It's not the most romantic place in the world, but this sweet couple proves that you can find love anywhere — even on Wall Street. Though they met in 2006, Rochelle and Shelley were friends for six years before their friendship turned to romance, while both were enrolled at Columbia Business School in 2012. They dated for two years before Shelley popped the question (after having spent months planning the proposal!). "Shelley was coming home from a trip to Germany, so I spent the evening making him a surprise dinner," says Rochelle. But little did she know, he had a surprise up his sleeve, too, popping the question in their home before celebrating with a champagne toast. "Dom Perignon never tasted so good!" says the bride.
Deciding where to get married was easy: Shelley's family's home on Martha's Vineyard was the clear choice. "It felt so natural and right," says Rochelle. They planned a September 19, 2015, ceremony on the lawn, followed by a reception at the nearby Farm Neck Golf Club, with stunning ocean views and plenty of space for an airy, vintage fête with unmistakable Vineyard vibes. With a gold, ivory, blush, and navy color scheme, we'd say they captured it perfectly! Take a peek inside the elegant waterfront bash, photographed by Lauren Methia Photography, and get ready to book a ferry ticket of your own!
When Rochelle couldn't decide between two Berta and Reem Acra wedding dresses, she decided to go the custom route and incorporate elements of both into her bridal look. She worked with Mika Inatome to create a beige gown with an ivory overlay, combining hand-embroidered accents, Alencon lace, and a fit-and-flare silhouette. "I had a good idea of what I wanted, and Mika created the most beautiful wedding dress. It was the perfect combination of classic and sexy, the lace was to die for, and the embroidery... I was near tears every time I tried it on!" says the bride.
She paired the gown with her stunning solitaire engagement ring and a hint of sparkle, courtesy of strappy Badgley Mischka sandals.
The 10 (yes, 10!) bridesmaids wore blush Jenny Yoo gowns with convertible straps and flowing skirts.
Rochelle carried an all-white bouquet of roses and dusty miller, while bridesmaids carried smaller versions accented with gold-painted leaves.
The bride's bouquet was wrapped with the same lace used on her wedding dress, and finished with two pins: a pearl pin from her grandmother and a brooch that belonged to her god-parents' grandmother.
"We got ready at the house next door to Shelley's parents'," says Rochelle. "It's actually the first home where Shelley spent summers on the Vineyard, which made it extra special!"
With the ocean in the background, the ceremony took place beneath a birch altar draped in white fabric and decorated with roses and greenery. Shelley, in a blue Bonobos tuxedo, waited at the altar to see his bride for the first time. "I got so emotional when I first saw him, but I did my best to keep it together," Rochelle remembers.
The pair exchanged traditional vows, with the groom's uncle and the bride's brother doing readings.
Shelley's father is from New Orleans, and he came up with the idea to surprise guests with a post-ceremony Second Line parade! Says Rochelle, "My mother-in-law ordered flip flops for the ladies to wear for the walk. I'm still in awe of how some of our ideas came together so perfectly!"
The newlyweds led the group on golf carts, but hopped off toward the end to circle back and dance with their guests.
"Martha's Vineyard is like a second home to Shelley, where so many of his closest friendships and most lasting memories began," says Rochelle.
We can't get over all of the details of Rochelle's dress, from the two types of lace to the delicately scalloped fishtail skirt.
Guests' table assignments were displayed on a vintage mirror, with table names in gold calligraphy and affixed to cards with ornate silhouettes.
Beneath the sailcloth tent, a combination of round and rectangular tables surrounded the dance floor. "I wanted the whole evening to be lit by bistro lights and candles to create a more romantic and soft ambiance," explains Rochelle. A mix of gold and glass vases held anemones, sweet peas, roses, and soft greenery, with pops of brighter pink to add extra drama.
In lieu of menus, each guest's seat was marked with a personalized place card and a letter from the bride and groom to their guests.
To encourage people to get to know one another throughout the evening, Shelley and Rochelle chose a family-style dinner service. "We wanted it to feel like a dinner party," she says. "We also kept the food a surprise to build anticipation as each course came out!" They offered a salad, two pasta courses, and entrés of fish and lamb, all ending with a dessert buffet and a coffee bar stocked with Kahlua and Bailey's.
Instead of numbers, each table was named after a place on Martha's Vineyard, from Narragansett to Vineyard Avenue.
Rochelle collected all of the vases herself, scouring shops to create the perfect combination of styles and sizes. "Our caterer wanted to keep them at the end of the night!" she laughs.
The first dance was to John Legend's "All of Me," but not the traditional version. "I surprised Shelley and recorded me singing the lyrics, instead!" says the bride. The DJ went straight into "The Wobble," then mixed Notorious B.I.G. and Ginuwine with oldies that guests loved so much they almost forgot to eat dessert! When the evening wrapped up, everyone headed to Martha's Vineyard Chowder Co. to keep the party going.
"If you can, take a break from planning," says Rochelle. "Shelley and I went to Paris two weeks before the wedding. I was worried because I had so much left to do, but I managed to let go and enjoy the trip. It was so nice to have a few days off and relax!"
Ceremony Venue: Private residence || Reception Venue & Catering: Farm Neck Golf Club || Wedding Planner: Hitched! || Wedding Coordinator: Heather Dawn Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Mika Inatome || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Makeup: Sea Spa Salon || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Groom's Attire: Bonobos || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Tomas Edipson New York || Florist: Island Ambiance || Invitations & Paper Goods: Wedding Paper Divas || Music: DJ B-Hen || Cake & Dessert: The Black Dog Bakery & Café; Murdick's Fudge; Back Door Donuts || Rentals: Big Sky Tent & Party Rentals || After Party: Martha's Vineyard Chowder Co. || Photographer: Lauren Methia Photography
Did you love this couple's beautiful celebration? Then check out another couple's vintage-inspired wedding in the video below.