On a serendipitous night at a bar in Philadelphia – where Chelsea Popkin was visiting a friend for just one night and Dennis Roellke had just arrived from Germany to begin a semester as a visiting researcher – Chelsea approached Dennis and introduced herself. They hit it off, and Chelsea told Dennis to let her know if he was ever in New York City. 

“He came to visit the next weekend!” she smiles. After five months of dating between Philly and NYC, Dennis had to move back to Germany to finish his master’s program. Their relationship continued abroad, “meeting in the middle” for ski trips in Austria and Whistler, before living together at last in New York. 

In November 2020, Dennis told Chelsea they were going to lunch in town; however, he instead drove her to the airport, where a helicopter was waiting. They enjoyed a scenic flight over the Montauk and Chelsea’s family home before landing on Block Island in Rhode Island. “With the gorgeous Mohegan Bluffs towering above us, he proposed at the foot of the 140 steps leading down to the beach,” remembers Chelsea of the incredible proposal. They had a lovely picnic on the sand before flying back to East Hampton, just in time to catch a perfect sunset from the skies. 

As the couple loves nature, they desired an outdoor wedding in a location that would make for a fun destination for guests who lived both near and far. They settled on a gorgeous wine estate in the Hamptons, where they had spent many leisurely summer nights drinking wine in the vineyard. Inspired by the venue’s yellow façade accented with blue shutters, which reminded the bride of a relaxed summer in Tuscany, the couple selected a Mediterranean-style design concept for the nuptials with influences from both Italy and Greece. 

“Spend the day doing what will make you most happy... Enjoy the moment!”

Friends and family were seated on the grass overlooking the vineyard for the Jewish ceremony, which took place beneath a four-post birch chuppah adorned with lush greenery and brightly colored garden roses, peonies, and ranunculus blooms. The bride and groom shared personal vows with one another in front of 160 friends and family members who traveled from all over the world – across the United States, Germany, and Australia – to witness their love. 

Following the vow exchange and a joyful cocktail hour, guests made their way to the terrace for dinner. Reminiscent of a trip Chelsea had taken to the Cyclades in Greece, basket pendant lighting was suspended from the wood beams above guest tables to achieve the light, airy décor she desired. 

Long wooden tables were decorated with lively floral centerpieces in coral, peach, and citrus tones to evoke the sweet beginning of summer, and light blue candlesticks paired with matte-white ceramic candleholders served as an ode to the white stucco buildings Greece is known for. Each guest’s place setting featured hand-painted blue-and-white tiles in lieu of place cards, as well as a bottle of Limoncello in honor of the bride’s Italian heritage. 

After the newlyweds’ first dance to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli, friends and family from all over the world celebrated under the stars, just as Chelsea and Dennis had always hoped for. The couple offers sound advice to pairs preparing to exchange vows. “Spend the day doing what will make you most happy rather than what you feel you are expected to do,” urges Chelsea. “Enjoy the moment!”

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