In love, in fashion
When Meaghan Orcutt and Nico Esposito met at a Miami bar during her vacation and his two-day business trip in March 2004, she never expected to quit graduate school in North Carolina and move to New York City to be with him by that fall. She also never expected him to propose one rainy morning two years later on the ferry Islander.
But propose he did, and of course, she accepted. With Meaghan’s family connections to the Vineyard, the Island was the ideal location for their nuptials, so she spent the next year and a half planning the biggest party of her life.
Little did she know that the combination of meeting Nico and planning a Vineyard wedding would lead to a new business venture: co-owner of an Edgartown bridal salon (which has since closed).
For her big day, Meaghan chose a haute couture Carolina Herrera gown, but it wasn’t a simple purchase. She went to eight or nine salons in the New York area, excited about this stage of life. “It’s not even a purchase. It’s an experience,” she says, or should be, but her excitement “was not reciprocated” by staff who just wanted to sell her a gown.
Meaghan grew up in Marshfield, but now her parents, Greg and Mary Orcutt, live year-round on the Vineyard, where her father was born and where she has longtime family connections to some businesses in the world of weddings. She clearly preferred the service on-Island.
About a month before the wedding, her photographer Lisa Pyden shared that she was planning to open Tulle, a bridal salon in Edgartown. Nico, an investment banker who grew up in Brooklyn and had fallen in love with the Vineyard as a peaceful escape, was impressed with the business opportunity. Meaghan, who has a background in retail, was enthralled with the idea of improving the wedding salon experience. But at that point she couldn’t think beyond the wedding day.
It wasn’t until the week of the wedding that an on-Island salon made a lot more sense. With her experience photographing weddings, Lisa had seen a number of brides need last-minute items or assistance, but Meaghan’s story is the epitome of them all: When Meaghan tried on her gown just nights before the wedding, it didn’t fit. After her final fitting a week earlier, it had been taken in too much – even for tiny Meaghan. She feared she would have to go off-Island to get it fixed. Or if there wasn’t enough fabric to let it out, she would have to buy a new gown altogether.
Meaghan called her partner in planning, Lynn Buckmaster-Irwin of Weddings on the Vineyard in Vineyard Haven, who had been a calming force while making sure Meaghan met decision deadlines. Again, Lynn was calm, telling her whom to call, and seamstress Eleanor Corfield came to the rescue.
Meaghan had almost a year and half to plan her wedding, and she figured that was plenty of time to make everything go smoothly. But you can’t plan for everything – such as being fifteen minutes late to the church because the Rolls Royce was diverted when the Lagoon drawbridge was up. With all the support around her, Meaghan didn’t let anything ruin her wedding day, and she says a number of people even told her, “Wow, you’re the most calm bride I’ve ever met.”
More than one hundred friends and family joined Meaghan and Nico that September weekend; some even came from Italy, where Nico’s parents were born. The celebration began at the Orcutts’ West Tisbury home for a rehearsal dinner barbecue. The next day, the ceremony brought the masses to Edgartown’s St. Elizabeth’s. Afterward, guests headed to The Inn at Blueberry Hill in Chilmark for the reception, while the wedding party made some photo op stops, including The Newes from America pub in Edgartown where they fueled up on French fries and gin and tonics.
After dinner, everyone danced to the music of the Island band The StingRays. The party continued later in one of the suites, and once the munchies hit, a friend was on the phone ordering food for delivery.
As any seasoned Vineyarder or visitor knows, there’s an unfortunate lack of food delivery here. But the foresight of the couple’s transportation coordinator (Joanna Fairchild of Vineyard Coach and Concierge) meant there was a van outside to shuttle those who shouldn’t be driving in the wee hours. The driver was called into service to pick up fajitas and tacos from Sharky’s Cantina, about a half-hour drive away in Oak Bluffs. Meaghan describes the late-night feast as one of the highlights of the day – despite the taco grease she got on her gown. “It’s a battle scar,” she says.
After the wedding, Meaghan experienced a letdown that isn’t uncommon for brides – especially since most of her time had been spent on wedding planning. “That was what really brought me joy,” she says. However, by October, any letdown was gone when she finalized her business partnership with Lisa to open Tulle.
[Originally published in the 2008 issue of Martha's Vineyard Magazine's Island Weddings; reviewed for updates in 2012.]