James + Nina

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
Richard Israel

Bankers Nina, twenty-nine, and James, thirty-eight, enjoy visiting gardens together, so it was only natural that James proposed at the Wing Haven Gardens & Bird Sanctuary four years after they met through mutual friends.

Two years later, another garden — the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont — set the stage for their wedding. At 6 p.m. on a clear April day, a Judd Waddell-clad Nina, accompanied by both parents, entered down a grassy aisle. Interfaith minister Rebecca Nagy officiated, integrating an Irish prayer and a Jewish wine blessing. "Our ceremony was beautiful and incorporated both of our personalities, spiritual beliefs, and love for each other," says the bride.

An alfresco cocktail hour at Crepe Myrtle Crossing took place just before sunset. Then the 130 guests moved to the Great Hall for a reception feast of sea bass and chicken roulade, followed by an almond, lemon, and chocolate cake by Cake Lady Jill. Then area entertainers Phase Band got everyone dancing. "They know how to work the crowd and also nailed our first-dance song, which was crucial," says Nina of Natalie Cole’s "This Will Be An Everlasting Love." "[The first dance] was choreographed by a professional at Fred Astaire Dance Studio and involved lifts, dips, spins — the whole nine yards. I was in tears when we got through it."

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