A second-generation Vineyard wedding
Everything came full circle for Tiffin Pastor and Michael Eisenberg when they were married in September by Bob Nye, the same man who had introduced them in 2005. In keeping with the symmetry of the occasion, the New York couple’s Vineyard wedding also came thirty years after Tiffin’s parents were married here.
Tiffin, who has spent a lifetime of summers at her family home in Edgartown, introduced Mike to the Vineyard in the summer of 2005. He adapted to his role as seasonal Islander gracefully, even choosing a starlit south-shore beach as the backdrop for his nautical proposal – he inscribed the inside of a clamshell with the words “Will you marry me?” before presenting it to Tiffin.
If there was one thing the couple was sure of, it was that they wanted to be married on the Vineyard. Coming up with the details took a bit more effort.
“I didn’t want a wedding that was just on the Vineyard,” says Tiffin. “I wanted a wedding that was everything I loved about the Vineyard.” And she didn’t stop there. She had to make sure her friends and family experienced all the Island had to offer as well.
The result was a three-day affair that served up a hearty dose of Island life, beginning with a beach bonfire Friday night in Edgartown to toast up s’mores and toast to the happy couple – and a fireworks display that was a surprise arranged by the groom. The following morning, the entire wedding crowd piled into the basement of the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown for breakfast. Guests, who sat at tables decorated with fresh flowers from the garden at Tiffin’s family home, indulged in banana and zucchini breads from Edgartown’s Morning Glory Farm and could perk up with coffee from nearby Espresso Love. That night everyone was invited to join the bride and groom for a nightcap when they took the party out on the town at Nancy’s in Oak Bluffs.
And then, the big day. In a departure from her parents’ ceremony on the cliffs overlooking Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark, Tiffin and Mike opted for the rolling hills overlooking Bliss Pond across town, on the grounds of the Captain R. Flanders House. “I wanted something that very much looked like the Vineyard, that had a Vineyard feel,” says Tiffin.
Keeping the affair as personal as possible, Mike and Tiffin took advantage of a Massachusetts practice that grants a person the authority to perform a marriage on a single day. Bob Nye, who Tiffin says knew from the start that she and Mike would be happy together, married them in a ceremony written by the bride.
“I knew I wanted a small country wedding with a vintage feel,” says Tiffin. She worked with floral designer Lynda Dandeneau to come up with a modest yet striking display of flowers – to complement the natural beauty surrounding the event. At the reception, in casual country style, mason jars took the place of vases, upon arrival guests were offered lemonade and iced tea, and the drink menu was scribbled on a chalkboard perched against the bar.
To sooth blistered feet and encourage dancing, the couple packed galvanized buckets with an assortment of flip-flops that were free for the taking. An oyster shucker supplied by caterer Truly Scrumptious satisfied hungry guests with traditional Island fare, while everyone sipped Georgia peach cocktails evocative of Tiffin’s native Atlanta.
The newlyweds and their wedding guests made a grand exit from the tent flanked by wait staff holding sparklers. The Island musical darlings of the Mike Benjamin Band continued to provide the sound track, as Mike and Tiffin paused for one last wedding dance before their car whisked them away. “It was a beautiful setting,” says the bride. “To me, it was Martha’s Vineyard.”
[Originally published in the 2010 issue of Martha's Vineyard Magazine's Island Weddings; reviewed for updates in 2012.]