This Balmy Beach Wedding Is Sure to Warm Your Heart

Tons of personalized details ensured that this large New York wedding still felt like an intimate affair

Updated 01/24/17

Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography

During a fortuitous meeting in 2008, Jamie Millard and Krista Tenaglia quickly discovered they had a lot in common. Most important of all? Each had a plan to study abroad in Prague during their upcoming college semester. With a mutual love of dancing, delicious meals, and adventure, Krista and Jamie's relationship continued overseas. After a few months, the semester was over, but that didn't mean their blossoming relationship would be. After returning home, they began their final year of college as a couple and went on to date long distance for another five years.

With Jamie at Middlebury College and Krista at Boston College, the two knew it wouldn’t be easy, but both agreed the sacrifice would be worth it. “Although Jamie’s car may not agree, we wouldn’t change a thing about those years and countless trips to visit each other,” says Krista of their post-grad years. When the couple moved in together in 2014, making Boston their home, Jamie knew he was ready to propose. In keeping with the couple's globetrotting ways, he waited until a trip to New York City to pop the question.

Soon after, the two started planning. “The ultimate goal for our wedding day was for everyone to have fun celebrating our future together as husband and wife,” Krista says. "We both have gigantic families so we always knew we wanted a big wedding, but something that still felt intimate and uniquely 'us.'" Luckily, the front-runner in the venue search was big enough to accommodate their 260 person guest list, but was still romantic and timeless. Lawrence Beach Club, a bright and breezy venue set on the shore of Atlantic Beach, New York, was an obvious choice for the couple’s June 25, 2016, nuptials.

With a wraparound veranda, spacious patio, and numerous rooms with unique seaside décor, the space was a total winner. But it was the ocean view and white sandy beach that truly set the scene. With their special somewhere so easily decided, Jamie and Krista turned their focus towards making the space feel all their own with some creative DIY projects. The twosome got down to business planning a wedding that was equal parts seaside elegance and good old fashioned fun. Julia Elizabeth Photography was there to capture the day’s surprises and make us wish our toes were in some warm summer sand!

Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography

"My family and I have been going to Lawrence Beach Club for the past 20 years so it holds a very special place in my heart. I describe it as a little slice of heaven," the bride says. "Since Jamie and I have been together for over seven years, it’s become a very special place for him as well! Since the beach club is a place that we spend a lot of time at, we knew we wanted to put our own stamp on the reception tent to make it feel a little more uniquely us. This is where the fun began." The pair invited guests to this meaning locale with a formal suite with gold foil details.

Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography
Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography
Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography
Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography

Krista proves there’s no wrong way to pick your wedding dress: She found her skirt first and then shopped for the gown to go with it. "I was so sure it was the perfect look that I didn’t need any reassurance — no one else was with me when I bought it!” Krista says. The skirt was a silk faille Jenny Yoo design with floral appliqués trailing to the hem, a gorgeous touch of whimsy atop the more fitted, trumpet style gown from Amy Kuschel she found after. Since she didn’t want to bustle the delicate skirt, so decided to wear it only for the ceremony, then remove it for the reception.

The bride completed her day-of look with two very special pieces of jewelry: A David Yurman bracelet gifted by her late father, and an heirloom diamond necklace from the groom that’s been in his family for four generations.

The bridesmaids wore romantic long Joanna August gowns in a soft blush hue. The groom’s niece was the flower girl, and looked adorable in a silk dress with pearl buttons down the back. Everyone carried a stunning arrangement of peonies, la Perla roses, eucalyptus, and other greenery. Hand-tied and wrapped with a single silk ribbon, the look was effortless and romantic and perfectly complemented the day’s color scheme.

The groom wore a custom black tuxedo from designer Alton Lane, but just because he’s in a classic look doesn’t mean he didn’t have a little fun! Jamie punched up his look with some quirky American flag socks and a red and white pattered silk interior for his jacket. For an especially sweet detail, he had his and Krista’s names and their wedding date embroidered inside the jacket. He finished the look with Tiffany & Co. cufflinks gifted by the bride as a memento of the big day. The groomsmen donned black tuxedos and finished their handsome look with simple black bowties.

Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography
Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography

There are usually some tears when a bride walks down the aisle, but we’re confident few moments could be more heartwarming than Krista's entrance. In the absence of her late father, the bride says she was both “incredibly grateful and lucky” to have her 92-year-old grandfather escort her down the aisle. For the ceremony, Krista wore a cathedral length veil during the ceremony, which was officiated by Krista’s great uncle (he also baptized her and married her parents!). The couple exchanged traditional vows in the ornate church and then headed to the reception to celebrate.

Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography
Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography
Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography

Set on the venue’s roof deck, guests enjoyed cocktail hour beneath the warm summer sun. An assortment of wicker furniture was stationed throughout the space to ensure friends and family would kick back and relax. A steel drum band was on hand for entertainment while guests had their fill of mac and cheese bites, mini hamburgers, fried ravioli, and, of course, an enormous raw bar filled with fresh seafood. While many couples choose a signature cocktail, this one came with the venue. "Lawrence Beach Club has a 125-year-old secret ingredient Southside that we served as our signature drink,” the bride explains.

“We have a tradition of getting one every time we visit the beach club. It’s the only drink served in their signature brown mug — an LBC classic!”

The first of many DIY projects the couple took on was creating a unique guestbook, though calling it that might be misleading. “We refurbished an Adirondack chair that Jamie made in college,” explains Krista. The couple then left the chair on the roof deck for guests to sign. We love a guestbook that's both a conversation piece and seamless décor!

Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography
Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography
Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography

"The excitement and energy in the room as we entered the reception and for our first dance was magnetic,” says the bride. Tables lined the dance floor on the venue’s veranda where guests had views of both the ocean and the party. Warm touches like hanging potted plants and white lattice details made the 260 person wedding feel more like an intimate dinner party among friends. The round tables were covered with white linens, hemstitch napkins, and gold chargers topped with customized menus designed by the bride.

In keeping with the day’s romantic vibe, Krista chose low centerpieces with an organic mix of roses, hydrangeas, and peonies. For a final touch, multiple votive candles were scattered around the tables keeping the space aglow after the sun went down.

The couple hung string lights and moroccan lanterns from the tent's silks, creating a festive vibe above the dance floor. “Jamie is quite the dancer so we knew that we wanted music to play a big part in our wedding day,” says Krista of the couple's decision to hire a ten-piece band for the night's entertainment. "We ended the night with a two hour after party with an amazing DJ. I don’t think people stopped dancing for six hours straight!”

Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography

When it was time for dessert, the bride and groom sliced into a three-tier naked vanilla cake topped with fresh flowers and filled with a delicious chocolate buttercream.

Photo by Julia Elizabeth Photography

But with all that dancing, guests needed more than a deliciously sweet treat to end the night. During the after party, Jamie and Krista served their friends and family some well-deserved late night snacks — PB&J sandwiches and grilled cheese. They even projected a slideshow of beloved photos and videos of fun times, a fun trip down memory lane to end the night on a high note.

With the night winding down, the two made their escape through a long row of sparklers. To bring things full circle, the newlyweds honeymooned in Santorini, Mykanaos, and Prague. As for advice for other brides-to-be, Krista had this to say: "Keep everything in perspective. Ultimately you’re planning a party so have fun with it!"

Ceremony Venue: Church of Saint Joseph || Reception Venue & Catering: Lawrence Beach Club || Bride's Wedding Dress: Amy Kuschel; Jenny Yoo || Veil: Simple Veil || Shoes: Stuart Weitzman || Makeup: Michelle Ambery || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August || Groom's Attire: Alton Lane || Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Engagement Ring: Mark Patterson || Wedding Bands: Bedrosian Jewelry || Flowers: Bride & Blossom || Invitations: William Arthur, purchased at Joan Print || Music: Peter Drescher; Tropical Music; The Sultans of Swing; DLE Event Group || Cake: Front Street Bakery || Videographer: George Street || Photographer: Julia Elizabeth Photography

Related Stories