Cara and Matt’s Larchmont Yacht Club wedding took place all the way back in late May. We had a glorious weekend at one of the most beautiful waterside venues I’ve ever seen, with some of the most wonderful guests – including Stephen and Sam, whose wedding I photographed back in March of 2012, and couples Toby (best man) and Rachel, and Krista and Brian, whose weddings I’ll be photographing in 2016! I wanted to share the story of this day from Cara and Matt’s perspective – and it doesn’t hurt that Cara is a fantastic writer! Huge thanks to my super talented second shooter James Collier for joining me at this beautiful Larchmont Yacht Club wedding and for providing a number of the photos above, including all of the photos of the guys getting ready and many of the late night dancing photos.
Tell us a little about your story as a couple
We met playing in an adult kickball league on the National Mall in Washington, DC! Despite graduating the same year at American University in DC and having several mutual friends, we didn’t meet until the following spring in 2007, when we joined the same team. Kickball is for lovers.
Matt proposed just before Christmas in 2013. He planned an evening for just us – dinner at a special and meaningful restaurant in DC where we had celebrated our first anniversary together, then exchanged presents back at our apartment. He started by giving me a framed picture of us from a wedding we attended earlier that year, then kept pulling out photo after photo of us celebrating at several other weddings we had attended together. At that moment, we had been together for over six years with 15 weddings under our belt! He then got down on one knee, saying it was time we had our own wedding and proposed. I immediately said yes!
It was perfect timing because that year, my family was driving down from New Hampshire to celebrate Christmas at Matt’s parents house in New York. It would be the first time we would all wake up Christmas morning together, and our engagement made it quite the year to remember!
Why did you choose the Larchmont Yacht Club for your wedding venue?
We both grew up loving the water – Cara spent her summers swimming and visiting the beaches of Maine and Cape Cod, Matt grew up sailing at the Larchmont Yacht Club and vacationing at his family’s lake house. We both knew we wanted a venue on the water with a view, and the Larchmont Yacht Club was by far the most amazing venue we visited.
Why did you choose Kate to photograph your wedding?
Cara was first introduced to Kate’s work in 2011 when she photographed her best friend Stephen and his fiancé Sam’s engagement shoot. She fell in love with her work – she had never seen better engagement photos.
Kate captures true emotion in every one of her photographs. You can feel the love and energy of the day in her pictures. She doesn’t just take beautiful photographs – her images tell a story of the best day in two people’s lives. Kate is a truly passionate artist and was a joy to work with – the best decision we ever made was hiring her to tell the story of our wedding.
Did any of your vendors go above and beyond for you?
We absolutely loved all of the vendors we worked with but our florist and our coordinators at LYC went above and beyond in so many ways. Our florist, Stephanie Piccone, spent countless hours perfecting the details. From the arrangements and aisle markers at our church, to making our hydrangea-adorned lanterns look perfect, even a “veil” for the burgee on the boat we arrived in, her passion and keen eye for details added so much to the already beautiful settings.
Mr. John Wall and his assistant John Guzman at the Larchmont Yacht Club are incredibly professional, efficient and know how to execute one hell of a party! John Wall made our wedding day easy and stress-free, we didn’t worry about a thing the whole day. At one point, he met us after we left the dance floor with water, a cold towel and my lipstick because a photo-op was next! Our guests could not stop talking about the impeccable service they received at the wedding – all due to the Johns and their wonderful staff.
Do you have any tips to help other couples with the planning process?
The options out there are endless so don’t drive yourself crazy and cut yourself off from the blogs and Pinterest at some point. Vendor selection is so important so make sure to ask your venue if they have a preferred vendors list – we hired most of the vendors they suggested.
Tell us about your wedding attire and accessories
Cara fell in love with the Vera Wang “Ethel” gown a year before purchasing it. It was a total splurge but it was the only dress she put on she didn’t want to take off, and in her opinion, was totally worth it! The sparkly belt for the reception was from BrideLaBoheme on Etsy. Cara borrowed her chapel length lace veil from Matt’s cousin and her short veil was by Vera Wang.
Cara wore Badgley Mischka shoes, a Kate Spade purse, and she borrowed jewelry from she and Matt’s great-grandmothers – a diamond and emerald bracelet from his and a diamond and sapphire ring from hers.
Matt had a tuxedo made for him in Thailand for the wedding. His pink socks and pocket square were his idea!
The bridesmaids wore 57 Grand gold jacquard cocktail dresses. The groomsmen were all asked to wear tuxes of their choice. Our flower girls wore dresses from David’s Bridal – everybody looked fantastic!
Which detail(s) did you like best about your wedding?
We absolutely loved everything about our venue and were blessed with the most perfect weather on our wedding day. After our ceremony at the gorgeous Church of St. Augustine, we had our reception in the Pandemonium at LYC, a covered structure with open sides, offering beautiful views of the water. Upon arrival, we had our guests come in through the front entrance and walk through to the veranda, where we had cocktail hour on the porch and upper lawn by the flagpole so they could enjoy some shade and the stunning views. We arrived on a boat, which was so much fun and a surprise to our guests! Throughout the rest of the evening, our family and friends enjoyed the patio outside Pando under the stars and the adirondacks overlooking the water – LYC was the perfect choice for us!
Tell us about your wedding decor
I really love neutrals and wanted big, creamy white flowers, with pops of green, and navy for the club. I loved the idea of a laurel wreath and incorporated it into our invitations, signage, menus and our photo booth logo, even our chairs were draped with green garland. The club offers beautiful views so we didn’t want the décor to take away from it.
Tell us about the food at your Larchmont Yacht Club wedding
LYC has fantastic food! We wanted a great spread for our 90-minute cocktail hour and included some of our favorites like shrimp cocktail, Thai chicken skewers, and crab cakes as a shout out to DC(where we lived before the wedding). We aren’t huge cake lovers but wanted something small and our friend baked us a short 2-tier cake for the reception, Oreo flavored-Cara’s favorite. Our favorite dessert is ice cream so we had an ice cream sundae bar, along with plates of Italian cookies for each table as a nod to Matt’s Italian heritage.
What were some of your favorite moments from your wedding day?
Cara: Cheersing with champagne at the club before the ceremony with my favorite people in the world was wonderful. Planning a 220-person wedding from DC was very stressful and taking a moment with just my mom and eight bridesmaids (and Kate!) helped the stress just melt away. I’ll never forget the girls singing, “Going to the Chapel of Love” in the limo pulling up to the church, that’s when I just kept thinking, “This is really happening!”
My favorite moments of the day were at our ceremony. I had been looking forward to marrying Matt at the gorgeous Church of St. Augustine for months. Up to this day, it’s been just my mom and I for 20 years. I’m an only child and my father passed away when I was young so when it came to the entrance, I wanted my mom to walk me down the aisle. As we waited for the doors to open, we couldn’t even look at each other because we knew we’d start crying. Kate captured a beautiful photo of me taking a breath, reminding myself to take it all in, and I’m glad I did. I’ll never forget the doors opening to a church filled with the smiling faces of our closest family and friends, and my almost-husband waiting for me at the end of the aisle! It was an amazing feeling. Matt is the best thing that has ever happened to me. We’ve been through so much during our 8 years together, including something no one should have to experience – cancer. In 2011, I was diagnosed with stage III Hodgkin Lymphoma and without Matt’s love and support, I would not be where I am today. Promising to love each other “in sickness and health” meant so much because he’s already come through once on that promise.
After our church ceremony, I was so relaxed and happy! Nothing could bring me down. Back at the club, I changed veils into a shorter one and stepped onto the boat for our arrival to cocktail hour. Just as I was sitting down, the veil flew off over the water and I caught it mid-air! Kate amazingly got a photo of my catch!
I spilled my first and only drink at cocktail hour down the front of my dress- a dark and stormy. I just grabbed a glass of club soda, poured it down the dress and miraculously the brown stain went away. I just grabbed a cheese plate and was good to go!
Matt: My favorite moment obviously was seeing Cara coming down the aisle for the first time. She had kept the dress hidden from me for so long, and she absolutely looked stunning in it.
Another favorite moment was being brought in on the launch. The weather was perfect, and the club looked gorgeous from the water, and it was a great vantage point to see our friends and family on the front lawn having a great time at the cocktail hour.
The flower girls seemed to have the best time at the wedding. My goddaughter and her sister and cousin looked so cute in their dresses, which they kept twirling around, and they kept calling Cara, “princess Cara.”
One of the funniest moments was getting ready with my groomsmen at the yacht club. Of course most of us couldn’t tie our bow ties, but somehow my little cousin who is all of 25 has become a bow tying expert. He pretty much had to help all of us out including my father. Don’t tell him, but that’s the only reason I asked him to be one of my groomsmen.
What’s up next?
After the wedding, we spent two amazing weeks honeymooning in Bali and Thailand. A couple weeks after we returned to our home in DC, Matt was offered a new position at work that would take us abroad – by September, we were living in Bangkok, Thailand!
Ceremony Church of St. Augustine in Larchmont, NY ~ Reception Larchmont Yacht Club ~ Hair Hair by Brittany ~ Makeup Essie Cohen Makeup ~ Coordinator John Wall at Larchmont Yacht Club ~ DJ BOK-Music ~ Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands La Gravinese Jewelers of Pelham ~ Florist Flowers by Stephanie ~ Cake Alyson Bourne (friend) ~ Bride's Dress Ethel by Vera Wang ~ Bridesmaid Dresses 57 Grand at Nordstrom ~ Stationery Lolo Lincoln (Etsy) ~ Photobooth Extreme Photo Booth