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A Romantic Wedding in Little Compton, Rhode Island

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Tim Willoughby

Margaret Malloy, a luxury travel consultant, first met Jesse Joeckel, the founder of lifestyle brand Whalebone, on New Year’s Eve four years ago. But even though there were fireworks that night, sparks didn’t fly between the two of them until months later, when they both happened to be visiting a friend in Puerto Rico. After they returned, Maggie, who was based in New York, made her first trip out to Montuak, where Jesse lived, the next weekend, and the rest, as they say, was history.

A few years later, the couple went on a surf trip around the Basque region in Spain, and were enjoying a glass of rosé on the wrap-around terrace of their Airbnb in San Sebastian, when suddenly Jesse got down on one knee and in a sweet, private moment, asked Maggie to marry him.

“I had always dreamed of getting married in my grandparent’s garden in Little Compton, Rhode Island,” Maggie says. “I spent every summer growing up there; my mom as well. It is the most special place in the world, and probably one of the last untouched, undiscovered summer towns on the East Coast.”

And, so after some discussion, Maggie and Jesse decided to host the ceremony in the garden of her grandfather’s property under a weeping willow tree. “The aesthetic we were going for was simple, elegant, and romantic,” she explains. “I didn’t want to overdo it with the flowers. I wanted to keep them very low at the tables, and wanted lots of whites and neutrals with small pops of raspberry and teal here and there.” After hiring a planner, who turned out to be more trouble than help, Maggie and her mom ended up doing the wedding themselves. “I really have to give her all of the credit. She did an amazing job and handled it with such grace.”

When looking for her dress, Maggie initially wanted a long-sleeved, low-back, lace dress with a long train. “I thought it would have an ethereal look, but I really disliked every lace dress I tried on,” she says. She opted for a simple, elegant Carolina Herrera look instead, with an embroidered veil, which she saw at Bergdorf Goodman, the New York department store that was founded by her great great grandfather. Maggie completed her look with a pair of turquoise Ippolita studs and a hammered gold bangle Jesse gifted her on the morning of the wedding. “I wore the bangle for the wedding, of course, and I’m absolutely obsessed with it!” she says. “I’ve wanted one forever but had never been able to find the right fit.” Her turquoise Aquazzura block heels did double duty as her “something blue.”

As for the groom and his groomsmen, Jesse had strong opinions about how he wanted everyone to dress. For his look, he went with a slate blue J Crew suit. His friends wore the same jacket, but paired with gray Bonobos chinos, and black street shoes. Meanwhile the bridesmaids were all given the directive to wear a floral dress of their own liking. “I thought it would look really feminine and pretty, and luckily it worked out really well.” As a thank you gift, Maggie gave all of her bridesmaids a set of monogrammed Charmajesty pajamas to wear while getting ready and a pair of Rebecca de Ravenel earrings.

The day of the ceremony, guests gathered in the garden of Maggie’s grandparents’s home and listened to music played by her brother, who composed an original song inspired by “In My Life” by The Beatles and “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance” by Vampire Weekend, for when the bride walked down the aisle. During the intimate ceremony, Jesse and Maggie read their own vows and carefully chose each of the readings. “It’s hard to describe the emotions you feel when you are standing in front of all your friends and family, looking into the eyes of this wonderful person, and declaring your eternal love and dedication to each other,” she says. “I thought I would be nervous and emotional during the ceremony, but looking back, it was my favorite party of the day.”

Once the ceremony was over, guests stayed in the garden and enjoyed cocktails as the sun set. They later headed off to the seated dinner reception, where fresh fluke (caught that day by Jesse’s brother, Nick) was served. “Almost all of Jesse’s family and friends are fishermen based out of Montauk, so it was important to us to weave that into the day,” Maggie adds. Before everyone sat down for dinner, the newlyweds danced their first song as husband and wife, “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.”

After toasts and dinner, it was time for more dancing and guests were entertained for hours by a twelve-piece band that cranked out hit after hit. “My younger brother joined the band for a few songs, and somehow I even ended up with the mic in my hand for a song, as well!” Maggie recalls. Before the after-party began, Maggie changed into a white Andrew GN dress with a high neck made of 3D organza flowers and an eyelet fringe bottom, and later joined those who stayed for the late-night festivities, which featured a lot of old school hip hop songs played by DJ Japancakes.

As for the honeymoon, Maggie, who plans luxury trips for a living, knew exactly where to go. They headed off to New Zealand and later traveled around the French Polynesian islands for a few weeks. “When you are flying to the other side of the world, you have to make the most of it!” she says. “We flew in helicopters, landed on top of glaciers, did lots of wine tasting, swam with sharks, and visited black pearl farms. It was truly the trip of a lifetime!”