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Sister Parish Design Creative Director Eliza Appleton Harris’s Wedding in Maine

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Anne Day

Creative Director of Sister Parish Design Eliza Appleton Crater was introduced to her future husband, William Rees Harris III, by her godmother, Pansy Hallowell. When Will had just moved to New York from Chicago, Pansy mentioned she knew a great girl that he should meet. They planned to have dinner at Barbuto, but they didn’t have a reservation, so they ended up chatting and laughing at Tortilla Flats across the street. “I remember not wanting the date to end,” Eliza says. Three years of dating later, and Will proposed on the rocks near the beach in Dark Harbor, Maine.

The two were spending a summer evening at the home where her family has been going for generations. He suggested they go for a swim and got down on one knee on the coastline. The next day, as per his secret planning, his entire family joined them on the island to celebrate. Eliza’s grandmother, Apple Bartlett (the artist-daughter of legendary decorator Sister Parish), hosted a dinner at her home, which they call the “Summer House,” where champagne was toasted and big plates of pad thai were served. “My grandmother covered the table in beautiful, patterned tablecloths, flowers from her garden, and Dodie Thayer cabbages collected by my great grandmother, Sister Parish. I remember thinking that I wanted my wedding to feel just like this dinner,” Eliza explains.

When the actual wedding weekend arrived, the entire community pitched in to accommodate the couple’s guests, putting up people in their homes and offering a barn as the venue. Design-wise, the bride-to-be knew she wanted her tables to be covered in patterned linens, votives, and wild flowers. To help plan everything, she hired the perfect team: Claire Conklin from CHC Events and Kim Zabriskie from The Wedding Collab.

When Eliza tried on her strapless silk crepe dress at Vera Wang, she knew it was the one immediately. It was timeless, simple, and could seamlessly transition from the formal ceremony to the more relaxed reception. Her great great grandmother’s pearls served as her “something borrowed,” and she paired them with pearl earrings that her mother and grandmother gifted to her the morning-of.

Will wore a navy suit with a white button-down shirt and brown suede loafers. And his sisters, who were also his best women, looked beautiful in Brock Collection. “My mother wore a big straw hat with a pink ribbon to the ceremony,” the bride says.

On what was also Eliza’s 30th birthday, the wedding party walked down the aisle to Van Morrison’s “Tupelo Honey,” played by The Cameroons. Three flower girls, dressed in Hibiscus Linens dresses, gave the brother-of-the-bride quite the task of keeping them in line during the ceremony. “I felt incredibly in love and so grateful that all of our family and friends travelled to this little island to support us. I was christened at this same church and have visited it every summer since, so it was a very powerful moment!” the bride says. After announcing the new Mr. and Mrs., the two walked out to Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours.”

At the barn reception, every table was marked by a Walton Ford animal, and the tablecloths were made out of a favorite Sister Parish fabric called Eleanora. I picked it because the flowers looked like they were dancing, and the red petals matched the color of the outside of the barn,” Eliza explains.

A delicious farm-to-table dinner, catered by Harvest Moon, was served family-style and ended with carrot cake. As soon as the meal ended, Eliza put on her Magnetic Midnight headpiece and hit the dance floor. The Cameroons kicked things off. “A member of our amazing catering team surprised us all and performed with the band!” Eliza remembers. “He had an incredible voice and took the party to the next level.”

The next day, Eliza’s grandmother, Apple, hosted a brunch so everyone could say their good-byes, and then the newlyweds took off to Jackson Hole for their honeymoon.