Wait Until You See This Couple's Epic Seating Chart—It Was Inspired by Their Beachfront Wedding Venue and Favorite Song

The pair tied the knot in Rehoboth Beach, Del., where they got engaged and celebrated their first (COVID-friendly) wedding.

wedding couple portrait walking on beach
Photo: Perry Vaile

Matt and Evelyn knew they had something special when they met back in 2017—they didn't want their first date to end (and even met each other's parents on date number three). A few years later, Matt decided it was time to pop the question so they could commit to forever. The proposal took place in Rehoboth Beach, Del., a town that Evelyn calls her "happy place," and where she and Matt had already created cherished memories.

Ahead of the proposal, Matt and Evelyn inconspicuously walked out to the beach, as they had many times before. But when the couple's favorite song, "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison, began playing in the background, Matt gave Evelyn a gentle nudge. "Babe, it's happening," he told her as she realized this wasn't just another afternoon at the beach. He put down their towels and sunscreen, got down on one knee, pulled out an engagement ring, and asked Evelyn to marry him. As she offered an enthusiastic yes, she realized Matt's twin sister and her fiancé were hiding nearby to capture the moment.

Of course, their August 2020 engagement came with its fair share of challenges. Eager to begin their married life, the duo decided to move forward with a small, family-only ceremony in September 2021, with a big celebration planned by Laura Ritchie and her team at Grit & Grace, Inc. in September 2022. This gave them the opportunity to have an intimate ceremony at Evelyn's family beach house, which had always been her dream; the property, however, wouldn't have been able to host the big wedding they envisioned. The larger, 185-guest "barefoot and black-tie" celebration ultimately unfolded at Indian River Life Saving Station in Rehoboth Beach, Del., on September 10, 2022.

waterfront wedding venue overhead view
Perry Vaile

Breathtaking Views

Rehoboth already held a special place in Evelyn and Matt's hearts: In addition to their proposal location, it was also where Matt first asked Evelyn to be his girlfriend. The icing on the cake? They hosted their small, COVID-friendly nuptials on the town's beachfront.

beach themed blue and white wedding invitations
Perry Vaile

Something Blue

The couple incorporated meaningful symbols throughout their paper and details, designed by The Dandelion Patch, including a monogram that featured golf balls (their favorite hobby), coffee and bagels (they met on the Coffee Meets Bagel dating app), and a sailboat (they have a "dock boat" at their home in Virginia).

An elegant, but beachy blue-and-white color palette defined the invitation suite, complete with gold foil, dark blue ink, and painted blue custom-cut edges. Their RSVP card incorporated a fun detail, asking guests to share the one song that always gets them on the dance floor.

wedding welcome information in blue and white
Perry Vaile

Welcome to Rehoboth

Evelyn and Matt gave each of their guests a booklet and monogrammed cookies in their welcome gift. "This included a map of Rehoboth with key landmarks, like the welcome drinks location, venue, after-party, and family beach house," the bride says. The finishing touch was a plane motif in the map's illustration (which hinted to a fun part of their future big day).

wedding rings on woven fabric
Perry Vaile

Bands of Gold

With lots of family coordination, Matt had a custom three-diamond ring made for Evelyn, crafted with diamonds from both of their mothers—along with a new diamond to represent their family's beginning.

wedding beach house venue
Perry Vaile

House Party

Showing friends and family Rehoboth, including their beach house and most meaningful spots, was a dream come true for Evelyn and Matt. "For many of the guests in attendance, we were able to reminisce about shared memories at the beach together, while we made new ones that weekend," they say.

bride and bridesmaid in pale blue dress
Perry Vaile

All Smiles

Evelyn fell in love with two Suzanne Neville wedding dresses, so she went the custom route to combine their best features; her bespoke gown featured light and airy hand-painted floral silk, which was contrasted by a more structured neckline. She paired it with delicate BHLDN pearl drop earrings (which she also wore for her small COVID-19 wedding), her late Nana's aquamarine ring, (which was her "something borrowed"), and a blue stone and opal bracelet, a gift from her friends (this was her "something blue"). The finishing touch? A handkerchief made from the baby bonnet she wore at her baptism was her "something old."

blue and orange themed bridal bouquet wedding
Perry Vaile

Floral Attraction

Evelyn's playful and refined bouquet overflowed with white, peach, coral, blue, yellow, and orange flowers; the arrangement featured garden roses, spray roses, ranunculus, wax flowers, dahlias, and larkspur.

groom in tux, bowtie, and suspenders holding drink
Perry Vaile

Black-Tie Attire

Matt wore a classic tuxedo from The Black Tux with a black bow-tie, cumberbund, mirrored shoes, white pocket square, and a watch (a wedding gift from Evelyn).

bride walking toward groom for boardwalk first look
Perry Vaile

Looks of Love

Evelyn and Matt's first look was a full-circle moment. Evelyn walked down the boardwalk to the exact spot where Matt proposed and where they officially exchanged vows one year before. "It was so surreal being in that moment," she says. "It felt like such a culmination of so much love, planning, intentionality, and effort of years in the making that just all came together in that moment (cue happy tears)."

groom twirling bride on boardwalk first look
Perry Vaile

Ready to Wed

Before the first look, Evelyn felt calm, cool, and collected. The two spent the morning together, picking up food for the bridal party and exchanging letters. But the actual moment they saw each other ahead of the ceremony was surreal. "I was really excited for him to see me in my dress, and I was excited to see him in his tux," says Evelyn. "Once I was actually walking down that boardwalk to tap him on the shoulder, I was flooded with emotion."

wedding couple family portrait on beach
Perry Vaile

Singing the Blues

Bridesmaids wore Birdy Grey dresses in a gradient of blues to complement the similar hues at their beach venue. "I wanted each bridesmaid to pick something that they felt amazing in, so there were a variety of styles and necklines," says Evelyn. "I think it ultimately came together to create a beautiful combination of shades and styles that looked cohesive."

Each groomsman donned a navy blue tuxedos from the Black Tux. "We knew we wanted Matty to stand out in black. The navy blue looked great next to the bridesmaids' dresses and was just slightly different from Matty's black tux," the bride says.

waterfront wedding ceremony with floral arch and white chairs
Perry Vaile

Ceremony Views

The "barefoot and black-tie" theme was carried through every element of the wedding. "We wanted it to be beachy and fun, while elevated," says Evelyn. "That moment in a wedding where everyone has kicked off their shoes and is dancing the night away is so magical—so why not allow for that level of comfort and fun all night long?"

As a result, everything, down to the color palette of blues, whites, and corals, was designed to play off the effortless natural beauty all around them.

beach wedding ceremony white chairs and greenery decor
Perry Vaile

Thinking Green

Wicker baskets filled with greenery and sea grass flanked the aisles and added pops of color to the white chairs.

wedding floral arch on beach
Perry Vaile

Flower Power

Amaryllis created the flower arch for the ceremony, complete with peach-and-coral roses, white flowers, and greenery. "Against the backdrop of the ocean, the colors were just gorgeous," the bride says.

bride and groom ceremony kiss beach
Perry Vaile

Sealed With a Kiss

Both Evelyn's mom and dad walked her down the aisle, which is one of her most cherished memories. "It was such a long road to get to this moment of group celebration and we were finally there," she says.

The pair's personal and meaningful ceremony spoke to their strong relationship with their faith. Their vows included personal anecdotes, with promises that felt lighthearted and authentic—like Evelyn's promise to always be Matt's shoulder to cry on when the Giants lose and Matt's vow to get rid of the spiders. After an enthusiastic first kiss, the newlyweds walked back up the aisle as husband and wife (again!) to "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, played by Rehoboth Strings.

orange and blue wedding bar
Perry Vaile

Coral Creation

Evelyn and Matt didn't skim on the details: Amaryllis created bold custom bars in a bright coral shade with blue-and-white panels painted to match the pattern from the invitation suite.

wedding cocktail hour drinks with personalized monogram
Perry Vaile

Signature Grapefruit Crush Cocktails

Grapefruit crushes are some of the most popular drinks at Rehoboth Beach bars, so the newlyweds made them their signature sip during cocktail hour. In keeping with the beachside setting, they also served lobster corndogs, mini fish tacos, and had a raw bar served in a monogrammed boat with oysters, crab legs, shrimp, and ceviche.

guest standing in front of wedding seating chart boat decor
Perry Vaile

Let's Go Sailing

In the couple's favorite song, "Into the Mystic" (which was playing when they got engaged!), Van Morrison sings, "Together we will sail into the mystic." As a fun tie to the meaningful tune, the pair used it to headline their reception's "wow" moment: an escort chart featuring model sailboats.

detailed view of wedding seating chart boat
Perry Vaile

"Into the Mystic"

Each boat "sailed" across the wall and was calligraphed with guests' names and table assignments. For months before the big day, Evelyn and Matt scoured local shops for the sailboats; several hang in their house today.

bride and groom watching just married plane sign fly by
Perry Vaile

Banner of Love

Watching banner planes fly over the beach is one of Evelyn's favorite beachside traditions (it's even become her "family symbol"). So, the pair incorporated an airplane motif into the cookie favors from Carolina Sugar Fairy and throughout the day's paper details. But perhaps its best appearance—the real thing!—was a total surprise from her parents. During the cocktail hour, a plane flew overhead, with the message "Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Herb" trailing behind it.

wedding reception blue and orange tables in beach tent
Perry Vaile

Tented Reception

Underneath the reception tent, champagne-colored chandeliers, covered with cascading greenery and roses, filled the space.

long elegant reception tables in blue and orange decor
Perry Vaile

Take Your Seat

Blue-and-white patterns and chic gold accents, which echoed all of the details throughout the celebration, defined the tables.

wedding reception peaches table number
Perry Vaile

Fruitful Accents

As a natural touch, the pair used fruit as table numbers.

beach themed place settings wedding
Perry Vaile

The Perfect Place

Several defining details, including the couple's custom monogram, were incorporated into the place settings. Blue-and-white embroidered linens and white chargers with a subtle nautical loop design were punctuated by gold flatware and delicately etched glassware. Colorful centerpieces in hues of coral, pink, yellow, orange, green, white, and blue added a touch of whimsy to the tabletops.

couple embracing at table during wedding reception
Perry Vaile

Taking It All In

The big day was a whirlwind of emotion and joy that was two years in the making—and it lived up to the duo's expectations and carried out their main goal: to celebrate with the people who matter most to them. "I couldn't believe the day we had been planning for two years was finally here, and that we were finally able to celebrate our love with all of our people," says Evelyn. "I had been dreaming of that moment for years and it was everything I wanted and more."

boats sailing at sunset
Perry Vaile

Sweet Sails

After reflecting on their beachfront wedding, complete with sunset views, Matt and Evelyn have one big piece of advice for other couples planning their big days: anchor yourself in your mission. "For us, that was celebrating our love with the people who matter most to us. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the stress of the details," the say. "All that matters is that you are marrying the love of your life, you are celebrating with your favorite people on the planet, and you are soaking up every moment."

wedding reception dress change
Perry Vaile

Wardrobe Change

Evelyn changed into a dance-floor-ready sequin dress with a tiger pattern toward the end of the reception. This led up to the pair's favorite moment of the big day: Getting on stage for "Shout." "It was so magical looking out at all our loved ones, feeling like rockstars, and dancing to one of our favorite songs. To sum up that moment and so much of the night—it was collective effervescence," says Evelyn.

wedding couple hugging on beach
Perry Vaile


Photographer, Perry Vaile Photography
Venue, Indian River Life Saving Station
Planner, Grit & Grace, Inc.
Videographer, Bowen Films
Floral Design, Rentals, and Production, Amaryllis Inc
Invitations and Day-of Paper, The Dandelion Patch
Calligraphy, Jess McSweeney
Wedding Dress, Suzanne Neville from Zoya's Atelier
Bridal Shoes and Accessories, Bella Belle, BHLDN
Hair and Makeup, Makeup by Ana B
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Birdy Grey
Groom and Groomsmen's Attire, The Black Tux
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands, Ascot Diamonds
Ceremony Music, Rehoboth Strings
Reception Music, Polaris
Catering, LaVida Catering
Desserts and Welcome Gift Cookies, Carolina Sugar Fairy
Cake, Pasquilinis
Rentals, Perfect Settings
Linens, BBJLatavola
Photo Booth, The Prop Stop Photo Booth
Transportation, Jolly Trolley, Jor-Lin Transportation
Tenting and Lighting, Coastal Tented Events

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