‘It was just absolutely perfect for us’: Couple who found out their wedding wasn’t official married on Cape Cod

Ashley Veilleux and David Mellen were married at sunset on Saturday on a Cape Cod beach.

David Mellen and Ashley Veilleux
David Mellen and Ashley Veilleux. –Courtesy of Jordan Owens via Ashley Veilleux

About two months after Ashley Veilleux and David Mellen found out their dream wedding on Cape Cod wasn’t official, the couple returned to the picturesque area on Saturday and made their vows to each other once again.

And this time, with licensed officiant the Rev. Elizabeth Zielinski as their guide, the couple can begin their lives together — officially — as husband and wife.

James C. Stern, 39, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, officiated the Agawam couple’s first ceremony on Sept. 15. However, Veilleux soon found out that he wasn’t licensed to perform the service in Massachusetts; a couple of bridesmaids also found out that their credit cards had been misused. Stern is now facing related charges.


While this was going on, Mellen was away — he works on an oil rig, which takes him away from home for about a month at a time.

But with that behind them, Veilleux put on her wedding dress once more, and she and Mellen were married at sunset on a Cape Cod beach.

“It was just absolutely perfect for us,” she said. “We didn’t have a sunset ceremony last time.”

The Rev. Elizabeth Zielinski, a non-denominational minister, officiates Ashley Veilleux and David Mellen’s wedding. —Courtesy of Christie Czarnecki via Ashley Veilleux

The ceremony was smaller and more intimate this time — 13 family members and close friends versus the initial 118 — and there were personal touches that Zielinski was able to add. While the couple used the vows they had written to each other for the first ceremony, Zielinski also asked them for a couple of things that they love about each other, and one thing that the other does that drives them crazy, among other touches. 

“I wrote my ceremony last time,” Veilleux said. “I didn’t really have any guidance on it. What she put together, I’m really happy to have that now. I think it’s going to replace what we had gone through a couple of months ago.”

Zielinski performed the ceremony for free, Veilleux said, adding that the couple knows her from back home — Zielinski is also Agawam-based.


Now, the newlyweds are planning their honeymoon — they hope to venture off to Europe next spring.

“I think we’re just really happy to officially start our lives together,” Veilleux said.