A Chic, Beach-Themed Wedding at Chatham Bars Inn in Chatham, Massachusetts

Katie Fuller, (35 and attach?e and assistant to the Permanent Mission and Embassy of France) and Louise Wilson (45 and a chief financial officer) plan

Katie Fuller, (35 and attach?e and assistant to the Permanent Mission and Embassy of France) and Louise Wilson (45 and a chief financial officer) planned a chic, beach-themed wedding with a cheerful, romantic color palette of white, pink, green and blue and plenty of fun-filled details that spoke to their unique personalities. With Louise hailing from Perth, Australia and Katie having spent her childhood summers in Cape Cod, a seaside wedding was a must for the couple’s mid-summer affair. The Chatham Bar Inn in Chatham, Mass. offered the couple the ultimate backdrop for the day, with its waterfront location and undeniable old-world charm. The day started with a ceremony on the beach, in which Katie and Louise performed a sand ceremony with sand from their hometowns and surprised guests with a lively, marching-band style recessional. Lilac Florals transformed the sandy spot into an elegant, romantic scene with bunches of fresh white blooms and a custom-designed wedding arbor made with driftwood and eucalyptus. The Chatham Bar Inn’s Boat House and Beach House Grill played host to cocktail hour and the reception, where guests sipped on champagne and enjoyed an array of inspired eats ranging from mini lobster rolls to make-your-own ice cream sandwiches. The wedding’s decor had an undeniable sophisticated, seaside vibe, with rustic farm tables, lush white centerpieces, silvery accents and warm candlelight, plus playful, custom stationery by Concertina Press with a Cape Cod theme. “One of our favorite and most creative printed pieces was our clambake rehearsal dinner invitation,” says the couple. “We printed lobster bibs at Staples with Ruth’s design, folded them around the invitation cards, and tied them together with navy baker’s twine and round tags.” Even the couple’s cake played up the locale, with layers of ivory buttercream frosting decked out in white chocolate seashells and crumbled biscuit sand. After dinner and Katie and Louise’s mash-up first dance, eight-piece band Boss brought down the house with an upbeat mix of contemporary pop, Motown and oldies. “I’m a drummer, but wasn’t planning on playing,” says Katie, “but my friends convinced me to get on the drum set! The band invited me up and I played ‘Brick House’ with them — wedding dress and all! It was an unforgettable moment.” A tip for the taking from Katie and Louise: “When planning a wedding, don’t sweat the small stuff! People say that friction can arise between couples in the process and it’s true, but the decisions to be made are not life changing, and you should take them in stride. Know that your love — and not ice cream flavors —come first. 

Ruth Bleakley of Concertina Press, who specializes in nautical wedding stationery, designed all of Louise and Katie’s stationery, transforming their vision for a beach chic fete into a series of cheerful, nautical creations with a Cape Cod map motif. “One of our favorite and most creative printed pieces was our clambake rehearsal dinner invitation,” says the couple. “We printed lobster bibs at Staples with Ruth’s design, folded them around the invitation cards, and tied them together with navy baker’s twine and round tags.”
Louise and Katie had the florists at Lilac Florals create a standout ring pillow for Louise’s nephew to carry down the aisle. The classic burlap pillow was dressed to the nines with a French bunch of garden roses, hydrangeas and dusty miller, with a length of knotted rope adding a touch of nautical flair.
When it came to their wedding day attire, Louise and Katie went for a chic, summer vibe with a classic twist. Louise spotted a cream-colored Gucci suit on a ski trip to Milan, Italy with her parents and knew she had to have it. She scooped it up once she returned state side and paired it with a pair of Fratelli Rosetti shoes. “The suit was stunning with its colorful floral interior and matching pocket square. It was perfect!” says Louise. Katie headed to L’Fay Bridal in downtown New York City to find her gown and fell in love with a lace, mermaid number with an illusion neckline and three-quarter-length sleeves. To complete the look she accessorized with a vintage feather and floral headpiece, pearl and diamond earrings and a ballet-length veil.
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For Louise and Katie’s bouquets, Karen of Lilac Florals designed two complementary arrangements of roses, peonies, ranunculuses, spray ferns and dusty miller in soft shades of pink, blush, cream, green and silvery blue.
Making the most of their beachfront venue, the couple hosted each portion of the day in a different space on the Chatham Bar Inn property. The ceremony took place on the beach with the bright blue Atlantic forming a stunning backdrop for the affair, with the Boat House and Beach House Grill playing host to cocktail hour and the reception.
To create a cohesive feel throughout the day, a Cape Cod theme was carried throughout all of the stationery elements, with a map of the peninsula appearing on everything from the escort cards to the menus and table names.
The couple’s florist, Karen of Lilacs Florals, transformed the Chatham Bar Inn’s beach into a romantic scene for the ceremony, decorating the aisles with vintage mason jars, rope and bunches of fresh white and pale pink roses. To give the ceremony a focal point, she designed a stunning arbor with driftwood, eucalyptus and blush and cream roses.
The ceremony took place on Chatham Bar Inn’s beach at 4PM, with Louise’s longtime friend from Australia, Nerida Schmidt, officiating. As a nod to Louise’s Australian roots, the couple flew two Australian flags overhead and during their sand ceremony they incorporated sand from Perth, Australia and Brewster, Mass., Katie’s hometown. The couple planned a fun surprise for guests as they made their way back down the aisle after saying their “I do’s,” with Katie’s former band mates popping up and following them marching-band style, playing Phillip Phillips’ “Gone, Gone, Gone.”
Drawing inspiration from their seaside venue, Louise and Katie pulled off a beach-nautical-chic affair with a color palette of pale pink, cream, green and shades of navy and hydrangea blue. “We wanted a classic, yet light, beachy ambiance that would reflect the uplifting feel of the day,” says Louise and Katie.
While the florals certainly set a chic, romantic tone for the decor, it was the more subtle details that truly pulled the couple’s vision together. Silver candlesticks, warm candlelight and vintage-inspired mint glasses introduced undeniable ambiance to the elegant dining room at the Chatham Bar Inn’s Beach House Grill.
Katie and Louise struck the perfect balance of rustic and classic for their reception, displaying lush arrangements of roses, peonies, eucalyptus, anemones, dahlias and spray ferns atop wooden farm tables.
The Chatham Bar Inn catered the entire affair and worked with Louise and Katie to design a menu that spoke to their own personal tastes, as well as the locale. Miniature Reubens and lobster rolls were a big hit during cocktail hour, with dinner and dessert, which included a make-your-own ice cream cookie sandwich bar, receiving rave reviews.
Instead of traditional table numbers, Katie and Louise played up the wedding’s beachy theme by naming each table after a town in Cape Cod. The names were displayed on cards designed by Ruth Bleakley of Concertina Press and featured a navy blue map of Cape Cod in the style of those on the couple’s invitations.
In addition to a make-your-own ice cream cookie sandwich bar, Louise and Katie treated guests to a decadent slice of wedding cake. The three-tiered confection featured a beach motif, complete with crumbled biscuit sand, white chocolate seashells and miniature Adirondack beach chairs. Beneath each layer of buttercream frosting were flavors like red velvet cake with white chocolate mousse filling and golden vanilla cake with strawberry and champagne mousse filling.
Katie and Louise decided to plan yet another surprise for guests during their first dance, hitting the dance floor to a mash-up of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” and “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. “The ‘Dancing Queen’ portion was a big surprise, as we invited everyone onto the dance floor to bust a move!” says Louise.