I swear that the end of my peak wedding season always hits me like a ton of bricks and I am astonished that another year has come and gone. Of course, with as short a "peak" season we have here in Maine, it really isn't that long at all. I am always filled with mixed emotions when the big day comes. I'm super excited to see my family on the weekends more and to get a bit of a break to recharge, gear up, and learn over the winter to make the next season better than ever. And I'm also sad that the time has flown by so fast and that I won't be seeing couples tie the knot [what feels like] every weekend. With that in mind, I always want my last wedding of the season to be epic to the point that it gets me through until next season.
Jenelle & Joe... you guys delivered!
When I arrived at the quintessential Maine summer camp of Kinglsey Pines, it seriously took my breath away. The air was crisp, there was a nice cloud cover in the sky, the lake was incredibly still, and the foliage on the trees... well, I don't think it gets any better than it was. When a bride and groom decide on a fall wedding, this day is what they envision. I spent the morning with Jenelle, her two sisters, and the rest of her closest girlfriends as they primped and got ready for the afternoon ceremony. Joe, being the typical guy, spent the morning hanging out and playing games with his friends. He was also recovering from sleeping on the beach the night before. Yup. Night before his wedding and he slept outside. I won't get in to the stories that I heard that morning of everything that happened, but suffice to say that I think they'll be talking about it for years to come.
Jenelle's parents decided to surprise her with a horse drawn carriage to bring her to the ceremony by the lake. I was one of the only ones who knew (just them, me, and the guy with the carriage) until shortly before her departure. I LOVE THAT! As soon as she walked out of the cabin to go to the ceremony, her jaw dropped. It just does not get better than that. And, with their other two daughters getting married between now and June, they will be hard pressed to top that kind of surprise! It was the perfect way for the two of them to spend time with their first to get married daughter before she started the next chapter of her life.
Then it was time for the ceremony next to the lake under a HUGE, gorgeous tree with brilliant red hued leaves. Fairy tale? Yes, indeed. Joe was grinning from ear to ear, completely oblivious to the carriage that was sneaking to the top of the aisle with his bride. The secret came out as their flower girl came running down the aisle holding her dad's hand screaming "NEIGH NEIGH! NEIGH NEIGH!" It. Was. Hilarious. Joe's look turned to stunned as his almost wife stepped off the carriage with her hand in her father's with her very proud mother smiling next to her. As the ceremony started, a slight breeze picked up and the leaves started streaming from the tree's branches as if Mother Nature herself was celebrating their union.
After a whirlwind trip of portraits that made me so happy that my heart could burst (can you say ah-maze-ing?!?), cocktail hour by the fireplace (which was definitely needed to warm the ladies up) and a delicious lobster feast in the dining hall, it was time to head across campus to the barn to get the party started. With Music by Duran spinning the tunes and a readily available supply of sweets, everyone soon forgot about the chill in the air outside. As the party really got going, Jenelle & Joe even had an onsite brick oven pizza company start throwing dough and giving everyone the much needed sustenance to get back on the dance floor to keep the party going until the wee hours of the night. It was the perfect way for these two to begin this new chapter of their life together.
I am beyond happy to be able to see Jenelle & Joe next June when Jenelle's younger sister, Jonna, marries David. Families like this are why I do this. The love, the happiness, the smiles, the happy tears, the laughs... ending my 2013 season on this note was seriously a dream come true. Jenelle & Joe, thank you so much for letting me be there for it all. It. Was. Epic!
Date: October 12, 2013 | Getting Ready, Ceremony & Reception Location:Kingsley Pines Camp in Raymond, Maine | Bridal Boutique:Andrea's Bridal in Portland, Maine | Groom's Attire:Men's Wearhouse | Caterer: Lucky Catch in Portland, Maine | DJ Service: Music by Duran | Hair Stylist: Haircrafts Plus in Scarborough, Maine | Officiant: Friend of the Couple