My daughter, Lindsey, and I had always dreamed of having her wedding at home. But when she fell in love with Richard Demato in Los Angeles, where they live, they decided to have their wedding at the Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club, closer to family members in New York. Lindsey had only three wedding concerns. She wanted the beachy feeling that she had experienced growing up on Martha’s Vineyard and Siesta Key—pounding surf but without the wind blowing her hair or vows away. She wanted the music just right, and she wanted a Vera Wang dress. The rest she left to me.
So I enlisted the help of the team I met when we did a glamour shoot for this magazine last year: photographer Luca Guarneri and stylist and wedding planner Jill Obrochta. We decided to use Sarasota resources as well as talent to create a wedding that would live up to the fabled glamour of its Hamptons setting, and Jill and I started shopping. At Dockside, Jill picked the shells and tall candles for centerpieces, and at LTM she found her hand-blown glass cake topper and the adorable gel candles that would be favors.
In March, Lindsey came to town for a shower. I thought it would be nice to have a high tea at home for her to meet all my friends who couldn’t be at the wedding, which was going to be small—just 102 people. She was shocked when 45 of Sarasota’s bluebloods arrived at the tea. Margaret Wise gave Lindsey the blue garter she would wear under her wedding dress. Alexandra Jupin gave her the handkerchief she would carry down the aisle, and Lindsey got so many other presents that she needed three helpers and a secretary to open and record them all. She still prays that everyone got the right thank you.
The next day Jill drove us all over Sarasota to places like Metro Mix and Formalities, where Lindsey chose bridemaids’ dresses that looked like the sand and sea. Jill found the model for the shell bouquets the bridesmaids would carry. In my kitchen, with flowers from Whole Foods, we created the flower models for the centerpieces and sent the pictures to the florist up North. I ordered bottles and filled them with M&Ms printed “Rich and Lindsey 7/7/07.” They became messages in the bottles that would give table assignments.
I arrived in Sag Harbor with the party favors, the bridesmaids’ gifts and Lindsey’s gown, which thankfully was not as big as it could have been. It rained all week and was so cold we had to pound the sidewalks looking for pashminas. On Friday evening it still looked menacing as John Bean, Alexandra Jupin, Tom and Marie Belcher and my cousin Deborah Loeff, the pediatric surgeon from Chicago, Deb Knowles and Margaret Wise (who were staying with Brenda Landry in Watermill), and Alfred and Adela Rose gathered for the rehearsal dinner at the groom’s father’s house.
The next day was sunny, and we went to work. Jill had shipped everything from Sarasota, so we spent all afternoon unpacking and setting up the tables at the club, which was both protected and open to the Atlantic, just as Lindsey had wished. In the afternoon as I sat on the dance floor in my jeans and diamond chandelier earrings, helping to unpack the decorations, I realized how important bringing Sarasota to New York turned out to be. That day I felt connected not only to the vision of home, but of home itself. Everything in our lives—Lindsey’s friends, our family all together and acting like a team, my friends from Sarasota and older friends from earlier lives—all led up to a perfect moment.
During the ceremony the windows were open to the deck; we could see and hear the beach and the sea. Lindsey and Rich were beautiful and happy, and the weather and mood were absolutely Florida perfect.
Photographers: LUCA GUARNERI & SIMONA ARU
Stylist & wedding planner: JILL OBROCHTA
Hair & makeup stylist: TJ HUTCHINSON
Venue: BRIDGEHAMPTON TENNIS & SURF CLUB
Caterer: ROBBINS-WOLFE CATERING
Flowers: PETALS, New York, NY
Supplied by METRO MIX
8223 Cooper Creek Blvd., University Park, FL 34201 (941) 355-2120
DESIGNER: NICOLE MILLER.
A two-tone georgette slip-dress in aqua and mocha. $345
Bridesmaids’ Sarasota welcome gifts:
Beach bag & matching sun hat
Supplied by METRO MIX
STRAW BAG: Blue-aqua roomy straw bag with leather handles. $60
HAT: Matching hat that rolls up for safe traveling. $60
NUOVO, three locations: The Landings, Westfield Southgate and First Street. (941) 924-2499
Aveda Products / CARIBBEAN LINE
Caribbean Therapy Bath Soak. $24
Caribbean Body Cream. $26
Caribbean Therapy Flower Water. $24
Madagascar Candle. $18
FLORIBBEAN FLO’S Tropical Bakery & Unique Gifts
7644 Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231 (941) 922-2888
Shell Nite Lite. $10 each
Key lime cookie, traditional Florida coconut patties, shell chocolate
DOCKSIDE IMPORTS, 8121 Cooper Creek Blvd, University Park, (941) 360-2709
Styled by: Jill Obrochta
Candle on table
LTM Party Store, 170 Shopping Ave., Sarasota, FL 34237, 366-1985
Kate Aspen Sea Shell Gel Candle
Shades of ocean and sand set aglow by starfish and shell inserts. $2.79 each
Hand-blown glass cake topper:
LTM Party Store, 170 Shopping Ave., Sarasota, FL 34237 (941) 366-1985
Rendered and commissioned by local artist.
Custom made in your choice of colors and styles. $85.99
Bride and groom:
Her own Vera Wang dress, her mother’s diamond and precious gem necklace
FORMALITIES Bridal & Evening Wear
1841 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211 (941) 747-0040
Toule cathedral veil by Edward Berger. $200
Swarovski crystal bridal comb by Edward Berger. $99
Ringling Museum of Art, Museum Store,
5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL 34243 (941) 359-5700
Statue of David. $85
(and other Sarasota mementos )