Block Island Wedding has Meaningful Ceremony, Cheese Tower ‘Cake’

Gillian & Nathaniel

June 25, 2016 • Block Island, Rhode Island

By Jessica Bowne | Wedding photography by David Murray Weddings

Life’s passions often lead us to each other serendipitously and this was certainly true for Nathaniel Higley and Gillian Marino. While the pair grew up in the same town, it wasn’t until a dinner party years later that they met.

The couple, who had their first date at Topsfield Fair, the oldest agricultural fair in the United States, now runs Lillooet Sheep & Cheesery. They spent the first year they owned the farm renovating it while also planning a wedding; Nathaniel takes care of the sheep while Gillian makes the cheese. “We really wanted the wedding to reflect us as farmers and food producers,” says Gillian. “Block Island is a place I grew up going to and became very special for Nathaniel as well. It is a magical place where you can’t help but be relaxed and content with the world.”

The duo hosted the wedding at a private home on the island and filled the space with lush greenery complemented by cream, peach and blush accent florals. A “family opening” preceded the ceremony. Each guest was asked to inscribe a message for the couple on stones that Gillian and Nathaniel had collected from the beach. Gillian remembers the ceremony as being particularly profound.

“Our ceremony was set up in a circle,” she says. “When we were standing up there looking around at everyone, there was an intense energy, like everyone was lifting us up.”

For the reception, wine was imported from a farm in Italy where Gillian had learned to make sheep’s milk cheese, and Fwaygo Rum was supplied by a friend. The cheese tower cake was made from cheese from Cricket Creek Farm where the couple had worked together, as well as Formaggio Kitchen. Gillian spent six hours the day before the wedding making fresh mozzarella and stracciatella for the cocktail hour.

“There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, the sun was beaming on the whole wedding and the waves were crashing on the cliff below us,” remembers Gillian. “It was unworldly.”

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