Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Praise from Katie & John

Praise from Katie & John

★★★★★ (5 out of 5 stars)

“Suzanne Simmons Photography is the best wedding photographer in Portland Maine or Southern Maine, hands down. I first saw Suzanne's work 10 years ago at my sister's wedding. I remembered her kindness, attention to detail, professionalism, and humor while on site, and just as important - how GORGEOUS my sister's photos were after editing.”

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Jacqueline & Josh :: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Wedding & Ocean Gateway Reception in Portland, Maine

Every year there is a date that is just so incredibly popular that it feels like everyone that contacts me is looking for the same one. This year, it was July 13th. I had seven(!!) couples contact me. I always give the first couple to contact me the opportunity to book me first and, fortunately for Jacqueline & Josh, that meant them! They first got in touch with me just over a year prior as they were planning their wedding from "away". I met Jacqueline and her mom and sister to chat about their shared vision for the day and how I could help them capture it all. Knowing that they had chosen by all time favorite church (The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception) and one of my top wedding venues (the waterfront Ocean Gateway), I was secretively praying that they would like me, I mean REALLY like me, and book me for the big day. My wishes came true in August when they made it official!

Fast forward to last weekend. Normally you think of July. In Maine. And those of us "locals" envision it being so hot that we spend every second we can in a lake or the ocean. But not July 13th. It was the most picturesque wedding day I think I have ever had. There were high, puffy white clouds in the sky to diffuse the sun just enough to not have harsh shadows. There was a cooling ocean breeze in downtown Portland. It was perfect.

Jacqueline got ready at her mother's condo on the north side of Portland with all of her lovely ladies. I had been anxiously waiting to see her dress for the past year since I heard she had made the trip to NYC's Kleinfelds. It did not disappoint! I loved the lace, the corset back, and the fact that it wasn't strapless. (If I had to do my wedding over, I'd seriously reconsider my choice of strapless.) It was gorgeous! And her ladies were dressed in perfect, short purple dresses each chosen to match their own taste and style. Love it! (I'm sorry to my ladies for not doing the same.) To add the cherry on top, Jacqueline made her own broach bouquet, which is definitely my all time favorite at this point. It was incredible and definitely worth all the time I know she put in to it. Once the ladies were all dressed and the details had been finished, it was off to the Cathedral for the formal Catholic Mass wedding ceremony, which was made extra special since Jacqueline's Great Uncle performed it. I love when family is so involved in the big day!

After doing the formal portraits in the Cathedral, we all loaded on to the party bus and cruised around the Old Port while taking more portraits of their newlyweds with their bridal party. Jacqueline & Josh made sure to schedule plenty of time for their portraits and allotted me almost two hours! That certainly was a record in my books and was SO amazing! We got tons of pictures of them with their friends but, more importantly, some of my all time favorite portraits of just the two of them. Seriously, it was awesome! They planned for their reception to start a bit after the ceremony to give their guests time to enjoy the Old Port a bit before partying and it worked out so well. Brides & Grooms, take note! If you want tons of awesome portraits, make sure you give yourself time in your day to make it happen.

Following our trip around Portland, it was time to get the party started at the Ocean Gateway! The toasts by Jacqueline's sister and Josh's brother were funny and heartfelt (with a few tears shed for good measure). The Ohio clan rocked it out early screaming O-H-I-O at the top of their lungs during their theme song (it was hilarious)! Jacqueline & Josh's siblings swarmed the dance floor all night and definitely kept the party going for a long time. Lake Region Caterers made sure everyone had the delicious fuel they needed to keep dancing. They always do such a great job!

Jacqueline & Josh, I hope that you are both enjoying your honeymoon in wine country on the West Coast! Thank you so much for letting me play a roll in your perfect day. It was such an honor. Congratulations!

Here is a sneak peek of Jacqueline & Josh's photos from the day. For more, be sure to head over to my Facebook page (and hit the "like" button while you are there). And, within the next couple days, you'll find their complete gallery of photos from the day posted on my website. There are a TON more photos to come and you definitely will not want to miss them.

Jacqueline & Josh's Wedding: Getting Ready
Jacqueline & Josh's Wedding Ceremony
Jacqueline & Josh's Formal Wedding Portraits in Portland's Old Port and East End Beach
Jacqueline & Josh's Wedding Reception Formalities
Jacqueline & Josh's Ocean Gateway Wedding Reception Party
Jacqueline's DIY broach bouquet, Jacqueline & Josh's rings, and a nighttime view of Portland's Ocean Gateway

Date: July 13, 2013  |  Caterer:Lakes Region Caterers  |  Cake Artist:Two Fat Cats  |  Ceremony Music: Organist from the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception  |  DJ Services:MRK Entertainment  |  Officiant: Jacqueline's Great Uncle Alfred Jacques  |  Invitations:Cotton Ink Invites  |  Rentals:A Plus Party Rentals  |  Transportation:Mainelimo  |  Bridal Boutique:Kleinfeld Bridal  |  Ceremony Location:Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, Maine  |  Reception Venue:Ocean Gateway in Portland, Maine

Michelle & Brian :: Wedding at the Eastland Park Hotel in Portland, Maine

Michelle and Brian.... the wedding that wrapped up a chapter for me. I first met Michelle and Brian last year when she was a bridesmaid at Jodie and DJ's wedding. And then when Jen and Josh tied the knot shortly thereafter. Needless to say, we were great friends by the time the planning started for their own wedding! "My girls", as I started lovingly calling these three ladies, have been a cornerstone to my wedding season for a while. Finally having the trilogy all married has been an absolutely amazing trip. But enough about me!

Michelle and Brian got ready at the elegant Eastland Park Hotel in Portland with all of their bridal party and family. Michelle and her ladies were primped by the super talented L'Salotta Salon while the guys were off golfing their hearts out. The super crew from Lasting Memories Videotaping captured the entire day from start to amazing finish.

After the finishing touches had been applied, it was off to the always incredible Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for the ceremony! I know I've said it before, but the Cathedral really does take my breath away every time I'm there. In fact, Michelle and Brian booked the Cathedral sight unseen and told me during a get together this summer that they were tying the knot there. After jumping up and down, I showed them what it looked like for the other amazing weddings I have been honored to capture there and they knew they had made the right choice. It truly is stunning!

Following the ceremony, the entire wedding party hopped in to a limo bus from Maine Limousine Service and headed for the Eastern Prom from the gorgeous "Maine" background of the harbor filled with boats and the islands in the distance. From there, it was time to get the party started back at the Eastland Park Hotel. It truly is hard to chose a favorite moment. Brian's very proud mom getting teary eyed during her dance with her son. Or maybe it was the Eastland Park Signature Flambé presentation from the talented waitstaff at the Hotel. Perhaps it was when Northeast DJs called out other couples, preselected by Michelle and Brian, to kiss each other when the glasses were clinked. But then there was the very last song of the night, Get Low by Lil' Jon. From start to finish, the entire day was filled with memories that I know no one will forget any time soon. I know that I won't!

Michelle and Brian, thank you for letting Alan and I be a part of your day. We are so incredibly honored! And we can't wait to see what the next chapter has in store for you!

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Abbey & Matthew :: Wedding in Portland, Maine

Abbey and Matthew were hitched on a gorgeous, late September day in Portland, Maine. You might remember these two cuties from their engagement session earlier this summer. Needless to say, it was a picture perfect day for these two love birds as they became husband and wife at the always incredible Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. I am so in love with the Cathedral that it takes my breath away every time I step foot inside. And understandably so! It is absolutely amazing.

Abbey wore a stunning, classically style gown from Andrea's Bridal Shop while Matthew was looking super dapper in his black suit. The amazing bouquets and floral arrangements were brought in by the newlywed's family all the way from New York state in a very well air conditioned car (thank goodness the driver didn't freeze!) and were the absolute perfect compliment to their day.

After the Mass has concluded and the couple sealed their vowed with their first newlywed kiss, we made our way to East End Beach as well as the Maine State Pier for portraits before arriving at Ri-Ra on Commercial Street for their reception. After the delicious meal was served, Abbey and Matthew cut the stunning, dark chocolate frosted cake, which was crafted by Cake Extraordinaire. Next up came a very full dance floor as the party really got started!

Congratulations to Abbey, Matthew, and their entire amazing family! Thank you for letting me be a part of your special memories!


Melanie & Sam :: Wedding at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conceptionand Dunegrass Country Club

You may remember these love birds from my engagement session with them last year. Given how much we had together back then, I've been looking forward to their wedding ever since. Lets just say that it was completely worth the wait! I've just finished downloading all of my photos from the day, but I just had to share some of my first glance favorites. I've also posted a bunch of others over on Facebook, so go check those out as well.

Nicole & J Wesley: MARRIED!

On April 24, 2010, I was honored to capture the absolutely gorgeous marriage of Nicole & J Wesley who traveled to Nicole's home state of Florida to tie the knot in Portland, Maine. Unlike the weather we had this month a year ago, the day was stunningly perfect and just the right temperature.

The ceremony was conducted by the bride's cousin and was held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. The Cathedral was so amazing! Everything about the ceremony definitely reflected Nicole & J Wesley's deep love for each other.

In traditional Navy fashion, the newly hitched Nicole & J Wesley had to pass through the sword arch to make it official.

After the ceremony, we went out to the Eastern Prom on Munjoy Hill to take in the gorgeous view.

The reception was held at the Ocean Gateway, right on the waterfront in the Old Port. The entire day went off without a hitch. Even the fire alarm couldn't stop the newlyweds from enjoying every minute of it. We took advantage of it!

Nicole's rings were absolutely stunning, but it wasn't until I learned of the story of the two previous generations that it had blessed that it took my breath away. J Wesley's grandmother and mother both were married with the same engagement ring!

Congratulations to Nicole & J Wesley and thank you so much for letting me be a part of your incredible day. You are such a fun couple and it was very obvious how much you are meant to be together.

For more sneak peek photos of the day, check out my Facebook page!