Braden & Oliver

Braden and Oli had a wedding with a lush, relaxed, wild, and warm feeling up-Island.

When Braden Lake and Oliver Riddle were planning their flowers for their June wedding at the Allen Farm in Chilmark, Braden said they were looking for a “lush, relaxed, wild, and warm” feeling. They achieved this attitude with their flowers, and they achieved it with the rest of their wedding too.

The couple was especially interested in a relaxed wedding to serve as a counterpoint to their otherwise busy lives. They met at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. The Vineyard has served as Braden’s summer oasis throughout her life.

She brought Oli out to experience this respite the first year they began dating. Oli, who’s from England and had never heard of Martha’s Vineyard, fell in love with the place. Within a few weeks of their engagement, they had booked a date for their up-Island wedding.

The day before the wedding, they invited their friends and family to Braden’s parent’s house in Aquinnah for a welcome dinner. Then, on the day of the wedding, the couple walked down two aisles, bride and groom meeting at the center of a nearly in-the-round outdoor ceremony. “It demonstrated that we’re equal partners,” Braden said. “We were both walking into this together.”

A friend officiated the ceremony, which included a meditation and an English hymn that Oli grew up singing. “None of the Americans knew the tune,” Braden said. But it was the thought that counted. “Bringing our friends and family out of their regular lives and to the Island made it feel extra special,” Braden said. “It gave us space to really be present in those moments of meaning.”

Heartfelt toasts followed and Braden was hit hard. “I inherited my dad’s penchant to cry at the drop of a hat,” she said. The Allen Farm’s sheep brought that wild feeling they were after, and the band did too. One of Oli’s favorite moments was when the crowd was swept up by a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark.” “Everyone went a little crazy,” he said.

Both Oli and Braden effusively praised the tremendous help from Braden’s mother in the planning process. It was especially necessary, since the couple moved to London immediately after the wedding. “Having all of our closest people in one place to celebrate just before we made this big life transition made it all the more joyful,” Braden said.


Wedding Date: June 15, 2019
Photographer: Randi Baird
Ceremony + Reception: The Allen Farm Sheep and Wool Company
Wedding Planner: With Grace
Caterer: Annie Foley Catering and Party Planning
Dessert: Sundae bar
Music: The Sultans
Flowers: Tea Lane Farm
Tent + Party Supplies: Big Sky Tent and Party Rentals
Stationery: CW Designs (The Map Chick)
Wedding Attire + Jewelry: Faris + Lelet NY + Lihi Hod + Vintage Valentino
Welcome Dinner Caterer: The Kitchen Porch
Honeymoon: South Africa + Mozambique
Their Best Advice: Make your wedding a reflection of yourselves. Neither Braden nor Oli were particularly attached to the classic traditions of a wedding but wanted an opportunity to articulate the meaning of their commitment and celebrate with friends and family. “Our close friends all gave some speeches, extended family offered sage advice, close friends led meditations, parents and siblings toasted us, and revellers couldn’t wait to hoist us on their shoulders to the tunes of Bruce Springsteen.”