Dune Road: Loree & Gabriel in Montauk, NY

The romance between New York City couple Loree Lash and Gabriel Valencia began at the gym: She was a spin instructor and he was her student. When the couple became engaged, they had no doubt they wanted to exchange vows in Montauk: a town at the rugged, rocky tip of Long Island, presided over by a historic lighthouse. “Montauk is my favorite place in the world,” says Loree. “We both love the vibe there.”

The bride and groom honored their mothers with fresh red roses. “As I walked down the grassy ‘aisle,’ someone took a cell phone photo of me that caught me in a ray of light. I felt that my mother, who died a few years ago, was with me after all," says the bride.
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The romance between New York City couple Loree Lash and Gabriel Valencia began at the gym: She was a spin instructor and he was her student. When the couple became engaged, they had no doubt they wanted to exchange vows in Montauk: a town at the rugged, rocky tip of Long Island, presided over by a historic lighthouse. “Montauk is my favorite place in the world,” says Loree. “We both love the vibe there.”
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On the big day itself, the couple planned to exchange vows in the garden, but the night before, Loree says, “a storm came up. I woke at three a.m., crying my eyes out. All I’d wanted was to be married outdoors! But I kid you not, an hour before the ceremony, the sun came out and it was gorgeous.”
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The color scheme was off-white, black, gold and red. “I wanted the look to be clean and graphic.” The bride and bridesmaids wore elegant Nicole Miller dresses and went happily barefoot in the sand.  “For my bridesmaids, I chose a scent to commemorate the day; the bottles were customized with the wedding date. I also gave the bridesmaids black pashminas for chilly nights.”
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The fragile landscape has a unique windswept beauty. Loree and Gabriel chose to hold their event at the Sole East, a recently renovated venue. “It had just the look I envisioned, with a modern yet beachy feel,” says Loree. “It was the perfect spot for a casual but elegant reception.”
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It was also important to the couple to spend leisurely time with their guests. Fortunately, the inn’s rooms and suites were available to accommodate everyone for the three-day event, which included a welcome party, a sit-down meal beneath a tent, an after-party and a “recovery” brunch on the last day.
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“For the ceremony, we wanted to bring the beach to us, so we filled a vase with shells and sand. I worked with the florist to design a simple, organic chuppah out of twisted birch, roses and stargazer lilies," says Loree.
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Graphic black and gold lighthouses were surrounded by votives and vases holding roses, hydrangeas and chrysanthemums, all in shades of white. The bride, who owns a design company, didn’t want anything about her wedding to look “typical.” She found the handmade lighthouses for her tables by researching online. “I started the design for the whole wedding with those lighthouses,” she notes.
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Family photos added an intimate touch to the decor. “Everyone who meant something to us was at the wedding. My dad was very ill at the time, but he managed to walk with me at the ceremony and dance with me later. He needed to use a cane. There wasn’t a dry eye anywhere.”
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