Your Most Unique Hamptons Wedding
Whether you’ve dreamed of getting married your whole life or only since you finally met the partner of your dreams, this is one unusual year to plan a wedding. But despite all the departures from normal, it’s still possible to host the Hamptons wedding you’ve always wanted. Gone are the gatherings of 500+ of your closest friends and relatives – what a relief! – replaced with the absolute freedom to design and host an intimate, meaningful ceremony and reception that truly celebrates who you are as
a couple and illuminates your bright future together.
So, forget that lavish buffet that your judge-y aunt would have nitpicked. Say “buh-bye!” to pesky toddlers interrupting your adult affair with sticky fingerprints and ill-timed tantrums. Stop trying to remember your college roommate’s married name. (If you don’t know by memory, you’re not close enough to celebrate together!) Instead, lean into the unexpected and plan a wedding that brings all of your wildest dreams to life, with none of the baggage that comes from a sprawling guest list or facility large enough to hold all those people.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: PICK THE PLACE
And speaking of “facilities”: has there ever been a less romantic word? You don’t want your wedding hosted in a “facility.” You want it hosted somewhere that means something to you. Somewhere that tells the story of your love – or gives it room to keep on growing and thriving. And lucky you: there are a wealth of moving, meaningful places right here on the East End, from utterly private courtyards to sprawling ocean vistas.
If you’re lucky enough to own your own little piece of the East End, well…you’re lucky enough! And if not, there are plenty of generous homeowners eager to rent their picture-postcard beach homes for your big day. Consider a large- scale rental or bed-and-breakfast, where your guests can all stay on site, then host the ceremony on the grounds (and party all night afterwards with nowhere to drive!) Whether you choose to keep things really small with a beach shack and a few hand-picked witnesses or a bit more bold, with a select guest list and a decadent meal afterwards, nothing beats the convenience and comfort of getting married, then tucking into bed at the end of the night right on site.Pro Tip: Be sure to let the proprietors know what you have planned; they have likely hosted weddings before, and can help with everything from the choice of caterer to the ideal spot on the property for glowing evening sunlight.Host Your Wedding…On The BeachThe ocean has long been a draw for couples that are ready to tie the knot. It’s boundless and eternal, with a soothing soundtrack of waves crashing and the added bonus of a photo backdrop that money simply can’t buy. Whether the two of you are seasoned surfers, hardy sailors, or more casual visitors to the shore, choosing one of the Hamptons’ many beaches for your ceremony guarantees a cool ocean breeze in your hair and a spectacular natural setting where you’ll commit to one another. Be sure to contact the town clerk to secure a permit, and plan to party elsewhere: most beaches have a strict no-alcohol policy.
Pro Tip: Don’t sleep on the bay and sound beaches, which can be less raucous – but just as picturesque – as the Atlantic coast.
Host Your Wedding…At the Lighthouse
Since 1796, the Montauk Lighthouse has flashed forth from the East End at a rate of one burst per five seconds, visible up to 19 nautical miles away. Host your ceremony at its base, and you become a part of its rich history, taking your place among the legions of happy couples who have relied on its symbolism (strength; endurance; security) to bring added meaning to their celebrations. Call 631- 668-2544 to speak to a coordinator or to schedule photos, which are welcome by appointment only.
Pro Tip: If you’d hoped for a furry friend to participate, select another location; pets are prohibited at the site unless they are licensed service animals.
NEXT, GET ORGANIZED: ASK YOUR OFFICIANT
From “where” to “who”…? (No, we’re not talking about your partner!) When it comes to a non-traditional wedding, your options for an officiant expand considerably. By all means, if you feel close to your religion, consider asking a trusted faith leader. But outside of the church, New York State is open to a variety of options, from any governor or former governor (we stan Andrew Cuomo, but he’s probably busy at the moment) to any close friend or family member who you both feel connected to (so long as they’re willing to be ordained – a process that can typically be completed online for a nominal investment of time and money). You can secure your New York marriage license anywhere in the state, and it’s valid from 24 hours after you apply for a full 60 days.Once you have your officiant and license in place, go ahead and keep on innovating! Eschew traditional readings (you already know them by heart – looking at you, Corinthians) and make the ceremony personal by incorporating your favorite quotes, anecdotes about your life together, dreams for the future, symbols of your faith, tokens from shared travels…all of the little moments in your lives together that have led you to this place, where you will proclaim your love in front of the people who mean the most to you.
FINALLY, PLAN THE PARTY: FEED YOUR GUESTS
You did it! You “do”…! Now, it’s time to celebrate. And whatever your dream menu, the Hamptons’ famed chefs are here to make it your wedding day reality.
If You’re Going Full Gatsby: Elegant Affairs
With so many talented and accommodating chefs available, Elegant Affairs sets themselves apart by managing more than just the menu at your reception. Thinking of hiring a circus performer or two? Looking for a custom tent to protect your party from the elements and add theatrical flair to the setting? Working closely with the owners of a historic estate to celebrate while letting the setting be the star? These are your people. (And did we mention that every bite is an actual work of art?) (www.elegantaffairscaterers.com)
Perhaps your wedding was inspired by the glamour of Long Island’s famed Prohibition-era cocktail culture: voila, an antique bathtub filled with ice and individual, pre-bottled gin cocktails. (Wedding-worthy bathtub gin!) Or maybe you have your heart set on a Hamptons clambake: start with a raw bar of local clams and oysters with Wölffer Estate Vineyard rosé mignonette, followed by grilled Montauk tuna skewers, buckets of mussels, and steamed 1-lb. lobsters – then end as the sun sets with s’mores around the fifire. Art of Eating crafts custom menus to make your every culinary whim a beautiful reality. (www.hamptonsartofeating.com)