Real Weddings

A Work of Art

One Boston couple had the ultimate wedding planner for their MFA soiree: the bride’s own mother.

Photo by Leon Studios NYC

Even before Alexander Dyer proposed to her on a chairlift in Vermont, surrounded by early-fall foliage, Sarah Dale already knew what her wedding would look like—specifically, where it would be and who would plan it. The former: the Museum of Fine Arts. The latter: her mother, renowned Boston event planner Lynn Dale. “I’ve been waiting my whole career for this one moment,” says Lynn, who has more than three decades of event-planning expertise and spared no detail in the execution of her only child’s wedding. “We just needed Alexander,” laughs Sarah.

The vision was a black-tie spring evening featuring elevated hues of pinks and greens reminiscent of the Boston Public Garden in full bloom, with warm and glowing lighting, modern décor, and floral imagery in abundance. The museum was a perfect combination of historical (for Alexander, who majored in history in college) and contemporary (for Sarah, whose modern sensibilities skew toward pearls, feathers, and rhinestones—take the pearl-encrusted custom Converse she wore during the reception as one example). Guests ascended the MFA’s grand staircase to the tune of four cellists, then entered the Koch Gallery, where the couple said their vows surrounded by Old Master paintings. It would be the only wedding held at the revered neoclassical MFA in 2023. After cocktail hour in the rotunda, the party really began as guests made their way to the open Shapiro Family Courtyard, which Lynn had transformed with personalized details. “Anything can be pretty,” Lynn says. “But you want to look at a wedding and know it so clearly belongs to the couple.”

Photo by Leon Studios NYC



On the morning of their wedding, Sarah gave Alexander a signed anthology of Robert Frost poems, which included “The Master Speed,” which Frost wrote for his own daughter’s wedding. Making the gift even more meaningful is the couple’s shared condo on Beacon Hill, where Frost himself lived in the late 1930s.

Photo by Leon Studios NYC


Sarah’s accessories were all about the sentimental details. She wore her maternal grandmother’s diamond eternity band, as well as her great-grandmother’s pearl-and-diamond earrings from the early 1900s, and a pair of crystal-adorned satin Manolo’s—one sole of which was signed by her maid of honor.

Photo by Leon Studios NYC

Photo by Leon Studios NYC


Both her father and stepfather walked Sarah down the aisle in the Koch Gallery. After the officiant (Alexander’s brother-in-law) announced the couple husband and wife, musicians appeared at the back of the gallery and surprised the audience with music.

Photo by Leon Studios NYC


Interactive save-the-dates created by Saint Louis–based Cheree Berry featured a painting of the Boston Public Garden inside a gilded museum-like frame, which you could remove to reveal a painting of the MFA façade underneath. “I like to keep people guessing,” Lynn says of the fun design. “Every little detail counts.”

Photo by Leon Studios NYC

Photo by Leon Studios NYC


While florals and a palette of pinks and greens could sway into cutesy territory, planner/mother-of-the-bride Lynn kept the décor elevated and sophisticated. “We wanted a fresh, modern approach,” she says. That involved mirrored tables and menus; glass floral chargers featuring “floating” roses, dahlias, and peonies by Lola Valentina; and a 32-foot-long bar with single ranunculuses on the front.


A 16-foot-long hedge wall with a picture-frame cutout in the middle stood at the entrance to the Shapiro Family Courtyard for the reception. “As you walked in, it was like you were looking into this beautiful painting,” Lynn says.

Photo by Leon Studios NYC


Leading up to the wedding, Sarah and Alexander had been taking lessons to prepare for their first dance and had choreographed a number to “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John. But as the DJ called them onto the green checkerboard dance floor, “We decided to wing it instead!” Sarah says.

Photo by Leon Studios NYC


“We wanted the whole wedding to be fun, not serious,” Sarah says. So they enlisted Form Creative Services to build playable mini golf holes for the reception. “We were expecting tiny mini golf, but it was huge,” Sarah says with a laugh. “He had built our front door and a Vermont covered bridge [at almost full size].”

Photo by Leon Studios NYC

Photo by Leon Studios NYC

Photo by Leon Studios NYC


Bride’s and Mother-of-the-Bride’s Hair
Sal Malafronte, Salon Mario Russo

Bride’s Dress
Ines di Santo, L’élite Bridal

Bridesmaid Dresses

Sugar Flowers and Cake

Restaurant Associates

Custom Mini Golf
Form Creative Services

Event Collaborators
Janie Haas Events and Nilda Martin

Jimmy Guzman, JNG Event Consulting

Gina Fulchini

Music Management and Night Shift Entertainment

Leon Studios NYC

Lynn Dale Events

Luxe Event Rentals and
Peak Event Services

Cheree Berry Paper & Design

Willow Tree Films

Photo by Leon Studios NYC

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