Fashion photographer Dean Isidro and Nicholas Holder, sales director for a cybercrime and fraud prevention company, were both technically “off the market” when they met, so they first met as friends. “A few years later, life brought us back together,” recalls Nicholas. This time around, there was a pup – Nicholas’ Great Pyrenees / Spanish Mastiff Mix – to add to the equation. “Dean was the first person I saw Luca while I was on a work trip to California, and within seconds of meeting her for the first time, she crawled into his arms and fell asleep on his chest,” says Nicholas. “I knew it was a deal after that!”
“Luca Belle really brought us together in a way that has connected us ever since,” adds Dean.
Since they were able to get to know each other platonically before the official dating, the suggestion came pretty quickly. “We’d been officially together for a little over a year when Dean asked me to marry him on the last day of 2019,” recalls Nicholas.
“I knew early on that it was only a matter of time before I suggested something to Nicholas,” admits Dean. “He fitted so perfectly and entered my New York family in a way that was so casual and effortless.”
Nicholas had just come home from visiting his family in Wisconsin on Christmas break. “It was one of those super mild December days and we decided to take the dog to our favorite beach – the Cut in Bridgehampton,” recalls Nicholas. “Dean wanted to take a picture of me when the sun was going down. I had my back to him and when I turned around I noticed that Luca was wearing an indigo collar with nice bows and a box. She ran up to me and when I started opening the box, a handmade bracelet with pearls that spelled out, “Will you marry me?” When I got over the shock and saw the ring, I immediately started crying and hugging it … I think I forgot to say yes. “
Before the pandemic, the plan was always to get married, where Dean’s best friend, the founder of LoveShackFancy, Rebecca Hessel Cohen, married 10 years earlier – with her mother and father in Watermill, New York, surrounded by an apple orchard and in a field of wild grasses. “The natural beauty of Rebecca’s mother, Nancy’s property, can only be summed up in two words that are romantically enchanting,” says Nicholas. “When COVID happened it threw everything into uncertainty. The only thing that was certain in early May was that we had canceled all plans and booked accommodations for family and friends. We really spent the summer in limbo, just trying to be present. We’ve only seen our quarantine pod – aka Rebecca and her family – meet every now and then for a socially distant dinner or drink. Summer came and almost went, and during one of those dinners in early August, Rebecca really encouraged us to stick with our plan. “Love wins,” she said, and boy, did we need a reason for some love? So we decided to get our capsule and our closest friends together for an intimate dinner and an official ceremony. “
After the decision was made to move forward, they had exactly 10 days to plan the wedding. Since it was important that guests were comfortable and people came together as safely as possible, an outdoor environment was crucial. “So much so that on four days when the weather called for rain, we had to make the decision to move the date one day to August 30, 2020,” explains Nicholas. “Maybe not so surprising that everyone still made it – including the 75+ guests who took part in the celebration virtually.”
The aesthetics – from the clothes to the flowers – were clean, white, simple, and organic. However, the day before the wedding, the mood took an additional direction when Rebecca found the perfect dress. She was out shopping in East Hampton with her mother Nancy when they passed the Ralph Lauren store and saw this beautiful indigo dress over a chair in the window. “Dean has always had a passion for indigo dyeing, so it seemed only natural to include more of those hues in the aesthetic,” says Nicholas. “One of the special moments was watching Dean and Nancy print vintage lace with indigo and LoveShackFancy tablecloths to add a whole new depth and layer to the reception desk decor.”
For their own looks, Nicholas and Dean had clear but very different ideas about what to wear to the wedding. “I knew I would be most comfortable in one of my vintage white t-shirts, a white Gucci tuxedo, and paint-splattered Camp Isidro pants,” says Dean. Nicholas, whose taste is classic at heart, wore the same Gucci tuxedo jacket with white Ralph Lauren Purple Label linen trousers and indigo Golden Goose trainers. And of course, Luca, the couple’s two-year-old puppy, had her own indigo bow collar – the same one she wore the day Dean suggested Nicholas.
The guests were instructed to wear anything white, cream or cream white. “We also made sure to bring the topic across to all of our family members and friends who would be following the ceremony virtually. I wanted them to feel like they were with us. It was pretty amazing to see over 75 of our closest friends and family who couldn’t be there because of the pandemic to take part in this moment and have fun, ”says Nicholas. “We also made vintage mud cloth masks for everyone and indigo hoodie sweatshirts with an embroidered D + N in the heart.”
The couple married outside under an antique arbor that Missi had covered with beautiful flowers in the field behind Nancy’s, affectionately known as the Dining Shed. This place has been the site of many LoveShackFancy shoots over the years. “It was important to me that we schedule the ceremony when the afternoon sun sets over the apple orchards, turns into twilight and is later illuminated by the moonlight,” explains Dean. “It’s such a popular and familiar light that I know so well.”
Rebecca and her two daughters Stella and Scarlett were the first to walk down the aisle. As they walked barefoot through the grass in their LoveShackFancy dresses, they sprinkled white rose petals to pave the way for their mother. Then Nicholas, Dean, and Luca followed in the footsteps of the petals and passed friends and family as they headed to the arbor. “There we exchanged our vows in front of family and friends,” says Dean. “I will always remember that moment, the afternoon sun over his face, his hair blowing gently and our puppy looking up at us as we kissed.”
“In all the craziness and last-minute driving – from making sure the camera was free for our Zoom guests to trying to find my tuxedo jacket – the world melted as soon as we walked down the aisle,” says Nicholas. “I’ve never experienced this feeling before. To be fully present and to be with your best friend who you couldn’t spend the rest of your life with. To be in this moment, just looking into his eyes and reading our very personal vows together, was one of the most incredible moments of my life. “
At the next reception there was a long farm table for the LoveShackFancy friends and family. “Dean planted cedar beams and strings of lights to create an amazing glow that played off the full moon and antique silver candelabra,” says Nicholas. “We added three additional vintage English iron tables for families to use so they can keep social distance and stay in their quarantine pods.”
During dinner, Rebecca gave a hearty toast before she and her daughters sang an original a cappella rendition of “The Bones” by Maren Morris. Then the dance began – “and as with any successful wedding, we drank wine with the family late at night and ended up in the kitchen,” says Nicholas. “I think COVID has taken back a lot of frivolous things that don’t really matter. It was very heartbreaking for both Dean and me to realize that none of our family members can travel because of the pandemic. When we decided to continue the wedding, we put just as much energy and thought into the virtual part. When we knew a huge chunk of our hearts that all of our immediate family who couldn’t travel from Wisconsin and California because of the pandemic would not join, we wanted to feel like they were right there with us. My family had their own wedding reception in Wisconsin and got together for the first time since the pandemic. Dean’s family did the same from Santa Cruz, California. I am still impressed by the love that our family and friends who joined us around the world came through the video screen. “