Jill McLaughlin, who works in public relations in New York, and Christopher Max Cox grew up a few towns over from each other on Long Island and both summered on the North Fork. “We ran into each other a few times in Greenport over the summer of 2016,” Jill says. “And, by the fall, we were dating!”
Two years later, Max proposed just before Christmas along the water in Greenport, where their romance first started. “When I saw the ring, I made him back up from the water. I took a breath on a nearby bench, had a moment together to fully grasp what just happened, which was the best part, and then we walked to Little Creek Oyster, where our two families were waiting for us.”
Since both of their families have strong ties to the North Fork, and it played a big part in their relationship, they knew there was no other place to host their wedding; however, nailing down a specific venue proved harder than originally thought. After crossing off vineyards and waterfront locales from their list, the couple realized the North Fork Country Club, which offered them the opportunity to have a tented space, lots of guests, and still be close to the water, would be perfect. To help plan and put together their big day, they hired Ashley O’Neil, who understood how important it was to them to use as many local vendors as possible.
The bride-to-be narrowed down her wedding dress designers to a select few and knew she wanted something she could dance, sit, and walk around in comfortably. While at the Wedding Salon of Manhasset to buy a dress she thought was the one, Jill’s aunt spotted a simple sample hanging behind the cash wrap and made her try it on. “Long story short, it was the dress Barbara Bush had just worn in her wedding, and Vera Wang had made a sample for another client,” Jill explains. As she stood in front of the mirror, her wedding song coincidentally (or by fate) came on, and she decided to go for it.
For the day-of, she altered the back and added covered buttons—something she had always wanted to match her mother’s wedding gown. The minimal, cowl-neck dress also allowed her to wear her grandmother’s sapphire and diamond earrings—her something old, borrowed, and blue. Her shoes were Sophia Webster, but she only noticed later that “WIFEY, FOR LIFEY” was written on the bottoms—what luck!
Max cheekily was in a J.Crew Loro Piana suit. “In the very early stages of our relationship, I was working at J.Crew doing PR, and I helped him pick out a J.Crew suit he needed for something,” Jill says. “Now, he jokes that he didn’t really need a suit and was just looking for a reason to talk to me.”
The bridal party complemented the bride well in navy dresses of their own choosing, ranging from 3.1 Phillip Lim, Reformation, Jenny Yoo, and Show Me Your Mumu. Jill’s sisters, who were her maids of honor, wore light blue Shona Joy designs, and everyone was gifted BaubleBar earrings, J.Crew robes, and beauty products like face masks and colognes.
On the 21st of September, everyone gathered at the bride’s church, Our Lady of Good Counsel in Mattituck, for the Catholic ceremony. Two-out-of-three flower girls made it down the aisle, wearing perfect Over The Moon x Pixie Lily Swiss dot dresses, and then Jill walked with her father eagerly to Max. “I couldn’t see Jill walk down the entirety of the aisle due to the amount of people standing—this may have saved me from totally losing it because by the time I saw how beautiful she looked, I was quickly embracing my soon-to-be father-in-law, who has a way of bringing calm to any situation,” the groom says. “From there, I’m not sure I took my eyes off Jill the rest of the day.”
After being announced as husband and wife, the newlyweds exited in Jill’s late grandfather’s 1986 Mercedes Benz 380 SL Convertible—a sentimental way of including him in the day. The cocktail reception commenced on the porch of the country club, overlooking the golf course where the reception tent was situated. Under a beautiful sail-cloth Sperry, Prudence of Salt Air Farm decorated the space and tables with dahlias, hydrangeas, and stunning bouquets. Alongside the space sat an old row boat filled with more florals that also doubled as an excellent photo moment for guests.
Once everyone had dined on the delicious meal, with fresh, seasonal elements, and listened to heartwarming speeches, the yellow sponge wedding cake, by Blue Duck Bakery and decorated by Salt Air Farm, was served.
As their wedding fell on the 21st night of September, one could guess that music would play a role in their reception, and Max was put in charge of the band. Atomic Funk Project was booked, and when “September” inevitably played, Jill’s sisters surprised the couple with a pre-planned flashmob, complete with choreography that was sent to guests weeks before the day.
The groom was also in charge of choosing a first dance song, and he came through with “I Only Have Eyes for You” by The Flamingos. “After we chose the song, we found out that it has a historical significance on Jill’s side of the family,” Max says. “It also seemed to pop up in random places throughout our engagement.”
The after-party got started late in the evening at the clubhouse, and chicken fingers, french fries, and grilled cheeses kept everyone well fueled. The bride changed into Rosie Assoulin’s Mary Had a Little Lamb dress for more dancing, and Max’s groomsman, DJ Disco Phantom, played the couple’s favorite tunes, which made up a heavy disco playlist. “Because of the proximity and the energy still high from the band’s final songs, we had a great turn out, and the energy remained high,” Max remembers. “Until we were nicely asked to please leave, so the club could prepare for members’ breakfast in the morning.”