Nancy Taylor and Ryan Holmes’s Coastal Wedding

Meredith Heuer

In June 1981, T&C wrote a story on the “Golden Towns of The New Jersey Shore,” featuring a full-page spread of a couple, Geoff and Nancy Dougherty, riding in a 1896 launch boat named Seagar that was originally used for the yacht owned by legendary financier Anthony Drexel. Forty-one years later, the Doughertys’ granddaughter Nancy Taylor was inspired to recreate the exact photo with her new husband Ryan Holmes during their wedding weekend, posing on a restored version of the boat with Ryan even wearing the vintage Lilly Pulitzer blazer Geoff had on for the original photograph.

Leading up to this poignant tribute is a love story that all began on Bumble in 2017 where Nancy and Ryan met and immediately clicked. The New York City-based pair had their first date at Banc Café, followed by a late night at Veselka: “We talked and laughed all night, and instantly knew that we’d found our person,” Nancy says.

A few years later, Ryan knelt down on one knee with a bespoke diamond ring from Rachel Boston Jewellery. “I proposed to Nancy on a bench overlooking Barnegat Bay after a long walk,” he says. It was the perfect plan, as Saturday morning walks were a traditional part of their routine, so he knew that she wouldn’t expect anything out of the ordinary. “After traipsing Nancy through multiple Bay Head businesses and interacting with at least a dozen people who knew of our imminent engagement, I feigned a Charlie horse and demanded that we sit down on a bench right on the bay, where I popped the question.”

The proposal was followed by a champagne brunch, marking the celebration of their forthcoming wedding. All the details of their special celebration, below.

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On their wedding day Nancy and Ryan paid homage to her grandparents by recreating this T&C spread from 1981. Although the family’s original issue of the magazine was lost in Hurricane Sandy years ago, Nancy had recently found a new copy, which is now framed in the couples’ NYC apartment. The restored version of the Seagar also served as Ryan and Nancy’s primary mode of transportation during their wedding weekend.

On July 9, 2022, Nancy and Ryan tied the knot in a boat barn on Barnegat Bay, followed by a reception in Bay Head, New Jersey, where the two traditionally spend their summers vacationing on the shore.

For the ceremony, Nancy wore a Markarian gown crafted with silk dupioni and adorned with mirrors and pearls. “My mom and I had the best time trying on different styles and looking at fabric at the atelier,” says Nancy, who paired her dress with custom Ferragamo shoes. “I saw a similar silhouette from Markarian before we were even engaged, and sent it to my mom saying this is what I want my wedding dress to be.”

The groom sported a classic Belvest tux, with a Creative Way Needlepoint belt stitched by Nancy and another needlepoint bowtie designed by Anne Fisher and stitched by Nancy’s grandmother.

Regarding her something old and new, Nancy wore her great-grandmother’s sapphire and diamond ring, and carried a brand new needlepoint clutch. Her grandmother’s antique bracelet, which also happens to be a family heirlom, served as her something blue. And as for something blue? A pair of Lizzie Fortunato topaz and diamond earrings, a gift from the groom on the morning of their wedding.

The couple danced to “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin, specifically chosen to reflect the coastal theme of their wedding. “Just as I started to get stage fright, our incredible photographer, Meredith Heuer, and our band leader, Phaedra, from Renaissance Orchestra, pulled us out onto the porch of the venue and had us practice all the way through a few times,” Nancy says. “It immediately put me at ease.”

For decades, Nancy, her mother, and her grandmother have been collecting Herend figurines, so it was only right that the bride incorporated this tradition into her wedding. “We were thrilled to find adorable Herend bride and groom penguins, which we used as our cake toppers,” says Nancy.

In addition to a pair of Elsa Peretti starfish cufflinks, Nancy surprised Ryan with an oil painting of himself dressed as Prince Albert. “The unveiling of his portrait was definitely memorable, I’ve never seen Ryan truly speechless before,” Nancy says as she recalls the comical moment which took place during their rehearsal dinner at Nancy’s family’s house in Mantoloking, NJ. As for Ryan’s gifts to Nancy, the bride received a set of diamond earrings and an opal bead necklace from Lizzie Fortunato, along with a vintage 1950s Edixa Mat Reflex 35mm camera.

The wedding menu included a variety of dishes from amuse-bouche grilled peach and honey mascarpone crostini amuse-bouches to pineapple-marinated flat iron steak, while the drinks featured Ranch Water cocktails, along with ale and beer.

After the wedding, the couple jetted off to the Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda, where they spent a few days celebrating their mini-moon. Their true honeymoon took place several months later in Italy— more specifically, Hotel Santa Caterina on the Amalfi Coast and Soho House Rome.

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