Real Weddings

A South End Cathedral Ceremony and Country Club Reception for College Sweethearts

Maggie Maloney and Blake Alessandroni's October wedding was an idyllic showcase of New England city and country.

Photo by Eva Alexandra Photography

The Story

When her then-boyfriend, Blake Alessandroni, popped the question in Stonington, Connecticut, not far from where they met in college, Maggie Maloney was completely and utterly surprised. Looking back now, though, she realizes there were tip-offs in the lead-up to the proposal. “I’m a nurse, and when Blake dropped me off at Boston Children’s [Hospital] for my shift and picked me up later that day, there was a mug and trail mix in the car,” she says. “I remember saying, ‘Why is this here?’”

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Turns out, while Maggie was at work, Blake had taken a road trip all the way to New York to design his future bride’s engagement ring and had barely made it back in time to pick her up from her 12-hour shift. “At 7:15, I got a text saying she was ready to be picked up,” he says. “I was still on the Mass. Pike by New Balance headquarters.” Luckily, he made it just in time to avoid any suspicions.

When it came time to plan the wedding, however, there were few surprises, as the couple knew exactly what they wanted for the big day. First, there was the time of year. “We really wanted to get married in the fall. It’s when we got engaged, and obviously fall in New England is so beautiful,” Maggie says. Then there was the elegant and timeless décor, which Maggie describes as “very simple. I didn’t want a lot of color. I wanted my detail to be in the landscape and the flowers.”

Photo by Eva Alexandra Photography

The overall vibe made sense, considering the stunning venues for the ceremony and reception: the regal Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End, just around the corner from their home, and a private country club just outside Boston, where the bride’s family had made many special memories over the years. “Our October wedding was everything we adore about New England,” Maggie says. “It was city and country. It was the warmth of our guests and the love that they soaked us in. It was exuberant and intimate at the exact same time.”

Photo by Eva Alexandra Photography

The Details

The Bridesmaid Dresses

Maggie’s mom—the famed local fashion designer Sara Campbell—and her sister, who is also a dress designer, collaborated to make the chic silk bridesmaid dresses.

The Bride’s Dress

“I love expressing myself through clothes, so my wedding dress was the ultimate statement for me,” says Maggie, who chose a Carolina Herrera column gown with a removable statement skirt from L’élite Bridal Boutique for her big day. “I liked that I could carry it with me the whole night,” adds the bride, who enhanced the look with a lace bolero for the church and cocktail reception. “It kind of morphed as I morphed.”

The Entertainment

The most memorable part of cocktail hour? When the Gospel Touch Choir led guests to the reception tent with a rousing rendition of “Love Train.”

Photo by Eva Alexandra Photography

The Invitations

Created by Lynne Johnson of Inviting Company, the invitation suite featured original artwork depicting many of the wedding weekend’s venues, including Lookout Farm, where the couple’s welcome party was held. “She did such a beautiful job putting my thoughts on paper,” Maggie says.

The Venue

The cathedral where the couple wed is just blocks from their home in the South End. “Blake and I went for a walk one day and walked by it and thought maybe we should go in and take a peek at it,” Maggie notes. “It felt very European and regal. We didn’t really need anything to make it as spectacular as it was.”

The Flowers

“I didn’t want the bouquets to be super-loud,” Maggie says of her and her bridesmaids’ flowers, which Jimmy Guzman of JNG Event Consulting designed with wildflowers, baby’s breath, and wild roses. “I wanted the cathedral to be the statement.”

The Cake

Accented with touches of baby’s breath, the couple’s cake from Silver Whisk Bake Shop featured a raspberry filling that reminded the bride of a cake her family always ordered for celebrations when she was growing up.

The Grand Entrance

It was important to Maggie that she get into her wedding dress at her childhood home in Brookline. Afterward, the bridesmaids took a trolley to the cathedral while Maggie and her father, a lover of antique automobiles, made a grand entrance in a vintage white Bentley from the 1950s.

Photo by Eva Alexandra Photography

The File

The Vine Shakers

Bride’s Dress
Carolina Herrera, L’élite Bridal Boutique

Bride’s Earrings
Sophie Bille Brahe

Bride’s Shoes
Marion Parke

Bridesmaid Dresses
Sara Campbell x Willard Road

Silver Whisk Bake Shop

JNG Event Consulting

Groom’s Attire
Ralph Lauren

Inviting Company

Peak Event Services

Sperry Tents


Wedding Coordination
Holly Safford, the Catered Af

First published in the print edition of the August 2023 issue with the headline, “Home Is Where the Heart Is.”

Eva Alexandra Photography

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