Hall Honors Veterans with Free Weddings
The Independent – The elegant stone mansion rests behind stone pillars on Route 25 in Greenport. Constructed in the 1850s, the building was named for the owner David Gelston Floyd’s ancestral home of Brecknockshire, Wales. David, grandson of William Floyd, established a track record in Greenport as a shipping magnate, whaling fleet owner, bank president, and legislator.
Stone left over from the building of Brecknock Hall was used to build Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport Village.
In 2011, Brecknock Hall, in partnership with Peconic Landing, created the Veterans Day Wedding Giveback — an opportunity to thank our military personnel and recognize them for their service. The event, now in its 10th year, has become an annual staple at Brecknock Hall and will take place on Sunday, November 8, over Veterans Day weekend.
“We have a wedding here almost every weekend,” said Valerie Tirelli-Hallock, the sales and events coordinator. “And they are all special, of course. But there’s such a special feeling with the Veterans Day Giveback. We provide everything absolutely free, from soup to nuts.” This includes flowers, food, decorations, music, tents, hair, make-up, the cake, you name it, for up to 90 guests.
Giveback was a heartfelt affair from the beginning, thanks to the generous support and dedication of three dozen or more neighboring business partners and volunteers.
“It’s a way for us to thank service members,” Tirelli-Hallock said. “And it’s also a way to involve the Peconic Landing members.”
What happens is this. Brecknock Hall, on its website, has an application for couples where one of the members currently serves or has served in the U.S. Armed Forces. “We get anywhere from four to 22 applications a year,” Tirelli-Hallock said. “It tends to be people who are at least from the tri-state area, and often from the Twin Forks, since of course they don’t want their families and friends to have to travel too far.”
Then the applications are passed on to a committee, made up of members of Peconic Landing, the equity-based “62 or better” community which shares a long driveway with Brecknock Hall. Those members have also served in the military, and judge the contest based on the number of years served, special military honors, and each couple’s personal love story.
The complimentary wedding is held on the Sunday of Veterans Day weekend.
Most recently, U.S. Air Force Reservist Kyle Stephen Holmes, 35, of Sunrise, FL, married U.S. Air Force Captain Kaitlin Daddona, 26, of Southold, at Brecknock Hall on Sunday, November 10, 2019. Kyle and Kaitlin became engaged in May of 2018 when the two were on assignment at different bases: Kyle in Hawaii and Kaitlin in Alabama. Kyle proposed on the last night of a visit to see Kaitlin with his daughter, Kylie, creating a memorable proposal together as a family.
“I wish I could find the words to express how grateful we are for the team at Brecknock Hall and the Veterans Day Giveback. This experience has been out of this world. The care and attention from all of the vendors have humbled us immensely. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything. We will remember this day for the rest of our lives,” said Holmes.
“The day couldn’t have gone more smoothly,” added Daddona. “Every person who had a part in putting our wedding together, from the giveback committee to the vendors, put their hearts and souls into making our day perfect, and we couldn’t be more thankful. Your commitment to our nation’s servicemen and women makes us proud to serve our country.”
“I would like to extend a warm thank you to the sponsors that volunteered their services and teamed up with us to create the beautiful day Kaitlin and Kyle deserved,” Robert Syron, president and CEO of Peconic Landing. “In the almost decade that we have been doing the Veterans Day Wedding Giveback, this thank you to our military personnel has become a heartwarming Peconic Landing tradition that the community looks forward to every year.”
Sponsored by Peconic Landing, the annual Veterans Day Wedding Giveback began in 2011 as an opportunity to thank our military personnel and recognize them for their service in honor of Veterans Day. Now in its 10th year, it has become a community affair, made possible through sponsorship and contributions from local businesses and organizations who donate the time, talents, and services that help to make the dream day a reality.
Brecknock Hall also has a policy, the other 51 weeks of the year, to only hold one wedding a weekend. “We like the couple to feel like the place belongs to them, not like they have to hurry up,” said Tirelli-Hallock. “The bridal suites upstairs offer them a place to put their things and relax.”
The Brecknock Hall team have a group of vendors they use. “It’s part of what makes things go smoothly for everyone,” said Tirelli-Hallock. “Our vendors are all local, and we have several in each category — different caterers, different florists — but they’re all from the area,” she said.
For more information about planning a wedding at Brecknock Hall or to apply for the 2020 Veterans Day Wedding Giveback, visit www.BrecknockHall.com.