Nyambura & Erik

Nyambura and Erik envisioned a typical Edgartown wedding – nautical in theme with touches of blue and pink – but made sure there was room for a Kenyan twist.

Nyambura Kiarie had a plan. She had moved from Kenya, completed her degree at Georgetown Law, and was going to relocate to London for a high-powered job at a corporate law firm and live there forever. Then she met Erik Monterosso, an Island-grown boy working as a geospatial analyst in D.C.

They were from different cultures, with different maps of the future, but could talk for hours and never grow bored. “Six months before I fly out, I met the perfect guy,” she said. “I was like, ‘Okay, I will go to the U.K. and find a guy exactly like Erik.’”

Nyambura went to London, but she didn’t have to find a guy like Erik. She got the real deal. The pair dated over carefully timed phone calls, synced-up movies, and visits across the pond. Some of those visits were to the Island. Erik,
a Chappaquiddick native, first introduced her to the Vineyard for Fourth of July, when Edgartown is dressed in its summer best. Two years later, he proposed to her at Wasque Beach.

Over a span of three continents and separate time zones, they coordinated their wedding using email, FaceTime, and WhatsApp. Programs were printed in Kenya and overseen by Nyambura’s brother and sister in law, who also helped her grandparents apply for their first-ever passports to attend the wedding. Flowers were grown at North Tabor Farm in Chilmark by Erik’s sister, Katherine Monterosso, who served as their planner. Nyambura’s dress was prepared in London, where she was staying up till 2 a.m. to email with vendors.

Though they envisioned a typical Edgartown wedding – nautical in theme with touches of blue and pink – they made sure there was room for a Kenyan twist, especially with the bride’s family’s colorful, bespoke African attire. Nyambura recalls with tenderness seeing her mother wrapped in a peach headdress at the wedding: “It felt like a piece of home.”

After a ceremony at St. Andrew’s church, with readings in Kikuyu and English, attendees paraded to the Chappy ferry and danced in the Chappaquiddick Community Center to Kenyan pop, ’80s jams, reggae, country music, and ate barbecue, another nod to Kenyan tradition. “It’s what Kenyans eat when they’re celebrating,” explained Nyambura.

It was an intimate affair with global appeal. After a whirlwind of planning, traveling, and marrying, Nyambura and Erik were finally, totally together – they were home.


Wedding Date: September 7, 2019
Photographer: Arletta Charter
Ceremony: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
Reception: Chappaquiddick Community Center
Wedding Planner: Katherine Monterosso
Caterer: Smoak
Cake: Sweet Bites
Music: DJ Mateus
Bouquet: Morrice Florist
Reception Flowers: North Tabor Farm
Transportation: Cottage City Cab Company + Stagecoach Taxi
Makeup: Nicoleta Trandafir
Wedding Attire: Victoria Millesime + bespoke jewelry
Accommodations: Edgartown Commons
Rehearsal Dinner: Private home
Honeymoon: Puerto Rico
Their Best Advice: “If you are planning a wedding from outside the Island, it helps to have a contact on the Vineyard to assist you as you navigate the more personal elements of planning. We had Katherine Monterosso and Pam Monterosso (Erik’s sister and mother) assist us to book transportation and bulk accommodations, as well as collaborate and meet with the local vendors so as to plan details.” Another great piece of advice? “Seek to support local independent vendors who are sole proprietors, if you have fewer guests.”