My son, Mac, met his finance, Cindy, several years ago at a new Year’s Eve party at his old apartment in Brooklyn. She was a student from France who happened to be subletting his old room while he was in California. It was love at first sight, and they have been together ever since. On her birthday last year, Mac proposed and they decided to have their wedding in the Hamptons in our yard. We began to discuss ideas for the wedding, but we also had a budget we wanted to stick to.
We made a decision to do it totally DIY – and when I say “do it yourself”, I really mean it…food, decor and flowers! It was a lot to take on, but the whole family was willing to pull together and do it. At first I was sure we could do it, but as the time got closer I began to question if we could handle making everything come together at the right time. I was confident we could make amazing food, but timing would be critical.
We decided to enlist my manager, Casey from my Southampton store to handle the timeline and overseeing of food preparation once the actual wedding began. We also asked some employees to do the greeting, serving and cleaning up. Once we made that decision, I began to feel a little more confident, but I admit I still had a few sleepless nights!
We have a really amazing yard that I always refer to as our “secret garden”. It has little paths that when you follow them lead to a cottage garden and pool area. It was the perfect backdrop for a beautiful garden wedding. The yard needed to be in as good shape as possible for the wedding day. September does not have as many flowers in bloom as summer, so it was a bit of a challenge. Our goal was to play up the yard with fall blooming flowers and plants to play up it’s natural beauty..and to pray for no rain!
Noa & Asa could not resist playing in the wheelbarrow before the ice, beer and soda arrived!
It took a lot of gardening, clean up, planning, and lighting placement to turn the garden into the perfect backdrop for the wedding. With the help of my husband, sons, and son-in-law, we were able to turn the yard into a magical wedding venue.
On September 24th we lucked out and got a beautiful sunny day with a tinge of fall coolness in the air! The yard was primed and ready with signs leading to the back yard, and to the “game area” in the back. Hand painted birdhouses hung from the branches of trees strung with twinkling lights. Little tables and chairs nestled in the woods leading to the garden lined with bird baths and hanging globe lights.
Hanging mason jars filled with candles lined the stone path.
The day before the wedding, we went to the farmer’s market and grocery store to gather ingredients for our menu. We picked out flowers to look as if they were picked from the garden. That afternoon my daughters, Erin & Sean helped me cut vegetables and make dressings and marinades in preparation for the next day. The menu included grilled flank steak, chicken & shrimp which all needed dipping sauces. We also had a salad of greens, butternut squash, pomegranate & pumpkin seeds, as well as a Mediterranean Quinoa salad on the menu. Dessert was amazing cookies from Levain Bakery, and bowls of strawberries.
The evening was spent arranging flowers in mason jars to decorate the tables.
High top tables were set up by the pool and paper bags with candles lined each side.
The next morning was a little hectic actually assembling the dishes in our kitchen and trying to stay focused and organized, knowing we would need to be dressed and ready for guests to arrive at 3:00. But it all came together with the help of all of my family, including my other son Ryan and my brother Gordy.
Colorful toast toppers were also on the menu.
As guests arrived, they were greeted with our signature drink of Gin Herbed Lemonade, (made by my daughter-in-law, Nomi). Here she is with Ryan, Noa & Asa.
The welcome sign at the gate, in French & Irish, was made by Mac’s father.
Noa & Asa waited for guest to arrive.
The guest were directed to the side yard to mingle and enjoy the selection of French cheeses, breads, fruit, crackers & wine.
Plenty of crudites, crackers, breads & dippers were arranged.
Our Mediterranean Hummus Platter was set out.
The guest mingled in the yard waiting for the ceremony to begin.
After everyone arrived, the music began and Cindy started her walk down the front path from the house to the arbor. She looked beautiful!
Cindy’s father, Laurent walked her down the path where the wedding would be under the wisteria arbor.
Everyone waited and watched.
Nomi, Noa & me.
Pat’s sister Kathy performed the ceremony.
Mac read his vows to Cindy.
Cindy read her vows to Mac.
“You may kiss the bride”…
Mr. & Mrs. Cauley!
Mac and Cindy with me and Mac’s father.
Cindy’s maid of honor, her sister Delphine, with her youngest son, Dylan.
My sons, Mac & Ryan.
Relatives posed at the nearby Windmill in East Hampton.
Aunt Mimi & family.
Aunt Janie & family.
Ryan and Noa.
Chase, Sean & Lyla.
Lyla May dressed and ready for her first wedding.
Lauren, baby & Bill.
The celebration moved to the back yard.
The children playing by the pool’s edge.
Friends for years!! (Erin, Sean & Molly).
Somebody was asleep through most of the wedding! (sweet Lyla May Hochstin)
Sophie, Erin & Carmen.
Me, Dorrie & Molly.
Cindy & Mac – a married couple now!
Erin and her cousin, Phoebe enjoyed the evening.
First a touching reading from Mac’s brother, Ryan.
Next, a humorous and sentimental one from his dad.
Then a funny but moving speech from Mac’s good friend, Mark.
And a heart warming speech by Cindy’s mom, Mireille & her father, Laurent.
As night fell..the party got rolling in the back tent behind the poolhouse..
Mac & his sisters, Sean & Erin celebrated.
The real party happened on the dance floor..
The kids let loose!
Pat & Cindy.
Mac, Erin & Sean.
Mac & Cindy cut the rug!
Me and Lyla dancing.
Time to throw the bouquet!
Cindy’s sister caught it!
As the night wound down, the S’Mores were a big hit by the fire pit.
Yay, we did it!!
And they lived happily ever after..
Welcome to our family, Cindy Cauley!!