Jessica & Jonathan

Ceremony + Reception: Allen Farm

Blessed with perfect October weather, Jessica Redner and Jonathan Manela’s wedding day turned out to be the quintessential Vineyard celebration. “We woke up on Saturday morning to one of the most gorgeous days I’ve ever seen on the Island – bright blue skies, no wind, about seventy-three degrees,” says Jessica, who grew up summering here and now lives in New York City.

She and Jonathan started dating four years ago, and he’s come to love the Island during that time together. And since Jessica’s father, Tomas, moved here eight years ago, they have a welcoming place to stay any time of year.

For their wedding and reception, the couple chose the Allen Farm in Chilmark with its incredible natural beauty and views of Chilmark Pond and the Atlantic Ocean. Memories of Jessica’s late mother influenced their choice of venue. “The Allen Farm overlooks Lucy Vincent Beach, which we spent every summer playing on with my mom,” Jessica says, noting the emotions linked to that location. “I will never forget the walk with my father down to the ceremony; it was amazing having that kind of time with him and being able to soak it in, see everyone, and just talk and laugh with my dad. The ceremony was so special and felt so intimate.”
The couple also found other ways to include members of their family who weren’t able to be there. The chuppah under which they exchanged vows, symbolizing the life they are building together, was crafted of birch branches that were covered with Jewish prayer shawls that belonged to Jessica’s mother and Jonathan’s uncles and grandfather.

After the ceremony, the couple posed for pictures on a dock at Chilmark Pond, and Jonathan was inspired to carry Jessica off for an impromptu canoe ride.
Back up the hill, their guests were ready to celebrate. Jessica had worked closely with Krishana Collins of Bluebird Farm in West Tisbury to pick the flowers and design the tables with a rustic farm elegance, using burlap tablecloths, white china, and burgundy silk napkins. Wine was a theme in their wedding, with place cards embedded in a tray of corks, the tables named after different types of wine, and a wine crate filled with flip-flops for guests to swap for their high heels. “Jonathan and I have traveled to vineyards and wineries and both love learning about and drinking different types of wine,” she explains.

The reception’s regionally sourced menu by Jan Buhrman of Kitchen Porch included Island shellfish, New England–raised beef, and risotto and ravioli made with Island-grown vegetables. When their band, the Sultans of Swing, stopped playing, the couple plugged in an iPod and continued the party, serving up a late-night snack of mini grilled cheeses, fries, and sliders.

“The energy throughout the weekend was filled with love, laughter, celebration, magic, and support,” Jessica says. “Family and friends are really important to us and our hope with having the wedding on the Vineyard was that the people closest to us would get to know the Island we love, and each other.”

Jessica and Jonathan knew one day just wouldn’t be enough time to show their family and friends all the Vineyard has to offer. So they planned their wedding celebration with four days of fun and festivity, with the help of Island wedding planner Patrie Grace.

To give their guests a sense of the Island’s diversity, they selected venues in different towns, from rural Lambert’s Cove Road to classic Edgartown to quaint Menemsha. Their family and friends responded to the multiple events with a multitude of toasts to the couple – a perfect complement to the wine theme that continued at the wedding reception.

“The toasts were a really big part of our wedding weekend, and we felt so lucky to have many wonderful people in our lives who wanted to share stories about us and toast to our marriage,” Jessica says.

The couple kicked things off Wednesday evening when Jessica’s father hosted a small dinner for the couple’s families and a few close friends at his Vineyard Haven home. Jessica says, “It was absolutely magical and filled with warmth, delicious food, excitement, and beautiful flowers,” which she helped pick the day before at Bluebird Farm.

The following night Jessica, Jonathan, and about seventy-five guests descended on Edgartown’s Atria for dinner and drinks, followed by dancing to the Island’s popular blues band Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish.

Lobsters at the Home Port Restaurant in Menemsha headlined night number three for 130 guests. After dinner the party headed over to the Beach Plum Inn, where many of their guests were staying, along with the nearby Menemsha Inn. Crowded around a fire pit where a big bonfire was blazing and a friend was playing guitar, people roasted marshmallows. Jessica says, “It really felt like our own private camp for the weekend, with every room booked with our guests.”


Wedding Planner: Patrie Grace of With Grace
Photographer: Jim Webber + Avery McCarthy
Rehearsal Dinner: Home Port Restaurant
Welcome Dinner: Atria
Reception Caterer: Kitchen Porch 
Cake: Cakes by Liz 
Flowers: Bluebird Farm
Musicians: Joanne Cassidy + Sultans of Swing + Jeremy Berlin + Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish
Rentals: Big Sky Tent and Party Rentals 
Hair: Pure Touch Salon 
Makeup: Revive by Sarka 
Spa Services: Panache Salon