Date: October 10, 2015
Location: Harbor View Hotel, Edgartown
Rehearsal Dinner Location: The Grill on Main, Edgartown
Officiant: Father Michael Nagle, St. Augustine’s, Vineyard Haven
Photographer: Randi Baird
Flowers: Emily Coulter of Morrice Florist
Hair: Tommye Anne “TA” Brown, freelance
Makeup: Mansion House Spa
Caterer: Harbor View Hotel
Music: Joanne Cassidy Band
Cake: Cakes by Liz and Backdoor Doughnuts
Transportation: Trolleys from MV Sightseeing
Rentals: Big Sky Tent Rentals
It’s no secret that Martha’s Vineyard has become one of the most desirable wedding sites in the country. The charming Island of picturesque landscapes, from beautiful beaches to rolling hills, makes it the perfect backdrop for saying ‘I do.’
Hundreds of wedding are performed here every year, across a variety of vendors who vie for the opportunity to give a bride and groom the most unforgettable day of their lives. Many couples begin planning their Island wedding from afar, uncertain of where to start or whom to call. One couple who had it all figured out was Megan Honey and Michael Baptiste, who were both born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard.
As a former event planner for the Harbor View Hotel, and currently the sales manager of the hotel’s Captain’s Cottages, Megan was no stranger to the Vineyard wedding scene. She knew a thing or two about creating the perfect day, and on whom she should call to make it happen. “I had worked with all of my vendors multiple times in the past,” Megan said. “I was comfortable with them and appreciated their work. I knew right from the beginning that the group of vendors I put together were the people I wanted to work with at my wedding.”
Megan knew how fortunate she was to have that insider’s perspective. “Brides come from all over the world to get married here. The Harbor View is the perfect location” Megan said. “There’s a view of Edgartown Harbor and Lighthouse, and Chappaquiddick (the small island off of Edgartown). I used to work in the events department at the Harbor View, so I’ve long been familiar with the resources the hotel offers for brides.”
One of the most valuable services to a bride is a wedding coordinator, someone to help alleviate the stress of planning a wedding, especially when the bride isn’t local. “The wedding coordinator service that the Harbor View provides is priceless,” Megan said. “Not only are you given a day-of-coordinator for your big day, but you’ll work with an event coordinator throughout the entire planning process who will assist you with realizing the vision of your wedding day by matching you up with local vendors who can create your visions.” The service is included with all wedding packages that the Harbor View provides, and according to Megan: “it’s a big weight off of the bride’s shoulders. Having that hands-on assistance from the hotel is amazing throughout the entire process. They’re so helpful, and they’ve done so many weddings that it really makes the process seamless.”
Megan and Michael were engaged in Punta Cana Mexico in late spring, on a last minute pre-season getaway trip before returning to the Island for a busy summer, something all Vineyard locals know a thing or two about. They planned their wedding for October of the following year, in the “shoulder season,” but one of the busiest months for weddings on the Island. The crowds subside, the temperatures cool, but the natural beauty of the land remains — though weather can never be predicted. “The weekend before our wedding, a huge storm came through the Island,” Megan said. “The tent companies didn’t even put up any of their tents.” Fortunately, the following weekend the newlyweds were married under beautiful, sunny skies.
To prepare for the big day, Megan utilized one of the Harbor View’s Captain Cottages as a bridal suite to host her bridal party, as well as her hair and makeup vendors. “They’re exquisite cottages with their own fireplaces,” Megan said. “Whenever a bride is looking for a place to get ready, I recommend them. They are being sold for $1 million dollars each, they’re ideal for a wedding.”
As for the ceremony location, the waterfront setting was also ideal. “We were married on the front veranda of the Harbor View, in a little gazebo which overlooks Edgartown harbor,” Megan said. “Our reception took place inside the Lighthouse Grill at the Harbor View, which can accommodate about 100 people, and has beautiful views of Edgartown harbor.”
The Harbor View’s own catering department provided the food, which featured the hotel’s signature appetizer of lobster tacos with lime and avocado among the couple’s passed hors d’oeuvres. “My favorite thing about their food is that it doesn’t taste like banquet food, it taste’s like high-end restaurant food,” Megan said. “I had guests from all over — the west coast, the British Virgin Islands — and they all raved about the food. The hotel takes such care, and incorporates top quality ingredients. Plus they have experience preparing quality food for a large group.”
When it came time for dessert, the bride and groom enlisted the help of wedding and special occasion cake expert Cakes by Liz, who complemented the couple’s traditional tiered wedding cake with an unforgettable groom’s cake of mocha cake, white chocolate ganache, and coffee buttercream frosting. Another special sweet treat for the guests arrived at 9 pm, when Backdoor Doughnut’s world famous apple fritters were served, embracing a real Vineyard tradition. (The coffee and pastry shop Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Bakery opens up it’s backdoor as a doughnut haven in the evenings, with lines forming around the block in the summer).
Thanks to Megan’s planning and the abundant resources of the Island, her wedding went off without a hitch. Megan’s advice to other brides looking towards Martha’s Vineyard for their special day? “Connect with local hotels about blocking group rooms, that way your guests are guaranteed availability,” she said. “Especially now as the shoulder season has become so popular, it’s beginning in April and extending into November.”
She also suggests utilizing the unique products and local vendors of the Island to “make it your own.” For example, try stuffing your welcome bags with bottles of Chilmark Spring Water and boxes of Chilmark Chocolates. And, make sure to extend your stay on the Island past your wedding festivities, so you can truly appreciate the charm and beauty of the Island.
For additional information on weddings at the Harbor View visit harbor-view.com.