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Claire & Eliot

Claire came home to Connecticut for her country club ceremony. She'd dreamed of getting married at Stanwich since she was five years old, and her husband-to-be thought it was perfect, too. Read on for Claire's story behind the day, from dream shoes to '99 Red Balloons.'


Photography by Kait Pena

"I have always been such a big fan of Loeffler Randall — I seriously cannot count the number of shoes I have from the brand! I knew we were going to have our ceremony outside and I wanted to make sure my shoe was comfortable enough for all night dancing. Camellia drew me immediately. I actually purchased my wedding shoes before I even tried on wedding dresses, and they matched perfectly — I think buying the shoes first manifested my perfect organza ball gown."

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"I knew I wanted to lean into a classic, timeless look, with a whimsical and feminine touch. On my second visit to Jenny Yoo, my stylist pulled out a brand new gown she thought I’d love, and she was right! The silhouette felt very classic and the organza fabric with buttons all the way down the back was the added twist I was looking for. I added a tulle skirt underneath, which made the dress feel very bridal in the best way — a perfect complement to my husband’s tux.

"As my dress was simple, I wanted some applique on the veil and fell immediately in love with one from Amsale. It had flowers and metal accents, and my mom sewed on petals and pearls for added dimension."

"I love the 'something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue' tradition so it was important to me that I incorporated it. My 'something old' was a gold and diamond horseshoe ring that my late grandmother gave to me. My 'something new' was a gorgeous tennis bracelet gifted to me by my bridesmaids. My 'something borrowed' was a gold and silver band my mother gave me the morning of the wedding. My 'something blue' was a pair of stunning aquamarine and pearl drop earrings my mom designed (she used to be a fine jewelry designer)."

"I grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut, and my parents still live in my childhood home. Eliot and I knew we wanted to get married in Connecticut as it had quickly become a very important part of our lives — our escape from NYC internships and our home during COVID.

"My parents have been members of Stanwich since I was five, and I;ve been dead set on getting married there for just as long — despite my mom constantly reminding me that my future husband would probably want a say in our wedding venue. Luckily, Eliot loved it just as much as I always have, and it did not hurt that we did our walk through on the most gorgeous fall day a couple of weeks after we got engaged.

"I think the details are where you can really make your wedding 'yours.'"

"The ceremony was incredibly special. We held it on a beautiful lawn overlooking the water with the most amazing backdrop of fall foliage. The sunny 70-degree day in the middle of October really was the cherry on top. My aunt officiated the wedding and Eliot and I wrote our own vows, which was definitely one of my favorite parts of the day. Despite having 170 of our closest friends and family watching us, it really felt like just us up there.

"One of my favorite moments of the reception happened right as it was coming to an end. My dad’s side of the family has an unexplained obsession with the song '99 Red Balloons' and after a reminder from my brother as they were packing up, '99 Red Balloons' was the last song of the reception. While 80% of the guests were probably extremely confused at the song choice, my extended family broke out into a massive dance circle with more joining in as the band played. My entire family still watches videos of this moment all of the time."

"My mom and I planned the whole wedding ourselves which was really special. I don’t think either of us could have gotten through it without the other. It was very rewarding seeing our vision come to life and to incorporate all of the traditions and aspects that were important to us.

"I don’t know if this is a secret per se, but I will say I think the details are where you can really make your wedding 'yours.' From the embroidered napkins to the rattan archway Eliot and I got married under that my dad built a few weeks before, to the custom drinks signs designed by a family friend. The aesthetic of the wedding really spoke to us as a couple."

"I think the most special memory Eliot and I have is my mom’s presence at the wedding. She was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer three months before our wedding. We did not know if she was going to be able to be there because of course her health came first, and nothing was going to be delayed for our wedding. Despite having major surgery four weeks earlier and knowing she was starting chemo the week after, she was the absolute life of the party. So, while I have a million favorite parts and moments of the day, my mom being able to be there and be such a big part of it all definitely takes the cake."