Ariel Johnson

Emily & Joven's Destination Wedding at The Barn at Flanagan Farm

Emily & Joven's Destination Wedding at The Barn at Flanagan Farm

Many months ago, Emily and I met each other through video chat with her newborn son chiming in when he felt necessary while I thought about how long it had been since my daughter was his size. Bonding over the chaos of motherhood, we talked about her & Joven's plans for their destination wedding here in Maine during Maine's peak foliage. I was left in awe of their teamwork as they planned their wedding from the other side of the country (with help from Cassie of Doting & Details). Tackling wedding planning with a newborn at home? They did so with style and their wedding day itself was more perfect than I could ever say. Now, they might have wished for slightly warmer temperatures and a bit more bright fall colors on the trees, but at least it did not rain!

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Brenna & Rob :: Wedding & Reception at Frontier in Brunswick, Maine

Sometimes you get a moment where there is a light bulb that goes off above your head. Whether it is an idea or a thought, it is often a source of inspiration. For me, I had a bulb light up as soon as I first met Brenna, her mom, and her bridesmaid over an awesome latte at Panera Bread. I had to photograph her wedding. There was pretty much nothing in the world that I wouldn't give to be there. The vision they had, the details they planned, the time of year, the venue... all of it was like a dream come true to me. And I wasn't the one getting married! We talked of how Brenna met Rob and how they had been across the country (and back) together. The conversation turned to what last details they were looking to book for the day and, eventually, to the cake. With Brenna not being a fan of the traditional cake and looking for something more unique that fit their day, I immediately suggested donuts. But it couldn't be just any old donut. It had to be special. It had to be Maine. It had to be Holy Donut in Portland. They loved the idea. And, as if I thought it was possible, I was even more hopeful that I would get to be there to see this all come together.

They picked me. They picked ME! I was ecstatic. A gorgeous fall wedding AND a winter engagement session. (If you haven't seen their portraits from last winter, you are seriously missing out because they are seriously some of my favorite ever.) I am one lucky lady!

Fast forward to this fall. It. Was. Amazing! I was blessed with an incredible overcast sky (my all time fav weather conditions!) and a temperature just cool enough to keep the gentlemen cool and comfortable but not so cold that the ladies were shivering and blue. It was fall in Maine. It does not getting better than this. The bridal party gathered at the gorgeous Inn at Brunswick Station to get ready: the ladies in one suite with the guys on the other side of the wall. The primping for the girls started much earlier than the guys. So typical! I always say that the guys are “boxers and beer” until it was go time and that held true that day. Once the details were finished, Brenna debuted her attire to her ladies in waiting for the first time: tears, gasps, huge smiles... one of their best friends was about to marry their best friend.

Brenna went to meet her dad. It was one of my favorite moments of the whole day. The pride gushed from him as he embraced his baby girl just moments from walking down the aisle to Rob. Bouquets were passed around, we captured portraits on the gorgeous side porch of the Inn, and away they went to what has to now be one of my favorite wedding venues ever. The call was made for the boys to come down. Boutonnieres were pinned. Jokes were made. And then we made our way to Frontier.

The ladies waited in a side room as the guests arrived with the buzz of excitement of a new chapter for these two lovebirds. Seats were taken in the theater with their friends and family gasping at how absolutely amazing Frontier was. Frontier is located in the Fort Andross Mill in Brunswick. It has gorgeous, huge windows with this amazing light pouring in. A movie theater boasting the latest from the documentary and art film world. And a huge art gallery with views of the mill courtyard.

The ceremony was filled with high emotions as these two families became one. The tough firefighter showed his soft side as he watched his bride being led down the aisle with the veil pulled over her face. Brenna was so stunning while holding on to the arm of her very proud dad leading her to her almost husband. That moment. It will always choke me up. I have to watch myself and make sure I don't cry. This is the time. The time that they become husband and wife. This is what the day is all about. The vows. The ring. The kiss. They are now one. More so than they were prior to this day.

Following a whirlwind family portrait session next door in the gallery, the newlyweds and I loaded in to a Brenna's stepfather's car and took off for the footbridge down the street. The foliage was amazing. The light could not be more perfect. The timeline was arranged perfectly to maximize the time I had with the couple (did I mention that I LOVE them?!?). We buzzed around the bridge managing to not slip on the newly fallen red leaves while avoiding disrupting the other people taking in the views. I was making my now infamous happy noises like no tomorrow. What I was seeing... what I was capturing... Oh. My. Goodness. Love love love...

The party continued at the Frontier as the newlyweds' family and friends celebrated what they all knew was meant to be. Brenna and Rob. Married. At last. The smiles, the cheers, the tears... it was all for them. And I was right there with everyone. Brenna and Rob may have started the planning process as clients. But, as many of my couples do, the day of became a day of seeing my friends marry each other. And to have it happen in such a amazing venue like Frontier with the amazing details like theirs and the delicious donuts from Holy Donut (Yes, they did take my suggestion!) and Cinnamon rocking the joint like they owned it, I dare say that the day was even better than any of us had ever imagined. I want to relive it right now. And I didn't even get married that day!

Brenna & Rob (and your family and friends): You are all so amazing. Really. You are. This journey with you both to this day has been incredible. I will forever hold in my heart our wandering around the East End in Portland overjoyed with the huge, fluffy snow flakes that Mother Nature blessed us with and with how absolutely perfect your wedding day was. I am honored to have been there to capture it all. And Alan and I are already looking forward to our trip back to Frontier for a date night (you guys rock!).

The newlyweds already have all of their awesome photographs from the day on my website, but I certainly did not want to keep their sneak peek from you. So, here it is! (And you can also catch it over on Facebook, so be sure to like my page!).

Date: October 5, 2013  |  Getting Ready Location:The Inn at Brunswick Station in Brunswick, Maine  |  Ceremony & Reception Location:Frontier in Brunswick, Maine  |  Bridal Boutique: David's Bridal  |  Groom's Attire: JCPenney  |  Donuts:The Holy Donut in Portland, Maine  |  Cake Artist:Bam Bam Bakery in Portland, Maine  |  Florist: Pauline's Bloomers in Brunswick, Maine  |  Hair & Makeup Artist: Ariel Johnson  |  Band: Cinnamon  |  Officiant: Rev. Erika Hewitt  |  Tent & Rental: One Stop Event Rentals in South Portland, Maine  |  Transportation: Brunswick Taxi