Love on the harbor
The Seafood Shanty in Edgartown has been the scene of many romantic beginnings, and it was there that Tyler Alten and Elizabeth Stanton first met, over Fourth of July weekend in 2008. Three years after their Shanty encounter, they celebrated their wedding across the harbor at a rented waterfront property at Tower Hill.
Both of their families have summered on the Vineyard for years, but planning an Island wedding was a new experience for everyone. The couple sought the expertise of planner Lynn Buckmaster-Irwin of Weddings on the Vineyard to help realize their vision of a Labor Day wedding weekend with several outdoor events and lots of dancing. Liz says working with Lynn “alleviated so much stress on our part.”
Early on, Liz’s uncle, Lindsay Denman (a graphic designer based in Georgia), created a nautical code flag emblem in navy and coral for the couple. Lynn worked with Tara Kenny of Illumination Design Group to introduce this motif in the couple’s save-the-date cards, and they wove it through the entire wedding weekend on matches, menus, favors, signs, and welcome tote bags.
The wedding festivities began Friday with an intimate rehearsal dinner catered by V. Jaime Hamlin and Sons at the Edgartown Yacht Club tennis courts. Following the meal, the wedding party and their families migrated over to a welcome party at Edgartown’s Boathouse club (Liz’s father is one of the founders of the Boathouse and the Field Club), where Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish played. A clambake the next night kept up the party momentum.
On the morning of her wedding, Liz tucked Tyler’s great-great-grandmother’s handkerchief inside her elegant one-shoulder gown and donned diamond earrings borrowed from her mother. Then she cruised with her father in his 1962
Mercedes-Benz roadster convertible to her wedding ceremony, where Tyler stood waiting between two pedestals topped with white hydrangeas, while the Chilmark String Quartet played classical music. During the recessional, guests tossed rose petals from handcrafted doily cones.
One of the couple’s most memorable wedding moments was aboard a Hacker-Craft boat for a champagne cruise together after the ceremony. Tyler says, “People hooted and hollered....It gave us some time to hang out and reflect on the ceremony.” Elizabeth adds, “And hands down [it’s] our favorite from the two thousand photos we’ve gone through.”
A surprise awaited them at the reception at Elizabeth’s parents’ home at Herring Creek Farm in Katama. Entering the bar tent, they spotted several ice pillars with colorful fruit and martini glasses frozen within – a gift from the Boathouse, acquired through Brilliant Ice Sculptures of Lawrence. Silver vases with coral and fuchsia roses made elegant centerpieces. The dinner menu, catered by the Boathouse, included sugarcane shrimp skewers, Chilean sea bass, and rib-eye fillets. Cakes by Liz in Vineyard Haven created a four-tiered cake encircled with a sweetheart knot and topped with blue hydrangeas. The Sultans of Swing Orchestra kept guests dancing into the night.
Before catching the ferry the next morning, family and friends gathered at a drop-in brunch at the Boathouse, where they sipped mimosas and had one last chance to sign the guest book, Martha’s Vineyard by Charles Fields.
Elizabeth reflects on the weekend: “Maybe it was because it was a holiday weekend or a destination wedding, but the energy never peaked....It hasn’t stopped. Weeks after our honeymoon, we are [still] getting messages from people about what a great time it was.”
A classy clambake
The timing of a Sunday ceremony over Labor Day weekend gave Liz and Tyler the perfect opportunity to host a Saturday evening clambake at the Dr. Daniel Fisher House in Edgartown, with music by the Beetlebung Steel Band. The lively event under white tents featured a crisp red, white, and blue color scheme along with sunflowers and lobster-adorned signs, place cards, and koozies.
Refreshing signature drinks such as vodka-optional cranberry lemonade and mojitos were served in tall soda glasses with old-fashioned striped straws. The personalized koozies kept bar orders cold and made great party favors. While adults mingled, children entertained themselves by playing in the grass and climbing trees.
When it came time for dinner, open seating gave the event a laid-back and festive vibe. Liz says, “The lobster was a huge hit! And some people had two – including the groom.”
A gelato bar put together by Valerie Stoyer’s Val Cakes of Edgartown, featuring three flavors served in mini cones, was a novel twist on a traditional ice cream dessert.
As the sun set, a DVD slide show by Liz and Tyler’s mothers, with help from ProtekMV and Dulaney Photography of Florida, appeared on the ceiling in three places, giving everyone a perfect view. Tyler remembers, “We hadn’t seen it until it was live. It was fun, beautifully done...a lot of laughs.”
[Originally published in the 2012 issue of Martha's Vineyard Magazine's Island Weddings.]