An island wedding for 400

January 27 • 2012

Allison and Matt's island ceremony<br><a href= target=_blank>Erin Kate Photography</a>

Plenty of couples would shake in their boots at the thought of planning a wedding for hundreds of guests. Many others would shudder just contemplating the unique challenges of an island wedding. Newlyweds Allison and Matt, however, did both.

Perhaps it’s no surprise. As we learned from their love story featured in November, Matt’s not afraid to go after what he wants. This past summer, the two lovebirds invited 400 of their friends and loved ones to their nuptials on Long Island, a special locale where Allison spent much of her childhood swimming in the surf and playing with relatives.

So how did they manage to feed and entertain 400 people on a narrow strip of land off the coast of Maine? Allison gave us the scoop on the logistics, food and decor:

The couple rented a barge to transport the following from Portland to Long Island:

  • the caterer’s van filled with catering equipment
  • a box truck filled with the tent, tables, and chairs
  • four 12-passenger rental vans to transport guests from the ferry landing to the wedding
  • brother’s pickup and sister’s van
  • 8 portapotties
  • 10 kegs
  • 10 cases of wine
  • 1,000 lbs. of ice

The caterer, Sam’s Great Northern Lobster Bakes, arranged to have all of the food delivered fresh 2 hours before the wedding via lobster boat. Sam’s served up lobster with drawn butter, steamers, sweet corn on the cob, red potato salad, and sliced watermelon.

As with the food, the décor was inspired by the ocean. Allison and her mom sister decorated hurricane candle centerpieces from sand and periwinkles they collected from the beach. They also gathered mussel shells for the place cards, which were tied together with yellow and blue ribbon.

Famously unpredictable island weather almost put a kink in their plans, so Allison and Matt got creative. With the wind threatening to blow over their arbor, the couple grabbed some lobster traps to hold it in place. Another lobster-themed touch was their “buoy toss,” a game similar to horseshoes, placed near a fire pit to entertain guests.

If a couple can pull off this kind of feat together (and still want to marry each other), they surely have a happy road ahead. Congratulations on a beautiful wedding, Allison and Matt!

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