When David Kaplan and Jenna Gerbino first laid eyes on their wedding venue, it was love at first sight. Kaplan, who co-owns East Village cocktail mecca Death & Co., and his publicist fiancée were instantly smitten with the North Fork vineyard Bedell Cellars. More than just the acclaimed pours or stylish winery, though, it was the gorgeous surroundings that seduced them; they married there last June.
“You’re so close to the city, but you feel a million miles away — you can escape to this completely other world,” raves Kaplan, who calls the combination of great beaches and wineries a “two for one.” Indeed, Long Island’s East End is arguably one of the world’s most romantic places, and its breathtaking reputation has made this slim spit of land a mecca for perfect dates, proposals and weddings.
Kelli Delaney, who runs the lifestyle bible KDHamptons and married her husband, Dr. Mark Kot, in Southampton, points out that the Hamptons are not only romantic but photogenic — increasingly critical in our Insta-world. “It’s so rare that within a matter of five minutes’ drive you could go from a farm stand to one of the best beaches in the country,” she tells Alexa. “There is something magical about the light, the way it hits the water, so wedding photos are extra gorgeous.”
To guarantee such swoony snaps, stake out a choice spot — like the bright-red St. Andrew’s Dune Church (call it Dune, like the locals) and its glorious gardens in Southampton, or Jack Lenor Larsen’s art-filled 16-acre estate and sculpture garden, LongHouse Reserve, in East Hampton. Also in the heart of East Hampton, Mulford Farm makes for a perfect ceremony venue; the rare, intact English colonial from 1680 overlooks the village’s iconic windmills.
Vineyards like Bedell or Sagaponack’s famous Wölffer Estate (celebrating its 30th anniversary this summer) have become iconic for bucolic walks down the aisle. Public-relations exec Britta Towle Morris married her financier husband, Rowan Morris, at Wölffer two summers ago; the couple had long considered it their favorite date-night spot. “We have been going to Wölffer for years to celebrate everything from Valentine’s Day to birthdays to New Year’s, so when we got engaged, it was one of the first places I thought of,” she says. “What makes it so special is you can sit there, on a beautiful outside terrace, and see the sun setting over the vineyards for dinner.”
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