Kristen Leigh Conklin


Jessie & Mike

Ceremony + Reception: Private Farm

Jessie Kanozak and Mike Holtham share a love of the sea and the snowy slopes. Both skied competitively in high school. Despite racing past each other on the slopes many times, they didn’t officially meet until they were freshmen in college and working at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine, Jessie’s home state. (She taught ski lessons and Mike drove a snowmobile.) “But we had our eye on each other from the beginning,” says Jessie. Now they live on Martha’s Vineyard with their daughter, Jolene. A born-and-raised Islander, Mike is the seafood coordinator for Menemsha Fish House, a service that delivers fresh catches from Island fishermen to restaurateurs. Jessie has a degree in shellfish aquaculture and, a self-proclaimed shellfish nerd, shares Mike’s passion for fish and for the Island. She calls it a “tropical Maine,” and gladly traded in her skis for a surfboard.

In the spirit of going with the flow, the celebration was non-traditional, creative, and most important – a killer party. “All you need is love. And your best friends,” Jessie says. And for that killer party, “a great live band, yummy food, and friendly bartenders.” Friends and family brought potluck side dishes, table names were written on conch shells, and Offshore beer flowed from kegs with rifle-barrel tap handles.

As for a theme, that came naturally. “It’s all around us, in the Vineyard landscape – our backyard,” says Jessie. The flower bouquets were fashioned with yellowed dictionary pages and old sheet music rolled into roses, and the groomsmen boutonnieres were accented with foraged quail feathers and rosemary from the couple’s garden. They made scallop-shell ornaments to give as favors, and gifted the bridesmaids with wampum necklaces and the groomsmen with bone-handle shucking knives. The first dance was to “Sleepwalk” by Santo & Johnny, a fitting tribute that Jessie describes as “an emotional two-point-five minutes of surfer-style slide guitar.” Thankfully, the band nailed it. Especially, Jessie adds, since “we never actually practiced dancing to it.”


Photographer: Kristen Leigh Conklin
Caterer: Local Smoke MV
Libations: Offshore Ale Company  
Bridal Party Gifts: Slight Indulgence   
Hair: Lizzy Kent Hair
Band: Mike Benjamin Music  
Rentals: Big Sky Tent and Party Rentals