Jennifer & Dustin

Sweeping ocean views? Check. A reception site with emotional significance? Even better.

The moment Jennifer Mosely and Dustin Jackson visited the Vanderhoop Homestead in Aquinnah, they knew it was the right venue for their September wedding.

“We were like, ‘This is it,’” said Jennifer, a member of the Wampanoag tribe who grew up visiting family on the Island. Not only did the venue have the sweeping ocean view that Dustin imagined; it also held sentimental significance for Jennifer – her great-grandmother lived in the residence as a child. “All of the family ties made it just that much more special,” she said.

From there, Jennifer set a budget, chose colors, and began selecting plenty of personal details, many of which doubled as cost-saving measures. “We went with rich burgundy, grays, lace, and small touches of gold to play up the fall season and the old-world feel,” said Jennifer, who works in the buying office for Ross Stores and runs a personal assistant business specializing in events. “We wanted to let the location speak for itself in a lot of ways, so we kept flowers and décor clean and simple.”

While out kayaking on Sengekontacket Pond one day, she and Dustin, who works in software sales, collected quahaug shells, which her nephew used to carry the rings down the aisle. Skeleton key bottle openers served as place markers and favors. The wedding cake was made by Jennifer’s mother, Julia, and the couple’s friend and New York DJ 215 provided the soundtrack.

Although Jennifer said the always-packed dance floor was one of her favorite aspects of the day, the personal touches included in the ceremony also were incredibly meaningful. Her dad played Native American flute music; Dustin’s family pastor officiated the wedding; and both of their fathers read passages – her father is a deacon and his father is a pastor. At the end of the ceremony, the couple jumped over a broom to honor their African American heritage.

Planning a destination wedding can pose some difficulties, the couple acknowledged, but they were helped by Jennifer’s experience as an event planner and their day-of-coordinator, Angela Nelson, who allowed them time to relax.

“Take a few days to spend on the Island before the day of the ceremony,” Dustin advised. “Hanging out on the Island a few days before we were married grounded us to how spiritual Martha's Vineyard can be. Those extra days helped put us in a great frame of mind before the wedding.”


Date: September 17, 2016
Ceremony + Reception: The Vanderhoop Homestead
Photographer: Samantha DeCoteau for Randi Baird Photography
Wedding Planner: Girl Friyay
Day-Of Coordinator: Angela Nelson
Caterer: Kitchen Porch
Cake + Dessert: Julia Mosely + Back Door Donuts
Music: Native American flute music + DJ 215
Flowers: Morrice Florist + Fifty Flowers
Tent + Party Supplies: Big Sky Tent and Party Rentals
Transportation: ResortMan
Hair + Makeup: Maggie’s Salon
Portables: Dottie’s Potties
Guest Accommodations: Summercamp
Rehearsal Dinner: Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Co.
Honeymoon: Maui + Kauai, Hawaii

Comments (2)

Gayle Williams
Huntsville, Alabama
How Beautiful!!! Our little "Dusty" has grown into a handsome young man. I am so proud of he and lovely Jennifer.
July 18, 2017 - 11:33am
Naomi Saulsberry
Mobile Ala.
The Wedding Was Beautiful and Breathe Taking I Traveled All The Way From Mobile Ala To See My Nephew And Jen get married wouldn't Have Missed It Love You Guys.
July 21, 2017 - 4:24pm