Jacklyn and Ryan McConnell were introduced through a mutual friend, when Jacklyn was living in New York and planning on visiting Boston in the coming weeks. Content with being single, Jacklyn was hesitant at first.
“As soon as I creeped on his social media, I agreed,” she shares. “He was so cute. We went on a double date, a ‘blind’ date (as blind as it can be in the age of social media).
“I remember thinking he felt like home right away.”
We had burgers at Boston Burger Company in Davis Square in Somerville, MA. We sat by the window on a chilly April night and talked the entire night away and bonded over our love of Taylor Swift. He sang me the song ‘Red’ by her that night. I thought Ryan was tall, cute, and funny. I remember thinking he felt like home right away. Ryan thought I was loud, goofy, and didn’t know how to stop talking.”
Six years after that first date, the couple was spending every moment of the day together for several months due to the pandemic. Since they live in an area with a lot of hiking trails, they had been regularly exploring the outdoors – so nothing was out of the ordinary when they went on their usual hike on May 14, 2020, with Ryan’s best friend socially distanced and in tow.
“Ryan proposed while hiking in a spot I recall calling, ‘like a wooded fairy dream’,” Jacklyn describes. “His best friend is a photographer and was there to capture the moment.”
The wedding planning process was a whirlwind experience, with Jacklyn simultaneously finishing her degree. As a laid-back couple, she and Ryan’s main priority was to focus on their love for family and friends.
“Ryan and I both lost our moms to cancer when we were younger,” Jacklyn shares, “so I was nervous not to have that typical mom support during wedding planning. Luckily, we had a wonderful wedding planner. Marina made everything so much easier. We wanted the wedding to reflect our personalities. A laid-back, no-pressure environment with upscale elements.”
The couple opted for a summer wedding weekend in Martha’s Vineyard, which would allow them an extended amount of time to celebrate with their nearest and dearest. Jacklyn always dreamed of a garden wedding ceremony, filled with blooming flowers during golden hour. There was a memorial table with pictures of their mothers placed next to the sweetheart table, and two seats saved for them at the ceremony. The bride had three maids of honor – her best friend and two grandmothers – and her veil was made with the lace from her mother’s wedding dress from 1989, which she hand-removed herself.
Along with sentimental touches, the couple also wanted to incorporate fun little surprises for their guests. Instead of a traditional wedding cake, they chose to have a donut bar and custom cotton candy. The ambiance was soft and romantic, yet fun and playful, with muted wildflower arrangements and plenty of candlelight. DJ Martin D'Arce let Jacklyn live out her dream middle school dance playlist, spinning dance, rap, and emo music from the early-2000s. Midway through dancing, the newlyweds went up to their room to get changed. Instead of a glitzy “second look” reception dress, Jacklyn changed into pajamas and danced the rest of the night away in total comfort.
“Ryan and I are not serious people,” she says. “There were so many funny little moments. At the end of the night at our sparkler exit, we decided at the last minute to plunge into the pool. I whispered to Ryan, ‘Let’s tell no one and just go into the pool.’ And so we did. It was glorious. After that, we headed to late-night snacks and grabbed some poutine and Belgian waffles – the perfect night.”
After their nuptials, Jacklyn and Ryan honeymooned in Saint Lucia for ten days. For them, the most memorable part was getting to spend so much quality time together. Their honeymoon itinerary was filled with playing cards every night, relaxing on the beach, watching hummingbirds, and taking in the beauty of Saint Lucia’s waterfalls.
Planning & Event Design: Marina Luri Events, New York, NY; Photography: Rachel Rodgers Photography, New York, NY; Honeymoon Destination: Saint Lucia