Joe Mikos


Carly & Erik

Ceremony: Private Home
Reception: The Field Club

Carly O’Connell and Erik Abrahamson took the phrase “be our guest” to a whole new level during their wedding weekend last September. Despite predictions of potential havoc by incoming Hurricane Earl, it only became one more opportunity to embrace their friends and family. The couple’s caring creativity went well beyond putting together welcome tote bags with personalized treats and Island guides, and they are quick to credit Island wedding planner Lynn Buckmaster-Irwin with helping them manage the largest and teeniest of details.

Although the Colorado couple was disappointed about moving up the
rehearsal dinner at Atria in Edgartown to Thursday due to the expected storm, they remained upbeat. Carly reflects, “You have to go with the flow, and just remember that it’s the beginning of a great life together. Plus, they say a little rain is good luck.” Erik created a last-minute wedding hot line to communicate with guests who were traveling from all over the country. His recorded cell phone message reassured them: “The clambake is on!”

Carly’s parents’ summer home by Trapp’s Pond in Edgartown provided a relaxed setting for a pre-wedding clambake on Saturday. Guests enjoyed each other’s company and lobster with all the fixin’s. They played beanbag toss with boxes custom-painted to reflect the couple’s alumni allegiances, hers to Dartmouth and his to University of Wisconsin–Madison (prizes included cheesehead hats). Winners and losers alike enjoyed the beach-themed dark chocolate lollipops handcrafted by Enchanted Chocolates at New Moon Magick in Oak Bluffs.

Sunday afternoon was clear and sunny for the wedding ceremony at a friend’s property on Tower Hill overlooking Edgartown harbor. A string quartet performed a mix of musical genres from Bach to the Beatles, and Carly credits Donaroma’s for creating a simple but beautiful garden-like atmosphere using arrangements and an arch of vibrant hydrangeas. The wedding party’s attire complemented the seaside venue, with the bridesmaids in hydrangea blue J. Crew dresses, and the groom and groomsmen in pink Vineyard Vines ties decorated with blue starfish – matching a recurring star and starfish theme.

Following the nuptials, the couple boarded a stylish Chris-Craft boat and cruised to their reception at the Field Club in Katama. Hurricane Earl inspired a last-minute addition to the bar menu: the Dark and Stormy, a classic ginger-beer-and-dark-rum concoction. The 230 guests were invited to write personal messages with prompts such as “wishing you...” and “happiness is...” on cards personalized with the starfish motif. The couple anticipates reading these cards, mounted later in a keepsake book, on their first anniversary.

Tasty highlights included seafood-inspired items such as “tuna spoon” hors d’oeuvres and a sushi and raw bar; the menu also incorporated the happy couple’s ethnic cuisines with an Italian station (Carly) and a sausage and cheese table (Erik). Table names were inspired by places the couple has lived or traveled. After the cutting of two cakes, red velvet and carrot, guests could swap their heels for flip-flops provided by the couple and head for the dance floor.

While Carly, her mother, Gloria, and Lynn handled most of the wedding plans, Erik was in charge of entertainment. He chose one of the Island’s legendary dance bands, the Sultans of Swing, and the San Francisco–based 1980s review band Wonder Bread 5. “It was like a surprise rock concert in the middle of a great wedding,” said Erik’s best man.

Guests could lounge on the plush sofas just outside the tent or visit photographer Joe Mikos’s photo booth couch. As guests drifted toward the exit, they were handed a box of Chilmark Chocolates with the sentiment, “Sweet way to end the evening.” They also received bracelets that would gain them admission to the “happily-ever-after party” at the Boathouse in downtown Edgartown.

What more could a guest ask for? A Sunday morning brunch at the Harbor View Hotel, where Carly and Erik were eager to thank their guests individually. Before heading off on their honeymoon in November – a two-week safari in Tanzania – Carly says, “I am so happy everyone could come. I wouldn’t change a thing.”


Wedding Planner: Weddings on the Vineyard 
Photographer: Joe Mikos
After-Party: The Boathouse 
Rehearsal Dinner: Atria
Brunch: Harbor View Hotel 
Celebrant: Rev. Patricia Newell Bennett 
Clambake Caterer: V. Jaime Hamlin and Sons
Clambake Beverages: Your Market  
Cake: Cakes by Liz 
Flowers: Flowers by Donaroma’s + Flowers on the Vineyard by Louise Sweet  Musicians: Susan and Stephen McGhee + Sultans of Swing + Eric Johnson 
Audio: Protekmv + Steven L. McCullough
Rentals: Big Sky Tent and Party Rentals + Classy Comforts
Transportation: Vineyard Limousine + Island Transport + Martha’s Vineyard Transport 
Hair + Makeup: Bouclé Salon & Spa
Spa Services: The Field Club 
Welcome Bags: Black Dog granola bar + customized Chilmark Spring Water + Murdick’s Fudge + Vineyard Gazette
Welcome Bag Delivery: Vineyard Coach & Concierge 
Clambake Favor: Enchanted Chocolates
Groomsmen Gifts: Vineyard Vines ties 
Invitations + Printed Materials: Elizabeth Whelan Illustrator