Lilly Fleischmann and Ryan Ganong met as undergraduates at Dartmouth. They were both varsity rowers but actually met at a party hosted by Ryan’s fraternity. “I thought he was cute and asked a mutual friend to introduce us!” Lilly says. They didn’t immediately start dating, but after five years together, he proposed while on a surprise trip back to their alma mater.
“Ryan surprised me with a birthday getaway in April (of 2018), which threw me off from the start, since I plan most of our trips!” Lilly says. He planned a day of her favorite activities, and they ended up in Hanover, where Dartmouth is. While walking through their old stomping grounds, he led her to the Friends of Dartmouth Rowing Boathouse, where he got down on one knee. “Following the good advice of our parents, he wouldn’t take the ring out of the box until we were well away from the water!” she says.
As soon as they were engaged, they knew they wanted their ceremony at Lilly’s family’s summer home, called “Hunter House,” in Chatham—“a town on the ‘elbow’ of Cape Cod.” It is her favorite place in the world and has been in her family for five generations. Her cousin was married on the house’s lawn too, and her three children acted as the “flower children,” which was a lovely moment of life coming full circle.
A week after Lilly said, “Yes!” her parents went to visit Chatham Bars Inn as a reception venue. It is a beautiful seaside resort, just a mile away from Hunter House, and first opened its doors as a hunting lodge in 1914. “Although I was familiar with the inn, I had never been to its Beach House restaurant by the water. My mother assured me that it had just the ‘Chatham magic’ we were looking for (she was right, of course!), and we booked our date,” Lilly says.
To help plan their wedding on the 21st night of September, the couple hired Laura Leonard of Lyndsey Hamilton Events. “Laura and I have done other events together through my work, and I reached out to her immediately after getting engaged!”
On Friday, Ryan’s parents hosted an intimate rehearsal dinner followed by a welcome party at the Chatham Beach & Tennis Club. The bride wore a printed Dolce & Gabbana dress, and the groom wore a coordinating blue and green jacket, made by Trevor Furbay, with their names embroidered underneath the collar.
For the big day, Lilly only had to visit L’elite Boutique in Boston twice to find her dream Carolina Herrera dress. “I fell in love with the overlay skirt and its fluttering floral appliqués. It was such an elegant dress, perfect for our coat and tie reception in the evening, but also whimsical and in keeping with the playful nature of an afternoon backyard wedding,” the bride says. The seamstress at L’elite even sewed on more appliqués to the veil to add a consistent and beautiful touch.
On the recommendation of a friend, Lilly met with makeup artist Mariolga Pantazopoulos, who understood that she wanted a minimal look with natural products. “When she said she would be using Burt’s Bees Pomegranate lip balm instead of lipstick, I knew we were on the right track!” the bride says. On the morning of, hairstylist Erin Kennedy of Artworx Hair Design created a simple, put-together bun with a soft part.
The groom looked handsome in a dark blue suit by Trevor Furbay and a watch gifted to him by his bride with their initials engraved on the back. Bridesmaids wore custom Johanna Ortiz designs in a light blue olive print. “My bridesmaid Charlotte’s aunt has been consulting with Johanna Ortiz, and we met with Johanna in New York to discuss the vision before finalizing the order with head of design Gabriela,” Lilly explains. All seven ladies looked gorgeous and were a vision on the dance floor.
After cancelling the tent option a few days before, the ceremony day turned out to be beautiful and even reached the high 70s. On the day of, guests boarded trolleys at Chatham Bars Inn for a short drive to Hunter House, where they were greeted with Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs and lavender-honey lemonade.
Once everyone found their seats, a string quartet started playing Pachelbel’s “Canon,” and the bride and her father walked down the floral-lined aisle, decorated by Beach Plum Floral. After heartfelt readings, the couple read their traditional-mixed-with-personal vows. “We each wrote statements describing what we love about each other and our hopes for our future together, and these were followed by brief traditional vows and the exchange of rings,” Lilly says. Then, they sealed it with a kiss and were showered with petals and applause, as they made their way to the dock and got into their family’s wooden boat, Questing Beast.
After a brief boat ride led them to the Chatham Town Landing, a car picked the newlyweds up and took them to reception. Cocktail hour took place under a tent that spilled out onto the lawn and beach, and then everyone headed into the Beach House for dinner.
Laura helped design the perfect warm, elegant dinner party with ivory linens and rattan napkin rings and baskets, while Beach Plum Floral placed arrangements of neutral flowers with greenery around the candlelit space. After the delicious late summer meal, Ryan gave a brief speech thanking everyone and then invited guests to follow him to the Monomoy building behind the inn for dancing. A brass band led people to the tune of “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
The dance party had a tropical theme with banana leaf linens, wood chairs and bars, and even had a neon sign that read, “The Ganongs.” “The entry table was covered with margaritas for guests to grab as they walked inside—we were ready to get the party started!” Lilly says.
Band Flipside kicked off the celebration appropriately with “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire. “The dance floor was full the entire night (requiring constant mopping!), and the band absolutely killed it,” the bride remembers. The couple had their first dance to “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson—“Ryan even quoted the song in his vows!”
Since they had been partying since 8pm, the partygoers called it quits around midnight after a wild, four-hour dance session. A few weeks following the wedding, the just married pair headed to Nantucket for a mini-moon.