ceremony: St. Christopher Parish Peaks Island, Maine
officiant: Rev. Louis Phillips
reception: Trefethen Evergreen Improvement Association (TEIA) Peaks Island, Maine
coordinator: Heather Quinn Cuzzi Cairn Events
caterer: Aurora Provisions
florist: Leah Harrington
ceremony, cocktail, reception musicians: This Way Band
cake: Aurora Provisions
videography: Sara and Web, McCormick Media
transportation: Custom Coach and Limousine and Portland Discovery Land and Sea Tours
gown: James Clifford
invitations: William Arthur
honeymoon: Las Cabos, Mexico
No one could tell us an exact street address for where the bridal party was getting ready. This, in a nutshell, is island life. Just a quick 15 minute boat ride from Portland, Peaks Island feels miles away even tho the pretty city skyline is visible from the shore. It's got great getaway appeal and is easy to see why it is such a popular spot for weddings.
Meghan's uncle met us at the ferry. We took a winding road along the shore and then cut back onto a wooded dirt road toward the back side of the island which eventually revealed a clearing with a cool modern house and a sweeping view of the sea. Inside the girls had been buzzing around for hours, each taking a turn in the hair and then make-up chairs with either a coffee, mimosa, or energy drink in hand. Saving her strained voice from the night before the best should could, Meghan met everyone who arrived at the door with a huge smile, hug and raspy exclamations. Actually, I'm not quite sure there was a moment when Meghan wasn't smiling on this day. She was over the moon to have a formal wedding to her college sweetheart, Tom, a marine who was deployed to Afghanistan during much of her wedding planning (they had a quick civil ceremony before he left).
When the two saw each other for the first time at either ends of the aisle in the sweet summer church later, there were more smiles. And smiles throughout the mass. And as they joyfully exited the church en route to a friend's boat that would take them to the reception at the island's tennis and recreation club, a former casino. The spirit of this day was most definitely fun and everyone was happy to drink up the celebratory ambiance for these two who have endured challenges and decisions well beyond their years. It was moving to listen to the toasts (and roasts!) of how they met, how they made the best of their time apart, and the gratitude each and every one of us in that room felt for Tom and his friends in attendance who have worked so hard to keep us all safe.
How it all began, in Meghan's words:
Tom and I met at Colby College in 2007, however our friendship began my sophomore and his junior year. We were introduced through mutual friends and actually ended up in the same sociology class that fall. What started as a partner class assignment at a bingo hall in Waterville, Maine, ended up as two people finding a true connection in each other. I had never met someone who could keep a smile on my face for hours on end and leave me looking forward to our next encounter, even if it was just in class. The relationship then grew through college. During Tom's last year at Colby he was faced with every senior's challenge of figuring out what he or she would like to pursue after graduation. It was well known to me that one of Tom's many passions was to complete some sort of civic duty at some point in his life. One day in the spring he and I went for a walk to discuss what the future held for him as an individual and us as a couple. It was then that he told me he was joining the military. Next thing I knew I was waving goodbye to him as he left for basic training. I finished up my senior year and we spent most of that time writing letters back and forth, as it was our only means of communication. The time apart made us realize how much we truly missed each other and genuinely cared for one another. One year later we planned a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and it was there that Tom proposed out on our balcony overlooking the sand dunes and the ocean. Without hesitation I accepted and so began a new and exciting journey for the both of us. Tom was scheduled to deploy during the fall and I was still living in Boston at the time, so my amazing company offered me a job working at one of our properties in North Carolina near Fort Bragg, in order to spend at least a month with him before his departure for Afghanistan. This deployment, although challenging at times, only made us closer and that much more in love. We always joke that while the separation can sometimes seem unbearable, the sweetest thing in the world and some of the happiest times in my life are our reunions. We are so looking forward to what the future holds for us and we see no better way to celebrate this new beginning than in the presence of our closest friends and family on Peaks Island, a place that is very near and dear to my family and I. My mom grew up summering on Peaks Island and eventually introduced it to us. Ever since I was born we have rented a cottage on the island for a couple of weeks out of the summer and I have absolutely fallen in love with island time and all of the fun adventures that go along with it. These adventures include seaglass hunting, walking through the forts, grilling at Whaleback on the back shore, and much much more. Because Tom and myself both grew up in Maine, it was very important that we get married there as well. It actually worked out perfectly, I was passionate about sharing this special day on the island, and he was passionate about having the ceremony in a Catholic Church.