Janelle Larsen and Dakota Fogg married last Saturday afternoon in a storybook Island wedding under a warming sun on Menemsha Beach in Chilmark. The young couple was surrounded by nearly 200 family and friends, and more than a few beach walkers drawn to the flower-draped trellis under which they exchanged vows. Janelle, 20, is the daughter of Lanette and Stanley Larsen of Chilmark. Dakota, 19, is the son of Yvette and Douglas Fogg of Edgartown.
Their marriage joined two well-known Island family names in an Island-style “royal wedding.” Royal weddings here are not defined by pomp and ceremony. They are the result of spontaneous involvement from the entire community.
In the case of the new Mr. and Mrs. Fogg, the demonstration of community love took various forms: Danielle Fogg, Janelle’s new sister-in-law, transformed the reception area at the Chilmark Community Center. Its normally woody interior became a “palais royale,” festooned with tiny white lights, its ceiling draped in luxurious white, highlighted by three chandeliers.
In the kitchen, Jack O’Malley oversaw preparation of the wedding dinner. Mr. O’Malley heads the culinary department at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, where he instructed Mr. Fogg. Two hours before the wedding, Mr. O’Malley described his wedding gift to the couple:
“We’re serving roasted sirloin in a Bearnaise sauce, roasted asparagus with Parmesan cheese, mashed potatoes, and Brussels sprouts with cream and bacon,” he said, adding, “These are two great young people from wonderful families. I’m happy to do this.” The menu also included a selection of goodies from Back Door Donuts in Oak Bluffs, a favorite of Mr. Fogg’s, and a wedding cake created by Marie Devine, a bridesmaid in the wedding party.
Outside the community center, Jeff Gore stood before the wedding in suited finery beside a glistening red van he was using to shuttle guests between the reception and the wedding site, a mile away. Mr. Gore is normally a driver for Martha’s Vineyard Excursions, which offers Island excursion tours to visitors.
On Saturday before the wedding, Mr. Gore was happy to give his time and the use of the van, donated by the tour company, to the newlyweds. “I’m just pitching in. They are fantastic people. I got to know Janelle, who works at Larsen’s Fish Market, while I was driving tours up to Menemsha. I’d do anything for them,” he said.
Esther Clifford, for whom Janelle has done landscaping work, volunteered to create floral arrangements for the wedding, including centerpieces that graced the tables at the reception.
As the 4 pm ceremony neared, family and friends arrived beside an elegant boardwalk from the parking area to the trellis. As they gathered, they were treated to soft guitar music from Michaela Delphin and Renato Gomes, friends of the bride. “Janelle and I grew up together. She’s a really good friend,” Ms. Delphin said.
Then it was time. Mr. Fogg and his groomsmen, in tan suits and matching deck shoes, waited at the end of the boardwalk. He was attended by his brother and best man, Jesse Fogg, and groomsmen Adam Fragosa, Isaac Fragosa, and Walter Greene. Family friend Carl Flanders performed the wedding ceremony.
Maid of honor Ivy Fournier, and bridesmaids Marie Devine, Courtney Smith, and Danielle Fogg, in perfect Vineyard wedding ensembles — long, flowing hunter green dresses and bare feet — walked the boardwalk before proud dad Stanley Larsen escorted his daughter down the wooden-slatted aisle to begin her new life.
Last week, Ms. Larsen and Mr. Fogg talked to the Times about their relationship and their wedding.
“Our families were friendly, so we were together a lot, probably since we were 3 or 4 years old,” Janelle said. “Dakota was always sweet to me growing up. In high school, he would bake little treats for me and leave notes on my car.”
Dakota expressed his lifelong interest in his bride, and remembers “feeling a little jealous as a 7- or 8-year-old when Janelle paid attention to my brother.”
Despite their long association, Janelle said, “it wasn’t until after we graduated from high school a year ago that romance blossomed.
“We chose the beach because it is a beautiful, God-created setting, and we both love the outdoors,” she said.
The couple will honeymoon in the Dominican Republic before taking up residence in a small cottage on the Larsens’ property in Menemsha. They will return to their lives, Janelle at Larsen’s Fish Market and Dakota as a carpenter working with his dad, both embraced by a community that loves them.