Anna Hoffman, 34, and Nick Confessore, 37, were introduced at a mutual friend's party in August 2011 as a summer thunderstorm rolled down the Atlantic coast. While chatting with their respective pals at the Jane Hotel in New York City on that rainy night, their eyes met across the room. "Simply put, we started talking to one another and haven't stopped since," Anna says.
A little more than a year later, the couple decided they would tie the knot and picked a ring together. Although the bauble wasn't a surprise, Nick wouldn't give up on a classic, romantic proposal. So he popped the question at sunset at the top of the Oxo Tower in London.
On July 13, 2013, just as Anna and Nick were preparing to exchange vows in a seaside ceremony at the Quogue Beach Club in Long Island, New York, another storm hit the Northeast, transforming their beachfront celebration into a rainy evening like the one when they first met.
Read on to see just how romantic fog and mist can really be, thanks to Kyo Morishima Photography.
"We chose July because we assumed the weather would be fantastic, but we were nervous the wedding would be a washout," Anna says. Luckily, there was no downpour and, with the help of Daria Culver Events, the pair made the most of their overcast day. "The effect of the mist over the ocean was actually very magical," she says.
Anna chose a pale apricot gown by Reem Acra, falling for its flowing chiffon skirt and nontraditional design. "It moved beautifully," she says. "I had flirted with various colors and hemlines, but this one made me feel like a Greek goddess." The fitted bodice was capped with crystal-studded tulle sleeves for a touch of glamour. Her bouquet, a loose ball of white roses, peonies, and chamomile, was punctuated with peach roses and sprigs of lavender. Anna's daughter, Lila, wore a white tulle dress and embellished flats, and carried a smaller arrangement of pale pink and white peonies.
To enhance the natural beauty of the beach, the couple kept embellishments simple. They exchanged vows beneath a driftwood chuppah decorated with white and green hydrangeas and garden roses and sat guests on simple white benches in the sand.
Nick and his family have spent every summer in Quogue since he was a small boy, and the beach there became a getaway for him. When Anna and her daughter, Lila, expressed their love of the ocean, the new family knew the wedding had to be held on the shore.
Walking barefoot down the aisle to a gypsy-jazz rendition of "La Vie en Rose," Anna was escorted by both her mom and dad. The trio was led by a flock of flower girls and ring bearers. "It set the perfect tone for a very personal, intimate and family-oriented ceremony," Anna says. The couple's nieces wore pastel organza dresses and white flower crowns while their nephews donned seersucker shorts and bright ties. All of the children carried colorful pinwheels — except Lila, who had a mini bouquet to match her mom's.
It set the perfect tone for a very personal, intimate and family-oriented ceremony.
The ceremony was non-religious, but included a few rituals from the Jewish tradition, including the breaking of the glass. Nick's brother read a passage from Captain Corelli's Mandolin; Anna's sister read a poem called "Superbly Situated" by Robert Hershon, and Lila chose an excerpt from the children's book I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg. "That last reading brought the house down!" Anna says. "Our favorite moments from the whole day were with Lila."
Inside the Quogue Field Club's barn-like clubhouse, the reception space was filled with a combination of long and round tables covered in natural linen tablecloths and blue gingham napkins.
To loosen up a formal sit-down dinner, Anna and Nick opted for a lobster bake that began with watermelon-feta salad on blue-and-white speckled tin-ware plates. In lieu of shellfish, guests could also choose between barbeque chicken and striped bass, but all of the main courses were served alongside smashed red potatoes and corn salad. "It was like a plated beach picnic at gorgeous tables!" Anna says.
The couple skipped the cake, cutting into homemade pies from their favorite North Shore bakery, Briermere Farms. Slices of strawberry-rhubarb and peach-and-blueberry pie were topped with scoops of vanilla bean ice cream and dollops of hand-whipped sweet cream.
The party kicked off with a first dance not between Mr. and Mrs. but father and daughter, as Lila pulled Nick onto the floor while the jazz band played during dinner.
When the festivities came to an end, the newlyweds jetted off to France, starting on the Cÿte d'Azur and then traveling through Provence and into Paris. "We just love being married to each other," Anna says. "We're a good team and we have this delicious kid who keeps everything interesting."
Ceremony Venue: Quogue Beach Club
Reception Venue: Quogue Field Club
Wedding Coordinator: Daria Culver Events
Bride's Wedding Dress: Reem Acra
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Hair & Makeup: Maysoon Faraj
Groom's Suit: Martin Greenfield
Wedding Bands: Tiffany & Co.
Florist: Karen Lenahan Designs
Catering: Food & Co.
Pie: Briermere Farms
Rentals: Party Rental Ltd.
Accommodations: The Dune Deck
Photography: Kyo Morishima Photography