Venue Adds Rustic Charm to Martha’s Vineyard Wedding


June 6, 2015 • Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts

By Lenore Cullen Barnes

It was hands-down the best race of Laura Saccoccio’s life. Couple Laura and Peter Doherty have always enjoyed competing in 5k races together and, in November 2013, they ran what had become a personal tradition for them—America’s Hometown Thanksgiving 5k in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

“Pete proposed before the race when he and I went out alone for a warm-up jog,” remembers Laura. “He pretended to tie his shoe down by the water and then pulled out the ring from his pocket. I was completely caught off guard and couldn’t stop crying. We had to stop by the car to get sunglasses before we went back to see the family!”

Family members were ready, sporting pins featuring a photo of an animated Laura on the dance floor at Peter’s sister’s wedding, with the caption, “Woohoo I’m getting hitched.” Her (now) sister-in-law had also got her a special race bib number—143—signifying “I love you.”

“It was probably the best day of my life,” says Laura. “I could have married him right there and then. I couldn’t stop crying. He gave me his grandmother’s ring, which made it that much more special.

“I wasn’t someone who had a wedding vision ever since I was a child. We both wanted a place that meant something to us and we were looking for something really laid-back. A fancy interior wouldn’t fit us.” Having vacationed together for years on Martha’s Vineyard, the island felt right and they found the perfect venue in the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Hall.

“When we walked in in February, it was just this big empty space, and we both said, ‘This is it,’” notes Laura. They knew it would offer the relaxed rustic charm they desired. There were some challenges presented by the island setting, but nothing too daunting.

“It would have been easier to use vendors on the Vineyard, but it was winter and we didn’t hear back from anyone initially, so we used vendors from the mainland,” Laura says. “Big Sky Tent & Party Rentals (on the island) was fabulous and so helpful solving any last-minute issues. Our band was fantastic, and the florist made everything beautiful. Nancy Gould did a great job capturing it all.”

A favorite moment came when Laura’s father, who plays guitar in a band with his friends, performed a song for the newlyweds. “We had picked “What A Wonderful World” for the father-daughter, mother-son dance,” says Laura. “When my dad got up to dance with me, he was nervous. It turned out it was because he was going to play the song for us and dedicate it to us. Now he sees it as a great memory because he got to dance with me to it and watch me dance with my husband to it as well.”

How fitting as Pete and Laura enjoy their wonderful world as husband and wife. “You feel fortunate to have someone you respect and love to share your life with,” says Laura.

Photography by Nancy Gould

Featured Vendors: LOCATION Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Hall // DAY OF COORDINATION Plan It Martha’s Vineyard // FLORIST Rustic Roots // CATERER Tea Lane Catering // TENT Big Sky Tent & Party Rentals // RENTALS Big Sky Tent & Party Rentals; New England Country Rentals // BRIDAL GOWN David’s Bridal // HAIR/MAKEUP STYLIST Sea Spa Salon // STATIONERY Modern Vintage Design Studio // RINGS Wedgewood Rings

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