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Kayla & Peter

A RELAXED GARDEN PARTY/BACKYARD BARBECUE FEEL, WITH A STRONG EMPHASIS ON FOOD AND MUSIC.

Sydney Bender

It’s no secret that on the Vineyard, August is the busiest time of year.

So when Kayla Elliott and Peter Schmidt told friends and family that they settled on a date of August 26 to become husband and wife, everyone was a little surprised.

“They kind of thought we were crazy,” said Kayla, who grew up summering on the Vineyard but now lives off-Island while in her third year at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. Peter, a speech language pathologist who works with survivors of brain injuries, has long family ties to West Tisbury.

Kayla and Peter are skillful planners, but they knew dreaming up the perfect Vineyard wedding required more than just organizational skills. “We started early,” said Kayla. The couple secured a venue, caterer, and rental company for tents, and then hired Plan It Martha’s Vineyard right after getting engaged.

“We’re still not sure whether we started too early compared to convention,” Peter said with a laugh. “But we wanted to make sure all the options were open to us.”

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Starting the planning process almost a year and a half in advance allowed their guests to book hotels and travel arrangements with relative ease. “We wanted everyone to really experience the Island,” said Kayla. To do that, guests reserved rooms in Oak Bluffs, attended a rehearsal dinner at the Outermost Inn in Aquinnah, and visited West Tisbury for the wedding and reception at a private home. 


They wanted the reception to have a relaxed garden party/backyard barbecue feel, with a strong emphasis on food and music. Caterers Kitchen Porch and Smoak collaborated to present passed appetizers, a pig roast, and ribs. “The food was universally incredible,” said Kayla.

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At the end of the night everyone circled back to Oak Bluffs to one of the couple’s favorite spots. “We walked from Summercamp through the Camp Ground, across Circuit Avenue to Back Door Donuts,” said Peter.

“It was really a lot of fun. Crowds of people on the street saw us and said 'congratulations,'” remembered Kayla. “That’s something that doesn’t happen year-round."