If you live in Hawaii, where do you go for a destination wedding? Connecticut, of course!
Bailey and Dan reside in one of the more beautiful places on earth. However, when it came to planning their day, the east coast was where it was at. Part of it had to do with the distance friends and family would have to travel. The other reason? The other reason? Shares Bailey, “I always pictured myself having a classic New England wedding. I wanted the wine, the Italian food, the big gowns, black-tie attire. As much as I love beachy tropical weddings, it wasn’t for us. We chose our venue, Branford House, because it felt unique but timeless and held a lot of history. We liked that it gave a ‘castle’ feel while being small enough to fit our smaller guest list.”
At the outset of her wedding dress search, Bailey was not quite as sure about what she wanted to wear. “Admittedly, I was not one of those girls who knew what kind of dress I wanted. I was open to any fabrics, shapes, etc. With that being said, I had words in my head that would describe the feeling I wanted my gown to embody… timeless, classic, a bit unique, and vogue. I knew that when I put “the dress” on, I would KNOW.” When she slipped on Tamsyn, it felt 100% right.
More about Bailey and Dan’s classic New England wedding day—and their magical engagement on a catamaran in Hawaii—from our lovely bride below!
How did you two get engaged?
“While my mom was visiting us in Hawaii, Dan planned a surprise day for us. He took us to lunch then on a catamaran boat ride. These boat rides are usually shared between a large group of people, so I was surprised (and feeling lucky!) when it was just us three (mom, Dan, myself) and one other woman. As we were sailing around Hawaii, the other woman on the boat said it would be a great photo and asked if she could take our picture. Little did I know, the woman was playing a great ‘actress’ and was actually a photographer Dan paid to capture our engagement! He proposed right then, with the Hawaiian sun shining, sea turtles swimming around, and Diamond Head in the background. It was truly so beautiful and I was totally surprised! It was so special to me that he made sure my mom was there, too. “
Are there any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?
“My grandmother and grandma were both huge influences in my life. They taught me so much about life and love and family. Since I was a little girl, I loved spending time with both of them whenever I could. They both passed away a couple of years before Dan and I started dating. I know they would have loved him! I think of them daily and not including them in my wedding wouldn’t have felt right. My florist attached a small picture of each of them in a little charm to my bridal bouquet. I had the photos facing inward towards me…no one knew the photos were there but I knew. As I walked down the aisle holding my bouquet, I could feel that they were with me.”
Tell us about your outfits! How did you choose your gown?
“Admittedly, I was not one of those girls who knew what kind of dress I wanted. I was open to any fabrics, shapes, etc. With that being said, I had words in my head that would describe the feeling I wanted my gown to embody…timeless, classic, a bit unique, and vogue. I knew that when I put “the dress” on, I would KNOW. The gown I chose was the first gown I put on at The Wedding Dress in Portland, Connecticut. My sister, mom, and I all looked at each other with a “this will be a hard to beat” look. I tried on a handful of other dresses by other designers, and nothing came close. The gown by Lea-Ann Belter was made with such high-quality fabrics, and it showed both in feel and fit. We quickly ruled out any other gown and decided the Lea-Ann Belter gown was the one right on the spot.
For Dan’s outfit, we kept it very classic with a black tux and gold jewelry (ring, watch, cuff links).”
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
“Although we live on a beautiful tropical island, we chose Connecticut for two reasons. First, it was easier for our family and friends. The flight to Hawaii is 11 hours from most of their locations. We had a small, 65-person wedding. Each person invited was so special to us, so making sure they were able to come was important. Second, I always pictured myself having a classic New England wedding. I wanted the wine, the Italian food, the big gowns, black-tie attire. As much as I love beachy tropical weddings, it wasn’t for us. We chose our venue, Branford House, because it felt unique but timeless and held a lot of history. We liked that it gave a ‘castle’ feel while being small enough to fit our smaller guest list.”
What part of your wedding day was most important to you?
“The most important part of my wedding day was celebrating Dan and I’s love and union with our closest group of people. Every decision we made for the wedding was with this in mind. If I took away all of the bells and whistles, our wedding day would have still been perfect because I married the love of my life surrounded by our favorite people.”
Do you have any tips for couples getting married?
“Think deeply about what is most important to you and your soon-to-be spouse on that day. What do you value most about that day? For us, we placed utmost importance on having our most important people there with us. That meant that we find a venue that catered to and fit well with our small guest list of 65 people. I felt calm and relaxed the entire night because we stayed true to what we valued and it paid off.”
Bailey + Dan’s New England Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Tamsyn via The Wedding Dress | photographer: Daphne & Dean | wedding planning + coordination: One For The Books Events | venue: Branford House | hair: Jenna Gianni | makeup: Gina Marie Dineen | catering: David Alan Hospitality | florals: Muse Art Co. | DJ: Billy Jones Entertainment