I was so happy to be a part of Alaska and Paul’s wedding weekend. On Friday, it kicked off with an intimate rehearsal dinner with immediate family and their wedding party at Alaska’s grandmother Garmi’s home, known as The Stalls, on the beautiful shores of Mattapoisett. The Stalls used to be horse stalls for a much larger house down the street. Though we caught the tail end of dusk for a photo, it was dark when I arrived, so I couldn’t fully appreciate what would be the site of tomorrow’s ceremony. The white chairs were already set up, a nice cool coastal breeze in the salty air after a warm sunny day. September at its finest.
Almost as soon as I arrived to Garmi’s, we headed to the Welcome Party venue, held at the Sippican Tennis Club just down the road in Marion. Paul had a sense I would dig the building and he was right. The building itself was a great build, but it was one of those spaces in which you could smell the history. Just the right amount of aged wood with a hint of must; kind of like a comforting old cabin, it made me wonder how many other celebrations were held there over the years. The Welcome Party was a casual affair for any friends and family who were already in town for the wedding. Based on the turnout, it seems most were! Delicious smelling chowder filled the air and guests’ bellies as well as some savory and sweet snacks. Laughs, love, and cocktails were abound, with impressive toasts to the bride and groom including a comical (and accurate!) impersonation of Alaska’s late grandmother; a live rendition of John Legend’s song “All Of Me” on a slightly out-of-tune piano yet still sounded beautiful; a poignant toast for the couple from Alaska’s brother Tucker which was extra moving given its brevity; a warm humble welcome from the party’s hosts Paul’s parents Paul and Patti; humorous toasts from aunt Wendy and co-maids of honor Megan and Katherine who had the bride in stiches with their “outfit change” (their old lacrosse sweats that were real head-turners, they joked); heartfelt toasts from Paul’s sister Jaime and best man James; and an endearing toast from Garmi, among others. The party went a bit later into the night than expected, but you could feel the excitement and anticipation in the air for the following day’s festivities.
Saturday morning at the Kittansett Club was beautiful, warm and sunny with blue skies and fluffy white clouds. The golf course is an idyllic setting with those perfectly patina-ed cedar shakes on the clubhouse harkening classic Cape Cod. Sharon from Always in Bloom was decorating the tables and Sperry tent with lush greenery and hanging wreaths. The lights were being strung by Lightworks Productions and place settings arranged. I couldn’t wait to see it complete and filled with all the guests. Tucker delivered the handsome cornhole game boards (a surprise) that he made for Alaska and Paul, and then dropped me off at Alaska’s parents’ home where the girls were getting ready. There was room for me in the limo, so I would ride with them the rest of the day. Alaska’s mom Barbie had the living room in the front of the house as the makeup studio and the hair salon set up in her gardening shed behind the house. Needless to say, the Boston stylists had never worked out of gardening shed before.
Megan and Katherine took turns buttoning Alaska’s wedding dress, but Katherine really kicked her maid of honor responsibilities into gear when she provided champagne via plastic straw for Alaska so she didn’t get dehydrated while Megan finished up with the buttons. Teamwork says it all.
Alaska and Paul had their first look at Jeannie and Matey’s home next door to the ceremony at The Stalls; it was their 50th wedding anniversary. Alaska and the maids of honor then waited at her grandmother’s house, while Paul and best man James and I walked along the sea wall to The Stalls. As guests arrived and the Boston String Quartet played, Paul, James, and Paul’s father Paul, enjoyed some Macallan’s in the cottage that I could have moved into in a heartbeat (don’t care that it isn’t winterized, I have a very warm sleeping bag!). The ceremony was riddled with humor and poetic prose, delivered by Alaska’s family member Johnny who is an orator of example. The couple asked him to include an excerpt from the book “The Princess Bride” and he performed it in character, indeterminable accent and all. And it was amazing. Johnny surprised the couple with a very loud air horn at the end of the ceremony, but only to signal the boat moored in the bay to hoist the “JUST MARRIED” flag, the real surprise, and such a nice touch (I have decided I would like Johnny to officiant my wedding!).
After family photos in the “magic circle” which Alaska describes as an, “elevated stone circular area where people in my dad’s generation snuck away to smoke cigarettes at age 13,” Alaska and Paul headed to the Kittansett in a family friend’s Porsche convertible and the rest of us rode in the limo, driven by Joe. Jerry from the Kittansett greeted Alaska and Paul with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, heartfelt congratulations, and a golf cart to take us to some spots on the course where the newlyweds wanted some photos. When we returned, the reception kicked off with Alaska’s father Toby giving a welcome toast. After grace, dinner commenced and we managed a couple post-sunset photos of Alaska and Paul before their first dance which opened the floor to a full night of dancing and revelry. Shot glasses full of milk served with a mini chocolate chip cookie were one of the many dessert options for guests. The Ox Cart food truck at the end of the night immediately had a long line of patrons, hungry from tearing up the dance floor. A great way to end a magical wedding celebration.