An Elegant Bayside Wedding at the Ram’s Head Inn in Shelter Island Heights, New York

After getting engaged on the beach on Long Island, New York, Katherine Rainone (29 and an environmental consultant) and Graham Ellis (29 and a physician) decided to have their wedding celebration at the Ram’s Head Inn on nearby Shelter Island, with a bayside ceremony and alfresco dinner reception. “We wanted our wedding to be full of personal touches—and chock-full it was,” the bride says. On a bluff overlooking the bay, Katherine and Graham exchanged vows in a ceremony conducted by Graham’s late father’s close friend. Their ceremony incorporated sentimental touches: personal vows, an aunt reading an E.E. Cummings poem and a friend playing Paul Simon’s "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.” After their first kiss as husband and wife, the newlyweds walked up the aisle to David Bowie's "Let's Dance.” Friends and family chipped in to help the couple pull off their affair. A cousin acted as hairdresser, friends played music, the bride’s girlfriends played the piano and sang during the father-daughter dance, and a friend made table numbers. With the help of their families, the couple made DIY escort cards using wine corks they had been saving for six years, since their first date together. “From New Orleans to Washington, DC, from Malawi to San Diego, we've been through a lot, and the people in our lives have helped us become a strong couple,” Katherine says. “Our wedding was a celebration on Shelter Island that brought together those important family members and friend, and we delighted in sharing our love for each other with them.” —Marissa Hermanson