents' home in Oyster Bay, New York, offered sweeping water views and a heavy dose of sentiment. "It meant a lot to us that we were to be married in a place that will always be in our lives," says Ashley. "We thought it would be very special to be able to show our kids one day where their parents got married."

06 of 21

Pretty Pastels

blue, pale pink, creamy ivory, and muted green down wedding ceremony aisle
Lance Nicoll

The ceremony's pastel color palette shone through growing aisle arrangements created by Scarsella's Flowers, with pops of blue, pale pink, creamy ivory, and muted green complemented by a sand-colored aisle runner.

07 of 21

All in the Family

bride with siblings during processional
Lance Nicoll

Ashley included her siblings in her walk down the aisle: "My brother and sister held my arms on either side and brought me halfway, and then passed me to my parents who took me down the final length of the aisle to Dan," she says. "My brother was such a cheerleader at the moment. He started to count out the steps, so we were all in sync before we turned the corner to the crowd. I was so nervous, and was scared I was going to fall, so I told them to have a tight grip!"

08 of 21

Classic and Coastal

wedding guests holding umbrellas during ceremony
Lance Nicoll

White ballroom chairs, folding fans made of natural wood, and watercolor blue ceremony cards tied into the waterfront property, while white parasols shaded guests during the ceremony.

09 of 21

A Nod to Tradition

bride and groom during sofreh aghd
Lance Nicoll

The couple incorporated traditions from Ashley's Chinese and Persian roots and Dan's Jewish religion into their day, including sofreh aghd, a Persian cultural ceremony. "A lot of the symbolic pieces that were on our sofreh aghd table reflected our differing cultures and background, but also the blending of them into our new future," says Ashley. "Many of the items were things we collected over our relationship, as well as symbolic pieces that were displayed in my cousins' ceremonies before us. It was so sweet looking upon the table as the ceremony began, because it was all a symbol of what we wish for our future together as partners in our marriage."

10 of 21

Love Is Sweet

bride and groom during sofreh aghd
Lance Nicoll

During part of the sofreh aghd, sugar was ground above the bride's and groom's heads. "Two women hold a lace cloth over your heads symbolizing your future home, and then the officiant asks all the married women to come up and grind the sugar, symbolizing the passing of sweetness from their marriage on to ours," says Ashley.

11 of 21

Husband and Wife

bride and groom kissing during wedding ceremony
Lance Nicoll

After the service, officiated by one of Ashley's cousins, the couple recessed to "I'll Take You There" by the Staple Singers. "As we walked up the aisle after the ceremony, we looked at our parents cheering, and it got us all a bit teary-eyed," says Ashley. "The cheering continued, but this time, even louder!"

12 of 21

Round Here

escort cards in moss
Lance Nicoll

Escort cards—in a shape that mimicked the sun dropping behind the horizon over the water—were displayed on delicate holders nestled in a bed of moss.

13 of 21

Get Happy

colorful flowers at wedding
Lance Nicoll

Ashley requested a "bright and punchy" aesthetic at the cocktail hour, which was translated through the vibrant blooms that adorned the bar.

14 of 21

Sunflower Pool

pool filled with sunflowers
Lance Nicoll

During the interlude, she traded the delicate hues of the ceremony florals for vibrant orange, purple, and pink—and filled the shimmering blue pool with cheerful sunflowers.

15 of 21

Room with a View

wedding reception tent
Lance Nicoll

The logistics of setting up a tent in the family's backyard—which "has limited space and isn't flat," says the bride—required New York Tent to create a platform that could support the reception area. Rising floral installations and gleaming lanterns pointed guests toward the entrance, while draped fabric and blooming branches inside the tent created an airy, organic atmosphere.

16 of 21

Rainbow Brights

wedding reception tables with red, pink, peach, purple, yellow, and lime flowers
Lance Nicoll

The third color palette of the day, described by the bride as "delicate rainbow," included shades of red, pink, peach, purple, yellow, and lime, complemented by blue paper goods. Wooden chairs, white cushions, and cream-colored linens set off the colorful décor.

17 of 21

Elegant Dinner

wedding tablescape with colorful flowers
Lance Nicoll

Textured white chargers, pale pink dinner plates, gold flatware, and bell-shaped wine glasses created a sense of easy elegance on the tablescapes.

18 of 21

Up in the Air

paper cranes hanging from wedding tent
Lance Nicoll

The bride and groom—and their friends and family—hand-folded 500 paper cranes that added a colorful accent to the ceiling of the tent. "I love a good DIY project!" says Ashley. "With the beach breeze, it gave off this delicate sense of dreamy movement that was so much fun to look up at while we were dancing."

19 of 21

Musical Notes

bride and groom dancing at reception
Lance Nicoll

Ashley and Dan chose the Otis Redding classic "Try a Little Tenderness" for their first dance. "We just love the song and how soulful it is," says Ashley. The bride and her father started their time on the dance floor with Andrea Bocelli's "Con Te Partiro" before switching to "September" by Earth, Wind, and Fire. "There was no way my dad and I could dance to the first song the whole time with a straight face," she says. "My dad loved both songs, so we made it a cute little surprise for the guests with the big change."

20 of 21

Party On

bride at wedding reception
Lance Nicoll

The couple's DJ from Style Events put together a playlist that met the couple's request for a combination of Persian, international, and American music. "They really got the party started," says Ashley. "This was the first wedding or celebration where all of us could be together in basically a year and a half, so it felt like not only a celebration of us, but of everyone finally getting together and being reunited. Everyone celebrated their hearts out."

21 of 21


bride and groom on stairs
Lance Nicoll

Photography, Lance Nicoll
Wedding Planning and Event Design, L. Marie Events
Catering, Robbins Wolfe Eventeurs
Flowers, Scarsella's Flowers
Videography, Roey Yohai Studios
Stationery, Ipanema Press
Pie, Briermere Farms
Music, Style Events
Rentals, Borrowed Blu; Decco by Party Up; Nuage Designs; Party Rental, LTD; Patina; Safavieh
Bride's Gown, Mira Zwillinger
Bride's Accessories, Mira Zwillinger veil; Loeffler Randall shoes; Albert's Fine Jewelry earrings
Hair, Sam Alter Hair
Makeup, Glenn Brownell
Flower Girl Dresses, Maisonette
Groom's Attire, Enzo Custom
Lighting and Tent, NY Tent
Transportation, Limo King
Valet, Elite Parking Systems

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