Nothing says elegance quite like a classic wedding in Connecticut, and Deirdre and Mike’s big day was no exception. With not one, but two ceremonies (because two is always better than one, right?), this couple knew how to make sure their guests were entertained. The attention to detail was unmistakable from the gorgeous floral arrangements to Deirdre’s stunning gown that flowed effortlessly like the bride herself. But don’t let the elegance fool you, this wedding was far from stuffy. The reception was full of dancing, laughter, and all the quirky touches that make a wedding truly memorable. Congrats to the happy couple, and cheers to a lifetime of effortless love!
How did you meet?
We met at our company’s “after-after” holiday party, which saw us keeping our relationship quiet around the office for 3 years. Inevitably, people found out but respected our decision to keep our private lives separate.
What is your proposal story?
In October 2020, Mike asked one of Deirdre’s friend’s to get her out of the apartment under the guise of going to brunch. Deirdre was very excited, as it was in the midst of COVID and she hadn’t been out to eat in a while — so excited that Mike had to tell Liz to watch out for how much “fun” they’d be having. After brunch, Deirdre walked into their apartment to find it lit in candles. When she walked into their backyard, it was decorated in lights, candles and flowers. Mike proposed, they drank champagne and had a nice dinner, made by a private chef which Mike had arranged to come to their apartment.
Tell us a little a bit about your wedding
There was one thing that Deirdre knew going into planning this wedding: she wanted it by water. After months of searching, traveling to places only to know immediately it wasn’t the right venue for us, we found the perfect one (after resorting to going on Google Maps and simply clicking on different beach clubs). We knew we wanted something different and unique — not the traditional ballroom. We wanted something that felt casual yet classy all at the same time. Tokeneke Club was the perfect fit. The natural beauty of the club with the LI Sound and jetty backdrop and the clean design of the venue was the focal point; with that, we wanted greenery, subtle colors (white, blush) and a hint of gold accent to match the belt Deirdre wore with her dress — nothing too loud and nothing to take away from the venue.
Tell us about your attire choices.
Mike opted for a navy suit, instead of a tux. We tried to approach this wedding from a practical standpoint when we could — a suit was a good choice in that Mike could wear it again. We wanted Mike to stand apart from the groomsmen so we had them wear black suits. Deirdre wanted a simple, fitted dress, with just a bit of something different (gold belt). Deirdre bought the maid of honor dress for Anna on Black Friday online, guessing the size and hoping for the best because of the great Black Friday deal — it fit Anna like a glove, with no alterations needed.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
The most important thing for us was wanting our guests to have the best possible time. For us, that meant focusing on the music choice (we’d go live band time and time again) and the venue. We also customized food and beverage packages where we could.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Directly following the ceremony at the club and some pictures, we sat on our own for a few minutes and had an espresso martini before going down for the cocktail hour. Our maid of honor and best man delivered special, memorable speeches that were truly personal and even got our other guests involved. Dancing with our family and friends was a highlight, with an attempt at a human pyramid (it failed but the pictures are gold). Truly, spending time with the people closest to us holds so much importance; we ended up losing one of our very close family members the next day unexpectedly so we can’t understate just how special it was to spend time with the people we really wanted to during our day.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
We had lots of greenery throughout the venue, including a special request from Deirdre to have greenery hanging from the balcony around the reception atrium room. We kept it simple with white and blush flowers. Centerpieces alternated between big greenery with white roses spread throughout and clear vases with flowers submerged in water and candles surrounding the vases. Deirdre’s bouquet was a mix of flowers with the same colors of green, white and blush.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
We chose to skip a wedding cake and have passed ice cream sandwiches and mini donuts. We didn’t want any time taken away from the dance floor!
What did you do for favors?
We provided food and an open bar at the after party instead of having favors.
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
Whiskey barrel card holder with “Kennedy 05.14.22” engraved on it. Photo Booth greenery wall with “Kennedy” sign.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
Human pyramid and tie limbo during reception on the dance floor.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Don’t lose sight of why you’re doing all of it. It’s easy to get lost in small details that at the end of the day don’t matter. Remember that the people that are there mean the most so have the best time in the moment and forget the rest. Also, you’re not tied to following traditions just because it’s what other people want.
Did any of your wedding pros deliver a standout experience?
All of our vendors were amazing. The staff at Tokeneke Club was unbelievably helpful, attentive, classy and, to say it plainly, genuine people. From the transparency in communication, to the food (our guests have commented time and time again that this was an actual meal and not just a “wedding meal”; it was of the utmost quality and delicious), to the bar (amazing service, not watered down, great drinks), to the day-of help, to the cleaning even of the venue as the wedding was happening the club was truly impressive and deserve all the praise in the world. Our band was amazing, keeping high energy the entire night. Floral details throughout the venue made for a beautiful design without being overwhelming. And our photographer (along with her assistants) was super helpful, made us feel comfortable and was truly helpful throughout the day.
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- Ceremony Venue
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