An Island Daughter Marries Her College Sweetheart
“Zach proposed the best and only way I would find acceptable: with a cake,” says Lily Pike, 29. “I had gone home for the weekend and Zach was stuck in New York for work. He figured that was his best chance to pull off a surprise and spent the whole weekend figuring out how to make a Funfetti cake from scratch. When I walked in from my weekend, he was there at the door with a cake and a ring.”
Zachary Harnett, 30, grew up in Brookline, Mass. Lily is from Block Island, she attended all 13 years at the K-12 school here. The two hung out with the same group of friends throughout their undergraduate careers at Brown University, finally making a romantic connection senior year. Both are now doctors.
“Block Island is home,” says Lily. “We couldn’t have imagined getting married anywhere else! Since it also just happens to be the most beautiful place in the world, it worked out nicely.”
Zach came to love the island over the eight years the couple dated before their wedding. “Everything about Block Island is special and wonderful and better than everywhere else,” says Lily. “All the people are better and more wonderful than any other people. It was so amazing to be able to have my whole island family with us on our special day and to show Zach’s family this wonderful, special place.”
The ceremony was held on Lily’s great grandfather’s farm, a nature preserve just beyond the yard of the house she grew up in, where they pitched a tent for the reception.
“I think the deep Block Island heritage of my family and that connection to the island made having our wedding there feel very special,” says Lily.
Zach’s family heritage came into play in a number of ways, too, including a private Ketubah signing with the families and the wedding party before the ceremony. This Jewish tradition of signing a marriage license before the public wedding ceremony “really took the pressure off the ceremony itself and gave us all a special time to come together as a family and celebrate our wedding in a meaningful way,” says Lily.
Their advice for others planning a wedding on Block Island:
1.Use all on-island resources. People on the island are great and they understand island weather and logistics the best. Also, if the boats don’t run, you’ll still have a wedding.
2.Pick a spot on the island that’s meaningful to you for the ceremony, just make sure it’s somewhere where you can get electrical hooked up!
3.Be flexible. You’re on Block Island! Your wedding will be amazing no matter what.
We are still talking about...
… this conversation I had with my Grandma
Grandma: Lily, who were those young people wildly dancing in the corner of the dance floor all night?
Lily: Those were my residency classmates, Grandma.
Grandma: No the really young ones, they were like 16 or something like that.
Lily: Yep, those were my residency classmates. All doctors, all over 30.