A beautiful wedding was held in Montauk, NY. September 16th, 2017 and for everyone who attended, it was special. We, the family, knew there was love in the air, as Karoline was at all of the Nelson family gatherings for the past six years, and although it was never addressed we all saw the love Diedra and Karoline shared for each other.
When they announced they were getting married it came as no surprise to everyone in the circle of family and friends.
The date and place were set—Diedra and Karoline wanted the wedding to be outside on the beach, and Montauk was the place. The issue with all outdoor events is always the weather, and that week of the wedding was the start of a series of horrible hurricanes. Everything was unpredictable, so nerves were on overdrive.
Fortunately for the beautiful couple, the day of the wedding produced perfect weather. The day started with a morning of meditation on the beach led by a local shaman. Then family and friends went to a community garden to pick flowers that were incorporated into the wedding and the brides’ bouquets.
Diedra and Karoline wanted their different cultures and both of their personalities to be included into the wedding, so during the cocktail hours soup was added to the menu as that is a Polish tradition and rum from Guyana was added to the available liquor. As Spain was very special to both brides, many dishes from Spain were added to the appetizers along with oysters from Montauk and vegetables from farms on Long Island.
After a wonderful ceremony on the beach, which was presided by their friend Christopher Bear Carson, the reception was moved up about eighty feet to the back of the Spencer’s estate where all the tables were named after places and things important to the couple like McCarren Park, where they met playing Brooklyn kickball; Miami, where they took their first vacation together; Big Sur, where they were engaged; and Dax, their dog.
When everyone was seated, an elaborate dinner was served, a few speeches were made, and the dancing started with a mixture of music that everyone enjoyed. Dancing went on until about 11:00pm, then the party was moved back to the beach for a bonfire after-party, which went on until 4:00am. It was evident that everyone who attended enjoyed themselves, love was truly in the air.
The wedding was designed by their friend Sarah Dawn Hamlin and coordinated by Tall and Small events.
Diedra Nelson & Karoline Katus
Diedra – Chief Financial Officer at Glamsquad, Karoline – Development Officer at Joyful Heart Foundation
Where did you get married:
The home of Julie and Spencer Rice in Montauk, NY
Why did you pick the location:
We always knew we wanted to get married by the water, and somewhere that has a close proximity to nature. It’s something that inspires us and always reminds us of our connection to each other. We were looking in California, especially around Big Sur where we got engaged, and last summer we went to Julie and Spencer’s house to have dinner, and we walked in the door, and Julie said, “Congratulations, would you like to have the wedding here?” And with tears in our eyes we accepted their wonderful offer, and we were so grateful to accept their generous offer. Their home was so beautiful and warm and inviting, and nestled on the amazing cliffs in Montauk, it allowed us to have a wonderful, intimate wedding.
What does marriage mean to you:
A partnership , a commitment to being there for one another, as lovers, confidants, as hopefully one day parents; somebody that you trust in completely and wholly, to live your lives together and take on the world. And always strengthen each other and feel the strength in that person.
What does love mean to you:
Compassion, support and unconditional trust. Feeling the unconditional acceptance, and offering that in return. The wholehearted allowing of that person to be who they want to be and cherishing that.
What was the most important part of planning your wedding:
So many people came together to help make our wedding the perfect day. From our friends making our wedding dresses, to our friend who designed the event, to our best friend who officiated, to our friends and family who picked the flowers at a local community garden. Our community is so important to us, and year round we are surrounded by their love. Rather than have the traditional wedding pews, we wanted to have our guests stand around us in a circle. The first ring was our family—parents, aunts, uncles and cousins as well as our bridal party; we each had a best man, maid of honor and gays of honor and other bridesmen and bridesmaids; the rest of our guests enveloped us in rings and during a moment in Karoline’s vows we looked all around to see our amazing community who supports us in so many ways. We wanted to have our ceremony with our family and friends, surrounded around us in a circle. Having the circle also allowed us to enter the group at the same time, showing our partnership and unity.
Carl Nelson is a producer of socially conscious plays and events and an international traveler. He is also co-creator and co-producer of an annual event in New York City by the name of “Drums Along The Hudson” for the last 14 years.