The most challenging posts to compose are those we are the closest to. And this couple has definitely become one which will remain close for years to come. It all started well before their Nantucket lighthouse wedding weekend even began.
Ella came to us after having scrapped her plans of a traditional wedding, feeling overwhelmed compounded by the loss of hers and Matt’s voice in their planned celebration. Instead of inviting friends and family to their hometown of Lexington, Kentucky they skipped town to a place they’d never been. Nantucket. Parents and siblings only.
The couple met nearly a decade ago on a school trip to Spain. Over the years they have refined the technique of stressing parents out, mastered the art of being best friends and amassed enough jobs to create a stack of resumes. Today Matt studies statistics while Ella finds love in being a nanny with oodles of passion on the side for yoga, driving for Lyft, creating Tone It Up inspired baked goods, and converting Matt to a life of green smoothies (well done, girl!)
Ella is also a DIY maven and packed suitcases full of wedding props. One of the best were wishing lanterns, lit and released the night before on the beach, with joined families.
Ella and Matt, while many states away managed to create such a presence in our lives that while the night before the wedding was the first we’d seen of one another, it was as though we were guests instead of photographers. Months of group text chats, pic sending, Instagram tagging, Pinterest board sharing and mutual enthusiasm over old VW vans preceded the big day. And as plans developed, Keith’s and my involvement grew.
I turned into the official cake baker! Ella shares a love for healthy living, thus began my kitchen trials to create the perfect gluten, dairy, refined-sugar free chocolate wedding cake! (Recipe here!)
The cake, while not only a bit outside my area of expertise, made me incredibly popular on the ferry ride and nearly didn’t make it! Who knew people go so nuts over chocolate!
The Monkey Barrel, home to Ella and Matt for the weekend, served as the prep location as well as first look spot. Matt’s dad, Tim, picked up balloons for Matt to release once his bridge appeared before him.
As our luck would have it, rain covered the island in a blanket of gray making the morning nuptials a bit sodden. However, Ella and Matt weren’t the least bit deterred in forging ahead with their plans and never once shook the smiles off their faces.
Also surprising was how challenging Ella found it to locate an officiant for a Saturday morning on the island. So, Keith stepped in! Granted a one-day license, he smoothed out the New Englander in his voice (which Ella and Matt swore they loved) and took the “podium” for the ceremony.
They brought out a rope to literally tie the knot, read vows from lobster cards and carried their own music, a set of speakers in a plastic bag while their parents and siblings huddled together under unbrellas.
The rain ceased for just long enough to get married, then resumed as we headed out.
Ella: “I can’t believe I forgot to put makeup on this morning.”
Matt: “Good, just the way I like you!”
Despite the chilly fall rain, we could have stayed downtown all day. Such gorgeous cobblestone streets and two fun loving people, popping into stores, blending into a sea of umbrellas, drying off in an old book store. Their enthusiasm was infectious and warmth seemed to exude from all those in passing.
Ella and Matt dream of buying an antique VW and hitting the road with their dog, so it was only fitting we find one on the island to get some pictures with! (Keith and I happen to share this vision, and dream of sleeping under the stars hopping from one National Park to another!)
After lunch on Nantucket Bay (although no visibility, it was rumored we were on the water) at Topper’s at the Wauwinet, we headed back to the house for the much anticipated cake. I made a large one for the group and a smaller one for the couple. And I didn’t resume breathing again until favorable remarks were made!
While the cake didn’t last much more than a day, we’re pretty sure our connection to this spirited couple will last above and beyond. We can’t wait to visit Kentucky! Thank you Ella and Matt for putting such faith in us, making us a part of your family and sharing your love. We hope all your wishes come true! xo
Nantucket Lighthouse Wedding Details:
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