Join me in Africa, December 2011

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Every once in a while, the stars align and opportunities unfold in a most surprising sequence...

Two years ago I attended the engage! luxury wedding conference for the first time in Florida. There, among many amazing wedding vendors, I met a wedding planner from Costa Rica, Larissa Banting.

Four months later I hosted a raffle, gifting wedding day coverage to one lucky couple, as a fundraiser to benefit Pink Initiative. Larissa entered, and she won!

Ten months later, I was on my way to Costa Rica to document not one, but two, back-to-back weddings with Larissa. One of those couples is from South Africa, the groom a safari tour guide and the bride, a pilates instructor who met her beloved while vacationing with girlfriends from LA just a few years prior.

I was an African Studies minor in college, with plans to study for a semester in Zimbabwe but local unrest caused the program to be canceled. It's been on my bucket list since.

Imagine my surprise (really, I had to sit down), when I received an email a few months back from our new friends in South Africa asking if I would be interested in leading a photo safari with them!!! Um, yes please! And J, too! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we certainly cannot pass up.

I'm so happy to announce that it's now official! We'll be spending 9 nights in three different camps in Botswana, December 2-11, 2011 photographing the wondrous nature that surrounds us, helping a maximum of 12 guests take better photographs. Join us!



For a detailed itinerary and pricing information, please inquire with our kind host and talented photographer in his own right, Richard Coke, at africarc[at]iafrica.com or call 1.888.205.8235. You can view the amazing private camps we'll be staying at here, here and here.

Richard and his wife Kerry will be touring the States to promote the trip this fall, stopping at our studio in Portland on Wednesday, November 17th at 7p. All are invited to come and learn about this special opportunity, and view Richard's beautiful work.

* Michelle and Bill marry at Colby College in Waterville, Maine

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emilie inc. photographers: Emilie and Denise
preparation accommodations: Pleasant Street Inn and Pressy House Inn Waterville, Maine
ceremony: Lorimer Chapel Colby College Waterville, Maine
officiant: Father Daniel Baillargeon
day-of coordinator: Meagan Gilpatrick Maine Seasons Events
caterer: Colby College
florist: Meagan Gilpatrick, Maine Seasons Events
band: Dave Gagne, Bar Harbor
cake: Jessica Parrott- Robataille, Nothing Bakes Like a Parrott
make-up: Vanessa Cormier Lucinda's Day Spa, Scarborough
hair: People's Salon Waterville, Maine
tent: Sperry Tents
gown: Judd Waddell from Allegria Bridal, Belmont MA
invitations: Tulaloo
mini-moon: Bar Harbor

Michelle and Bill, voted Colby's power couple by their classmates when they attended school there, added another title below their names when they became husband and wife on the campus where they met.

How they met, in Michelle's words:
Bill and I met during our freshman year at Colby. We started dating immediately and have been by each other's side ever since. We loved our college years together - we shared many wonderful times with friends and had a lot of fun. We moved to Boston together right after college in 2005 and since have helped keep each other (relatively) sane through law school and the bar exam (Bill) and business school (Michelle). We graduated within the same week of each other this past May and are very much looking forward to the next phase of our lives together (and a "normal" schedule!) :) We still live in Boston.

Their day was beautiful, their love enchanting, and their up-for-anything spirit much appreciated. We laughed at Michelle's father when he revealed he wore cowboy boots for his father/daughter dance (only brings them out for 'special occasions,' he said) and teared up at the absence of Bill's late mother who recently passed away after a car accident but whose presence was so strongly felt by all. We loved their laid back lobster bake, their super sweet candy bar and a lingering reception that gave everyone plenty of time to celebrate and dance it up.

View their album and a few of our favorite images below.







Always the perfectionist, flat-ironing the bridesmaids' sash flowerettes.





Guests exiting the church.

Michelle and Bill took a few minutes to themselves immediately after the ceremony.

Meanwhile, guests followed chalk arrows from place to place around campus.





Seriously adorable.







Toasts and first dance.



Digging Bill's purple socks.



Someone went for a ride on the dance floor!

And someone else got a fair warning when feeding each other the cake.






Lots of love to you both, Michelle and Bill! Thank you for having us, and thank you for showing us all the depths of your love. xo

* Allison and Jeremy host a tented backyard wedding in Woolwich, Maine

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emilie inc. photographers: Whitney and Sharon
venue: bride's aunt and uncle's house, Woolwich, Maine
officiant: bride's relative Phyllis Gardiner
caterer: Sarah's Catering Wiscasset, Maine
florist: Skillins
band: Jazzy Chaz and the DelRossi Posse
cake: Chris Harris Maine Custom Cakes
hair: Tranquility Hair Salon, Brunswick
gown: Andrea's Bridal Portland, Maine
honeymoon: Couples Isla Tower Resort and Citronelle Hotel, Jamaica

We sound like a broken record, but it's true, another stellar Saturday was the backdrop for Allison and Jeremy's sea side ceremony in Woolwich, Maine, for Whitney and Sharon to capture. After a fabulous lobster bake rehearsal the night before, their wedding day proved to be just as fun with lots of enthusiastic dancing and moving toasts in the tent under the stars.

How they met and got engaged, in their own words:
Allison grew up in Raymond, Maine, on a small farm where she learned to appreciate the beauty of nature. While attending Smith College, she joined the Ultimate Frisbee team and quickly fell in love with the sport. She met Jeremy after graduation when she returned home to Maine and started playing Ultimate Frisbee in Portland. Outgoing and handsome, he caught her attention.

Jeremy grew up in Gardiner, Maine, in a beautiful old farmhouse. Jeremy attended Tufts University where he studied engineering and Ultimate Frisbee. Jeremy continued to play Ultimate Frisbee competitively when he returned to Portland, Maine, and there he met Allison. He was impressed with her from the start, and she definitely earned points when his cat, Nutmeg, warmed up to her.

Now Allison, Jeremy and Nutmeg are all happily living together. And they JUST BOUGHT THEIR FIRST HOME!

They have moved back to Maine from 3 years in Southern California, where Jeremy managed the California office of his stormwater engineering firm and Allison attended the University of California Law School, earning her J.D. Before that, they spent a year-and-a-half living in Portland, Oregon (the "other" Portland). Now they live in Brunswick, Maine - and they love their new home! So far they've seen deer, wild turkeys, ducks, fox, and lightening bugs on their land - none of which they saw while living in Long Beach, California.

Jeremy and Allison left Maine to explore - they loved Maine and, at the time, thought "if we don't leave now, we're never going to leave." It was a great experience road-tripping across the country and living on the left coast for a while, especially because they met and made so many new friends. Now they are glad to be back in Maine to rejoin their friends and families there and share their adventures.

Jeremy is now managing the Maine office of his stormwater engineering firm, and Allison is studying to take (and pass!) the Maine Bar Exam to become a practicing attorney in the state.

Soon, they hope to take advantage of the fact they have their own home and yard to grow a garden and get a dog.

How he proposed: June, 2009

Jeremy's proposal completely surprised Allison.

Jeremy's plot to land Allison began with telling her he had received a bonus from work and could take a half day on Friday so that they could enjoy a long weekend together in Santa Monica. Jeremy picked Allison up at work on the motorcycle and they rode out to a hotel at the beach. When they arrived, cold champagne and two glasses were in their room to welcome them. After enjoying the refreshing beverage, they set out to explore Santa Monica.

Drinks in a penthouse bar with beautiful views of the sun setting and the Santa Monica Mountains. Dinner on the outdoor patio of an amazing steakhouse. Shopping, yes shopping, on 3rd St Promenade.

Then late at night Jeremy and Allison ended up on the Santa Monica Pier in line to ride the ferris wheel. The ride was wonderful, they could hear the waves crashing around them. Jeremy asked, "You know what would make this night perfect?" Allison responded, "Chocolate?"

Then he asked her to marry him and she said yes.

Darling. Thank you both for inviting us to document your sweet wedding day story in photographs. Enjoy the album and a few of our most favorite images below.




































Best wishes for a happy life together in Maine in your new house, and hopefully soon, with a dog!

* Whitney and A.K. marry in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire

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emilie inc. photographers: Emilie, Denise and Sharon
venue: Bride's grandmother's house
officiant: Dave Gyger
day-of coordinator: Diana Ma Diana Ma Weddings and Events
caterer: Julie Dunfey The White Apron
florist: Kate Martin Beautiful Days
ceremony musicians: Laurie Meeder
tent: Sperry Tents Seacoast
dj: Jeff Erwin Music Man DJ Services
cakes: Winnipesaukee Chocolates
cake toppper: Ann Wood Handmade
donuts: Congdon's Doughnuts Wells, ME
hair: Vicky Kleiner Mango Salon and Spa Londonderry, NH
make-up: Joanne McDonough Joya Beauty
invitations and all things paper: Gus & Ruby Letterpress Portsmouth, NH
calligraphy: Jenna Hein Love Jenna Calligraphy
gown: Melissa Sweet at Belle Couture Bridal Mt. Pleasant, SC
bride's shoes, groom suit, bridesmaids: J Crew
bride's accessories: Puttin' on the Glitz Portsmouth, NH
bridesmaids gifts: Sea Bags Portland, ME
rings: Bellmans Portsmouth, NH
honeymoon: Arrowsic, Maine

I met Whitney for the first time two years ago at a coffee shop in Portsmouth to talk about her wedding plans. Pouring over wedding albums, she told me she would be married on the same site, nearly to the date, where her mother and father were married 37 years ago in Wolfeboro at her grandmother's house. I grew up summering in Wolfeboro as a child, and I kid you not, I often passed and always have loved that house- a lovely white colonial set back off the road with a long, winding driveway anchored by big beautiful shady trees. Crazy small world.

Fast forward two years and so much has happened: Whitney left the job she had at the time of our meeting to open a letterpress shop in Portsmouth with her colleague Samantha. The shop, Gus and Ruby, named after their dogs should sound familiar as I gush about them all the time. I had the pleasure of acting as a mentor of sorts for the pair as they launched their biz and have loved seeing them, and a strong friendship between us, grow quickly. Meanwhile, Whitney's mom had an unexpected, but very welcome and successful, heart transplant just before their store's opening last summer, causing her originally planned August 2009 wedding date to be pushed back a year to ensure mom plenty of time to heal and be strong for their big day.

And so it was with a massive buildup that Whitney and A.K.'s wedding finally happened this August, and what a stunning affair it was! No detail was overlooked and Mother Nature gifted us a beautiful summer afternoon for the garden nuptials and tented reception. As for Whitney's mom, she is indeed feeling wonderful, looking wonderful and had everyone in tears as she recited a poem during the ceremony. I had the good fortune of photographing this event with Denise and Sharon, opening my eyes to the awesome possibilities of having triple team wedding coverage!

How they met, in their own words:
At Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, Whitney was ski racing for Plymouth State University and A.K. was a volunteer assistant coach for the team. A.K. gave her some useful tips while Whitney was not listening, just checking him out. A.K., meanwhile, had had a major crush on Whitney for a whole year while she did not even know who he was. They began a secret relationship and fell deeply in love. They have been together for the better part of 8 years, in the Plymouth area, and now down in Dover.

It is with great pleasure that I share the wedding album of my friends Whitney and A.K. whose love is as sweet on paper as it is in person.



Ring pillow by Emersonmade.













The Gus and Ruby gals: Sam and Whitney.



Team effort with the rings.
















































As evidenced by the text messages I have been receiving from Whitney all week, I know she's feeling post-wedding letdown big time. Two years in the making, I can completely understand. It was a spectacular wedding, Whitney and A.K., and an honor to photograph your love. Thank you, thank you. xo
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