Mark Joseph Dillon, a VP at Citibank, was Marjorie “Marjie” Stone Billings’s first client at her and her cousin’s new interior design company, Billings Design Studio. Their mutual friend suggested him because he had just bought a house in D.C., and it apparently sat unfurnished for more than nine months. The first couple of months of communication was done over the phone and via email because they were based out of New York City.
When everything was ready to be put in place, the two went to D.C. “When he walked in the door at the end of the install, it was an instant connection,” Marjie says. “I turned to my cousin and whispered that she failed to mention he was so handsome! When things finished up, as a first date, he asked me to attend a gala with him and his family!”
About a week after she met him, Marjie’s mother passed away, and since her presence is especially felt at their family’s home on Cape Cod, Mark purposefully proposed to Marjie there. Around cocktail hour, they went for a walk on the rocky beach behind the house with a glass of wine. The next moment, he was down on one knee.
The two decided to host their wedding in the backyard, feet away from where they got engaged. “Aesthetically, I wanted everything to be very clean, and I wanted very good lighting with lots of candles,” Marjie explains. “I knew from the start I wanted green and orange in the flowers—you have no idea how many people were initially confused by that combination, but Lilacs Florals made them SO beautiful in person.” To help plan everything, the couple hired Arney Walker Studio, and the bride worked with Arzberger Stationers on the invitation suite.
Choosing a wedding dress was difficult for the bride—she must’ve tried on more than 35 gowns. “Without my mom with me, I felt like I didn’t really have anyone giving me that ‘seal of approval,’” Marjie says. In the end, she found The Rita by Alon Livné White at Mark Ingram Atelier and customized the skirt and shortened the removable sleeves.
On the day-of, Amanda McCarthy Beauty and Stilisti Boston did the bride’s beauty look, and Marjie put on her mother’s pearl and diamond earrings and wedding band. “She was 5’5” and I am 5’10”—we have very different body types, so the fact that it fits me perfectly is very kismet to me.”
Mark and his groomsmen wore dark blue suits from The Black Tux with pale orange Thomas Pink ties. The groom’s wedding band was his grandfather’s, and it had his grandparents’ initials and wedding date engraved—Mark and Marjie added theirs alongside too.
On the lawn by the beach behind the house, it started raining and hailing minutes before the outdoor ceremony. “In all my years at that house, I have never seen hail,” Marjie says. Thankfully, there was not a cloud in the sky, as she walked down the aisle to Mark and her Aunt Julie, who officiated the service fantastically. After the two recited their own vows and were announced as husband and wife, everyone enjoyed cocktails before heading under the tent for dinner.
The bride changed into Rhanjana Kahn beaded hoops and joined everyone for a dinner of steak frites and lobster rolls, catered by A Catered Affair. For dessert, they served a delicious carrot wedding cake and ice cream sandwiches. Dexter Lake Club Band, recommended by Arney, kept the dance floor packed the whole night.
The newlyweds had their first dance to “Uncanny” by Hall & Oates, and once the reception ended, they sat in the kitchen with Marjie’s sister and her boyfriend and ate leftover hors d’oeuvres. “There is nothing better than recapping a party, late at night.”