Taylor McCauley had been working at Facebook’s London office for two years before she finally met Adrian Tilley. She fell for his charm, good looks, and his accent (of course!), and the pair dated for a year and a half before Adrian took a leap of faith and left his home country to move with Taylor to New York City in 2013. After three years in the Big Apple, the pair headed to Bora Bora for a beach vacation, where one morning, on the deck of their overwater bungalow, Adrian popped the question. “He timed it perfectly so we could call our family and friends and not worry about the time difference,” says Taylor.
Taylor and Adrian love the beach, and wanted to find a waterfront venue that would be fairly easy to get to for both their local friends and their international guests. “We loved that Montauk is within driving distance of JFK, and that Gurney’s Montauk has beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces,” says Taylor. “But most of all, we love that the restaurant is called Tillie’s, and on our wedding day we would become the Tilleys!”
They made the most of the space, moving from a ceremony on the deck to a tented reception—and finally, indoors for dancing and the after party. Inspired by the modern seaside setting, they embraced a palette of crisp white, natural green, and deep sea blue, and turned to Lauren Hill at Bellafare to make magic happen. Keep scrolling to see why we’re loving their elevated take on a beach wedding at Gurney's Montauk, photographed by Kim Stockwell Photography!
The couple and their 200 guests headed to Gurney's Montauk on October 20, 2017—late enough in the fall to miss the crowds, but with plenty of daylight to enjoy.
Adrian found his wedding day attire in his own closet. “He’s had this navy blue J.Crew suit for a few years, and looks so sharp in it—we didn’t see any reason to buy a new one!” says the bride.
The bride envisioned a wedding dress that would hug her curves and set about on a shopping trip with her bridesmaids." We drank champagne, exchanged gifts, and narrowed down what I did—and didn’t—want," she says. "But I booked a few more casual appointments with a girlfriend, and that’s when I found the one!” The dress she chose was a fitted satin gown by Kelly Faetanini, which featured removable straps that were perfect to add on for dancing.
The couple walked down the aisle on the venue’s deck, where close friends performed the ceremony and offered a blessing. “Our officiants had interviewed our close friends and family, which made the final result so personal,” says Taylor. She and Adrian wrote their own vows, including a nod to their favorite food: chicken!
The entire day combined British and American wedding traditions. “We threw some of the basics out of the window in favor of making the day about us,” says the bride.
A map display served as the seating chart, then became the guest book after everyone had found their seats. “We asked them to sign the map by marking where they’d traveled from,” Taylor explains.
Tables were all named after places the couple had visited together. White linens were topped with steel blue runners and oceanic blue napkins. On the head table, a garland of seeded eucalyptus was accented with white candles, roses, and ranunculus.
During dinner, Adrian treated guests to a British tradition: an extra-long toast! “He knocked it out of the park. He was funny, charming, and captivating, and all of our American guests want to incorporate the tradition into their own weddings,” Taylor describes.
So what’s the secret to wedding planning? Communication. “Start the process by sharing your priorities and nonnegotiables, which will make all of those decisions so much easier,” says Taylor. “Recognize what isn’t important to you, and skip it! Use that money for the things you really care about.”
Wedding Planning: Bellafare || Venue & Catering: Gurney’s Montauk || Bride's Dress: Kelly Faetanini || Hair & Makeup: Priv || Groom's Attire: J.Crew || Groomsmen's Attire: Marks & Spencer|| Floral Design: Sag Harbor Florist || Paper Products: Minted || Music: The Sultans of Swing || Favors: Patrón Tequila || Videography: White Diamond Videography || Photography: Kim Stockwell Photography