Kirsten & Graham: College Sweethearts Wed in Provincetown

She thought that they were headed from Chicago to Columbus, Ohio, for the University of Illinois vs. Ohio State football game. What Kirsten didn't realize was that they were never going to get out of the Windy City.

THE BRIDE Kirsten Staaterman, 27, public relations
THE GROOM Graham Nelson, 27, marketing
THE DATE September 14
THE SCENE Ceremony at the First Congregational Parish in Truro and reception at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.

A SURPRISE PROPOSAL "We were in the car by 7:30 a.m. prepared for a five-hour drive. I told Kirsten that we had to drop by the W Hotel so that I could drop off a proposal for a colleague who was in town for the weekend," says Graham. Instead, they entered a suite complete with champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and seven dozen roses (one dozen for every year they had been together). It was the perfect day. And Illinois beat Ohio State.

A FAMILY AFFAIR Kirsten and Graham, who met freshman year at Colby College in Maine, planned a simple wedding on the beach in Cape Cod. The ceremony took place at a church in the very small town of Truro. The intimate ceremony was a family affair: Kirsten's mother made a heart-shaped wreath out of sea lavender that they collected at the beach; Graham's aunt, a Catholic nun, officiated the ceremony with the minister from the church Kirsten attended as a child; and Graham's sister delivered a traditional Irish wedding blessing. Following the ceremony, guests headed to the reception at Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, a small city where Kirsten's great-grandmother founded The Cape Codder newspaper.

A SEASIDE SETTING White luminary bags led the way to the base of the monument, which overlooks Provincetown Harbor. Here, at sunset, guests sipped cocktails and enjoyed an open raw bar. Dinner and dancing took place under a large white tent. "We wanted the wedding to be as social as possible, so we decided not to do formal seating and had cocktail tables interspersed between dining tables," says Kirsten. Station-style treats included grilled scallops (purchased from local fishermen), clam chowder, lobster ravioli, sirloin tips, and salmon. While guests were making their way into the tent for dinner, Kirsten and Graham snuck away to share a few moments alone. "We had our caterer bring us a plate of food and we ate off to the side in two white Adirondack chairs," remembers Kirsten. "It was a chance for us to sit and talk, as well as get a full meal before the dancing began!"

--Allison Micarelli
photography © Tom Davis

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