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This Couple Had Their Civil Ceremony on a Boat in the Middle of Nantucket Harbor

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Zofia & Co.

|Planning by 

Stewart & Company Events

Now that it’s crystal clear that hosting a big wedding at this time is just not possible due to the spread of COVID-19, we’re sharing the experiences of real couples navigating the re-scheduling, cancellation, and civil and commemorative wedding processes in an attempt to help others make informed decisions and to spread our support to all during this time.

Callan Vessels postponed her Labor Day weekend wedding at Great Harbor Yacht Club in Nantucket because of the spread of COVID-19. Here, she’s sharing how she and her husband, Tom Connor, made the final call and decided to have a micro-wedding near their original date on a boat.

The interior designer at Ariel Okin Interiors chose Nantucket as her wedding destination, since she’d grown up going there, and it was the only place she’d envisioned marrying Tom. In late April, their planner, Maggie Stewart of Stewart & Company Events, called them after a local town hall meeting and let them know that the island wouldn’t be able to accommodate any large gatherings for the foreseeable future, so they made the hard choice to postpone.

Since navigating a postponement date for the following summer proved nearly impossible at their venue and with their vendors, they did a complete 180 and decided on an intimate ceremony on May 1st in St. Barth’s with close friends and family. “The island is one of my parents favorite places to travel to, and Tom and I love exploring new destinations,” Callan explains. And because the island requires couples to be legally married before saying, “I do,” in their small church, the two planned a smaller Nantucket ceremony, so the location would remain a special place in their wedding journey.

Maggie stepped in and was supportive throughout the entire process, coordinating with vendors and making the initial cancellation much easier. Their Nantucket wedding was then scheduled for September 4th—one day before their original date, and the venue was set for the middle of the harbor on a boat.

To help with her bridal look, Callan worked with Over The Moon’s styling team to choose the perfect Markarian dress and Adelaide Harris Jewels pearl earrings. “Anny [Choi] did such an amazing job, and I can’t wait to work with the team again for our St. Barth’s wedding weekend in May,” the bride shares. To complete her look, Flowers on Chestnut created a beautiful cream and blue bouquet for her to hold, and the groom looked handsome in a navy blue linen button down and khaki pants from Bonobos.

On the day-of, Callan got ready with the moms and sisters at RJ Miller Salon, where she had them put her hair up in a sleek ponytail tied with a chic ribbon. After their beauty was done, they headed straight to the courthouse to pick up their marriage license. The town clerk handed them an envelope, and two minutes later, they were off on a boat with their immediate families.

Tom’s soon-to-be brother-in-law, Brendan, officiated the service and had the couple in tears the whole time. They exchanged vows and were gleefully announced as husband and wife. Everyone celebrated with champagne on board, and after the boat was docked, they headed back to Callan’s family’s house for a backyard dinner, catered by Island Kitchen, overlooking Nantucket’s Old Mill. The delicious meal was served on a stunning tablescape from Placesetters and was concluded with a delectable cake from Nantucket Bake Shop.

Looking back at everything now, the two are so glad they kept their original plans of getting married in Nantucket. “Although it wasn’t the wedding we had envisioned, it couldn’t have been more special,” Callan says. “We can’t wait to do it again, surrounded by a few more of our family and friends in May!”