Josh & Kelley’s Late Summer Nut Island Mini Wedding

Kelley and Josh have known each other since preschool. They were never really friends, never talked much, but they always knew of each other and had friends in common. After college, Kelley moved to Arizona to attain a graduate degree in social work. After a decade of working and traveling, she took off for a year surfing up the pacific coast and across the country in a camper van. Josh lived out west for a year as well (though I don’t think their paths crossed then), but settled back in New England working as an artist.

When Kelley returned home for “just a month,” friends suggested that she hire Josh to help her convert a new van into a camper. According to Kelley, their first meeting felt more like a date than a business arrangement – butterflies and all! And as they continued working together on the van, they fell in love. Kelley’s “just a month” grew longer. Soon they had a house and a sweet pup. And then they were traveling together. And then he was proposing marriage on a cold, windy day on the fishing pier on Nut Island.

Kelley and Josh were married a few miles down the road from their house in a field of wheat-colored grass and wildflowers. It was just up the hill from where Josh proposed, on Nut Island in Hough’s Neck. This year’s hot summer meant not many flowers made it to September, but most of the ones that survived looked a lot like sunflowers. And sunflowers have a special meaning to Kelley and Josh. In fact, their wedding was full of so many meaningful details that make up their story. Like how Josh fabricated both of their rings. Then the rings were attached to pieces of driftwood from Kelley’s favorite beach. Kelley and her dad also drove the infamous camper van (of love) from her house to the ceremony. And there are so much more that I’m probably forgetting or may not even know…

Their immediate family gathered for the ceremony at the top of a hill overlooking the ocean with the Boston skyline just visible in the distance. A group of unexpected guests observed from a ways away, under the shade of some trees. After the ceremony, the mostly-masked surprise guests waved and held up a sign and shouted congratulations from afar as the family gathered for pictures.

After the ceremony, there was a brief interlude outside their house for drinks and mingling and a few more photos. Then the family piled into the trolley to head to a celebratory dinner on a rooftop downtown. The kids were handed off to other relatives for supervision so the party fun could continue.

In a secluded section of the restaurant near the rooftop garden, the guests mingled before Kelley and Josh entered for their (extremely impressive) first dance. Everyone sat at one long table as the food and drinks flowed and the sun began to set overhead. Toasts were toasted, bubbles were blown, and big merriment was had by this small, but mighty crew.

When I first spoke to Kelley, she told me her back-up plan and her back-up to the back up plan. (Now that’s a girl after my own heart!)

“Honestly,” she told me over the phone, “Expectations are low. If it’s a hurricane, oh well. All of this is fun and ‘extra,’ but the important part is getting married.”

And despite it all – the restrictions and the low expectations and a few misplaced place cards – there was a hell of a lot that went right! The weather was perfect, the couple was glowing, the food was delicious, everyone got where they needed to be. There were tears and laughs and surprises and love. And most importantly, Kelley and Josh got married.

Catering/Venue: Alba Restaurant | Make-Up: Laura Yaconiello | Hair: Meg Polson | Trolley: A One Chauffeur Connection

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