STEPHANIE FEJES & PHILIP COHEN
July can be steamy on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. “It rained the morning of the wedding,” recalls Stephanie Fejes. “Then, just as I was getting ready, the sun came out! It was a brand-new day.” The thermometer crawled toward 85 degrees as nearly 130 loved ones sat in the sun, cooling themselves with their programs (printed on paper fans), and watched Stephanie and Philip Cohen exchange traditional Jewish vows on the lawn of the Inn at Perry Cabin. After the couple’s triumphant recessional—to, of course, “Here Comes the Sun”—the party got started with chilled cocktails, and it became clear that it would take more than heat to dampen spirits on this day. “In our photos, everybody looks so nice at the beginning, and by the end of the night, everyone is soaking wet,” Stephanie says, laughing.
The pair met in Philadelphia in 2011, when he was in veterinary school and she was working as an intimate-apparel designer. They soon knew they were a match, but logistics posed a challenge: Stephanie got a job in New York City and spent two long years commuting from Philly. When Phil graduated in 2014, he suggested a vacation to the Bahamas, where he popped the question. Of both the trip and the proposal, he says: “They were overdue.”
The couple moved to Manhattan soon afterward, and the bride’s mother took the wedding-planning reins, working with the event and floral designers to throw a big garden party by the water.“My parents live on the shore, and we wanted a formal wedding that still felt almost like it was being held in their backyard,” says Stephanie. They accomplished that through homey details—from cheerful illustrations on their save-the-date and signage to Teddy, the couple’s pup, who romped his way through the ceremony.
As night fell, however, a surprise planned by the bride’s father raised the party’s profile. “He had arranged fireworks, and apparently it was the talk of the town,” says Phil. “People were waiting outside, boats were coming by, but we hadn’t heard about it.” The show was spectacular, Stephanie says, “better than the Fourth of July.” A fitting end to a party with so much sizzle.
The bride, in a custom Mira Zwillinger gown, tapped her fashion know-how to outfit the family-only bridal party. All the men wore Alton Lane; the bridesmaids, Marchesa Notte.
Vows were exchanged waterside, under a chuppah that included birch branches, eucalyptus, and ‘White Lady’ spray roses, topped by the Cohen family tallit.