In a village
If a bride and groom expect their wedding guests to fly halfway or all the way across the country for their big day, is it kind to then haul them around the Island for different wedding festivities? Leslie Goldberg and Matthew Borkow thought not. With 98 mostly out-of-towners coming, they elected to keep all the venues for their wedding weekend within walking distance in Edgartown. As it turned out, they were all on one street.
Although the couple lives in San Francisco and Ms. Goldberg is from Ohio, they both thought of marrying here from the beginning; Mr. Borkow grew up on the Vineyard and his mother, Joan, still lives here. “It is just such a romantic and beautiful location,” Ms. Goldberg said. Lynn Buckmaster-Irwin of Weddings on the Vineyard helped pull their plans together.
And they did have travelers from all over: friends from the West Coast, the bride’s family and friends from Ohio, and college classmates from the Midwest. The couple even built a Web site to help guests make their arrangements. Ultimately, people were spread around 10 inns and a few private homes but clustered in Edgartown.
The wedding weekend began with a Welcome to the Vineyard party at the Wharf Pub. “Since many guests were coming from across the country, we really felt that we should have one additional party — and we thought that the Wharf captured the spirit of the Vineyard and would be the perfect place to first greet our guests,” Mr. Borkow said.
The next night was the rehearsal dinner clambake at Atria where everyone was able to show off lobster-eating talents. Rain threatened to mar the wedding day, but the clouds broke on Sunday afternoon just in time for family and friends to see Rabbi Caryn Broitman celebrate the marriage ceremony.
Wreaths from Williams-Sonoma, where Ms. Goldberg works in San Francisco, decorated the massive doors of the Old Whaling Church and served as a memento for the couple to take home. The cream, red and purple color scheme of the bouquets and reception flowers from Island Ambiance complemented the rich autumn hues of the wreaths.
Guests headed next door into the Dr. Daniel Fisher House and outside on the terrace under a Big Sky tent, where caterer Jaime Hamlin served a five-course meal. The couple offered their favorite cocktail made with St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur, mixed with champagne and club soda. Cakes by Liz provided the wedding cake and later Valerie Stoyer set up a gelato bar for guests who needed a little refreshment during the dancing.
Ah, the dancing. “I did not want a typical wedding band, I wanted it to be more of a jazz/blues ensemble than pop,” Ms. Goldberg said. They hired Jerry Bennett’s Sultans of Swing with singer Joanne Cassidy and asked for Miles Davis tunes. “We specifically asked for Kind of Blue because we thought it perfectly matched the elegance of the Dr. Daniel Fisher House,” said Mr. Borkow.
Photographer Joe Mikos set up an antique couch where guests sat to take photos of themselves. “We did this instead of having a guest book,” said Ms. Goldberg. “I thought it was much nicer to actually have fun pictures of your guests.”
A gift of Chilmark Chocolates accompanied the guests as they strolled out into the October night.
The couple returned to San Francisco for over a month before a three-week trip to Australia; they found pros and cons to postponing the honeymoon. “It was quite a letdown to come home from the wedding weekend and have to go back to your regular life,” Ms. Goldberg said. “However it was really nice to have such a great vacation still to look forward to.”
Ms. Goldberg’s advice for brides on their own special day: “Relax and enjoy it, because the actual weekend of the wedding will fly by. I wish I could re-live it.”
[Originally published in the May 8, 2009 issue of the Vineyard Gazette's Wedding Planner; reviewed for updates in 2012.]