This New England Wedding Started With a Sailboat Rehearsal Dinner in Gloucester, Massachusetts
Ariana Frayer and Adam Schmitt tied the knot with a nautical wedding along the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts, at the bride’s family’s coastal estate. Appropriately, the waterfront wedding weekend actually kicked off with a sailboat rehearsal dinner so guests could enjoy the high seas before they served as the backdrop for the main event. "Our wedding was on my family’s estate in Gloucester, Massachusetts, on the same lawn my parents celebrated their marriage 32 years ago," explains Ariana. "We even ended up cutting the cake in the same place my parents did on the porch. I’ve spent a portion of every summer at this property since I was born and always knew I wanted to be married there. It’s such a special place to me and has grown to be a special place to Adam as well over the past six years."
The meaningful venue wasn't the only way Ariana and Adam honored their families. "As my something blue and something borrowed, I wore my mother’s first engagement ring from my dad, which features a sapphire stone on a yellow gold band," explains Ariana. "Additionally, my uncle, who is a poet, was our officiant and wrote a special poem for us that we got to hear for the first time on our wedding day." The couple also paid homage to their furry family members via their bar menu. "Our signature cocktails were named after our two dogs (Mazie and Duncan) and since they weren’t able to make the trip for the wedding, we wanted them to be there in spirit. I illustrated photos of each of them that our calligrapher added to the bar menus.
Fitting for the nautical aesthetic of the weekend, the couple leaned into blue and white as the main hues which anchored the celebration’s design. "I really wanted to capture the quintessential summer garden party with a coastal, New England backbone," explains Ariana. "I knew I wanted florals of every color, with a base of blues, whites, wood, and gold. I was going for a blend of a garden party and Grandmillennial style with the addition of the blue-and-white vases and plates. Toward the end, I joked that the theme was just coastal grandma, haha." The wedding's coastal-grandma decor included a rowboat bar, vintage glassware and even calligraphed mussel shell place cards.
As a creative alternative to a traditional guest book, the couple used "Voast, a video guestbook where our guests could answer prompts about us. We figured we would never read a physical one, but would definitely watch their well wishes anytime we watch our wedding video and thought it could be even more fun as the night went on."
In addition to being a recent bride, Ariana is also an Instagram influencer who uses her platform to bring visibility to living with Type 1 Diabetes. The influencer shares that she "went into my wedding day not wanting to think much about my diabetes. One of my bridesmaids (who also happens to have Type 1) followed my blood glucose on the Dexcom Share App to monitor where my numbers trended throughout the day. She also had her boyfriend connect his watch to the Dexcom Share App, for another set of eyes on it since she wouldn’t have her phone during some parts of the day. I had my wedding planner and photographer carry low snacks, and I placed a clutch with my phone, insulin, and snacks at my seat for the reception immediately after the ceremony. I also increased my Dexcom alert range to notify me if I went above 250 or below 100 to decrease alerts and encourage me to enjoy my night a bit more!"
Ariana encourages other T1D to-be-weds to "allow yourself to enjoy your day. Let go of the expectation of perfection as far as diabetes management goes, and just enjoy yourself. Trending a little higher for one day is easier than giving yourself one more thing to stress over. Also, make a plan! If you do end up trending low or high, who will have your snacks and insulin? The more prepared you are, the less stressed you’ll be if something does happen."
Looking back on the wedding, Ariana shares that "one of my favorite moments of the wedding was during our newlywed photos. We set up a champagne tower, and as we were pouring our first glass, a gust of wind came and took the entire tower. The entire thing went down, a few glasses shattered, and the strap of my dress broke—all at the same time. It made for a great photo, probably my favorite from the entire day! Adam and I could have let it ruin our mood but we knew that this moment was more authentic to us than any other perfect photo could ever be."