*NEW* Abby & Barrett: New Yorkers Exchange Tropical Vows in Naples

After meeting Barrett Boston through a mutual friend, Abigail (Abby) Stewart fell head over heels. "We hit if off instantly," proclaims Abby, who, upon meeting him, realized Barrett lived only one and a half blocks from the New York City apartment she had just moved into.

THE BRIDE Abigail (Abby) Stewart, 30, biotech sales executive
THE GROOM Barrett Boston, 31, sales executive
THE DATE May 1
THE SCENE No setting seemed more perfect for a spring wedding than the Botanical Garden at The Club at The Strand, and it became the couple's location of choice. Guests found reception bliss in the open-air atmosphere of The Strand ballroom and attached veranda.

WEDDING CENTRAL The minute he proposed a little over a year later, on the Brooklyn Bridge as they took in the magnificent city skyline, Barrett and Abby began planning a festive weekend wedding. "The apartment became Wedding Central, as we affectionately called it," says Abby. "Barrett and I were a great team."

INSPIRED BY A SNAPSHOT First on the long list of to-dos: save-the-date cards. They commissioned a black-and-white photo of them on the Brooklyn Bridge, which they set on a card of celery green (their wedding color) and framed with an embossed white cardstock. Though they didn't create the invitations themselves, they used the same colors, fonts, and style (says Abby, "elegant with a touch of modernity") on the handcrafted programs and on the information packets they made to place within each guest's welcome basket.

GRACEFUL SELECTION For her wedding gown, Abby went with an Australian designer from a shop in the East Village of New York. "I loved the dress! I found exactly what I wanted -- a dress that was classic, feminine, graceful, beautiful, and with a little modern twist." She selected pale green silk dupioni tea-length dresses for four of her five bridesmaids; the fifth attendant wore a pale green empire-waist gown to accommodate her six-month pregnant belly.

DOWN HOME Abby and Barrett chose to marry in the Botanical Garden at The Club at The Strand. Accented with a beautiful fountain, palm trees, and pale coral-color stone throughout, the gardens provided the perfect backdrop for the spring nuptials. For the cocktail hour, the couple had pitchers of sweet tea and lemonade on hand. Says Abby, "Barrett grew up in Alabama, so the sweet tea was a tribute to his Southern roots."

TROPICAL TANGERINE The reception that followed was held in The Strand ballroom with an adjoining veranda that overlooked the Botanical Garden. Because Abby and Barrett were interested in incorporating a "touch of Florida" into their celebration, they decorated the site with brilliant blooms in hot pink, fuchsia, tangerine, and orange. The space was awash in tropical touches (think orchids!) that were included in all of the flower arrangements.

TOUCHING TOAST During dinner, the groom's father (who served as best man) delivered a touching toast. "He spoke about our engagement on the Brooklyn Bridge," says Abby. "He used the bridge as a metaphor for the strength of our union, a happy marriage that will stand the test of time." Hours of dancing followed, and the veranda provided an open-air atmosphere for the guests, who were free to mingle indoors and out.

STAR CAR At the end of the night when it was time to say good-bye, the newlyweds hopped into Barrett's father's 1972 convertible (bought the year Barrett was born) and waved farewell to cheering friends and family.

-- Allison Micarelli
Photography © Tony Gajate

For the ingredients that make up this wedding, see right-hand column of this page.