Though Molly and Jimmy lived the ex-pat life in Abu Dhabi at the time, they decided to be married in Molly’s hometown of Quogue, New York for the wedding of their dreams. The first step was to hire celebrated event designer Tara Guérard to plan and design the tented wedding. Remembered Molly, “The planning process was more of an intuitive orchestration of a million different details than anything else. It was the craziest process. Traveling back and forth from Abu Dhabi to get the planning done made us feel as though we were trying to keep our heads above water at times, but in the end all of our hard work paid off. It was completely worth it. Tara made everything come together beautifully.”
Molly had admired the illustrator Happy Menocal and hiring her for the paper goods was one of here easiest decisions. The bride assembled a Pantone color palette which Happy used for the custom invitations and that ultimately informed the entire color scheme for the event. Happy incorporated Abu Dhabi and the Hamptons into the invitations artwork — a falcon (the symbol of the United Arab Emirates) and an eagle with the couple’s initials. Happy also painted the charming custom menu which included watercolor food illustrations and her signature calligraphy style.
On the day of the wedding, Molly slipped into her tulle Monique Lhuiller that was covered in crystals that she admired for it’s classic and “fantastical” design. A box was delivered to the dressing room with a surprise from Jimmy, a pair of Anita Ko diamond earrings, a designer that the bride had been admiring for years. A coordinating crystal dotted veil, also by Monique Lhuiller, completed the look.
The bridesmaids wore gowns in a range of colors. This is one of my favorite twists on tradition! During the planning process they were given the same Pantone chart that Molly created for Happy Menocal and asked to pick out full length gowns of their own choosing. The dresses ranged in color from blush to deep wine. The effect was truly beautiful! And each bridesmaid was comfortable in a style and color she selected.
The ceremony took place at The Church of the Atonement, designed by Sidney V. Stratton of the famous NYC architecture firm McKim, Mead and White. Its first service was held on July 13, 1884, and it has served the village of Quogue for summer worship ever since. The structure features Hamptons shingle-style architecture, including scalloped “fishtail” shingling throughout the interior and original stained glass windows by Tiffany & Co.
While planning the wedding during trips to Charleston with Tara, Molly (an architect herself) went on historic tours in Charleston, developing an interest in the city’s residential architecture. There she conceived the idea to recreate the quintessential southern “side porch” into her wedding reception design. Therefore the cocktail area of the reception tent was reimagined as the “porch” where friends and family would first gather, post ceremony. From there, guests made a linear progression through the tent to the dining area, the dessert table, and finally the bar and dance floor. This linear progression through the tent over the course of the evening orchestrated a perfect flow and created new areas to surprise and delight their guests. Sheer, white curtains separated the dining area from the dance floor. After dinner, the curtains were drawn to reveal the dance floor.
Lounge furniture was placed on both sides of the dance floor, in front of the bar areas, to encourage guests to move entirely to the dance floor area. Live plants were borrowed from a friend, the owner of Eastland Farms, to give the tent a garden feel.
Beyond the obviously spectacular design, Molly and Jimmy consider themselves “foodies” and put most of their emphasis on the food, drink and entertainment. I can attest that this was quite party — and the pictures tell the story of a very fun day.
Planning, Design & Florals: Tara Guérard
Wedding Day Jewelry: Anita Ko
Makeup: The Make-up Outlaw
Videographer: Siegel Films
Invitations and Menus: Happy Menocal Studio Programs: The Lettered Olive
Catering: Events by Peter Ambrose
Cake: Sugar Sugar Custom Cakes
Tent & Rentals: Nassau Tent
Lighting: Matt Murphy Event Lighting
Ceremony, Cocktail Dinner Music: New York Virtuosi
Reception Music: Kevin Osborne Band
Transportation: M & V Limo and All Star Limo
Venue: Church of Atonement / Private Hamptons Estate
Film Scans: Fast Foto