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A Late Summer Wedding in Nantucket

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Kelsey Regan Photography

As it tends to happen in many romantic comedies, Kate Bryan, a campaigns marketing manager at Uber, first met Matt Knise, a business director a Capital One, at a friend’s wedding. “We really hit it off,” she remembers. “But given that we were in different cities, I wasn’t sure where things would lead after.” Pretty soon, the two decided to give the long distance thing a try, and found themselves taking weekly buses and Amtrak rides back and forth between Washington D.C. and New York City.

Thankfully, Matt decided to move to New York to attend Columbia Business School and once he graduated the two agreed to return to Washington D.C. together. To celebrate their big move, Matt planned a trip to Charleston, where Kate was sure he was going to propose. “The day before we left, Matt suggested that we go to Barry’s Bootcamp for one last workout,” she explains. “During our walk home, Matt got down on one knee outside of Bleecker Street Pizza, the site of many relationship-defining slices and I was totally caught off guard!”

Early on in their relationship, Matt took Kate to his family’s home in Nantucket and like most visitors, she immediately fell in love with the island. “When we got engaged, we knew our wedding would be the perfect opportunity to share the island with our friends and family,” she says. “Our wedding planner, Maggie Stewart of Nantucket Island Events, helped us create a weekend itinerary that highlighted our favorite spots on the island: Matt’s home in Dionis, the historic First Congregational church, the Westmoor Club, and the mega-popular Cisco Brewers for farewell drinks.”

During her wedding dress search, Kate’s first stop was at a Mira Zwillinger trunk show at Carine’s Bridal Atelier in D.C. “I tried on only five gowns before I found the one,” she recalls. “I’ve always been drawn to romantic gowns and loved the mix of handmade floral embroidery, ornate beading, and delicate tulle. I originally hadn’t planned on wearing a veil, but was immediately sold when I tried on one with matching details.”

Since comfort was a top priority, Kate chose a pair of low wedge Jimmy Choo sandals for shoes. For jewelry, she wore her engagement ring and a pair of earrings made from diamonds from her mother’s engagement ring that was a wedding gift from her parents. For her beauty look, the bride chose to wear her hair down. “What started out as polished waves got extremely beachy throughout the day thanks to the humidity,” she says. “During the reception, I pulled back the top of my hair with a clip covered with delicate greenery.”

As for the groom, he and his groomsmen all wore charcoal Bonobos suits with light blue ties. Matt accessorized with a Shinola watch Kate had given him before his business school interviews. Meanwhile, the bridesmaids wore floor-length dove gray Amsale dresses in different styles. “We didn’t plan for how perfect they would look in front of Nantucket’s signature gray shingles in all of the bridal party photos, but it was definitely an added bonus!”

On September 16, 2017, Matt and Kate wed at the First Congregational Church in Nantucket in front of their friends and family. “The church is so overwhelmingly beautiful with its natural light, high arching windows, and trompe-l’oeil ceiling,” Kate explains. “One of my favorite moments was the hug shared by my father and Matt when we got to the end of the aisle.” After they were declared husband and wife, Matt and Kate headed up to the church’s iconic bell tower. “We were invited to climb the tower and share a quiet moment while our guests filed out of the church. The initial fog of the day had cleared and we were rewarded with a stunning panoramic view of the harbor before heading back downstairs for the petal toss.”

The reception followed on the lawn at the Westmoor Club, where cocktails and Southern-inspired food were served on the patio outside the clubhouse, a historic Vanderbilt mansion set on a hill. Later, dinner was served inside a tent that was decorated with a mix of lush, colorful centerpieces created by Soiree Floral that were inspired by Nantucket’s romantic gardens. “One of my favorite touches was a floral chandelier of greenery and delphinium over the dance floor,” adds Kate. Dinner included seasonal ingredients from Nantucket’s Bartlett’s Farm, and guests enjoyed Southern staples such as braised short ribs, scallops over collards, and grits. Instead of a traditional wedding cake, the newlyweds had a small cutting cake and a selection of mini desserts, as well as a s’mores bar by the Westmoor Club’s fire pits.

“My dad gave a toast that kicked off dinner, which resulted in zero dry eyes in the tent,” Kate continues. The father of the bride was followed with speeches by one of the bridesmaids, and the groom’s two brothers. Then it was time for dancing! Beantown, an eleven-piece band kicked off with Leon Bridges’s “Coming Home” for the couple’s first dance—“We love the song’s throwback sound and that the sentiments aren’t overly cheesy,” she says—and later kept most of the guests on their feet for the rest of the night.

After the reception wrapped, late night revelers headed to a restaurant on the wharf, where they continued celebrating until 2:00 a.m. “The next day we invited guests to Cisco Brewers for beers, tacos, and a chance to rehash the party,” Kate remembers. “Halfway through the farewell lunch, we learned one of our friends had jumped into the harbor during the after party; a highly discourageable act, but one that made her a legend among our other guests!”