September 5, 2020

Private Residence, Somers

Photography by Defining Studios

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When Marissa Lucey and Taylor Fuller began planning their “I do’s”, “Taylor’s big thing was that he wanted our ceremony to be outside,” Marissa says, but, luckily, he wasn’t fussy about the particulars. “Right from the beginning he said, ‘I’d marry you in the backyard; I don’t care where,’ ” Marissa remembers — and as it turns out that’s exactly what came to be on Sept. 5, 2020, when Marissa and Taylor exchanged vows in the wooded yard of the bride’s childhood home in Somers. It might not have been the original plan (more on that in a minute), but it turned out “to be better than I ever expected,” the new bride says. Simply, “amazing.”

Truth be told, “I was a bit of a backyard snob,” admits Marissa, who, as a bridal stylist for Larissa Lake and Co., had witnessed the elaborate celebrations of countless brides and envisioned a day of her own that was equally “refined.” In time, the happy couple booked The Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam for their days of days and then … COVID-19. 

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The Riverhouse offered an alternative date in 2021, “but it just wasn’t what I wanted,” Marissa says. “I couldn’t imagine September 5 going by and us not being married; we couldn’t wait any longer to say ‘I do.’ ” The couple, after all, had been together since 2013, when, after meeting on Tinder, they had their first date at a pool party at Taylor’s parents’ home in Stratford. A backyard ceremony and reception at her parents’, like Taylor had once joked about, began sounding better and better.

“To be honest, you never know what’s going to happen,” says Marissa, who learned right along with the rest of us that nothing in 2020 was “guaranteed.” Getting married at her parents’, however, seemed “a little easier to control,” the bride says. And so a 3 p.m. ceremony for their original September date was planned and executed in one heck of a whirlwind month. 

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“Our wedding [and all the prep that went into it] wasn’t just about Taylor and I,” Marissa says. “The entire event was a labor of love between [our] two families.” The bride’s 86-year-old grandfather built the arbor and her father, future groom and future father-in-law finished it. The bride and her cousin made a custom light fixture for the tent to match the jewel-toned, Moroccan-style lanterns and flowers at the center of each table. One aunt made a welcome sign, while another made the wedding cake. (Marissa also surprised her groom with his favorite cake made by — who else? — his mom.) In the days leading up to the wedding, friends and family even pitched in to spruce up the Luceys’ home and yard (because only in 2020 would there be both a tropical storm and a tornado in Connecticut in August). 

No matter. In the end, “it was magical how it all came together,” Marissa sums up, and “it meant that much more because we all came through it together.”

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Officiant: Peter Gostin

Dress designer: Essense of Australia

Dress boutiqueLastrina Girls Bridal Salon, Middletown

Headpiece/earringsOHBRIDAL (Etsy)

ShoesBadgley Mischka

Bridesmaids’ dressesJenny Yoo

Bridesmaids’ dress boutiqueBella Bridesmaids, West Hartford

TuxedosMen’s Wearhouse

Jewelry: Hannoush Jewelers, Danbury

VideographerDefining Studios, Hartford

DJLocal Motion Entertainment, Wallingford

CatererTaco Loco Catering, Bridgeport

FloristColonial Flower Shoppe, Somers

CakeAlice Craig and Debbie Fuller

Makeup/hairLarissa Lake and Co., Wethersfield

InvitationsEvite

RentalsSunshine Tent Rentals, Somers

Photo boothLuna PhotoLounge, Wallingford