* York, Maine, wedding of Kristen and Michael at Dockside Restaurant by Whitney


photographer: Whitney, emilie inc. photography 
venue: Dockside Restaurant and Guest Quarters York, Maine
officiant: Cindy Lovett
caterer: Dockside
florist: York Flower Shop
dj: Tom "Koz" Kozikowski
cake: Simply Elegant Cakes
hair/make-up: Sugarz Salon, Kittery
gown: Marisa at Madeleine's Daughter Portsmouth, NH
invite: Bella Figura at Gus & Ruby Letterpress
honeymoon: Florida Keys

Kristen and Michael's story is a sweet one.  A decade ago they dated for a year, parted ways for opposite U.S. coasts, only to be reunited by none other than Facebook, and are now married.  Their history together shows, the comfort and ease between them is apparent.  Michael seemed to breathe almost a sigh of relief when Kristen returned from her hair appointment to their beautiful rental house, the sprawling Bristol Farm in York, Maine.  Michael's mother Judy had just worked her textile magic on Michael's shirt after an ironing snafu, but Kristen's quiet demeanor and radiant smile seemed to bring a calmness to her groom.  Even on her wedding day, she was busy telling her soon-to-be sister-in-law the last minute details of place settings, guest gifts, and table assignments.  It was unique for me to have one huge house with all the immediate family members there, plus the bride and groom seeing each other and getting ready together.  I welcomed the little moments between this family, ones I typically don't get to see, since I'm usually driving between separate locations where the bride and groom prepare.  Kristen still saved the dress as a surprise for Michael at the ceremony.

While the winds blew in a chill and some clouds, it still proved to be a stellar day.  Kristen maintained her poise and sense of humor when the wind blew her veil off as she walked down the aisle with her father Jack.  The cocktail hour and dinner buffet were moved inside, but everyone stayed comfortable for a June wedding.  Kristen saw the adorable nautical theme through by making monkey fist knots for her and Michael's table.  This wedding day was simple, but every detail thoughtful.  From baby's breath in galvanized pails lining the ceremony aisle to the miniature buoys at everyone's place setting to the nautical navigational map of the area near their home in California to the navy striped letterpress invites from Gus and Ruby.  The day was extra special as Kristen's grandfather's 93rd birthday was acknowledged and he took the initiative to have a little dance with his newlywed granddaughter. 

The day time wedding reception did not inhibit the extraordinary dancing I got to witness.  Everyone got down!  Kristen and Michael were sent off by their guests as they exited on, of course, a boat -- after all, Michael does sell yachts for a living.  Thank you, Kristen and Michael, for allowing me to spend the day with you and your families.  It was an absolute pleasure!  I'm sure you'll have a relaxing time in the Keys!

How they met, in Kristen's words:
Michael and I met ten years ago in Boston through a mutual friend that Kristen went to college with. We dated for a year and it was a really FUN year! We spent a ton of time with Michael's family in Newburyport on his parents boat. and went to concerts with my parents, etc, etc... His mom, Judy, still calls it the "best summer of her life"! It was one of mine too. Michael decided that he wanted to move to San Diego. I wanted to stay in Boston so we went our separate ways. Fast forward 10 years later, and I saw his name on my girlfriends facebook page (THE friend who set us up in the first place) I sent him a quick message just to say HI! and the rest as they say is history. We talked over email for awhile before reconnecting on the phone. Three months later, he came back to the East Coast to visit his family (and me...) and we met again face to face for the first time in 10 years. We had a long distance relationship until I moved to San Diego in 2011. Michael proposed on a beach in La Jolla - total surprise! And we started planning our wedding...Michael owns his own national yacht brokerage, Kusler Yachts. He is a captain and avid angler. And has shared his love of the water with me. So naturally we wanted to get married by the sea. We are both originally from the East Coast and our families, who we are both so close with, live there so we new we'd be getting married in New England. Friday night we will be celebrating with our guests at Foster's with a lobster bake and Saturday is the big day! We fell in love with Dockside for so many reasons. On the water, in a harbor, boats and the docks, the coastal rocky terrain...plus the food is incredible! I've painted little lobster buoys as small tokens of our appreciation and made tons of "monkey's fists" for the table numbers. The nautical theme will run throughout the wedding weekend but not overboard! It is who we are, what we love and what we do! I am so lucky...

* Kim and David marry at the Fells in Newbury, New Hampshire by J


photographers: J and Steve, emilie inc. photography
ceremony: The Fells Newbury, New Hampshire
officiant: Betty Ramspott
reception: Baker Hill Golf Club Newbury, New Hampshire
coordinator: Laurie Mantegari, Everyday Details
caterer: Baker Hill Golf Club
florist: Mauli McDonald, Art of Nature
music: Murray Hill Talent
cake: Jacques Pastries
make-up: Lisa Gooding, Faces Spa
tent: Lakes Region Tents and Events
transportation: Avante
gown: Anne Barge at Lovely Bride, New York City
invitations: Tata Hogan, Ink + Wit
honeymoon: Peru

Kim and David's wedding day introduced me to two new venues in New Hampshire.

The Fells is a perfect backdrop for a ceremony, with its historic estate and gardens on Lake Sunapee. Kim and David couldn't have had a better place to bring their friends and family for their nuptials. The area was quite busy with a floral show at The Fells and a bike race that did four laps around the lake. The race delayed Kim in getting to the estate, but didn't put a damper on the day.

I spent the afternoon with Kim, her sister Kelly and her mom Sue while Steve went to photograph with David and his family. Sue was prepared for anything and everything her daughters might have needed after reading an article on the things that are typically forgotten on a wedding day. Kelly, a photography buff, had a new Polaroid and an old Rolleiflex camera that she pulled out for some shots during preparation.

The day was beautiful and so was the ceremony with Lake Sunapee in the background. Kim, David and I spent 20 minutes venturing around the property before the loaded into Kim's father's 63 'vette for the short ride to Baker Hill Golf Club. The reception was under a tent on the rolling golf course with Mount Sunapee beyond. The band and planner Laurie kept the evening lively and fun. Kim's uncle even joined on the drums for a song!

Kim and David, thank you for letting us be a part of your day! I hope you have an amazing time in Peru!

How they met, in Kim's own words:
We met at work! We both work at The Museum of Modern Art (David is an exhibition designer, and I'm a curator), and we worked on one show together in 2009, where we became friends. But it was when I ran into (or got run by, I should say) David at a local Brooklyn triathlon -- my first -- that we realized we had another common interest beyond art. I was a rookie, and David was/is a pro, so that gave me lots of things to ask him about... And that's how it started, leading up to me finally asking him if he wanted to meet me for a beer sometime so I could ask him more about bikes! (an excellent ploy, hahaha!). We got engaged about 1 1/2 years later (last August).

We decided to get married in Sunapee, NH, because it's a special place for my family -- we've been coming up here to the lake since I was a kid -- and David also loves the New England area and being by the lake and mountains. We wanted to take advantage of the natural beauty of the area, so chose The Fells for our ceremony site and the hill by Baker Hill Golf Club for the reception. Both have great views of Lake Sunapee and the surrounding mountains. We also liked that The Fells is an important site in the area, committed to preserving the history of the area (with the landmarked Hay Estate on the premises) and also the nature and wildlife. Plus they do outdoor sculptural installations of modern/contemporary art in the summer!

Real Maine Weddings magazine giveaway engagement session, part 1


With Alyssa and Nick's wedding just five months away, it was time to formally get these two in front of the camera away from the various planning stops (dress shopping, cake tasting, etc) for an engagement session and more specifically, a portrait for their save-the-date card.

We decided on Fort Williams in Cape Elizabeth to incorporate the area's most iconic landmark, Portland Head Light (rumored to be the most photographed lighthouse in the US). Not long before their session dark storm clouds moved in and rumblings were heard overhead in this popular park, usually all aglow with rich warm afternoon light. Megan and Steve joined me for an engagement session show & tell, which we quickly realized wouldn't be as much of a teaching opportunity as we had hoped given the deteriorating weather.

No matter, Alyssa and Nick were great sports during what can sometimes feel like an awkward experience being the center of attention. We worked quickly to practice what it is like receiving tips on how to pose, where to look, and the ultimate goal (which can be tricky especially in a contrived situation when people are watching!): natural emotion.

The deadline for their save-the-date portrait is today. Our pick is one from a series of silhouettes we took with the lighthouse in the background and some pretty puffy clouds across the bay. Unlike all of the other steps in this process, however, no one will be voting on what image they use so we'll be excited to see their select, too!

We are looking forward when we can see these two again soon for a more relaxing follow-up session, possibly at Colby College where they met or in Cambridge where they live. To be continued...

The raindrops start falling...

And then the skies started to open up and we took cover in our cars.

Other posts from the 2012 Real Maine Weddings magazine giveaway:

Contest winners announcement and press conference

Invitations, wedding rings and honeymoon

Wedding dress shopping and cake tasting

Bridesmaid dress and groomsmen tux shopping

* Kelly and Kevin marry at Searles Castle in Windham, New Hampshire by J


photographers: J and Megan emilie inc. photography
venue: Searles Castle Windham, New Hampshire
officiant: Pastor Susan Gleason
caterer: Searles Castle
florist: Susanne's Flowers
dj: 5 Star Events
cake: Jacques Pastries
videography: Precious Moments
make-up: Claudia Moridel
hair: Salon Invi Andover, MA
gown: Tara Keely at Allegria Bridal, Belmont, MA
honeymoon: Mexico

Kelly and Kevin met through friends on a cold night in Cambridge. Luckily their wedding day was just the opposite- beautiful and sunny. Kevin had always wanted to get married in a castle, so Searles Castle in Windham, New Hampshire, was where their friends and family came together to celebrate. Built in the 1880's, the French chateau-style castle provided the perfect backdrop for both the ceremony and the tented reception.

Kelly couldn't have been more sweet or more loving toward everyone in her wedding party. I could tell by the length of hugs that she dished out throughout the day and night. Kevin, a native of Trinidad, had his brother and friends from the island there to witness the wedding and celebrate into the night. His mother, sadly, broke her leg just after arriving in the States and was in the hospital during the wedding. Everyone's thoughts were with her; one of the more touching moments in the evening was when Kevin danced with Kelly's mother during the traditional mother/son dance.

The guests all had a good time and didn't want the party to end, even when the dj announced the 11p stop time. Everyone wanted to continue the party, making their own music by stomping their feet and glasses in a rhythmic beat. The energy was festive and fun. The castle, cultures and warmth of everyone around them provided everything Kelly and Kevin wanted in their wedding day. Enjoy your trip to Mexico and your new life together!

How they met, in their own words:
So, this story may not start out so romantic but we do believe it was fate. We owe many thanks to our friends Melissa and Suresh for bringing us out on a cold winter night in Cambridge. We found ourselves at the Enormous Room, a small local bar with couches across the room from one another. Mel and Kelly sat down on one of the couches when Mel spotted a rather handsome, quiet guy sitting alone on the opposite couch. Little did Kelly know, this quiet guy had followed her around the bar that night but was too shy to speak. Mel walked over to Kevin and suggested that we dance and honestly, the rest is history. That cold night in Cambridge was the beginning of our story together. We have spoken every day since.

Kevin is a complete romantic at heart. Since the time he proposed, he wanted to be married in a castle with a horse drawn carriage, and to ride off after the reception in an old car like he used to see in American movies. Kelly in an old soul, she loves their charming historic homes, black and white photography, spring and summer in New England, and anything vintage. She hoped for a vintage inspired wedding... lots of lace and pearls, an intimate setting with beautiful candlelight and romantic flowers. Peony, ranunculus and garden roses are her favorites. The colors we chose are soft and subtle pale yellow, cream and white.

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