A Chinoiserie-Inspired Wedding on Long Island
Taryn and John met in August 2009 at an O.A.R. concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. At the time, Taryn attended an all-girls high school, and John attended an all-boys school. The two went to the concert with their own group of friends. After meeting and mingling for a bit, John asked their mutual friend for Taryn’s number.
About a decade later, on August 3rd, 2019, the couple went to Wolffer Estate Vineyard in Sagaponack, New York. Although the couple had visited the vineyard a few times, they ended up on a private tour where they were taken to the wine cellar. “I felt like I was Natasha Richardson in my favorite movie, The Parent Trap,” Taryn says. Outside the cellar, a gazebo was decorated with vines and flowers, and John got down on one knee to propose to Taryn. After she said yes, the couple walked through the vineyard to the adjoining property, The Wine Stand, where John arranged to have all Taryn’s loved ones waiting to celebrate.
The couple had a private micro wedding on June 20, 2020, and hosted their larger wedding with 200 guests on June 26, 2021. Taryn grew up spending summers in Sag Harbor, New York, where she has fond memories of going to St. Andrew’s Church on Sundays. “Even though my grandparents are no longer with us, the memories I have going to church with them are very special,” she says. The couple hosted their ceremony there and had a dinner reception at a private property in Water Mill, New York that they stumbled upon while driving. “We pulled in and asked if we could see it,” Taryn says, “We fell in love with this space the moment we saw it and instantly agreed it would be the perfect place to have our wedding. Luckily, the owner agreed as well.”
Inspired by summer in the Hamptons, blue and white chinoiserie, and seasonal florals, the couple’s planner, Danielle Elder, from Classic Events, nailed the couple’s décor vision in the property’s barn. Read on to see all of the sentimental details captured by photographer Twah Dougherty.
Taryn and John’s invitation suite gave guests their first glimpse of the blue and white color palette and chinoiserie motifs that would be seen throughout their wedding day décor. The couple created a custom crest featuring a ginger jar, which was included in their invitation suite, ceremony booklets, menus, and even guest towels in the bathrooms. The invitations were finished with a vellum overlay and a wax seal.
Guests were given tote bags filled with goodies including Wolffer’s cider to represent the couple’s engagement.
One of Taryn’s favorite parts of the day was getting ready with her nine bridesmaids. Taryn wore a white lacy robe while her bridesmaids wore pajama sets. “I also loved giving my bridesmaids their gifts, too!” Taryn says. “I was so lucky to have such amazing women as my bridesmaids and wanted to give them something special as a thank you for their love and support.” She included some of her favorite blue and white items, keeping in theme with the wedding color palette.
Taryn’s silk Carolina Herrera wedding dress featured embroidered detailing, a V neckline, and a deep V back. “When I looked at my mom, she started to cry and said it reminded her of the dress I picked out for my communion when I was seven years old,” Taryn says. The bride hopes to use the train as a christening outfit for the couple’s future child. Taryn’s mom surprised her by having heart-shaped pieces of her wedding dress and Taryn’s grandmother’s wedding dress sewn into the gown.
“I usually wear my hair down so I knew I wanted it down for my wedding day,” Taryn says, “My hair is naturally very straight so I went with soft waves.” She finished her look with jewelry borrowed from her mother, including a diamond bracelet her Dad had given her. John also surprised Taryn that day with a tennis bracelet. The finishing touch was Taryn’s fragrance; Bond No. 9 Sag Harbor. “The bottle was made for our wedding—it was blue, white, and has Sag Harbor written all over it,” she says, “John gave me this perfume as a Christmas gift prior to our wedding and said I should wear it on our wedding day since it is based on the place where we are getting married—the most thoughtful gift!”
Once she was ready, Taryn had a first look moment with her bridesmaids. “We both had so much fun the morning of our weddings with our parents and bridal parties,” she says, “A lot of the special and spontaneous moments of the day were made”
John wore a custom white tuxedo jacket paired with a navy bow tie and navy tuxedo pants from Knot Standard. He had their original wedding date embroidered on the collar of his tuxedo jacket. He accessorized his look with velvet smoking slippers, a Rolex watch, and Hermes cufflinks with an “H” on them for their last name; a gift from his bride.
John spent the morning getting ready with his groomsmen. “John’s big party trick is sabering champagne bottles so of course, he had to do that with his groomsmen the morning of the wedding!” Taryn says, “I’ve seen him saber a champagne bottle with a butter knife!”
Getting that alone time with each other just made us smile.
Before the ceremony, Taryn and John had a first look. At their micro-wedding a year prior, they skipped the tradition. This time around, they appreciated having a moment alone together. “It was so special; you feel like it’s just you two alone in the world,” Taryn says, “Getting that alone time with each other just made us smile. It was extremely comforting and calming before the big day began.”
The couple’s ceremony took place at St. Andrew’s Church, where Taryn’s father accompanied her down the aisle as violinists played. She held a bouquet of peonies, gardenia, ranunculus, garden roses, lisianthus, sweet peas, and jasmine vine, finished in an ivory french-silk ribbon.
Taryn and John didn’t exchange personal vows during the ceremony, as they wrote each other private letters and read them the morning of the wedding. “Those letters are something we will keep forever and will probably refer back to as the years pass us by!” the bride says. The couple had their godparents perform readings and incorporated a Polish “bread and salt” blessing. “We stood in front of all our family and friends as our parents blessed us with bread that is sprinkled with salt and accompanied by wine,” Taryn says, “The bread so we will never go hungry, the salt as a reminder that we must learn to cope with life’s struggles, and the wine a symbol of a life full of good health and cheer.” Taryn’s parents and grandparents had this blessing at their weddings, too.
The couple exited the church with their wedding party lined up on the stairs beside them. The bridesmaids wore Amsale dresses in the color ‘dusk’. “I chose this dress for my bridesmaids because of how elegant, yet simple it was,” Taryn says. “The shade of blue tied in beautifully with our theme and was the perfect color for a summer wedding in June.” The groomsmen wore navy tuxedos to match John’s pants. John also gifted them bow ties and watches to wear on the day.
I vividly remember how happy we were in that moment.
After the ceremony, Taryn and John snuck away to take pictures with their photographer, Twah Dougherty, among the vines at their reception venue. “I vividly remember how happy we were in that moment, just taking a step back and mentally capturing how much we love each other and how amazing our wedding day turned out,” Taryn says. The also took some photos with their wedding party before joining guests at the cocktail hour.
Taryn and John wanted their menu to feature local produce, so some of the vegetables served were sourced from the venue grounds. They also offered a raw bar during cocktail hour; a huge hit among their guests.
The bar was placed in front of rented greenery panels with a custom illuminated sign reading “The Hunter’s” on it. John’s signature cocktail was an Aperol spritz, while Taryn went with her favorite cocktail: a vodka club soda with a splash of St. Germain and a lemon. “Both were light, summery, and very refreshing,” the bride remembers. They also served Woffler’s Summer in a Bottle rosé as a nod to their engagement.
The reception barn was completely transformed into a light and airy reception venue. “We really wanted a venue that didn’t feel like a reception venue,” Taryn says, “We wanted something unique, similar to a tent that seamlessly connected the indoors with the outdoors but was an actual structure.” The couple went with mostly white flowers and tons of greenery for their floral decor. A mix of round tables with white linens and long farmhouse tables were set up throughout the space, and white fabrics were draped from the ceiling beams.
The couple’s florist created tall centerpieces in clear vases with seasonal florals. Shorter ginger jars that Taryn, John, and their families painstakingly collected during the planning process were filled with hydrangeas. Taryn also fell in love with little ginger jar place holders she found at Williams Sonoma, but they were sold out in the stores near her and not sold online. “It sounds a bit crazy but I called every single Williams Sonoma throughout the country and had them shipped to New York so I could have enough for each person’s name cards at their table setting.” she says, “We love small details and thought these were the perfect personalized addition to our tables.”
John’s dad helped the couple source custom chinoiserie plates from overseas to serve as the base of their place settings. The couple selected blue beaded water glasses and blue linen napkins to play into the blue and white theme. Menus featuring the couple’s custom crest illustration were placed on top of the napkins, and the settings were finished with a sprig of rosemary and a white rose.
Taryn and John’s wedding cake was also on theme, featuring four tiers and a subtle chinoiserie design.
One of the couple’s favorite personalized touches of the day were their wedding favors. Looking for something that guests could use after the wedding, the couple had custom hats made with their wedding logo embroidered on the front. “They turned out to be such a hit,” Taryn says, “Our guests were crushing the dance floor with our hats on at the wedding and we have seen many of them sporting the hats ever since!”
“The only thing we told our band was to keep the vibes high and the people dancing,” shares Taryn. The couple took to the dance floor for the first time to “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole. Then, Taryn danced with her father to “I Loved Her First” by Heartland, and John and his mother enjoyed a turn to “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack. “We had so many guests tell us how amazing our band was,” adds the bride. “Besides our first dance and parent dances, the only song we requested was “Crazy Game of Poker” by O.A.R for a tribute to the concert we met at in high school.”
Taryn and John originally planned a honeymoon in Bali, but because of travel restrictions, they canceled their trip and planned a last-minute honeymoon in Turks and Caicos. “Fun story,” Taryn says, “While we were there, we took a private boat around the island and John saved six dolphins that were stuck in a sandbar!”
Taryn and John remind couples in the planning process to remember that getting married is about celebrating your love. “Someone once told us that the only people that will know if anything did not go according to plan is us, which is so true! But when you just take a step back and really focus on the true reason of why you are planning a wedding in the first place, everything else becomes so trivial!”