Rebekah and Abraham met and fell in love on Shelter Island and worked together at Vine Street Café during the summers of their courtship. Their wedding on the first day of fall was warm and sunny, but more to the point, marine conditions were perfect, since the bride arrived in an Island-made boat that was borrowed and blue.
While 100 guests assembled in the backyard of the creek-front home of Andrea and John Shastid, the bridal party cruised on a 38-foot Shelter Island Runabout captained by Deno W Fischer, a neighbor who met the bride for the first time a few minutes before he piloted his boat around West Neck Harbor and down West Neck Creek to a dock in Westmoreland, a trip of about two nautical miles from his dock in the Silver Beach lagoon.
The grapevine communication that produced a bride-on-a-boat started a few weeks back when Rebekah, planning to don her gown at the nearby home of Andrea Shastid’s sister Maureen Manelski, said out loud that she thought it would be great if she could arrive at the ceremony by boat.
Friends with boats made more for fish-hauling than bride-transporting were ready to oblige, until Maureen walked by the Silver Beach lagoon one day, and spotted a 38-foot blue teak-lined Runabout at a nearby dock. Who was the captain? The Bayshore Drive/Wheeler Road grapevine went into action, and soon Captain Fischer heard a knock on his door.
He was delighted to be asked. By 4 p.m., ahead of the 5 p.m. nuptials, the gleaming blue ship was adorned with white roses and sprays of hydrangea lined the lustrous teak handrails along the cockpit. A bottle of chilled champagne stood beside a clutch of crystal flutes and Captain Fischer’s daughters Arija and Iris were on hand to help. “We were not quite sure of the color scheme of the wedding, but figured we can’t go wrong with white. If we’re doing it, we might as well do it the right way,” he said.
Rebekah was accompanied by bridesmaid Phiona Valle and maid of honor Gretchen Hergrueter. “Gretchen is my best friend for 20 years,” said Rebekah. “In college her family invited me to Shelter Island one summer and that’s when she introduced me to Abe.”
With the motor running and the bridal party aboard, Captain Fischer asked Iris to bring the bride something on ice for her nerves. “I hope it’s OK, I used the marbles instead of ice,” Iris said “I decided that no bride needs a watery scotch on her wedding day.” After a toast, Arija untied the boat, hopped aboard as first mate and they all set off.
From the Fischers’ dock in Silver Beach lagoon it was a short trip to the wedding dock in Westmoreland and the captain planned to proceed at a stately pace. There were yards of tulle and a lot of long hair to consider.
Rebekah was met at the dock by her mother, Michelle Sloane and her father, Peter Brown. Only a little tulle-untangling was necessary before the radiant bride accompanied by her parents and bridesmaids walked up the dock stairs and down the aisle.
The bride is a manager at Cove Hollow Tavern in East Hampton and the groom is Executive Sous Chef at Preston House and Hotel in Riverhead. The couple lives in Sag Harbor.