Alison Moodie and Wesley Collins
September 6, 2014
Rye, New Hampshire
When she first started planning her wedding to Wesley, Alison thought she wanted a big, beautiful, manicured mansion. But after some reflection, the couple went in a completely different direction: a seaside rocky nook at Odiorne Point in New Hampshire.
“Wes and I kept going back to this place. It was the first time he had ever said ‘I love you,'” Alison says, remembering a romantic nighttime hike the couple took when they were just 19. “Wes’s father took him and his brother there growing up, and my grandmother told my mother when we were little she wanted us to get married there. It had so much sentiment and love behind it.”
The entire wedding was built around such family sentiment. Alison wore a bracelet that had once adorned her grandmother’s wrist before she passed away; she also used the matriarch’s favorite flower—the gardenia—in her boutique. Her mother made Wesley and all the groomsmen pocket squares, and Wes gave all of groomsmen American flag socks in honor of his brother, who’s in the military. They couple also had a grandparents’ dance in addition to the father/daughter and mother/son dances.
On the big day, the wedding got under way with all the details just right. That is, until Mother Nature had a different plan. (Who invited her, anyway?) “Our wedding day decided to be 90 degrees and humid, as well as thunderstorms,” says Alison. “I was stressed out hearing this news, but tried to focus on what really mattered, marrying the love of my life.” As fate would have it, their love wouldn’t be the only thing lighting up the sky.
“As we were getting ready, a massive thunderstorm came though the wedding site, knocking tables over, chairs soaked, flowers gone,” she says. “One person said it looked like a hurricane went through.” Once the meteorological madness was over, the group reassembled the outdoor celebration and the plans carried on. After the ceremony, the thunderstorm came back, with lightning tearing through the sky and thunder crashing during their first dance as husband and wife.
That didn’t stop the couple from enjoying their big day—and each other. “We joked that it was my grandmother looking down on us,” says Alison, as a nod to her grandmother’s original request that Alison get married at Odiorne Point. “She was always one for flair and glamour.”
Despite the weather drama (which left Wes with a rain-soaked tuxedo jacket), the event suited the couple perfectly. “We had a rainbow, amazing sunset, and lightning shots because of it,” says Alison. “This is testament to the fact that a thousand and one things can go wrong, but your wedding day can still end up being perfect!”
To make each bridesmaid feel special, Alison presented them with personalized hangers they could use again and always remember their place at the wedding and in her heart.
The ladies got ready in the townhouses at the Sheraton Portsmouth. “We were posing and then my friend just started fake-laughing, which ended up making us all really laugh hard. We were all just being goofy,” says Alison.
Wes got the groomsmen sunglasses, and the walk to the ceremony led to one of Alison’s favorite shots, à la Reservoir Dogs.
White with touches of glass/silver/grey was the main palette. Friends and family helped create this mirrored seating chart placed on an easel crafted by a friend of the bride’s father.
Wesley’s dad built the pergola from hand, then Ambience Lighting & Event Production draped it and florist Dahlia Pom adorned it with blooms. The view of the Atlantic Ocean and Little Harbor was a spectacular sight along New Hampshire’s coastline.
Wes’s love for cigars was celebrated at this cigar station, complete with personalized matches. “I would say most of the men were outside smoking the cigars most of the night,” remembers Alison. “It was a hit!”
The couple kept the mood just right with their music: They had a guitarist for cocktail hour, jazz band Twilight (favoring older songs) played at dinner, and a DJ for the evening dancing.
“It was so hot, and the longer dress was airy and very easy to move in,” says Alison of her getaway dress. The couple’s sparkler exit was almost thwarted by more thunderstorms—but they (and their guests) made it onto the bus bound for their after-party at Portsmouth’s British Beer Company.
Cake: Neddy Cakes
Florist: Dahlia Pom
Band: Murray Hill Talent for guitarist, band, and DJ
Dress Designer: La Sposa
Change-Out Dress: Adrianna Papell
Photographer: Kate Rose Photography
Videographer: Ready Set Film
Floral: Dalhia Pom
Rings: Gabriel NY from Quicksilver Fine Jewelry in North Hampton, NH
Hair/Makeup: Sorassa Soeur from Salonista
Groom’s Tuxedo: Black by Vera Wang
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