Young at Heart
Cape Cod Life / September/October 2022 / People & Businesses
Writer: Julie Craven Wagner / Photographer: Paul Blackmore
An unlikely couple finds real happiness and shares their special day at Osterville’s Nauticus Marina.
George Regan is a storyteller. Anyone who knows the enigmatic founder and CEO of Regan Communications, one of the top public relations firms in the country, has encountered his boundless energy and jovial wit. Tagged with the moniker, the Prince of PR, as any good pitch man worth his salt, Regan can easily transition between a variety of roles of the Royal Court. Ruler, courtier, confessor and even jester; these are all roles, Regan’s multitude of talents execute masterfully. As a result, his long and successful career in communications and representation has accumulated legions of friends, acquaintances, and close allies. When Regan, after a lifetime without ever making a trip to the altar, finally found his one true love, a Who’s Who of New England notables came together to witness the couple’s nuptials.
Fairy tales can come true
It can happen to you if you’re young at heart
For it’s hard, you will find
To be narrow of mind if you’re young at heart
Regan’s journey down the aisle began just as the COVID-19 pandemic required everyone in the country to retreat—an unlikely moment to embark upon a meaningful, life-changing relationship. Elizabeth Akeley was a flight attendant on a Jet Blue flight between Boston and Palm Beach when Regan boarded a mostly empty plane that day in March, 2020. Given an endless choice of seat selections, Akeley suggested he get comfortable in the empty first row of seats. Regan found himself availed of a bank of televisions on the bulkhead in front of him, yet the controls confounded him, so he just started pressing every button. Akeley responded to the urgent calls by saying, “Mr. Regan, are you having a heart attack?” and while she attempted to familiarize her passenger with the system, subtly, Regan coaxed her to take a seat next to him, where he says with a wide grin, “I could really take in how beautiful she was, and she smelled great!”
Akeley didn’t respond to his charms immediately, however. “I told my co-workers, ‘Don’t go up to the front of the plane, there is a nut-job in 1C,’” she recalls with a laugh. “He asked me to dinner the next night, and I told him I don’t date passengers.”
You can go to extremes with impossible schemes
You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams
And life gets more exciting with each passing day
And love is either in your heart or on it’s way
Don’t you know that it’s worth
Every treasure on earth to be young at heart
For as rich you are
It’s much better by far to be young at heart
“I said, ‘Don’t flatter yourself, I don’t have any intention of dating you or marrying you, you just look hungry,’” Regan adds with a twinkle in his eye. His completely unexpected retort provides a glimpse into his irreverent antics which those who know him immediately recognize. The element of the unexpected had a hand in how and why the relationship found the space and time to take root and ultimately bloom.
“The good news was she agreed to dinner the following night,” Regan recalls. “The bad news was the world‚ including every restaurant, shut down that day. When I called to suggest we eat in my hotel room, she really thought I was taking her for a ride!” Akeley confirms, but goes on to say that the same scenario without a pandemic might not have allowed for the couple to spend long periods of time getting to know each other during that spring. “We just really got to know each other, and during a time when most people were limited in their personal interactions.”
Fast forward to July 30th, 2022, and the couple who will forever have to deal with those who take their relationship for face value—that of a man in his 70s who has a beautiful blonde on his arm—celebrated the happiest day of their lives with over 400 of their closest friends. Those lucky enough to attend the event at Osterville’s Nauticus Marina are the evangelists who will be tasked with spreading the gospel of George and Elizabeth Regan: this couple is truly and deeply in a rare kind of love. That message should gain traction if for no other reason than the guests at this prestigious event were among some of the most well-known individuals throughout New England. United States Senator Ed Markey and New England Patriots team owner Robert Kraft were in attendance; former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton served as Regan’s best man; and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker officiated the ceremony. Even our governor who is known for his matter-of-fact way of speaking couldn’t help highlighting the uniquely special occasion when he told those gathered, “For those who know George, we would never have thought this day would come. But after all, he did have to go as far as 35,000 feet in the air to find the one woman with whom he trusted his heart.”
Gospel by The Celebration Singers entertained the guests as they awaited the arrival of the stunning bride who was ferried to the docks at Nauticus via a restored tugboat loaned to the couple for the day by Suffolk Construction CEO John Fish. The bride’s wedding dress, purchased locally from Head Over Heels Bridal in Mashpee Commons, featured beaded shamrocks as a tribute to her husband’s strong Irish heritage. Other local vendors participated in making the special day memorable as the bride’s hair was accomplished by Razzmatazz in Marstons Mills and, everywhere you turned, flowers by Falmouth’s Salty Florist & More captivated the space. The bride’s striking four carat diamond ring, sourced by long-time friend Donna DePrisco from DePrisco Jewelers, was made even more dazzling by six additional diamonds added to either side of the center stone which Regan chose to acknowledge the six dogs the couple cherishes.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, a special American flag from Senator Markey, that had been flown over the United States Capitol and recognized to honor the memory of Regan’s deceased parents, was presented to the couple as the choir burst into their rendition of Oh Happy Day! The newly married couple were embraced by the crowd as they enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres prepared by Olive Chase’s Casual Gourmet and entertained by saxophonist Joe Sparkes. As the sun set on a perfect July afternoon, and the sea breezes tousled the heavy heads of the hydrangeas along the harbor, the party moved next door to Dillon House for a night of dinner, dancing and delirious fun.
And if you should survive to a hundred and five
Look at all you’ll derive out of bein’ alive
And here is the best part, you have a head start
If you are among the very young at heartYoung at Heart ~ lyrics by Carolyn Leigh
Former Patriots Quarterback and sports broadcaster Scott Zolak served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening as he introduced the wedding party to Sister Sledge’s iconic anthem We Are Family performed by the choir. Band The Zoo serenaded the couple for their first dance to Frankie Valli’s version of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. A cake ceremony featuring a multi-tiered cake decorated with hydrangeas and roses, was just one of the highlights of the evening as Zolak and Regan sparred with their own signature brands of humor and wit. A guest list that others might have designed to impress, was instead a true and intimate accounting of George Regan’s full life. A schedule of events and special touches throughout the day would have been a fairy tale bucket list for most, but for this couple each unique moment was an acknowledgment of the special bond they shared with those in attendance.
A wedding is designed to send a couple off with well wishes and all the support needed to buld a new life together. Those traditions were born long ago as elders prepared young couples for life ahead. This is a couple who has lived a life full of experience, has everything needed to exist, even thrive, yet this special day would not, and could not have been exactly that—special—without the support and love from some of the most influential and sophisticated individuals around. To the newlyweds, in the words of George Sand, “There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” Congratulations!
Julie Craven Wagner is editor of Cape Cod LIFE.