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They Shared Their First Kiss in Palm Beach, 3 Years Later They Got Married There

By Alexandra Macon | Photography by 

Jack Bates

Interior designer Stephanie Pitts met tech entrepreneur Christopher Mahaney during an Easter weekend in Palm Beach, when she was working on a design project and he was visiting his family. They first crossed paths at a restaurant by chance (someone at his table recognized someone at hers), and the two hit it off immediately. Unfortunately, the next day each of them went back to their respective cities—Chris to London and Stephanie to Boston—but the two managed to keep in touch via texts and FaceTime calls. It would be two years to the day until the modern day pen pals eventually reunited after their first meeting, once again in Palm Beach. From that day on, the two were inseparable and ten months later, Chris threw Stephanie a surprise black tie masquerade party for her 30th birthday. When the cake was wheeled out, he got down on one knee and proposed.

By the time of their engagement, the couple was now based in New York, but they both happily chose to tie the knot at the same beach where they had shared their first kiss three years earlier. To help with the long distance planning, they hired Masi Events.

Aside from the venue, her Oscar de la Renta wedding dress was the first thing Stephanie chose. “It was one of the first dresses I tried on and I completely fell in love with it,” she remembers.”I really appreciated the details and funkiness of the dress. It’s embroidered with handprinted details—I can’t say enough about it.” Initially, Stephanie wanted to pair her dress with champagne Valentino heels, but thirty minutes before walking down the aisle, she decided against wearing any shoes. “We walked through a seagrape path and the ceremony was on the beach, so I just thought everyone, including me, would be happier shoeless.” She finished off her look with a diamond tennis bracelet on loan from her sister-in-law and a pair of diamond drop earrings made from a necklace that had belonged to her grandmother.

The groom, meanwhile, settled on a Corneliani blue suit and white Eton shirt. “He bought Ferragamo leather shoes that he wore for the photos,” Stephanie adds. “Otherwise they sat under our table for the entire evening. I guess we just like being barefoot.” Bridesmaids wore Show Me Your MUMU dresses in a variety of styles, while the flower girls were in dresses the bride found on Etsy and flower crowns made by the event’s florists, Anthology. As for their guests, the dress code was a bit of a head scratcher. “As a joke, Chris wrote on our website: ‘Attire: Semi-Formal Beach Cocktail—Good luck!’”

For their ceremony, Chris and Stephanie picked all of the readings, which included an Irish blessing and a quote from The Velveteen Rabbit. One of their best friends was the officiant and overall the ceremony was short and sweet. “It was on the beach just before sunset and we had everyone we loved around us and supporting us,” she says. Once they were declared husband and wife, the couple walked out while dancing to the Hall & Oates song, “You Make My Dreams Come True.”

The reception kicked off with sunset cocktails right on the beach—“It’s our favorite time to be out there”—and a flower crown station was set up for guests to enjoy. Afterwards, everyone walked across the boardwalk to the pool, where long tables and a dance floor awaited. Dinner included Thai spiced mahi, and tomato braised short rib, but the real hit was the sorbet station, which the bride admits became extra popular when the servers started offering a tequila topper. “We actually ran out of tequila (which was a first for our wedding planners),” she says. “The caterers ran out to get more.”

When it came time to hit the dance floor, the crowd was understandably pumped after all those spiked sorbets. “We had an awesome DJ who kept people on the dance floor even though it felt like it was a 1,000 degrees,” Stephanie remembers. For their first dance as newlyweds, the couple chose to slow dance to Chris Stapleton’s “More of You,” which later morphed into the more upbeat “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake. “I don’t think I left the dance floor during the entire night,” the bride adds. “Except to change when I got too hot and to jump in the pool with my new husband!”