Meet Our Cover Stars: Irene & Emma

Is there a limit to how many flowers a wedding should have? For Irene and Emma, the answer was no.

How do you plan the perfect wedding for an extrovert marrying an introvert? While Emma MacDonald loves to go out and Irene O’Brien prefers to curl up with a book, their bond was built on shared values. They both believe in always showing up for the ones you love, the power of dance, and that the right number of flowers is infinite. Their wedding needed to be as balanced as they are.

They chose the Allen Farm in Chilmark, not far from Emma’s parents’ home, which had the added bonus of sleeping twenty-six people on site. They discussed décor: an understated celebration filled with greenery and dotted with white flowers. They assembled welcome bags featuring their favorite retailers. They ordered custom jackets. They ordered more flowers. And then ordered more and more.

“We couldn’t help ourselves,” Irene laughed. In the end a friend called their wedding “millennial rococo,” and one guest was breaking out the Benadryl to combat the pollen.

For most of the wedding, Emma and Irene –  both New York music industry professionals – used on-Island talent. (Having a Vineyard-based planner was extremely helpful, Irene said.) But for the music, they sourced from their shared past.

Shortly after they started dating, Emma and Irene went to the concert of a band neither of them really knew, Jukebox the Ghost. “We danced so much and became converts,” Emma said. So much so that when it came time to select their wedding music, they waved aside recommendations for more familiar bands and chose Jukebox the Ghost.

It’s moments like that where you should buck tradition, the couple agreed. “Some things, stick to your guns on,” Emma advised. “The little details that will matter to you.”

Keeping the party going past the 10 p.m. music curfew also mattered. When the curfew hit, the silent disco started. As Florence + the Machine’s “Dog Days Are Over” played, the party spontaneously ran down to the ceremony site and danced barefoot under the stars. The couple was living up to their adage: “The most important thing you can look for in a partner is someone who dances at weddings.”

The next morning, lying on the dock, Emma and Irene video-recorded themselves recounting memories from the night before on Emma’s phone. “This is a moment we’re going to share with our kids,” said Emma. “‘We wish you were here, and we’re going to tell you all about it.’”


Ceremony + Reception: The Allen Farm Sheep and Wool Company
Photographer: Elizabeth Cecil

Wedding Planner: With Grace
Videographer: I Do Films
Caterer: V. Jaime Hamlin and Sons Catering & Party Design
Cake: Nine Cakes
Flowers: Tea Lane Farm
Music: Jukebox the Ghost + SpeechLess Music + Silent Storm
Tent + Party Supplies: Big Sky Tent and Party Rentals
Transportation: Atlantic Cab
Hair + Makeup: Making You Glow
Calligraphy + Design: Maidenwood Press
Stationery: Happy Menocal
Custom Leather Jackets: Fabrics Tattoo
Photo Booth: Photo Booth Planet
Welcome Party + Brunch: The Beach Plum Inn
Accommodations: The Beach Plum Inn + Menemsha Inn & Cottages
Honeymoon: Italy + Santorini
Their Best Advice: “Choose the elements that speak most to you as a couple and hold true to them.”