While Sydney Esiason is a former sports broadcaster, that actually isn’t how she met her now-husband, professional hockey player Matt Martin.
“We met on Twitter in 2012!” she reveals. Sydney met one of Matt’s teammates at a concert while she was a student at Boston College, and the teammate told Matt about her. “I’m from Long Island, and since Matt plays for the Islanders, it was enough of a connection for us to start chatting," she explains. They briefly lost touch, but after Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, Matt reached out to see how Sydney and her family fared—and the rest is, as they say, history.
Years later, Matt and Sydney moved to Toronto, Canada for Matt to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs. While there, Sydney says they fell in love with the Distillery District, an area that's full of shops, restaurants, and art installations. The most famous installation—and likely most Instagrammed!—is a massive LOVE sign that's covered in locks. "The tradition is to buy a lock with your loved one, write a message or your name, and hook it to one of the letters," she says.
On March 18, 2019, the couple added their own lock to the sign—but not before a series of events led them there! That morning, Matt surprised Sydney with her mom being in town—he tried to keep it a secret but she spotted her mom's purse while they were FaceTiming—so Sydney rushed to get ready and meet them in the Distillery District. "We'd had too many cocktails the night before, but I pulled myself out of bed and got ready so we could take my mom on a tour of the town,” she recalls. Once there, Matt encouraged Sydney to pose in front of the LOVE sign with the couple’s dog, Jax, for a picture. "For the first time ever, I turned down a picture but he insisted," she admits with a laugh. “As I waited for Matt to take the picture, Jax pulled on his leash, and I turned around and found Matt down on one knee!” After she said “yes," they commemorated the moment by adding their own lock to the sign. "We wrote 'March 18, 2019' with our initials," she says.
For their wedding on June 29, 2019, the couple decided to celebrate closer to their home in Southampton, New York. "I grew up going to the Hamptons with my family and always knew I'd be a 'Hamptons bride,'" Sydney admits. There, they chose to say "I do" in an outdoor ceremony and reception at the Sebonack Golf Club, a location they selected for its views of Peconic Bay. "We love the water and the beach, and I never really pictured myself having a city or urban type wedding," adds the bride.
Jennifer Zabinski of JZ Events worked with the couple to bring their wedding vision to life. "I would describe my own style as classic and traditional with a hint of contemporary style so I envisioned my wedding just like that," Sydney says. With lush florals, pops of blue and gold, and fab fashion for all, Sydney and Matt's summer wedding was traditional, modern—and totally chic! Keep scrolling for all the details, as photographed by Roey Yohai of Roey Yohai Studios.
Sydney and Matt invited guests to Southampton with a letterpress wedding suite from Bella Figura. While the invitation's overall look was traditional, a few fun illustrations—such cocktails and the Canadian flag as a nod to Matt’s roots—added a playful touch.
On the wedding day, Sydney got ready with her 11 bridesmaids. “My bridesmaids and I all wore Daphne Newman robes to get ready,” she says. “Mine was long and white with lace sleeves, while theirs were short in a champagne hue. I was so happy to work with an up-and-coming Canadian designer!”
I wanted a Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy vibe to my look and I wanted it to be timeless.
Sydney is friends with bridal stylist Jessica Mulroney (aka Megan Markle's BFF!), which she says made finding her dream wedding dress was a breeze. “I told Jessica that I wanted something classic with a full silhouette, and she immediately sent me a picture of this Elie Saab ballgown," she says. As a precaution, Sydney tried on a variety of other shapes and styles, but, as soon as she tried on the Elie Saab at Kleinfeld Bridal, she says she knew it was the one. "I didn’t even have it halfway up my body when I said, 'this is it,'" she says.
On the big day, Sydney paired the gathered bodice and off-the-shoulder neckline with soft waves and a bouquet of white roses. "I wanted a Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy vibe to my look and I wanted it to be timeless," she says.
Sydney’s bridesmaids wore pale blue crepe Amsale dresses. “I went to the showroom and chose five different styles, then let them each pick their favorite,” she says. “I don’t love chiffon, and this crepe fabric was so beautiful, simple, and modern. Plus, the pale blue color looked amazing on everyone!”
The couple’s niece, Madison, wore a classic white flower girl dress with a peter pan color and floral embroidery. Their nephews, Jameson and Lincoln, took inspiration from the Brits in all-white outfits with white knee-high socks and white-and-blue Oxfords.
Matt matched the day's blue palette in a navy Indochino tuxedo with a black lapel and a black Tom Ford bow tie. He paired his tux with needlepoint lion Stubbs & Wooton slippers—because Sydney is a Leo! As a final touch, Sydney’s father purchased American and Candian flag pins for all of the men in the wedding party to wear above their white rose boutonnieres.
The ceremony—and, later, the reception—took place on the golf course at the Sebonack Golf Club. There, an altar of pampas grass and delphinium appeared to grow organically from the lawn, circling the space where Syndey and Matt would exchange vows.
“As everyone made their way down the aisle, our oldest ring bearer, Jameson, waved to the crowd," Sydney recalls. "When he got to the end, he gave all the groomsmen high-fives!”
Sydney walked down the aisle on her father’s arm. “Right before we began our walk, I showed him that I was wearing an aquamarine ring that my late Uncle Timmy, who perished on 9/11, had given to my Aunt Lisa,” she says. “Uncle Timmy was my dad’s best friend, and it meant a lot to be able to honor him in this way.”
The couple exchanged traditional vows as a breeze came in off the bay. “We got so lucky that it rained everywhere else on the Hamptons except at Sebonack,” adds the bride.
Reverend Eric N. Zile officiated the ceremony, which Syndey admits lasted about 20 minutes!
String musicians played throughout, with Sydney walking down to “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John—she and Matt love The Lion King—and the newlyweds recessing to “You’re Still The One” By Shania Twain and “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen. "We thought that was just funny," she adds with a laugh.
In honor of their engagement in Toronto, Matt and Sydney attached a heart-shaped lock and key to each guest’s escort card.
Matt changed into a white dinner jacket for the reception, but Sydney waited until the party really got underway to reveal her second look of the night.
The reception was held beneath a white Sperry tent, with guests seated at a mix of round and rectangular tables under pale blue and gold lanterns. A combination of linens (in neutral and pale blue) draped over the tables, which were decorated with gold vessels of white roses and peonies.
For a more contemporary feel, water was served in elegant dark blue goblets. Each place setting featured a gold-rimmed charger, modern gold flatware, and a custom menu with an illustration of the couple's dog and the Canadian and American flags. A combination of white roses, blush spray roses, and blue blooms like sea holly and delphinium, added to the soft, elegant feel, while blue taper candles glowed from within glass cylinders.
“We chose to have both a band and a DJ,” Sydney says. “We wanted to pair the experience of live music with more contemporary choices and it was such a great combination!” The lead singer of their band, Big Shot, tours with Billy Joel, which was perfect for the "Piano Man"-loving couple. “It’s an NHL tradition for any players invited to a wedding to gather on the dance floor in a circle, pull down their pants, and sway in their boxers as ‘Piano Man’ plays," says the bride with a laugh. "I have no idea why they do this, but it sure made for a memorable moment!”
Later in the evening, Sydney changed into her reception dress: a form-fitting Pronovias sheath dress with a plunging neckline and embellished trim. She also carried a modern bridal clutch.
My favorite part of our wedding was our Fudgie the Whale wedding cake!
“My favorite part of our wedding was our Fudgie the Whale wedding cake,” Sydney admits. “My family had Fudgie the Whale cakes for every celebration growing up, so it only made sense to serve one at our wedding. As a surprise, the Fudgie mascot came to help us cut into all the ice cream and chocolate crunchies!”
Wedding Venue & Catering Sebonack Golf Club
Wedding Planner JZ Events
Floral Design Ovando
Officiant Reverend Eric N. Zile
Wedding Dresses Elie Saab; Pronovias
Day-Of Bridal Styling The Stylish Bride
Bride's Jewelry Rone Regency Jewelers; JB Star; Cartier; Mini Mini Jewels
Bride's Shoes Stuart Weitzman
Groom's Attire Indochino; Stubbs & Wootton
Hair Hair by Halli
Makeup Sara Brownlee; Cambus Artistry
Bridesmaid Dresses & Robes Amsale; Daphne Newman Design
Flower Girl & Ring Bearer Attire Spring Flowers; Bonne Nuit
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands Rone Regency; JB Star
Invitations Bella Figura
Calligraphy BL Calligraphy
Entertainment EJ the DJ; Big Shot Band
Rentals Norsic; Stamford Tent; BBJ Linen; Borrowed Blu; Luxe Event Rentals; Party Rental Ltd.; The Tabletop Company; Tableware LLC
Lighting Luminous Designs
Photography Roey Yohai Studios