Thanks so much for Bernadette Smith of 14 Stories, one of our pro-gay wedding planners on our vendor list, for sending us this Boston wedding with such cute nautical details….and a dog. I’m a sucker for weddings with dogs!
On July 17, 2010 at the Fairmont Battery Wharf in Boston’s historic North End, surrounded by 75 of our closest friends and family including 10 attendants, one flower girl, and our Boston Terrier flower dog Lexington, Meg and I were married by Cindy Matchett in an intimate ceremony combining traditional elements and a unique, personal touch. After ending the ceremony with a champagne toast, we stepped out to the harbor’s edge and were photographed with those closest to us by Kelly Griffith of Closed Circle Photography. After formal pictures were complete, Kelly suggested we sneak into the honeymoon suite and take a few pictures jumping on the bed, our gorgeous ball gowns billowing around us. They turned out to be some of the most meaningful pictures of the day and truly captured our feelings of absolute joy.
Then we danced the night away to hits by Bobby Darrin, Stevie Wonder, and even the Black Eyed Peas, as covered by the fabulous One Step Ahead. Dinner was served with white glove service, each table receiving their delicious entrees in a simultaneous choreographed movement – it was just another example of the classic elegance displayed by the Fairmont staff. Heartfelt toasts from our wedding party, and a face full of frosting during the cake cutting, set to Mambo Italiano, rounded out a truly perfect reception. We couldn’t have pulled it off without the dedication of Bernadette Coveney Smith and the staff of 14 Stories – of all the decisions we made, hiring her was one of the best. It was a night we will never forget and cannot wait to relive day after day for the rest of our lives.
Originally Meg and I wanted to be married in a church. Our faith is very important to the both of us, but coming from Catholic backgrounds, we knew that would be a challenge. We didn’t want to join a new church just for the purpose of our wedding if it didn’t feel like a church we would then stick with and raise our family in. When we first walked under the Old North Skylight at the Fairmont Battery Wharf Hotel, we were awe-struck with the peacefulness of the marble floors reflecting the glass dome above – it felt like a very spiritual space.
Then we met our officiant, Cindy Matchett of the Celebrants Institute who was able to combine all of the traditional, familiar elements of a Catholic ceremony with some very personal changes that reflected the intimacy and individuality of our wedding. My mother painted a beautiful watercolor covenant that we had our vows written on in perfect calligraphy. During the ceremony we signed the document with both of our mothers serving as our witnesses. We closed the ceremony with a champagne toast for all of the guests, our form of communion, and recessed to The Beatles, All You Need Is Love. I also formally took Meg’s last name during the ceremony, signifying the creation of our new family.
Meg and I agree that our favorite moments of the day were those when we were able to really connect with each other and take a break to acknowledge, in our own private ways, what was going on – specifically, right after we had each processed in, our officiant, Cindy Matchett, told us that while she was welcoming all those in attendance, we should take the time to say hello to one another – it was the first time we had seen each other all day. My face was full of happy tears and Meg’s was full of radiant smiles. With just a few words, and a brief kiss, we were able to acknowledge our private joy and prepare ourselves to celebrate in a very public way.
After I proposed to Meg on a sailboat in Boston Harbor, we realized that an elegant, nautical-themed harbor wedding would be the perfect setting for us. When we first visited the Fairmont Battery Wharf in the North End we began to visualize the beautiful wedding we would have. From sailboat save-the-dates to anchor invitations and monkey fist keychain favors, we included subtle, elegant reminders of our nautical theme that complimented our Boston Harbor wedding. When considering nautical weddings, we found it was much easier to look in seaside towns at small boutiques and ask for bulk purchasing discounts rather than searching online wedding sites. We really wanted to avoid shifting from a nautical theme to a beach theme, and searching “sailboat wedding accessories” on any site resulted in predominately beach-themed items that were too casual for our setting.
#1 – It never hurts to ask – If you have a special request, make your wishes known. Even if a vendor can’t give you exactly what you’re looking for, every request helps them to understand your vision and your goals.
#2 – Your wedding party is busy too – Put together a kick ass second string team of friends and involve them as much as you can. Being part of a wedding party brings a whole host of responsibilities, but having a few back up friends for last minute tasks makes a huge difference in your day. For example, your wedding party will most likely be with you during the day, busy with hair, makeup, and pictures. Other committed friends can help by relaying information about how your family is doing, what the setup looks like, and how the cocktail hour is going. Make sure to recognize all that these second-stringers have done for you once the wedding day has passed.
#3 – Prepare for the morning after – It’s great to have your honeymoon suite decorated and stocked with champagne and strawberries (thank you again to the hotel staff and our wedding planner for a gorgeous setup), but having bottles of water and early morning snacks can make a big difference when you’re recovering from all the fun and getting ready for brunch with the family! In addition, Meg’s Matron of Honor left us each a card here we wrote a message to one another to remember how we felt that wonderful day. She then took the cards from us, and will give them back on our anniversary. It was a beautiful touch.
All images by Closed Circle Photography
Planner: Bernadette Coveney Smith, 14 Stories
Photographer: Kelly Griffith, Closed Circle Photography
Venue: Fairmont Battery Wharf
Florist: Jennifer Coveney-Smith, 14 Stories
Band: One Step Ahead
Dress/Suit/Accessories: Priscilla’s of Boston (2 wedding gowns and 7 bridesmaid dresses), Classic Tux (3 tuxes for attendants)
Cake: Hippie Chicks Bakery