the grand opening


Even tho I have been working in my studio since May, I decided to mark the birth of this tremendous project with something official, fun, and a little fancy. So last Friday, about 150 people came over for drinks and hellos, and checked out the new space from 5-10p. The beginning portion of the night was a vendor preview for other professionals in the industry to have a chance to mingle and network, while the later portion of the open house was for friends, family and clients (some of whom traveled great distances to attend- thank you!). It was a smashing success, and it wouldn't have been nearly as such without the support from so many kind and talented vendors who donated or discounted their services for the event:

Aurora Provisions
Beautiful Days
Bei Capelli
Casco Bay Frames and Gallery
Debra Corey Designs
Flora Fauna
Harmon's & Barton's
Joya Beauty
Let Them Eat Cake
Maine Cakes & Cookies
music by Peter Miles
Old Port Wine Merchants
Puttin' on the Glitz
Signed, Sealed & Delivered
Simple Complexity Designs

An additional thanks to Port City Life Magazine and Portland Monthly Magazine for covering the event. And congratulations to Rachel McGarry and Kris Wright who won the drawing for a portrait session and a framed print by Casco Bay Frames & Gallery!

I was busy greeting and hugging all night long (brides and grooms, I have new-found respect for you!), so delegated the picture-taking to emilie inc. associate photographers Geneve and Wyndee who documented a bit of the festivities for me. I regret that there are not images of all our families and many friends who traveled a long distance to be there.

There were so many flower deliveries throughout the day from friends who sent their well wishes for the evening from afar. Thanks, all!

Yummy eats from Aurora Provisions in Portland's west end.

A stunning flower display from Harmon's & Barton's in Portland.

A coffee table display by Judy and her team from Flora Fauna.

Funky fruit and flowers by Debra Corey.

And garden casual from Kate Martin of Beautiful Days.

Gayle Forte of Let Them Eat Cake provided a beautiful emilie inc. wedding cake.

And Diane of Maine Cakes & Cookies made scrumptious starfish favor cookies for everyone in emilie inc. pink & brown.

If you don't know the music of Peter Miles, you need to. We spotted him on the list of performers at the North Star Café downstairs and were smitten with his sound from the first note. Peter did an amazing job providing a beautiful soundtrack to the event. I'm not sure how he didn't lose his voice after 5 hours!

A small reminder of my breast cancer Pink Initiative program.

A detail of some Cypress folios on display.

And you can't have a celebration party without the bubbly- pink, no less!

Some last minute adjustments before guests start to roll in.

emilie inc's newest associate Meredith manned the door with a clipboard and guest list to check off everyone as they arrived (here she chats with emilie inc. insurance agent Lisa Coughlan- thanks, Lisa!).

Joanne of Joya Beauty and bride Stefanie Crystal were a huge help with some last minute tasks. Stefanie is the bride in the canvas on the wall over her shoulder!

J played bartender for a minute to coordinator and flower designer Kate Parker before his brother Brad took over for the evening.

The studio starts to fill up!

I had the pleasure of getting prettied by Joanne McDonough of Joya Beauty, and Nancy at Bei Capelli for the evening.

J and I chatting with Laurie Hyndman, editor of Port City Life Magazine.

Chatting with Katina LaFazia, editor of La Bella Bride Magazine in Rhode Island.

L to R: Kate Parker, Lena Hartford and Joanne McDonough. Your one-stop shop for wedding flowers, hair, and make-up!

This is Charlie, the friend of my interior designer Tracy, who tagged along with her to the party with a fresh black eye (still didn't catch the story behind it). Joanne sat him right down and touched up his bruise. Ha.

L to R: Linda Pattillo, Sharyn Peavey & her daughter and Meagan Gilpatrick.

Family friends Lauren Nauman (facing) and Lisa Sullender.

Childhood friends Arwyn, Alan and Kelly mugging for my mom.

Checking out the frames.

Brides Sarah and Kelsie.

My stepmother Paula browsing.

My Nana and Grandpa giggling with J.

Beloved bride Alisa and her father Jon peeking at a book.

And lastly, my favorite pink and brown cupcakes sent by Tina and Molly from Chicago who couldn't make it. So sweet! Literally!


  1. Congratulations on such a successful soirée! Everything was perfect (except we didn't get enough time to talk). So happy for you! (And nice to meet J's fam!)

  2. Anonymous11:25 AM

    Couldn't be prouder of you. Thank you for letting us be part of such a special time in life.
    Scott and Kara

  3. Looks like a great time was had by all Emilie! A big congrats to you. I am sorry I couldn't make it~ but I hope to get another chance to see it!

  4. yay! the cupcakes turned out so cute, glad you enjoyed them.

    Miss you!

  5. it looks like you threw a lovely lil shin dig :) wish i could have been there, but maybe i'll get to see it one of these days!

  6. Congrats Emilie, wish I could have been there,
    but the drive would have been a killer ; )

    keep in touch,

  7. Hey guys, this is fantastic! We so wish we could have been there. Wow, what a beautiful space you have and what a fantastic opening you threw! Congratulations! We wish you nothing but the biggest successes in the future.

    G and J

  8. Killer space, everything looks off the hook. Congrats on pulling this if so well!


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