Martha’s Vineyard has always been a special place for Kalila Minor, whose family has spent summers on the island for decades, so it was only fitting that David Andresen chose to propose on the beach after a hike along Sepiessa Point in August of 2015. From the very beginning, the pair knew they would return to the picturesque Massachusetts island for their wedding. “We wanted a simple, elegant, and warm wedding on the Vineyard, an island we both love,” Kalila says. “It was important to us to show our guests the island since many had never been there before.”
With the help of Kate and Doriana at Plan-It Martha's Vineyard, along with the bride’s sister, our very own Editor in Chief, Keija Minor, Kalila and David planned a weekend-long celebration leading up to a ceremony at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury and a reception at Stoney Hill Road House on October 1, 2016. Read on to see every detail of this couple’s classic New England wedding, photographed by Emilie Inc.
“We looked at several island venues but were blown away as we drove up the road leading to Stoney Hill Road House,” the bride says. “The property had different spaces for each stage of the day, including a nice lawn area, a beautiful boat barn, and a gorgeous home that could house close family.” Although they planned most of the details of their day from 3,000 miles away (the pair moved cross-country the month after they were engaged!), Kalila and David wisely locked in their venue shortly after David proposed.
As an MBA student at Stanford, it’s hard to believe Kalila had any time for DIY, but this talented bride took on multiple big-day projects, including designing many of the couple’s paper products. “After taking a course in letterpress, I created an outline of the boat barn at Stoney Hill for the invitations and worked with a local printer to have them created,” she says.
With a Vineyard-inspired blue color palette, the one-of-a-kind invitation suite gave guests an idea of what to expect from the couple’s island wedding.
One of Kalila’s favorite parts of wedding planning was going dress shopping with her mom, sister, grandmother, and best friend in New York City. While trying on dresses at Mark Ingram Atelier, the bride-to-be found her stunning Carolina Herrera gown — an A-line silhouette with an illusion neckline and floral applique details. “I could picture how perfect it would be for the setting and the season,” she says. “The detail of the leaves on the top were beautiful and I loved the sleeves. Martha’s Vineyard can be chilly in the fall.”
Comprised of dahlias, roses, astilbe, thistle, and berries, Kalila’s romantic bouquet was any flower-loving bride’s dream arrangement.
Kalila's finishing touch was a cathedral-length Carolina Herrera veil, trimmed with the same embroidery detail as her dress.
David wore a custom shawl lapel tuxedo from Spoon Tailor, a look he completed with a shirt with a monogrammed cuff and a ranunculus and dusty miller boutonniere.
It was important to both Kalila and David that their wedding party felt comfortable in their attire and that it didn’t break the bank. So the bride asked her maid of honor to choose a dress she loved and would wear again. The winner? A midnight blue gown from Amsale with a sheer high neckline. David’s attendants wore their own black suits accessorized with matching Canali ties.
Both the bride and the groom’s families turned out in their wedding best.
The ceremony took place at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury, a quintessential, charming New England chapel. “We had been there for services in previous summers and loved the community,” Kalila says.
Anissa, the couple’s adorable flower girl, kicked off the ceremony, making her way down the aisle with a mini version of the bride’s bouquet in hand and a pink flower crown. “She brought her bouquet and sparkly shoes to first grade the following Monday to show her friends,” says the bride.
Kalila and her father walked down the aisle while an organist performed “Rigaudon” by André Campra. To personalize their ceremony, the bride and groom combined vows they wrote with traditional ones and asked friends and family to read passages of poetry and scripture.
After they were pronounced husband and wife, the newly married twosome took a moment to soak it all in. “One of my favorite memories was pausing at the front of the church to see everyone we loved smiling!” the bride says.
When the party moved to Stoney Hill Road House, guests saw Kalila’s biggest DIY project of all: A “Love” marquis sign with the O replaced by the shape of Martha’s Vineyard. Enlisting the help of her father, the bride formed each letter out of plywood and drilled holes for the bistro lights. “David and I finished the project a few days before the wedding,” she says.
In keeping with their vision of a simple, elegant celebration, the bride and groom chose long wooden reception tables and named each one after a location on Martha’s Vineyard. Along with beige runners, Kalila and her mother chose floral low arrangements of roses, hydrangeas, dahlias, and thistle and sand-filled lanterns as the finishing touches for their celebration.
Dinner was packed with local flavor, including a classic caprese salad with tomatoes from nearby Morning Glory Farm, Cape Cod bread from Pain D’Avignon, locally caught grilled swordfish, and butternut squash ravioli.
The bride and groom love Billy’s Bakery in New York City, so they asked their local baker to re-create their favorite confection, alternating layers of chocolate cake with vanilla icing and yellow cake with chocolate icing, aptly known at the Crowd Pleaser. As a surprise for her new husband, Kalila also arranged for a groom’s cake: a single-tier strawberry-filled, a favorite from his childhood.
“We decided that dance lessons would be a good idea before we danced in front of all of our family and closest friends, but by the time we got around to scheduling our first lesson, there were only a couple of weeks left before the wedding!” David says. After selecting “La Vie en Rose” by Louis Armstrong, the two got down to work with an instructor and vowed to practice for 20 minutes each night. “Despite breaking that pact, the week before the wedding we tried to practice as often as we could.” The twosome even snuck away from their reception to try a few moves in their wedding best. In the end, Kalila and David pulled it off, garnering “oohs” and “aahs” from their 82 guests.
Due to a strict noise ordinance on Martha’s Vineyard, the official party was forced to end at 10 p.m., but late-night pizza at home and Edgartown’s downtown bars proved to be the perfect impromptu after party.
To celebrate their official title as husband and wife, Kalila and David enjoyed a mini-moon in Charleston, South Carolina, and will be honeymooning this September. But don’t ask the bride where they’re going: She still doesn’t know! “David is planning it and won’t tell me until we’re at the airport!”
Ceremony Venue: West Tisbury Congregational Church
Reception Venue: Stoney Hill Road House
Wedding Planner: Plan-It Martha's Vineyard
Shoes: J. Crew
Hair & Makeup: Sea Spa Salon
Bridesmaid's Dress: Amsale
Groom's Attire: Spoon Tailor
Flower Girl's Attire: J. Crew
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co.
Florist: Morrice Florist
Invitation Printing: Jeronimo's Lithocraft
Music: Vineyard R&B
Catering: V. Jaime Hamlin & Sons
Alcohol: Al's Package Store
Cake: Cakes by Liz
Rentals: Big Sky Tent & Party Rentals
Photographer: Emilie Inc.