Maine Wedding

Ally & Mark's Maine Wedding at Portland Headlight and Grace Restaurant in Portland

Ally & Mark made one of my dreams come true last weekend. Yes, I know. It was their wedding day. Not mine. But when Ally contacted me 15 months prior to their wedding day almost immediately following their engagement, I jumped up and down in excitement as she told they were hoping to have their reception at Grace Restaurant in Portland, Maine. I'm a huge Grace fan and I've always wanted to capture a wedding there. Flash forward to this past weekend, and they made that dream come true.

And what a day it was! Ally spent the morning at Knaughty Hair getting dolled up with her hair being styled by Liz (amazing work!) before putting on the finishing touches at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown Waterfront in Portland. Meanwhile, Mark was spending time with his brothers just a few floors away. With the details put together, it was off on the trolley to the quintessential Maine landmark: Portland Headlight. With the couple choosing Maine for their destination wedding, it was such the perfect spot to tie the knot. Combine that with their spinning pinwheels lining the aisle, the hand fasting ritual they did, and their grandparents serving as the ring bearers and flower girl (SO CUTE!)... it could not have been more perfect.

One of the most awesome aspects of Grace Restaurant is just how darn picturesque it is in that area of Portland never mind the Grace itself. I loved that Ally & Mark planned their timeline such that we were able to explore the area while taking more fun portraits of them with their bridal party and still made it back in time for some of their cocktail hour.

Their reception was held in the totally unique hall in the lower level of Grace Restaurant. The windows, the pillars, the chandeliers... what an awesome space! And then you see the food.... queue the jaw drop. It was so delicious! Then there were lots of laughs and a few tears during the toasts by Ally & Mark's siblings and Ally's dad. Reenactment of that leaping dance move from Dirty Dancing during Ally & Mark's first dance (so awesome!). An incredible unfrosted wedding cake that the bride and her family prepared. And even a surprise from their ladies and guys with a prepared dance off. Needless to say, perfect in every way.

We wrapped up the night watching the sunset over Portland's Back Bay. It was a great way to reflect on the day and how fast the past 15 months have flown by.

Ally & Mark, I hope that your trip home as newlyweds went smoothly. Thank you so much for having me there to capture your day for you. It was such a blast! Here is a sneak peek of all the images you have coming your way.

Date: June 6, 2015  |  Getting Ready Location: Courtyard Marriott Downtown Waterfront in Portland, Maine  |  Ceremony Location: Portland Headlight in Cape Elizabeth, Maine  |  Reception Location: Grace Restaurant in Portland, Maine |  Bridal Boutique: Madeleine's Daughter in Portsmouth, Maine  |  Caterer: Grace Restaurant in Portland, Maine  |  Ceremony Music Duo: Harbor Island Duo  |  Ceremony & Reception Music: The Music Man DJ Service in Kennebunk, Maine |  Florist: The Manchester Flower Studio in Manchester, New Hampshire   |  Officiant: Nick Hammer  |  Hair & Makeup: Knaughty Hair in Portland, Maine

Sara & Colin's Maine Wedding at Darrows Barn at Round Top Farm in Damariscotta

I'm wrapping up Colin & Sara's full gallery this week, but I wanted to take a moment to look back at their amazing wedding less than two weeks ago at the Darrows Barn at Round Top Farm in Damariscotta. Sara got ready in Waldoboro at their new home while Colin spent the morning of their wedding at the Newcastle Inn, an adorable bed and breakfast with gorgeous gardens and views of the water. Surrounded by their friends and family, they were both so at ease as they prepared for the official start of the next chapter of their life together. Colin gifted Sara a necklace he had made for her featuring a rock from Mount Katahdin where they got engaged (so awesome, right?). Sara gave Colin a book from 1913 entitled "Don'ts for Husbands" as well as a pocket watch with the coordinates of the Darrows Barn where they would shortly be married. I think their gifts are perfect reflections of who they are: kind, genuine, thoughtful, and a bit of humor thrown in for good measure.

Their wedding ceremony was held under the arbor that Colin made with two antique doors and architectural details that were well matched for the Darrows Barn. As nature lovers, their tree planting during their ceremony was a very well suited personal touch. With barely a dry eye around, they had their first kiss as husband and wife beneath a canopy of old growth trees in front of the barn.

The reception featured many personal touches as well from many lawn games that they had prepared to the cake and cupcakes baked by one of Colin's family members to the fir trees that they gave as gifts to their guests. One of my favorite parts was when Sara's maid of honor, who is serving in the military overseas, gave her speech through a previously recorded video. I may have been wiping a number of tears from my own eyes during it.

We ended the night by watching the sunset behind the Darrows Barn, which is one of my absolutely favorite parts of the entire Round Top property. The view is definitely one you just don't want to miss. And what a way to wrap up such a great day.

Sara & Colin, thank you for having us there to capture the day for you. I cannot believe it has come and gone so fast. It feels like just yesterday I was first talking to you both about your plans. Your hard work paid off in spades. I hope you are enjoying the newlywed glow for a long time to come!

Date: May 30, 2015  |  Ceremony & Reception Location: Darrows Barn at Round Top Farm, Owned by the Damariscotta River Association in Damariscotta, Maine  |  Bridal Boutique: Andrea's Bridal in Portland, Maine  |  Groom's Attire: Shelley's Flowers & Gifts in Waldoboro, Maine  |  Caterer: Pam Burgess in Warren, Maine  |  Reception Music: Disc Master DJ Services in Waldoboro, Maine  |  Florist: Shelley's Flowers & Gifts in Waldoboro, Maine|  Officiant: Stacie Mariano  |  Hair & Makeup: The Best Little Hair House in Waldoboro, Maine

Jonna & Dave :: Wedding & Reception in Poland, Maine (1 Year Later)

I just can't believe it. I woke up this morning and my phone binged me. It's been ONE YEAR since Jonna & Dave tied the knot. WHAT?!? But I remember it all like it was yesterday.

  • My initial panic when I pulled up to the house Jonna was getting ready in and momentarily thought I was at the wrong place. Backed up the long driveway. Double checked everything. Drove back down. I was right. (Fortunately I'm always early, so it wouldn't have mattered either way.)
  • How handsome their fur baby, Ralf, looked all day long in his bow tie while he basked in his parent's newlywed glow.
  • Every single one of the amazing DIY touched that they put into all aspects of the day from the mass cleaning of the incredible big, red barn to the lupines that lined the aisle. Absolutely incredible. (I still think of Jonna & Dave every time I see lupines.)
  • The laughs that erupted during every piece of Jonna's dad's speech. With Jonna being his "hat trick" of his daughters to get married all within one year of each other, you HAVE to give her parents props for living and breathing weddings while planning all three!

The list could go on. But what I remember the most is this. Jonna & Dave. How happy they make each other and how perfectly well matched they are. It was such an amazing celebration of their love.

Happy anniversary, Jonna & Dave! Hopefully we'll cross paths on the trail again whether on the mountains or that of the path our lives are on. xoxo

Date: June 7, 2014   |  Getting Ready, Ceremony & Reception Location: Private Residences in Poland, Maine |  Bridal Boutique: Andrea's Bridal in Portland, Maine  |  Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse in South Portland, Maine  |  Caterer: Pizza Pie on the Fly in Portland, Maine   |  Ceremony & Reception Music: DJ Duran from Biddeford, Maine |  Florist: Rhonda Davis from the Windham Flower Shop in Windham, Maine

Leah & Nick :: Spring Wedding on the Coast at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine

I swear that last weekend must be a dream. The weather was perfect; puffy white clouds in the crystal blue sky, a breeze off the ocean, and everything was in bloom. Leah & Nick's long awaited wedding day at the Samoset Resort in Rockport was finally here. It certainly was a dramatic change from the hurricane that enveloped Kristine & Trevor's wedding the last time I was at the Samoset Resort in 2009.

I first met Leah & Nick at her brother's wedding in 2013. I was instantly taken by how genuine they both were. I knew then that I would not want to miss their wedding when the day came. Needless to say, I was beyond thrilled when Leah contacted me over a year ago asking if I was available. Obviously my answer was an enthusiastic yes! And the past year has flown by so fast; between the emails flying between the three of us and a get together at Novare Res in Portland, it was like reuniting with best friends come the day of.

Leah was absolutely stunning in her sky high Manolo Blahnik cobalt blue stilettos and her sterling organza bridal gown from the White by Vera Wang line at David's Bridal (VW351178) with her bridal jewelry from Etsy. Hoboken Gardens created perfect floral arrangements that complimented the vintage-inspired look for their Maine coastal wedding. Add all of the amazing details to the classic Maine wedding venue of the Samoset Resort in Rockport and it really was a dream wedding in every way. I could not have asked for a better way to kick off my 2015 wedding season than with the two of them and the rock star team they assembled to make it all happen.

It was so hard to narrow down their entire day to just a sneak peek of what is to come. What an amazing day! Be sure to follow Suzanne Simmons Photography on Facebook and Instagram, too.

Nick & Leah, thank you for having Alan and me there with you for your wedding. It was such an honor! I hope you are having a blast on your honeymoon! The photos you've shared with me thus far are making us want to buy a ticket and go there, too.

Date: May 24, 2015  |  Getting Ready, Ceremony & Reception LocationSamoset Resort in Rockport, Maine  |  Bridal BoutiqueVW351178 from the White by Vera Wang line at David's Bridal in Sterling  |  Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse  |  Caterer: Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine  |  Ceremony & Reception Music: The Music Man DJ Service in Kennebunk |  Florist: Hoboken Gardens in Rockport, Maine   |  Officiant: Reverend Mark Glovin  |  Hair & Makeup: I Do Spas! from Sidney, Maine  |  Bakery: The Sugar Tree in Tennants Harbor, Maine