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A Summer Camp-Like Wedding Weekend at the Basin Harbor Club in Vermont

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Edward Winter of READYLUCK

|Planning by 

All Who Wander Event Design

Dana MacKenzie Pollock, founder of fashion brand Pollock, and David Robert Cotterman wanted an East Coast wedding, and once they set their eyes on the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, Vermont, they knew it was the venue for their late September wedding. Their 250 guests could all sleep in cute cottages on the 700-acre property throughout the weekend. And to help plan everything, they hired Nicole Sheppard of All Who Wander Event Design.

On the day-of, the couple and a few guests did a polar plunge at 8:30 a.m., followed by other camp-like activities such as a light hike, a nine-hole golf tournament, yoga, boat tours of Lake Champlain, and a taco lunch. Then the girls went to go get ready in their gifted Onepiece onesies.

The bride wanted to wear as many vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces as she could during the weekend, so she bought two looks at Happy Isles—one for the rehearsal brunch and one for the welcome party. Her wedding dress was the first she tried on at Dana Harel. “I loved the varied-sized pearls and the layers of Swiss dot French tulle combined with the flattering bustier top,” Dana says. She was also able to create a new skirt and alter the bust with the designer to create a truly custom look.

And because the bride has a deep love of hats—they encouraged guests to wear them and various headpieces—she worked with Suzanne Couture Millinery to create one that matched the pearls on her gown. To complete the look, Dana wore Zarqua silver square-toe mules and also chose a vintage white feathered jacket from Laura Dols in Amsterdam to wear over her dress when it got chilly. 

David wore a custom, teal blue suit from Martin Greenfield Clothiers, a white button-up from Proper Cloth, dark purple Eton pocket square, white jeans from Paige, “D &D” cufflinks that were gifted to him by Dana, and navy velvet smoking slippers from To Boot New York. He also gifted his groomsmen pocket squares from a psychedelic dead-stock 1960s fabric that Dana found on eBay.

The couple also gifted their parents each a handkerchief. “My favorite was to his mom, with embroidery that said, ‘Thank  you for raising the man of my dreams,’” Dana says. 

Before the ceremony, the two had their first look on a small deck immersed in the woods. “The look on David’s face is permanently ingrained in my mind,” the bride remarks. Then the two and their wedding party took golf carts to the garden to walk down the aisle. 

The bride was escorted by her parents, while Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” was playing. And guests sat in a circle formation around a center circular floral and fern arrangement. “We both love the unity and symbolism that the circle represents,” Dana says. “To be truly surrounded and enveloped by our loved ones was as special as we had imagined it would be.”

One of Dana’s oldest childhood friends, Kay, officiated the service, while the couple’s four siblings stood just outside the circle. During the ceremony, David’s mother, Linda, read her mother’s “Recipe for a Happy Home.” “In the early 1900s, she was a home-ec major in college and made a cookbook to pass along to all the women in her family,” Dana explains.

The union was sealed with a sand ceremony. David’s parents brought sand from Los Angeles, Dana’s family had grains from Cape Cod, and they poured both on top of a first layer from Basin Harbor. 

After being announced as a married couple, the new Mr. and Mrs. hightailed it to the waterfront and got into a wooden Chris-Craft speedboat with their photographer to have a special moment together before the party began. Once back on land, Dana changed into her hat, and cocktail hour began lakeside.

Members of the wedding band started a second line parade up to the reception space, and guests followed the newlyweds with tambourines and noisemakers. Dinner was under a beautiful white tent, and tables were set with light blue linens that contrasted well with the abundant yellow florals. And Basin Harbor’s French chef agreed to make the dinner rolls from David’s grandmother’s cookbook.

Dana and David had their first dance to Lord Echo’s rendition of “Thinking of You.” “It was the single happiest moment of my life,” she remarks. They also gave the song “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers to David’s parents, who recently celebrated their 50th anniversary but were unable to have a party due to his mom’s battle with ovarian cancer.

Once dancing was in full swing, Dana changed into her custom Caspian mini dress by Odylyne The Ceremony that she found at LOHO Bride. After posting a picture of the design on Instagram, it became so sought after that the label offered it as a ready-to-wear style the following season.

The bride rejoined the group just in time for the fireworks display that also marked the start of the after-party. And the newly married couple walked through a sparkler tunnel to one of the on-site restaurants to kick off the disco celebration. Their DJ, CRSTO, came from L.A. and delivered the ideal cross-generational set that had people dancing until the early morning. The pair appropriately ended their “summer camp” wedding around the bonfire at 4:00 a.m. with loved ones.