Elizabeth Ashley Lyons was living in Nashville and focusing on her country music career. She wasn’t particularly looking to meet anyone when she attended a fraternity party at Vanderbilt University, but William Boatner Reily V’s dance moves caught her eye. They had their official first date in July 2013, after their graduation from Vanderbilt.
Four years later, in February 2017, Will planned a beautiful proposal in New York City, with Central Park serving as the backdrop for the big question. After Elizabeth enthusiastically said “Yes!,” the couple set to planning a four-day wedding celebration on Martha’s Vineyard.
The tone for the big event was set months before, in a Save the Date created by Scriptura. Inspired by Elizabeth’s love for the East Coast, the design included an old map of Martha’s Vineyard that belonged to groom’s grandparents, a custom Compass Rose flanked with “W E,” and an anchor symbolizing the Vanderbilt Commodores with a star on top.
Elements of this design would appear throughout the wedding weekend, beginning at the Reily family’s Edgartown oceanfront home with a Thursday night “musical clam bake” hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Hunter White III, Mr. and Mrs. Michael White, Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Bright and Mr. and Mrs. Barry Kern. In keeping with the nautical theme of the Save the Date, the navy blue tents were made of real sail cloths. In the center of the dance floor was the same Martha’s Vineyard map. Along with their clams and lobsters, guests sipped the “Green Hollow” cocktail as they got to know one another better.
The festivities continued the next day with golf and tennis at the Vineyard Golf Club, followed by lunch on Chappaquiddick at the home of Pam and Jay Bryan. Later that evening, the rehearsal dinner took place at the Harborview Hotel, which offers a quintessential Vineyard view. With over 39 speeches, the rehearsal dinner was filled with love from the couple’s friends and family.
Elizabeth and Will added a special family touch to the flowers for the wedding ceremony. The very same florists who built Will’s grandparents’ terraced garden over 40 years ago filled Wendy’s Nantucket Baskets collection with Elizabeth’s favorite flower: hydrangeas in various shades of blue and white. The flowers set the tone for the blue-and-white wedding décor, which looked perfectly placed to complement the sky on a crystal-clear, beautiful day.
On September 29, 2018, Elizabeth walked down the aisle on a lawn overlooking the Edgartown Harbor wearing a Vera Wang dress with macramé detail. Will was waiting for her in a custom tie that featured the compass rose, anchor and star guests first saw in the Save the Date. After they said “I Do,” the celebration continued at a private home.
To set a slightly more informal tone for the reception, Elizabeth changed into a white beaded fringed Naeem Khan dress. Elizabeth’s love of country music was evident throughout the evening. She and Will shared their first dance to “Best Friend” by Tim McGraw before she took to the stage with members of her band. The bride wowed the crowd as she belted out “I’ve Never,” a song inspired by Will when they were at Vanderbilt. Even one of the specialty cocktails sounded like the title of a country music song: “Will You Whiskey Me Away!”
The weekend concluded with a Sunday brunch, after which Will and Elizabeth “whiskeyed away” to a honeymoon to Norway, Sweden and Denmark. They had a great time exploring before returning to New Orleans, where they live in the Warehouse District. Elizabeth works full time as a country-pop recording artist, and Will works at his family’s business, Wm. B. Reily & Company.
Ceremony & Reception locations: Private Home on Martha’s Vineyard
Reception Décor: Big Sky Tent
Coordinator: KG Events and Design
Celebrant: Margo Walters
Ceremony Music: Boston String Quartet and a childhood friend of Elizabeth’s, Natalie Pelletier.
Wedding Gown: Vera Wang, New York City
Reception Dress: Naeem Khan
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo, Chicago
Groom’s & Groomsmen’s attire: Perlis, New Orleans; blue vests by Charles Tyrwhitt, London
Custom Ties for Groom and Groomsmen: Vineyard Vines
Favor: Monogrammed napkins and boating gift bags filled with local apples, Chicago Mix from local Murdick’s Fudge, I’ve Never CD and Evamor water by Kitty Jackson with Nola Party Pieces
Caterer: Jaime Hamlin and Sons
Wedding & Groom’s cakes: Val’s Cake
Photographers: Elizabeth Dondis & Larry Radloff
Videographers: Adam Defrin & Louis Obioha
Hair & Makeup: Sea Spa Salon
Music: The Sultans of Swing