The Martha's Vineyard Sound Was the Perfect Backdrop for This Colorful Beach Wedding

One year (to the day!) after the groom popped the question, this couple returned to the exact spot of their engagement to celebrate their wedding with friends and family

Updated 11/17/16

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Julia Bushe and Logan Hirsch bonded while working in the same industry right out of college. “We’d known each other for a few years, but that was when we really hit it off,” says Julia. The pair dated for over five years (during which Julia became a wedding and lifestyle photographer, founding Julia Elizabeth Photography). On a Sunday morning in September of 2014, during a weekend at Julia’s family’s cottage on Martha’s Vineyard, Logan woke Julia at the crack of dawn to watch the sun rise on the beach. “As a photographer, I was so excited to have the chance to photograph the sunrise,” she says. Logan got really quiet, then, after a short speech, he got down on one knee. “I’ll always remember the image of him kneeling in front of me, with nothing but the quiet ocean behind him." Thankfully, Julia’s friend and fellow photographer, Ashley, had snuck out of the cottage behind them to capture the special moment.

They returned to the same secluded corner of Martha’s Vineyard one year later, on September 26, 2015 — this time with 118 people in tow for their wedding! “We rented a beautiful home overlooking the Vineyard Sound, and had the entire wedding on the property,” says Julia. They made the most of the early fall weather, with a ceremony overlooking the sea, a raw bar, and a tented dinner lit by kerosene lamps. And of course, given Julia’s profession, you know she’s had tons of inspiration to draw from! Our favorite part, though, might be that the couple’s wedding day was photographed by the same friend who captured their engagement: Ashley Caroline.

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

The deckled-edge invitations were decorated with a simple wreath around a handwriting-inspired font. Julia and her family stayed at the home where the wedding was held, while Logan and his groomsmen got ready at another ocean-weathered camp a few doors down.

“As a wedding photographer, I’ve admired a ton of great dresses, but none more than the ones by Claire Pettibone. After trying on over 20 dresses, I put on this one and my mom immediately started crying. The delicate off-the-shoulder straps and bow at the waist were perfect for catching the ocean breeze,” says Julia. Her bouquet was full of garden roses, ranunculus, and dahlias in peach, pink, and vibrant red, with eucalyptus scattered amongst the blooms.

Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Instead of a veil, the bride headed down the aisle with a stunning crown of dahlias and ranunculus above her soft waves, framing the low back of her gown. “I’ve never felt so beautiful in anything,” she says.

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Logan paired his blue suit with socks with serious personality. “Anyone who knows Logan knows how much he loves pretzels!” says Julia. The vibrant hue of the bride's bouquet were a perfect match for the changing colors surrounding the couple’s wedding venue.

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Logan’s groomsmen wore navy suits (with pretzel socks, of course!), while Julia’s bridesmaids donned soft blue dresses from Zara. Their different shades of blue really let Logan’s suit pop.

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

“I wanted to have the girls wear something easy and affordable that they would hopefully wear again. I chose two dresses that had similar colors and designs — and even bought one for myself to wear later!” she says. What we might love even more than the flowy designs is the all-greenery bouquets each woman carried, with a mixture of ferns and eucalyptus.

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

The ceremony took place on the lawn of the home, with floral arrangements in French buckets flanking the aisle. Guests were seated on wooden benches, facing a rustic arch draped in a garland of eucalyptus and garden roses. A Persian rug was set where the bride and groom stood.

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

“We spent a lot of time planning the ceremony, and it was better than I ever imagined,” says Julia. “We wrote our own vows, separately, but they ended up being very similar. We both talked about Sunday mornings, going for a run, and running errands. It’s the mundane things, sometimes!” The officiant was Julia’s childhood minister, a close family friend.

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Two days before the wedding, the couple and their family lined up in the kitchen of the home they rented to put together favors: Small bottles filled with olive oil and a sprig of rosemary, which also served as escort cards. Guests played lawn games, ate clam chowder, and indulged in the raw bar during the open-air cocktail hour. The couple’s cousin is a mixologist, so he helped create two signature cocktails: Logan’s Crossing and the Chilmark Collins.

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Beneath the reception tent, guests were seated at bare wooden tables that were topped with garlands of eucalyptus and lit by kerosene lanterns. “My family always uses kerosene lamps on the table when we have dinner parties on the Vineyard, and I knew I wanted to include them to make our wedding feel like one big dinner party,” says Julia.

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Photo by Ashley Caroline

Garden roses and ranunculus in shades of peach and red studded the garlands. Each guest’s place was set with a textured linen napkin and a sprig of rosemary. Dinner was a choice between grilled swordfish, roasted Cornish game hen, or grilled mushrooms, all served with wild mushroom risotto. “We grill swordfish at least once during every trip, so we knew we wanted to serve it at the wedding,” the bride explains.

Photo by Ashley Caroline

For dessert, the newlyweds had a three-tiered carrot cake, filled with cream cheese frosting. “We wanted to keep the wedding low key, so we also set up a s’more station around a bonfire once the sun went down,” Julia says. Later in the evening, the pair’s favorite pizza, Chilmark Pizza, was delivered straight to the dance floor.

Photo by Ashley Caroline

“Looking back, everything was perfect,” says Julia. “From the rehearsal dinner at my parents’ yacht club to staying at the camp with my bridesmaids the night before the wedding, our celebration in Chilmark and a paella dinner on Sunday night before everyone left. It wasn’t just the wedding I’ll remember, but the whole experience.”

Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Tower House || Wedding Planner: Emily Coulter || Bride's Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone, purchased at Everthine Bridal Boutique || Headpiece: Untamed Petals || Hair: Annie of Eva Scrivo Salons || Makeup: Rachel of Sea Spa Salon || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Zara || Groom's Attire: Suit Supply; Proper Cloth || Florist: Morrice Florist || Invitations: Patti Murphy Design || Music: Mike Benjamin Band || Catering: Buckley's Catering || Cake: Cakes by Liz || Rentals: Big Sky Tent || Videographer: Native Wedding Films || Photographer: Ashley Caroline

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