Joy Stark & Kyle Smith

Draw inspiration from this stylish local celebration.

December 31, 2012
The Hampshire House
Boston, Massachusetts


Photographs by Fat Orange Cat Studio

When it came to finding love, Joy Stark and Kyle Smith were spinning their wheels. The two first met at a bike-racing event, but it took them several attempts to actually make a date. “I kept having plans or getting sick,” Joy says. Once they finally went to dinner, however, things clicked into gear. “We both knew very early on that this was going to be something that was lasting,” she says.

The couple had been together for about a year when Kyle booked tickets for them to see a bike race in Lake Como, Italy. After the race, they visited the village of Bellagio, where Kyle surprised Joy with a ring. That evening, as they swayed to a local band’s rendition of Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” they decided they’d dance to it at their wedding.

Joy admits she was clueless when she first started planning the big day, as neither she nor Kyle had grown up in the Boston area. But she’d attended a New Year’s Eve wedding a few years ago, and knew she wanted the same jubilant vibe at her celebration. The Hampshire House had the date open, and “suddenly everything came together,” she says. After exchanging vows in front of 60 close friends and relatives just after the First Night fireworks finished, the pair posed among the revelers in the snowy Public Garden. “We had people all around us, saying congratulations and clapping,” Joy says. “But it was wonderful to spend that time with Kyle alone.”


Joy’s ivory Carolina Herrera gown was named for John Singer Sargent. “I thought with a Boston wedding, this was meant to be,” she says.


A 100-year-old embroidered handkerchief—a gift from Joy’s grandmother—was a meaningful backdrop for the bride’s ornate engagement ring.


Arrangements of garden roses, hydrangeas, and winter berries adorned the tables.


“I have a lot of family from Texas, so it’s something I grew up with,” Joy says of the red-velvet confection from Cakes to Remember. 


The couple, decked out in a crown and tiara, shared a smooch on the dance floor.


Joy handed out party horns before the New Year’s countdown began. “That really helped get people in the party mood,” she says.


First Night fireworks lit up the sky over the Hampshire House. 


Joy’s cozy mink stole (an eBay score) kept her warm during outdoor photos.


Hair and Makeup: Erin Cress, Xposure by Noe’l
Favors: Moochie’s Macarons
Flowers: Tangerine Creations
Band: Soul Revival
Dress: Carolina Herrera, Vows
Veil: Simply Blue Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: J.Crew
Invitations and Stationery: Pretty Chic San Francisco
Calligraphy: Li Ward, Fat Orange Cat Studio (escort cards) and Kristen Henderson Calligraphy (invitations)
Groom’s Cuff Links: Tiffany & Co.
Rings: Barmakian Jewelers

Check out more of this season’s Real New England Weddings.

Getting married? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Boston Weddings' guide to the best wedding vendors in the city.