Elizabeth Cecil


Audrey & Sean

Ceremony + Reception: Private Home

Audrey Tomason and Sean Ward discovered that Columbus Day weekend was perfect timing for their wedding, though it was just five months after their engagement.

Carol Tomason, the bride’s mother and an Island summer resident, partnered with Vineyard wedding planner Patrie Grace of With Grace to achieve the creative ideas of the Washington, DC–based couple, both of whom work for the federal government. Patrie says this team planned a “simply elegant” event at the Tomasons’ summer home on Edgartown Great Pond.

Being dedicated foodies, they let caterer V. Jaime Hamlin’s availability determine their wedding date. Since they chose a Sunday, many choice vendors were still available. A rich color scheme soon evolved, “reflecting the fall season, which we love so much,” explains Audrey.

Another key element was making visiting guests feel comfortable and appreciated. They set the tone with welcome bags that included granola bars made by the bride’s sister (a professional pastry chef) and an apple from Edgartown’s Morning Glory Farm, with a note encouraging guests to visit the pumpkin-laden farm stand.

Following an intimate rehearsal dinner at the new Port Hunter restaurant in Edgartown on Saturday evening, a cocktail party there served as a warm welcome for all guests.

“Everything about their weekend flowed really well,” Patrie notes. The only snafu happened thirty minutes before the ceremony, scheduled to take place in the family’s spectacularly landscaped garden: Rain!

But Audrey says, “It was fine. It made it more intimate and more of a special day.”

Remembering how Patrie set up the ceremony inside the dinner tent, Carol says, “Patrie and her staff made it look like the intention.” Half-joking, she adds that the new backdrop created a “romantic waterfall” behind the couple.

Sean remembers Audrey appearing in her strapless trumpet gown and navy sparkly peep-toe heels: “She had a huge smile and looked so happy, relaxed, and beautiful.” A close friend officiated their ceremony, in which the couple exchanged vows they had written. However, Audrey notes that as the rain became heavier, “ultimately no one heard us say them to each other besides us.”

After the ceremony, guests sipped bourbon old-fashioneds garnished with orange peel, hinting at the autumnal color scheme. Next they were ushered toward a chalkboard adorned with creamy orange place cards. Later, friends and family hung custom Mad Libs messages about future happiness on the board, which served as an alternative to a guest book, as well as a great conversation piece.

Guests dined at long tables adorned with low, vibrant centerpieces accented with chili peppers. “Everybody was talking about...the idea of putting swordfish and steak on the same plate together,” Audrey recalls. The wedding cake was also memorable, a tiered chocolate pumpkin spice cake made by Audrey’s sister.

When it was time to dance, the Sultans of Swing band lived up to its reputation. Audrey says, “I looked around at one point and no one was sitting in their seat.” The evening wound down slowly, as guests reentered the cocktail tent to lounge on couches and nibble lemon squares and warm Back Door Donuts from Oak Bluffs.

The newlyweds, whom Carol describes as “like teenagers in love,” relived memories with friends and family during brunch at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown the next day. One might say their wedding reflects the ending of the classic children’s poem about Christopher Columbus’s journey: “October [7] their dream came true. You never saw a happier crew.”


Wedding Planner: Patrie Grace of With Grace 
Photographer: Elizabeth Cecil
Rehearsal Dinner + Welcome Party: The Port Hunter
Reception Caterer: V. Jaime Hamlin and Sons Catering & Party Design
Brunch: Harbor View Hotel 
Flowers: Marlene DiStefano of Island Ambiance
Ceremony Music: Guitarist Eric Johnson
Reception Music: Sultans of Swing 
Rentals: Big Sky Tent and Party Rentals + Classy Comforts
Transportation: Martha’s Vineyard Sightseeing 
Hair + Makeup: Bouclé  
Maid of Honor Gift: Ronni Simon bracelet
Bridal Lunch: Atlantic Fish & ChopHouse 
Favors: Murdick’s Fudge + Morning Glory Farm apples 
After-Party Snack: Back Door Donuts