A Laid-Back DIY Wedding at a Private Home in Chatham, Massachusetts

After moving to Mississippi for graduate school and adopting a pitbull named Babygirl, Nicole Weiss (29 and a clinical psychologist) decided to start volunteering at a local animal shelter in an effort to advocate for pitbulls. It was there that she met Derek Boyd (30 and a veterinary technician). Derek was helping out at the same shelter, training and fostering bulldogs to prepare them for adoption. “The next week that I showed up at the shelter, there was Derek with Ladybug – my first foster,” says Nicole. “Every Sunday after that, Derek and I would spend afternoons at the shelter together, chatting about pitbulls. Fast forward a few months and a close friend suggests that I consider a romantic relationship with Derek. After that conversation it was like a light bulb went off and all I could think about was Derek.” The pair went out for drinks a few weeks later and quickly became inseparable. The rest is history.Having spent her childhood summers in Cape Cod, Nicole had always dreamed of a beach wedding, so when it came time to choose a location and venue for their wedding, the couple knew exactly where to turn. Nicole and Derek rented a private house on the beach in North Chatham, MA, where they hosted both their ceremony and reception. Cape Cod itself was the inspiration for the affair, the couple looking to area’s iconic hydrangeas, seashells and driftwood to reflect the seaside locale. Nicole and Derek made all of the wedding’s details themselves, from the hand-painted signs to the stationery and the dog-inspired seating chart. “We fell in love because of our love for dogs, so I only thought it fitting that we have a dog-related project,” says Nicole. She had the names of each guest engraved on bone-shaped dog tags, which she then displayed on a collage of photos of all the dogs they’d fostered since they met. For the table numbers, the couple took photos of their dogs with each table number around their neck. The photos were then placed on each of the tables alongside the centerpieces. After the couple exchanged vows with their toes in the sand, they and their guests headed to the expansive lawn for the reception. Guests whetted their whistles at a DIY bar and played games like Kanjam and Beirut.