By MARISSA R. MOSS PHOTOGRAPHS BY TIMOTHY LEE| August 7, 2011 |
Anneris and Mark Blair
on their wedding day
Mini lobster rolls
Place cards feature
an illustration of
A tower of
The menu, written
in Spanish and
The couple dances to music by Grupo Irek
When Mark Blair decided to propose to his now wife, Anneris Blair (née Diaz), with a beautiful, Edwardian-style engagement ring, he could only imagine one appropriate place to get down on one knee: Montauk. “It was on New Year’s Eve,” says Mark, “and it was getting dark, so we took a ride out to the lighthouse. I had been coming to Montauk for about 30 years and she for the last five, and she fell in love with Montauk. So I thought, when I am going to propose, it had to be there.”
The End seemed like the natural location for where they should begin their married life. “We knew we wanted a place on the water,” says Mark, “but we had looked around and not really found what we were looking for.” Then Navy Beach opened in the spring of 2010, and the couple went for dinner. “We came in and saw the location, the room, the setting and thought it would be perfect. Then we met Franklin and Layla—they were great and understood what we were looking for.” They booked it immediately for the reception following their ceremony at St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, and set the date: June 25, 2011.
As a freight and real estate broker living in Soho and the owner of online gallery Glimmer Gallery, which hosts pop-up shops in Manhattan and the Hamptons, Mark was a seasoned host, and he partnered with Anneris to shape their nuptials. “I am used to throwing parties and events at my house in the summer,” he says, “but Anneris was also involved in every step.” The result was a wedding full of unique details and charming quirks, with the strong recurring theme of pure East End spirit.
It started with the invitations. “We did a message in a bottle,” says Mark. “The outside of the bottle had a picture of the Montauk lighthouse.” The couple selected cupcakes from Mary’s Marvelous in Amagansett in lieu of a cake, and floral centerpieces—blue hydrangeas and coral peonies—were designed by Amagansett Flowers by Beth. Anneris also wanted to purchase her dress local, so she asked friend Joelle Klein of Share With to design her gown. The tables were labeled with Montauk neighborhoods such as “Hither Hills” instead of numbers for their 100 guests.
Food, served family-style, was catered by Navy Beach and included such Hamptons favorites as mini lobster rolls, fish tacos, lobster tagliatelle and a fresh sea bass. The dishes were printed out in a menu with Spanish translations for Anneris’s family and anchored with giant starfish paperweights. “Being it was a Montauk event, rosé was flowing copiously—always a favorite here,” says Navy Beach owner Franklin Ferguson. “The striped bass filet served on baby bok choy and Asian vegetables were a hit with everyone.”
But when it came to the music, that was the one area where Mark had to leave the East End behind. “My wife is of Dominican descent, so I knew we had to have some Latin music at the party,” he says. He hired the Cuban band Grupo Irek to play and recruited celebrated DJ Jason Eldredge of Santa Monica’s KCRW radio to provide additional music. Eldredge mixed a set of ’70s glam, ’80s favorites and current hits for the guests, who were provided flip-flops so they could walk over to the beach at the dance floor on the sand.
While the wedding was certainly special for the couple, it was also a unique occasion for Navy Beach. “They were the first wedding we hosted at the restaurant,” said Ferguson.
Mark and Anneris have since been enjoying married life after a honeymoon in Italy and are looking forward to many more summers out East. “Our wedding was everything we dreamed and even more,” said Anneris. “The church ceremony was unforgettable, the reception at Navy Beach was outstanding—the staff, the food, the weather and the music together with the presence of our family and closest friends made the whole wedding just perfect.” Added her new husband, “Montauk has a special place in our hearts and is a large part of our past, present and future.”