Start Slideshow View Grid Start Slideshow 44

An Elegant Spring Wedding by The Beach on Nantucket

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Corbin Gurkin

|Planning by 

Rafanelli Events

Boston College volleyball player Manon Palandjian and football player Nathan Freese had a few classes together and became friends. During their junior year, they took their relationship to the next step and started dating.

After eight years together, Nate proposed in Palm Beach, where the two were staying with her family before the holidays. One morning, he asked if they could wake up early and walk along the coastline to grab coffee. With caffeine in hand, Nate asked Manon if she wanted to promenade on the sand. They paused to take in the view, and he promptly dropped to one knee. “We got to surprise my family and celebrate with them for a few days, then jump to his family and do the same!” Manon exclaims. “It was such a special week of celebrations.”

“I’ve always known since I was a little girl that I wanted to get married on Nantucket—it’s my favorite place on Earth,” Manon shares. It was actually Nate’s idea to get married at Bartlett’s Farm. “We adore the farm, but the fields make it feel like you’re in another world—it’s breathtaking! You truly feel like you’re in African plains—my mom is from South Africa!—with views of the beach.” Nate shares, “We had been at Bartlett’s Farm two years before our wedding, during my 30th birthday. . .I immediately knew it would be the perfect place to marry her. When it finally came time to discuss the venue, I shared a photo I had captured during that birthday trip of the fields. We quickly decided it was perfect.”

Rafanelli Events masterfully stepped in to bring the couple’s spring vision to life, and Cheree Berry set the tone with an elegant, beach-y invitation suite.

The bride-to-be admits she was out of her element with fashion and only knew she wanted to find a wedding dress that was “timeless, comfortable, and simple.” After a number of visits to bridal ateliers, Manon ended up choosing an Eva Lendel gown and held a bouquet by Winston Flowers. On the morning-of, she got ready with a glam team from Darya Salon. “I’m 6’2”, so I stuck with comfortable flats for the ceremony and changed into sneakers and a shorter dress for the after-party,” the bride adds. “Nate wore a very handsome blue suit from Suitsupply. He is much better with fashion than I am and knew early on what he had in mind to wear.”

Bridesmaids complemented Manon in beautiful Hayley Paige dresses. “It was a hot night and they ended up cutting the bottom off of their dresses!” the bride exclaims. “This certainly lead to a few funny stories, including a trip to the ER.”

On June 18, 2022, Nate’s uncle, who is a pastor, officiated the beautiful outdoor ceremony. Manon’s baby brothers and her and Nate’s nephews acted as the ring bearers and flower girls, and the bride walked down the aisle with her father. “I was very nervous until I saw Manon at the end of the aisle, then a sense of pride came over me, and I felt incredibly blessed,” Nate shares. “It was a sight that I had hoped would happen for eight years!” Manon adds, “We wrote our own vows, and of course we sobbed tears of joy the entire time!”

Before appetizers were served, the dance floor under the sweeping tent from Peak Event Services was packed, thanks to the spectacular band, Rock With U. The couple knew they wanted a family-style meal, so they worked with The Catered Affair to create a fun menu inspired by family recipes and favorite restaurant dishes.

Just after sunset, costumes themed after Little Prince in New York City were passed around with late-night bites of egg sandwiches, french fries, and fried PB&Js. “The after-party ended up going until the hotel staff was setting up for the next day’s events,” Nate recalls. “The type of energy our group brings is quite impressive!” Manon reveals, “A few of us even went for a sunrise dip in the ocean.” A refreshing way to start the first morning as newlyweds.