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A Classically Beautiful Wedding at The Groom’s Family’s Home in Madaket on Nantucket

By Cathleen Freedman | Photography by 

Jaimee Morse

|Planning by 

Immaculate Reception

Kelsey Lynn Johnson and Michael Abrahams grew up in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts; so their paths often crossed, given their numerous mutual friends. But it wasn’t until one long weekend at the Chicken Box on Nantucket that proved to be more than just a fleeting moment between two friends of friends. They started dating.

Two years and eight months later, Mike brought Kelsey back to the island and proposed on the beach outside of their home. He also buried a box in the sand with flowers and Champagne for after she said, “Yes!”

It has always been Mike’s dream to marry at his family’s home in Madaket, Massachusetts. His grandparents purchased the property in the 1950s, and since then, it has been the wedding venue for his parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. “I would describe the property as simple, natural, beautiful—and that is exactly what I wanted for the wedding aesthetic,” Kelsey shares. They enlisted Jim Jaksic of Immaculate Reception to plan the nuptials. Mary Beth Ferro Floral Design arranged the florals in a mix of greens, pinks, oranges, yellows, and whites. Jaimee Morse photographed the day. “I cannot say enough about Jaimee!” Kelsey gushes. “Her photographs, style, spirit, and energy are just all incredible!”

While Kelsey originally envisioned herself in all white for her wedding events, she soon changed her mind upon seeing a romantic Markarian dress and wore it to her rehearsal dinner. “I knew I had to have it!” she says. Similarly decisive, her wedding dress was the first gown she ever saved a photo of on her phone. Simple and elegant with an open-back and bow design, the dress was precisely what she wanted. Then, for the reception, she switched into a short Aje dress. Her Sarah Flint shoes accompanied her to both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding—she notes, “I love her brand!”

Kelsey admits that she is “not a big jewelry girl,” but even she could not shy away from Over The Moon’s Nicola Bathie earrings and wore these to her rehearsal dinner. She accessorized further with Mejuri drop pearl earrings and her mother’s pearl bracelet for the ceremony. The first person Kelsey reached out to after getting engaged was Dani Wagener. “She is so talented and had done makeup for a few girls I know at their weddings,” Kelsey shares. “I don’t wear that much makeup, so [I] really gave her no direction, but everything she did was perfect.” Sophia Adler on Dani’s team also masterfully arranged the bride-to-be’s hair.

9Tailors designed Mike’s custom tuxedo. He honored his late father with his initials embroidered into the interior side of the jacket. He also wore Albert Thurston polka-dot suspenders, and while that sartorial statement took some convincing on Kelsey’s part, everyone agreed that they looked great. He paired the whole look with Del Toro slippers.

Everyone in the bridal party—all 16 of them—chose their own pink midi or full-length dress. The maid of honor ultimately selected Leal Daccarett’s La Palma dress, exclusively available at Over The Moon. Meanwhile, the groomsmen sported navy suits from Alton Lane.

On September 9, 2022, guests gathered at the First Congregational Church in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Mike’s father’s best friend, a reverend, and the church’s minister officiated the ceremony. After the couple exchanges vows, “There are two traditions that come with getting married at this church,” Kelsey shares. “The first is after the ceremony the bride and groom walk up to the bell tower and are able to watch as their guests line the brick walkway to the church.” 

The second tradition is the signature petal toss after the recessional. “These are some of our favorite pictures,” Kelsey recalls. “We are just on cloud nine with the biggest smiles on our faces, walking through our friends and family cheering.”

Cocktail hour on the lawn of Mike’s home soon followed. The breathtaking view of Madaket Harbor was complemented by lawn games, a full raw bar, easy beach access, and appetizers. Kelsey adds, “Our incredible caterers, Nantucket Catering, passed 12 of the most incredible dishes we’ve ever tasted.”

After the delicious tented reception, the party kicked off with East Coast Soul at the helm. The newlyweds shared their first dance to a friend’s acoustic remix cover of Empire of the Sun’s “Walking on a Dream.” The couple came fully prepared for this moment—they took dance lessons beforehand. Mike laughs, “If you know us, you know why!”

Later that evening, the after-party started in the barn. “The property’s barn is unique and special and was designed for such a spectacle,” Mike notes. “It’s decorated with old flags, vintage surfboards, sails, and lots more, and holds a special place in my heart. Each item has a story.” There, guests raved for two-and-a-half hours to “the greatest DJ set ever made,” as Mike puts it. Outside of the barn, a bonfire and food truck fueled the revelry. Die-hard pong players found solace in the Dartmouth Pong until the early hours.