The Courtney Shea/Steve Ball Wedding

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Steve Ball, 32, spotted Courtney Shea, 28, straight away that serendipitous night at a local pub in Burlington, Vermont, but he just couldn’t seem to work up the nerve to talk to her. Not wanting to lose the opportunity, he solicited one of his female friends to approach her. “My friend over there thinks you’re really pretty, but he’s way too chicken to come over,” the friend relayed.

The chemistry was immediate; they dated for more than four years before he proposed. Then one Sunday morning after church, Courtney was returning home with her usual cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee when, upon opening the front door, she found Steve kneeling down on one knee. The coffee quickly was discarded and replaced with a stunning diamond ring—Steve’s mother’s very own engagement ring. Steve had brought the family heirloom to Betteridge Jewelers in Greenwich, Connecticut, and had the diamond reset. The end result is a breathtaking round solitaire 1.9-carat diamond set spectacularly in platinum. “This is my quintessential perfect ring” Courtney says.

Courtney and several generations of Shea women set off on a bridal gown-hunting event in Boston and chanced upon L’Elite, a small shop on Newbury Street, where Courtney chose what she termed an Edith Wharton circa 1890s “Age of Innocence” dress, an elegant off-white gauzy gown by Reem Acra with a sashed empire waist and intricate beading. She wore her great grandmother’s pearls and her mother's bag and earrings.

The ceremony was held at St. Michael’s Church in Greenwich. The reception followed immediately after at Le Château in South Salem. Courtney was going for a winter wonderland feel and, as luck would have it, snow fell lightly throughout the day. Centerpieces by The Cheshire Tree in Mount Kisco held sprawling cream-colored flowers, with bright blue hydrangea accents. South Broadway Rhythm, a seven-piece band, played steady Frank Sinatra-esque strains while classic hors d’oeuvres were passed out followed by an elegant supper served on fancy bone china. The onsite pastry chef created a masterpiece Austrian chocolate cake with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting.

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