A Nautical-Themed Wedding at Finz Restaurant in Salem, Massachusetts

For Katie McCormack (35 and an human resources director) Steve Donnelly (46 and a sales professional), planning a wedding that truly reflected the joining together of their two families was a must. The couple started by gathering their families and friends at the First Baptist Church in Beverly, Massachusetts, where Katie’s grandparents had once exchanged vows. Both Katie and Steve have children from previous marriages, and it was important to the couple that they feel included in all the day’s proceedings. “We made sure that as bridesmaids, groomsmen and best man, each of the kids felt that they were part of the special day and played a very special role,” Katie says. “The sand ceremony was an amazing part of our ceremony, and we will always be able to look at the sand vessel as a symbol of our happily blended family.” After saying their “I dos,” the newlyweds and their guests headed to Finz Restaurant in Salem, Massachusetts, for an evening of celebrating. Playing off the restaurant’s waterfront location and Steve’s love of boating, the couple opted for a nautical theme for the reception. Crisp white and royal blue linens dressed the tables and handmade sand dollar escort cards, anchor-accented favor boxes of chocolate sailboats and table names named after islands on Lake Winnipesaukee brought the playful theme to life. Cocktail hour even included a raw bar filled with freshly caught seafood like oysters, shrimp and clams. Guests had fun at the couple’s well-stocked photo booth and wrote well wishes for the newlyweds on vintage water skis. A tip from Katie: “For my fellow brides walking down the aisle a second time, go with your heart when you are planning your wedding. There are no wrongs or rights for your day. It's all about what feels right to you.”