Bride/Babe: Kayla O'Brien

When Kayla married her boyfriend of nine years, she took DIY to a new level and literally created her wedding venue: on a piece of open land near the beach where she and her husband got engaged, and overlooking Sesuit Harbor in East Dennis, a place that holds extra special meaning to them. This can-do approach carried into everything from her fitness routine to how she sought out her dress. This is a bride who knew what she wanted and trusted she could make it happen!

Bridal Style Someone once told me that it can be helpful to give your wedding a theme. Once you have a theme, all the pieces fall together. My theme was elegant and timeless with touches of nautical. I would describe my bridal style along the same lines, elegant and modern.

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images  

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images
 

Dress by Nicole Miller. I bought it at Head Over Heels Bridal Boutique, a beautiful and unique bridal shop on Cape Cod located in Mashpee Commons. My dress was called the “Lily Gown” and when I tried it on I found out Nicole Miller was no longer making the gown and only had a few left in stock. From the beginning, I knew I wanted something different and more unique from the more traditional styles and instantly knew when I put it on that it was the one. It was the second dress I tried on. It had all the elements I was looking for—modern, comfortable, elegant, and timeless. I can’t say enough about the wonderful staff at Head Over Heels Boutique, the dresses are absolutely beautiful, and the moment you walk in the door you feel relaxed; the staff genuinely loves their job and brides. We loved the staff at Head Over Heels so much they also planned and coordinated our wedding.

Shoes By Barefoot for the beach ceremony and Jack Rogers for the reception. I have about six pairs of Jack Rogers and knew I wanted to be comfortable in something I was familiar with.

Accessories By Only earrings—from a boutique in Brookline, MA called Avery & Co. I decided to keep the jewelry minimal since my dress had a lot of beading at the neckline.

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images

Health Secrets My husband is very athletic and goes to the gym everyday so I took his advice for toning my body and downloaded a free personal trainer app from BodyBuilding.com called “Lee Labrada’s Lean Body 12-week Daily Trainer.” It was great because I did not want to lose any weight, just do overall toning. Also, I go to the gym regularly but this forced me to change up my routine and target the areas I wanted to focus on. The App is easy to follow, has great exercises for women, and even has videos for each exercise if you aren’t familiar with weight training. About one month leading up to the wedding I cut down on my carb intake because they tend to make me feel bloated, tried to get lots of sleep, and drank a lot of water!

Beauty Secrets I stayed active, drank lots of water, and tried to get at least 9-10 hours of sleep a few days before the wedding! If you can, try to go to bed relatively early the night before the wedding. We opted to do our rehearsal dinner on Thursday night (our wedding was Saturday), which helps if you and your guests can make this work!

Hair By Melissa Young and her team from Salon Justine in Dennis, MA. They came to my parent’s house and styled my bridesmaids and Mom’s hair as well. I recommend a hair trial 1-2 months before your wedding to get some ideas. I wasn’t too picky about my hair; I knew I wanted it curled and up in a low-type of bun style. I loved how it turned out!

Makeup By My makeup was done by Maria Isernio-Trajkovski, she is a freelance makeup artist on Cape Cod. I found her on a wedding blog and loved her style. I knew I wanted a clean, fresh, and natural look. She was wonderful and I was very pleased with how it turned out. I definitely recommend a makeup trial as well.

Greatest moment of the night I would have to say walking down the aisle with my Dad and seeing my husband’s face for the first time. We didn’t do a first-look so it was a moment we had waited a very long time for (9 years!).

Wedding date September 17, 2016

Wedding Venue Our venue was far from traditional! We knew we wanted our ceremony to take place on our favorite beach on Cape Cod down the street from my parent's home where my husband proposed on July 4, 2015, but our reception venue was harder for us to choose. We wanted a Sperry Tent, to be on or near the water, and relatively close to where my parents live in Dennis, MA. We originally thought about a backyard wedding at my parent’s home but realized it logistically could not work. The beach where our ceremony was held is right along Sesuit Harbor in East Dennis, it is a beautiful spot with boats coming and going, amazing sunsets and is a very special place to my husband and me. There is a clam shack called Sesuit Harbor Café on one side of the harbor that is known for its waterfront dining and world’s famous lobster roll. Also there is a small yacht club, East Dennis Yacht Club next to Sesuit Harbor Café where we were able to take our wedding party photos. We were fortunate enough to work with Sperry Tents to build a venue in an open area next to the Café and Yacht club that overlooked the harbor. Sperry built a beautiful whitewash full floor under the tent right along the sea grass and sand. We wanted guests to be able to walk out of the tent and step onto the sand. The view was unbelievable and guests enjoyed cocktails, cigars, and sunset views. We got so lucky with the weather and never had to put the tent sides down and had our cocktail tables directly in the sand right outside the tent so guests could enjoy the view! Sesuit Harbor Café catered our wedding, complete with baked stuffed lobster and a raw bar.

Advice for brides to be  1. Come up with a theme, even if it’s only one word—I promise it will help! It’s great to tell vendors and use it as a framework for your vision; 2. Give yourself more time than you think you need, you don’t want to feel rushed! 3. For those planning a more DIY/backyard/tented wedding— although it can seem overwhelming, because you literally have to bring in everything (lighting, tables, chairs, forks/knives, bathrooms, etc) it will all come together in the end. Leave it up to the rental companies to do their job and I promise that your vision will be better than you could have imagined; 4. You can never imagine what you will feel like the morning of your wedding day, but try to take in all the small moments. I still remember sitting in my parents living room getting my makeup done and hearing chaos around me (bridesmaids getting ready, photographer and videographer arriving, flowers being delivered) and I never once felt stressed—I took a deep breathe and as cheesy at it sounds, took a mental picture of everything going on around me. 5. When the tent comes down, the lights and music turned off, the last drop of wine drunk, your hair is falling out, and your dress is covered with sand and footprints, remember what it is all about—getting married. You can get wrapped up in the showers, bachelorette parties, table cloths, décor, timeline for the day, so take even 5-10 minutes to step away from the party with your husband, take a deep breathe and soak it all in. It will be gone in a heartbeat so enjoy every moment, and don’t forget to remember the most important part—you get to marry your best friend.

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images  

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images
 

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images  

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images
 

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images  

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images
 

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images  

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images
 

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images  

Photo Credit: Lisa Elizabeth Images
 

Posted on December 8, 2016 .