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!Read More
As I wrap up the gallery for Cerelia & Jim's gorgeous November wedding, it is the perfect time to reflect on the day. When I first met Cerelia and Jim, it was exactly eight months to the day before they were to walk down the aisle. I met them in the North Dam Mill in Biddeford, Maine, where their reception was to be held. I drank my fancy coffee from the amazing Perk Cafe. I crossed paths with one of my favorite DJs, Jim Smith from Premier Entertainment, as he was leaving his consultation with them and I was just heading in for my own. It was as if it was a sign of how awesome the actual wedding day would be.
Come the day of, the sun was shining brightly and the temperature was just warm enough to not be unbearable, but it was definitely still November. The crispness in the air was definitely there. Cerelia and her girls got ready at the Hampton Inn Biddeford-Saco and I arrived just as their makeup and hair was being finished. Hairspray was sprayed on their hair. And in their shoes (to prevent slipping). Dresses were pulled on. Tears were shed. It was a beautiful day to get married. Deciding to see each other prior to the ceremony, Jim first saw Cerelia as the elevator doors opened. A smile broke out on his previously nervous face. And her dad, also seeing her for the first time as a bride, was more excited than anyone. He was one proud dad!
We captured their bridal party portraits at the Inn before heading to Biddeford Pool with the bride & groom in a school bus with their bridal party and family. The coral that Cerelia chose to dress the bridal party in was the perfect pop of color against the blue ocean and the greenery of the trees.
The ceremony itself was held at the perfect little Union Church in Biddeford Pool. Between the warmth of the love between Cerelia & Jim and the heat wafting out of the floor vents, everyone soon forgot the quickly dropping temperatures outside as the sun began to set. For theirs guests who had traveled from far and wide, this was what they came for. To see Cerelia marry Jim, who she had pursued on her own despite him being her boss. Go, Cerelia! When she knows what she wants, she goes and gets it.
The celebratory reception was held in the awesome North Dam Mill in Biddeford. The building's character in combination with Cerelia's eye for detail and design led to an experience that no one will soon forget. Surrounded by their closest friends and family, Cerelia & Jim danced the night away in each others arms. Completely and utterly in love. Basking in the glow of newlywedness.
Cerelia & Jim, thank you so much for letting me play a roll on your awesome day. It was so incredible! This is just a small sneak peek of the many, many more photos that will be coming to you shortly. I can't wait to show them all to you!
Date: November 16, 2013 | Getting Ready Location:Hampton Inn in Saco, Maine | Ceremony Venue:Union Church in Biddeford Pool, Maine | Reception Venue:North Dam Mill in Biddeford, Maine | Bridal Boutique:David's Bridal | Groom's Attire:Classic Tuxedo | Caterer:Union Pub in Biddeford, Maine | Cake & Dessert Artist:Perk Cafe in Biddeford, Maine | DJ Service:Premier Entertainment | Stationary:Etsy | Rentals:Party Plus Rentals in Biddeford, Maine | Makeup Artist: Dan Shackley in Portland, Maine
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
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
Beth & Kevin tied the knot on November 17, which wrapped up my 2012 wedding season. The weather forecast was for showers and cold temperatures. Fortunately, we missed out on the showers, but the meteorologists were certainly right on with the cold temperatures. It was chilly out! Once they were both ready and the finishing touches had been put together, they decided to do a first look and see each other before the walk down the aisle. They were gushing they were so happy. It was such an amazing moment!
With the sun setting so early this late in the year, we captured their family portraits in the lobby of the Hampton Inn & Suites in Exeter before heading over to the main event at Camelot at the Holy Grail in Epping, New Hampshire. Now, I had never been to the Holy Grail, but oh. my. goodness. I dare say I will be making a trip back. Camelot itself is a quaint, thatched roof building styled as if it was straight out of Ireland. The courtyard in between Camelot and the restaurant was the perfect location to capture more portraits of the (almost) newlyweds as we awaited the arrival of the rest of their guests. Once everyone was ready, we proceeded inside of Camelot to make their perfect union official.
And perfect was how the evening went. From the tears shed as Beth & Kevin said their vows to each other to the precious flower girls gazing on during the ceremony to the jingle of the bells ringing as the couple were pronounced as married (which was a touching tribute to Beth's father who, before he passed, said he would be there on the big day "with bells on"). It had everyone in attendance smiling, laughing, and celebrating well in to the night.
Congratulations, Beth & Kevin, and thank you so incredibly much for letting me play a role on your big day.
Be on the lookout for all of the photos to be ready shortly. In the meantime, here is a sneak peek from their wedding day. To see more, be sure to head over to my Facebook page and hit the “Like” button!
And so, when the big day arrived, I was struck by how it felt like such an end of an era to me. After all of the years of planning, the shot lists, the details... it all came down to this one day. And then it would flash by before we knew it. They always say that. I always say that to my couples.
The day started with the ladies primping in their room at the Howard Johnson in Portland, Maine. The weather was gorgeous with the sun shining brightly. The forecast had been for rain, so it was a welcomed change (not that we weren't crossing our fingers anyways). The bridesmaids' dresses reminded me of Greek goddesses with their gorgeous chocolate brown color with just a hint of sparkling gold. Kathryn's sister/matron of honor, looked especially fitted for the part with her long, curled dark hair. To say they were all stunning is such an understatement.
The ceremony itself was held at the always amazing St. Albans Episcopal Church in Cape Elizabeth. I had driven past it on several occasions, but had never had the opportunity to visit. It is such a gorgeous spot! Kathryn & Nick's family and friends filled the church as the couple started this new chapter of their life together. Nick, upon seeing his bride walking down the aisle, got teary eyed, which almost made me follow suit. This day that they had been waiting for for so long was finally here and happening. Love, love, love.
Following the ceremony, the bridal party as well as the newlywed's families scurried down to Fort Williams for portraits. From the look of the sky and the smell of the air, I knew our finger crossing wasn't going to last much longer. Mother nature had other plans. And she made them quite clear shortly after we managed to capture shots of the happy couple as well as them with their families. A made dash back to our vehicles was in order!
We concluded our portraits back in the lobby of the Howard Johnson as their guests enjoyed cocktail hour at the Seasons Event and Conference Center. Upon wrapping it up, it was time to get the party started! There were toasts by family and friends. My favorite of the night, and by far one of the most memorable ever, was given by Kathryn's sister, who gave her blessing to Nick marrying her sister knowing that he would take as good care of her as she would. There were also some choice insider jokes exchanged, which led to many, many laughs. The remainder of the night was spent celebrating and dancing to the music played by local band Higher Ground. I dare say that Kathryn & Nick could not have asked for a better way to start the next chapter of their life together. The only downside now that the day is over is just what will encompass all of their new found time now that wedding planning is done. With Kathryn's sister being married last year and now Kathryn, I'm not quite sure what their family will do. But we're all hoping that baby shower planning time isn't too far away....
Kathryn & Nick, thank you for letting me be a part of your day and of the past two years of your life together. I am so incredibly honored! I hope that you had as fabulous a time on your honeymoon as your pictures seem to show and that your "baby" wasn't too mad at you when you got home. Give him a snuggle for me! And definitely keep in touch.
Be on the lookout for all of the photos to be ready shortly. In the meantime, here is a sneak peek from their wedding day. To see more, be sure to head over to my Facebook page and hit the “Like” button!
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Date: October 6, 2012 | Getting Ready Location: Howard Johnson in Portland, Maine | Ceremony: St. Albans in Cape Elizabeth, Maine | Reception & Caterer: Seasons Event and Conference Center in Portland, Maine | Cake Artist: Good Eats Boutique in Portland, Maine | Florist: The Ladyslipper in Gray, Maine | Band: Higher Ground | Transportation: Atlantic Limousine and Yacht Center in Westbrook, Maine | Bridal Boutique: David's Bridal
Mitchell, thank you for serving our country in the U.S. Navy, and Alicia, thank you for being there to support him while he does it! I am very honored to have captured your wedding day for you. I hope you are both loving being newlyweds as much as I loved photographing your day. Thank you for letting me be a part of it all!
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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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Tegan and Stephen made the journey from their home in Massachusetts to the quaint town of Newry to get hitched at the ever incredible Ski Esta, which is a private estate looking out over the gorgeous mountains of northwestern Maine. The entire day, from perfect start to incredible finish, was nothing short of breathtaking. A risk of rain showers couldn't keep the two lovebirds from having the day they've always dreamed of. With an enormous house, like Ski Esta, the bride and groom each got ready in their respective rooms while the always talented Melanie from Blissful Beginnings Wedding & Event Design took care of every single, tiny detail (she's awesome!). The ceremony took place on the expansive back porch of Ski Esta with the sun peeking out from the storm clouds and the foliage on the mountains across the valley just about to reach peak color. Needless to say, it was absolutely stunning! The incredibly cute ring bearer did a fabulous job carrying the rings down the aisle while escorted by one of Stephen's daughters. Tegan's cousins were by her side along with Stephen's oldest daughter while three handsome men were there to support Stephen as the couple was married by one of Tegan's relatives. After the vows were sealed with a kiss, Tegan's brother surprised them both with the bagpipes. He was amazing!
At the conclusion of the family portraits on site, the newlyweds and I (along with the super talented Via-Vision Video) went down to a picturesque covered bridge and managed to capture a rainbow in the process. (It was actually the second wedding that Via-Vision and I have shot together that involved rainbows. Remember Amanda & Justin from last year? They had a triple rainbow! We must be the rainbow magnets.) Top off the entire day with a delicious meal from Gourmet in a Pinch, an absolutely incredible rock show from Time Pilots and homemade limoncello and you have the makings for a perfect wedding!
Tegan and Stephen, thank you for letting me be a part of your amazing day. I am so incredibly honored to have been a part of it.