Kate Shaughnessy and Robert Biggar met in high school on a double date; however, they unfortunately weren’t the pair set up together. “Coincidentally, we were on dates with each other’s friends!” laughs Kate. Though they didn’t hit off romantically, they became good friends and always stayed in touch. After graduating college, Kate joined a program at the financial company Bob worked for, and a few months after being assigned as his “analyst buddy,” they started dating. “The rest is history!” smiles Kate.

When planning the details of their New Year’s Eve nuptials, the couple decided to stay close to home due to the holidays. Desiring a traditional ceremony, they invited 300 guests to witness their vow exchange at the same house of worship Kate attended church and school growing up. “I loved our mass,” muses the bride. “Being a week after Christmas, all of the festive decorations were still in place, creating a very cheerful and celebratory atmosphere.” She was stunning as she walked down the aisle by The Original Runner Company in an off-the-shoulder gown with a lace neckline – the same dress worn by her mother at her own wedding 33 years prior. “We didn’t have to do any major restorations or alterations,” begins Kate. “Just a simple hem fix, bustle repair, and cleaning!”

Following the service, guests traveled downtown for a chic reception, designed to the couple’s specifications. The impressive marble hall where the dinner took place features beautiful columns, high ceilings, and an enormous stained-glass window, which carried over some of the details seen in the ceremony. “We wanted a truly elegant evening that would stand the test of time and not be dated with a specific trend or theme,” says the bride of the refined look they created featuring a creamy palette accented with hunter green, gold, and navy hues. Tables were cloaked with sophisticated ivory linens featuring a soft pattern, surrounded by gold-backed chairs with vanilla cushions, and topped with lush elevated arrangements of orchids, lilies, hydrangeas, roses, camellia blooms, gardenias, bells of Ireland, and trailing stephanotis vines and amaranthus.

Though Kate, her family, HeatherLily Inc., and their talented wedding team planned the majority of the event, the groom shared his opinions regarding the areas he felt strongly about. “I did suggest three things at the outset: a great band, snacks later in the evening, and bagpipes,” he shares. “They were kind enough to indulge all of my requests.” Per Scottish tradition, a bagpiper introduced the newlyweds at the reception before friends and family indulged in a wintry menu of butternut squash soup and burgundy-braised short ribs. For dessert, loved ones enjoyed slices of the couple’s classic four-layer almond wedding cake featuring chocolate ganache, raspberry buttercream, and raspberry jam, and decorated with fresh peonies, anemones, ranunculuses, and smilax.

Though initially hesitant, Bob was pleased with the recommendation of his beloved’s family to take dance lessons prior to the big day. The live band sang Michael Bublé’s rendition of “L.O.V.E.” while the newlyweds performed a foxtrot for a proper first dance. “It was a moment I will never forget and set a great mood for the rest of the evening,” he smiles. Since attendees were eager to engage in revelry leading up to the stroke of midnight, the pair made sure to have an open-air photo booth to create take-away memories, as well as festive New Year’s Eve hats, tiaras, and noisemakers. “I think New Year’s Eve is a great night to get married,” affirms the groom, who enjoyed the extra time with guests leading up to the midnight celebration. “That felt like a nice cap on the evening, ending with an exclamation point.”