Meet Our Cover Stars: Kate & Connor

Kate and Connor's homespun elopement on the cliffs in Chilmark.

What does a safe wedding look like in the age of Covid-19? For Kate Stewart and Connor Johnson, it looked like a homespun elopement on the cliffs in Chilmark.

Kate and Connor had planned to have a New Year’s Eve wedding on the California coast. But when the pandemic hit and they found themselves quarantined on the Island for the summer, they thought: “Why wait?”

The couple had no major cancellations to navigate and hadn’t yet sent out save the dates. They could still have their beachside wedding, 3,500 miles away and five months early. They brought their new plan together in just five days.

Their first stop was the Edgartown courthouse, where they got an expedited marriage license. Rings came from CB Stark Jewelers and Kate found one of the only white dresses for sale on Martha’s Vineyard at the Edgartown boutique Nell.

Connor’s lifelong connection to the Island that he grew up on made everything possible. “I don’t want to make it sound so easy, but everything just fell into place,” he said. They stopped by Morrice Florist, a Vineyard Haven business Connor’s family used to run, where they found rentals on short notice. Vineyard friends helped build the arbor and offered the flowers growing in their gardens.

While there would be no first look, no formal rehearsal, and no big wedding party, there were a couple nonnegotiables: oysters and champagne. “A requirement no matter where we got married,” said Kate. 

Day of was a carry-in, carry-out barefoot affair held on the grounds of a private home overlooking the cliffs of Lucy Vincent Beach. In every moment, Kate and Connor were together. Starting at 7 a.m. they laughed with each other in the kitchen, making the lobster rolls they’d later serve.

During the ceremony the couple walked down the aisle hand in hand, which may have been Kate’s favorite part of the day. “We came out of changing rooms and were like, ‘Hey, you. Ready to go get married? Let’s go get married,’” she said. 

While only their quarantine “pod” could attend in person, loved ones off-Island were able to watch the ceremony via video chat. After the vows, Kate and Connor brought out the cheese plates themselves – a DIY experience from start to finish. They wouldn’t have had it any other way. 

“It was better than I could have planned it, better than I could have come up with, better than I could have envisioned,” said Kate.


Wedding Date: July 25, 2020
Ceremony + Reception: Private Home
Photographer: Arletta Charter
Caterer: Friends and family with selections from Katama Bay oyster farms + The Grey Barn and Farm
Dessert: Pie Chicks
Flowers: Cub Luckey + Morrice Florist
Party Supplies: Morrice Florist
Wedding Attire + Jewelry: CB Stark Jewelers + Nell + Francois’ Fine Tailoring
Arbor: Daron Stobie
Their Best Advice: “Follow your gut and lean into the uniqueness of it all. The Vineyard is a special place, so have fun with it!”