Rachel Diane Kritchman, the Public Relations Director for Sisley-Paris, and James “Jim” Netter Sprayregen, an account executive at PVH Corp., lived two blocks away from each other in New York for two years, but only met when their mutual friend booked a last-minute red-eye from Los Angeles over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend in 2014. Rachel knew their friend Jeremy from growing up together in Kentucky, while Jim became best friends with him during their time at Indiana University. When they all went to dinner that Saturday night, Rachel and Jim clicked. Three and a half years of dating later, and Jim proposed in East Hampton.
During the summer out east, Jim told Rachel he was taking her to his grandmother’s house for dinner. On the way, he said he wanted to do a “surf check” at the beach, which didn’t set off any bells. He suggested they take a beach walk because the season was coming to a close and the sunset was too nice to miss. “Jim wanted to avoid being near people, and I was nagging him to leave, as I didn’t want to be late for dinner. Little did I know he was about to get down on one knee and propose. I immediately said, ‘Yes!,’” explains Rachel. “Finally, he asked, ‘Do you want to see the ring?’ I had totally forgotten about that part!” He then told her that her parents weren’t able to come down from Florida but were excited to celebrate when they were coming to the city the following weekend. At that exact moment, she looked up to see her parents and her dog running towards them with Jim’s family following behind. “It was the best moment and so special that he would go through all of that trouble to surprise me. They had been hiding out all afternoon and were forbidden from going into town, so I wouldn’t bump into them,” the bride says. To ring in the good news, they all went to Topping Rose in Bridgehampton for dinner.
When it came to where they’d have their wedding, both of them knew that Jim’s grandmother’s house was the spot. It’s where his parents were married in 1986, and East Hampton had already become a special place for them—it’s even where the two took their first trip as a couple. “We wanted a ‘destination wedding’ without leaving the tri-state area, so it felt perfect,” Rachel says. “In terms of aesthetic, we wanted a country wedding in a beautiful Sperry tent that was also modern and sophisticated.” The couple hired Michael Russo to help plan everything. “It was important to have someone who would be fun to spend the year planning with and Mikie was that person!” she says.
Luckily, the bride got engaged right before Bridal Fashion Week and was able to go to some of the trunk shows. With her sister-in-law and close friend in tow, Rachel went to the Saks Fifth Avenue Bridal Salon for the Oscar de la Renta trunk show and fell in love with her dress. “I really wanted an A-line, strapless gown that had light lace and floral accents, given that Jim’s grandmother’s home has a lot of gardens. This dress in particular had a pleated chiffon skirt underneath that brought everything to another level! It was so lightweight and ethereal,” she says. “Even my husband’s grandmother came right away to see ‘the one’ (leaving my husband waiting for her at the restaurant table for brunch!) and was smiling from ear to ear,” Rachel explains.
Through work, the bride-to-be found makeup artist Natalia Carrasco. “We became very close throughout the planning process, and she helped me achieve a natural, polished, and sophisticated look,” Rachel says. Celebrity hair stylist Gad Cohen created a pulled back look with loose waves for her, with extra appliqués from the dress pinned into the style. For jewelry, Jim re-set Rachel’s mother’s diamond tennis bracelet and gave it to his fiancé while she was getting ready for the wedding. She also borrowed her mother’s floral diamond drop earrings, which matched her gown’s detailing perfectly.
The groom wore a classic, black Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo with J.Crew heart socks that the bride had gifted him for their first Valentine’s Day together. “They are his favorite pair! It was really sweet. He also wore his late grandfather’s gold cuff links for the first time. He looked so handsome!” gushes Rachel. Bridesmaids wore different shades of blush, and the maid of honor was the only one with sequins on her dress.
The ceremony was not exactly how Rachel had pictured it. “I remember looking out on the backyard the entire year leading up to the wedding whenever we were at Jim’s grandmother’s house and picturing how I would walk down the hill with my parents to my future husband,” she says. In actuality, after family photos in front of the floral chuppah were finished, it began to lightly rain. “Classic Hamptons!” They decided to move the ceremony from outside to underneath the party tent, and Michael and Annie of Sag Harbor Florist set up a beautiful set-up in just 30 minutes! “Flowers and candles were lining our aisle and we had gorgeous hydrangea bushes in the background. The modern, white basket lights and beautiful blush and white florals in the tent came to life, and the light pitter patter of the rain on the tent roof was so calming and magical. It really felt like a fairytale and we were so lucky to be surrounded by all of our close family and friends,” says the bride. Coincidentally, the same thing happened to Jim’s parents in the same spot on their wedding day more than 30 years ago.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds went back up to the house for few moments alone. “We were so happy that the ceremony went smoothly, and Jim was even more relieved that he broke the glass on the first try!” says Rachel.
For food, the couple worked with the husband and wife team of Art of Eating who source all produce from local farms. Fan-favorites likes pigs in a blanket, mini lobster rolls, duck pizzas, and fish tacos were served along with two signature cocktails: “Aperol Kritch” and “Campari O’Spray.” And a choice of grilled steak and local fish was given to guests for dinner entrees with sweet potatoes and a summer vegetable medley. The cake, made by Rachel Cronemeyer Flatley, was five tiers of vanilla with rosewater filling and a milk chocolate ganache. Other sweets included mini ice cream cones served in a box of sprinkles, mini milkshakes with brownies, and cherry pie pops.
While some people ate, others headed straight for the dance floor where the band, LUXE, kept everyone happy and moving. “At one point we had a conga line going . . . ” remembers the bride. During a quieter moment, the fathers of the happy couple, the maid of honor, and the best man made speeches. “Jim also made a speech to me that evening that was so nice and heartfelt.” The two had their first dance to ‘How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)’ by James Taylor. “We had taken a few dance lessons before the wedding so we had some fun with it.”
After the reception, guests came out from underneath the tent to a fire-camp set-up with blankets, pillows, and a s’mores station. Sparklers were passed out along with small containers of fried rice, chicken and waffle bites, and grilled cheese bites—a delicious way to end a night!