David Welch


Rob & Ashley

It didn’t take much for Rob Mitchell to convince his fiancée, Ashley Norman, to marry on the Vineyard last June. Rob is a Quincy native and the couple had come here for vacations from their home in Manhattan.

“We met in 1993 at Columbia University, where we were both members of the same student organization, the [literary and debate club] Philolexian Society, so we’ve known one another for our whole adult lives,” Ashley says. “Dozens of Philolexians in fact attended our wedding.”

Some of Ashley and Rob’s ninety guests stayed at Vineyard Haven’s Mansion House, also the site of the rehearsal dinner, but most were at the nearby Vineyard Harbor Motel. “Our wedding guests pretty much took over the motel – it was so great hanging out on the private beach and reconnecting during the weekend’s down time,” she says. Guest gift bags included three-day bus passes and maps for walking tours of Edgartown and Oak Bluffs, as well as invitations for a trip to Aquinnah and a Sunday brunch at the Home Port in Menemsha.

One of the bridesmaids whose parents own a house on the Vineyard recommended Sailing Camp Park in Oak Bluffs for the reception. “We liked how it combined elements both ocean and country and how it felt so laid back,” says Ashley. “And the price was right; we didn’t have to go with a specific party rental place or caterer or florist. This made for some extra legwork, but ultimately yielded cost savings. Dee Smith at Tea Lane Caterers was really helpful in offering lower-cost substitutions for expensive ingredients.”

Guests entertained themselves with games of badminton, bocce, and croquet. “It’s a time-honored tradition of the Philolexians,” Ashley explains. “On warm evenings after debate ended, members would typically procure drinks and look around campus for a grassy spot to play croquet.” Come evening, Ashley and Rob made their getaway on a moped that Rob had rented on a lark that morning.

“We moved to the motel for our honeymoon and enjoyed a room on the water. Half our meals were takeout from the awesome Net Result fish market or the ArtCliff Diner across the street,” Ashley says. There were also dinners at Le Grenier in Vineyard Haven, a ghost tour, and trips to Chappaquiddick and Long Point Beach in West Tisbury. “We were able to afford a destination wedding through very careful budgeting and with help from friends and family.”



Photographer: David Welch
Caterer: Tea Lane Catering
Cake: Cakes by Liz
Flowers: Cottage Garden
Rentals: Tilton Tents and Party Rentals
Spa Services: Mansion House