Dream Cape Cod Weddings: Three couples share their big day
Gorgeous beaches. Seaside charm. Unique venues. A childhood connection. There are many reasons why thousands of people each year choose to exchange their wedding vows on Cape Cod. And there are just as many options for celebrating your special day, whether it be inside an elegant resort, amidst a sea of hydrangeas, at a historic monument, or under a tent with the sand between your toes.
The possibilities for a destination wedding on this sandy peninsula are as diverse as the stories behind each couple saying “I do.” As wedding planners with Cape Cod Celebrations, we have the distinct pleasure of sharing a few of these special stories with you.
Tracie & Nellie | Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown | June 2015
Nostalgia was a big factor in Tracie and Nellie’s decision to have their wedding on Cape Cod. Tracie, whose family had a home in Wellfleet, spent every summer of her life vacationing here. After exploring venue options in the Outer Cape area, the couple felt Provincetown was the perfect setting.
Their wedding took place at the iconic Pilgrim Monument, an awe-inspiring 252-foot granite structure commemorating the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing place. The ceremony was held at the base of the monument, overlooking picturesque Provincetown Harbor, and the reception followed on the lush surrounding grounds. Tracie and Nellie’s wedding was, in their own words, “romantic, whimsical, and a fantastic party.”
“We wanted the ceremony space to look romantic, organic and a little bit playful,” Tracie and Nellie say. “We also wanted to include fun, personal touches that referenced our love of the sea and our Cape Cod location, without resorting to traditional motifs.”
Their directional signs were in the shape of whales, and their escort cards were in the shape of whales and narwhals. Each was displayed on twine wrapped around a huge tree in the cocktail area and secured with mini clothespins.
Tracie and Nellie chose farm tables for their guests, which they decorated with lace runners and a variety of lanterns, oil lamps and glass bottles filled with flowers. There were touches of gold throughout, including gold Chiavari chairs, gold flatware and gold-rimmed glassware and China. The look was pulled together beautifully with help from their florist.
Their best piece of advice for future couples in the midst of the planning process: “Be present and enjoy every second.” They also recommend staying true to yourselves and not getting overly concerned with convention. Being two women, they chose to do things their own way, including opting against the “first look” photos and choosing to get ready together.
Above all, Tracie and Nellie made sure their wedding was a true reflection of their relationship, their love for the Cape, and the natural beauty of their surroundings.
Megan & Gavin | Chatham Bars Inn | August 2016
Chicago residents Megan and Gavin were hesitant at first about a destination wedding. But Megan knew the only place that would make her take the leap would be Cape Cod, and more specifically, Chatham Bars Inn.
On a trip to the Cape several years ago, Megan had seen a wedding reception underway at Chatham Bars Inn and knew at once it was her dream venue. Upon getting engaged to Gavin years later, Megan introduced her fiancé and family to Chatham Bars Inn, and they were equally enamored.
The ceremony took place on the lawn, overlooking the beach, with cocktails served in the Boat House, only steps from water's edge. Dinner and dancing took place in Chatham Bars Inn’s oceanfront Beach House Grill.
Megan and Gavin describe their wedding theme as “elegant, floral and nautical.” “I was inspired by our venue, the beauty of Cape Cod and the elegance of the Chatham Bars Inn,” Megan says. “Flowers were also very important to me. I wanted my guests to be in awe of the floral arrangements at the wedding.”
Megan and Gavin’s reception in the Beach House Grill was set with round tables for guests and a long farm table as the head table. The linens were a basic white, with a long navy- and white-striped runner to pull in a nautical element. Elegant touches were added with chargers, gold flatware and gold-rimmed glassware. The flowers were just as Megan had envisioned—a statement piece on each table in gold containers. The dance floor, set up under the Beach House awning with bistro lights overhead, kept the party going into the night.
The newlyweds’ best piece of advice for couples in the midst of planning a wedding: “Get a wedding planner! It truly was the best thing we did in the planning process. There is no way that we could have handled everything that needs to be done. It is invaluable the day of the wedding to know your vision is being realized and you can concentrate on you and not worry about set-up, vendors, décor, etc.”
Megan and Gavin plan to return to Chatham Bars Inn as a cherished tradition for years to come.
Meghan & Daniel | Heritage Museums & Gardens | September 2016
Meghan and Dan knew they wanted a September wedding on Cape Cod, even if it meant planning their special day from 3,000 miles away on the sunny West Coast.
They both spent time on Cape Cod as children and share the same beloved vacation memories of fun-filled beach days and care-free summer nights. For their wedding, the couple knew they wanted to showcase the Cape’s pristine beauty and, more specifically, the unique charm of historic Sandwich—a town they both love.
Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich helped bring their vision to life. The couple and their guests were surrounded by 100 wooded acres of exquisite gardens bursting with vibrant color. To reach the ceremony, guests meandered down a tree-lined walkway, past a windmill built in 1800, and down to an open field, where a waterfall cascading into a lily pond served as the backdrop. The late summer sun cast a rich glow over the ceremony, and the fragrance of fall-blooming Franklinia filled the air.
Meghan and Dan were inspired by the idea of "old Cape Cod." They loved having cocktail hour in the museum’s round barn, which houses a collection of vintage and antique cars—a unique aspect to the venue that was fun for guests!
Meghan and Dan wanted their wedding to be “classic, elegant and romantic.” For bride and groom, this meant deep, rich cranberry and burgundy colors for flower arrangements that would contrast nicely with ivory linens and gold accents. For an extra touch of romance, lanterns and pillar candles were chosen to cast tables in a soft glow, while bee lights twinkled from the ceiling. The reception, catered by The Casual Gourmet, featured a slider station and such delectable entrees as ale-braised BBQ short ribs, lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, wild mushroom ravioli and country chicken pot pie.
The groom’s best piece of advice: "Let the bride make all the decisions! "The bride’s advice: "Don't get wrapped up in the small stuff. Pull back and see the big picture. As Dan told me many times in the midst of my stresses—at the end of the day, there will still be a wedding, and we will be married, and it will be the best day ever."
And the groom was right! The couple said “I do” surrounded by their closest friends and family on a memorable September evening on Cape Cod.
Find more information about planning your dream Cape Cod wedding!
Tracie and Nellie's Wedding, Love Me Do Photography
Megan and Gavin's Wedding, Kelly Dillon Photography/kellydillonphoto.com
Meghan and Dan's Wedding: Photgraphy by KLC