Beata & Harry

An up-Island wedding that was a family affair.

Searching for a reprieve from Covid led Bostonians Beata Coloyan and Harry Shipps to escape the bustle of the city for Martha’s Vineyard. “We fell in love with the Island’s people, the distinct character of its different towns, and the way it made us feel,” Beata said of those visits. So, when they got engaged in October of 2020, they knew the Island would be where they said their “I do’s.”

They kicked off their early June wedding weekend with a combined rehearsal dinner and welcome party at the Barn Bowl & Bistro in Oak Bluffs. “They gifted us a bowling pin for all of our guests to sign – coolest guestbook ever,” she said.

The wedding itself – held at the Captain R. Flanders House in Chilmark – was a family affair. The bride’s sister did the makeup, family and friends made the invitations and save the dates, and Beata wore family heirlooms from Harry’s mother. Her family has a tradition of making 1,000 paper cranes for good luck in marriage, and they hung from the tent’s roof and were displayed on tables. Their first dance was even choreographed by Beata’s brother, who is a professional dancer.

“We really wanted details and small touches that made the wedding feel unique, but also laid back and fun-loving for everyone,” Beata said.

One of those details involved their officiant. Beata is the campaign manager and political director for U.S. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who performed a ceremony full of personal details about the couple.

They also incorporated two Filipino traditions into the ceremony, as Beata is half Filipino on her father’s side. Her sister and brother in law placed a ceremonial veil across Beata and Harry’s shoulders to symbolize being clothed as one. Then friends laid a ceremonial cord across their shoulders in a figure eight to symbolize an eternal bond of fidelity.

At the reception, Buckley’s Gourmet Catering prepared a full-roasted pig, another nod to Beata’s heritage. And at the end of the night, guests enjoyed sweet treats from Back Door Donuts. Instead of a brunch after the wedding, guests were invited to join the couple at State Beach the following morning to share leftover doughnuts and partake in a beach day before leaving the Island.

A long engagement allowed for a relatively stress-free planning process. “Rely on your vendors for advice!” Beata suggested. “The Island is small and everyone knows each other, making for the best recommendations.”


Wedding Date: June 4, 2022
Ceremony + Reception: The Captain R. Flanders House
Photographer: Larisa Stinga
Wedding Planner + Day-Of Coordinator: Mattie Briggs + Martha Crockett
Flowers: Aubrey Maria Designs
Tent + Party Supplies: Tilton Tents and Party Rentals
Caterer: Buckley’s Gourmet Catering
Hair: Sea Spa Salon
Cake + Dessert: Val Cakes + Back Door Donuts
Music: DJ Smooth B
Transportation: MV Sightseeing
Photo Booth: MV PhotoBus
Libations: Jim’s Package Store + Island Source
Tech Support: Event Power MV
Portables: MV PhotoBus – Luxury Restroom Trailers
Rehearsal Dinner + Welcome Party: The Barn Bowl & Bistro
Accommodations: The Captain R. Flanders House