photographer: Whitney, emilie inc. photography
ceremony: The River Green, Kennebunkport
officiant: Derek White, South Congregational Church
reception: The Community House, Kennebunkport
coordinator, caterer: Kelly Gendron, Kitchen Chicks Catering
florist: Michelle Rose-Larochelle, Blooms Flower Shoppe
ceremony musicians: Gaku Muraka
reception: Tricky Britches
gown: Vera Wang
invitations: designed and hand-printed by the bride
It was strange for a moment driving down Laudholm Farm Road, but stopping short of the property I have become so familiar and in love with this year, and driving right past another yellow farmhouse on a beautifully manicured piece of land. Yep, had to turn around, but made it to Kairsten's parents house to meet her for pre-ceremony preparations. The house was so quiet and calm, I had no idea there were almost 10 people there getting ready! I had met Kairsten with her fiance Mark once at the emilie inc. studio and she and I had conversed via phone and email a few times in the months leading up to their wedding day. Needless to say, I was super excited for this small, intimate celebration with about 40 guests in Kairsten's hometown of Kennebunkport. She and her best ladies informed me of the important things -- they were locals, not summer kids, like my friends who now live there (I mean, who live in Cape Porpoise!).
Kairsten is a natural beauty, but no frills about her. When someone asked her if she was tired from the late night they had out on the town in Kennebunkport, Kairsten joked that she was trying to nap while getting her eye makeup applied. I laughed when she said shortly after getting into her dress that it was itchy because of the horse-hair in it and that she wished she could wear white sweat pants with matching white shoes and a sweatshirt. And I loved how she pointed out her color scheme to her rubber-banded plastic attachments that were to prevent her heels from poking too far into the lawn during the ceremony. A girl after my own heart. Kairsten looked absolutely stunning in her itchy dress and rubber-banded Kate Spade's. She wore delicate earrings that Mark gave her, and the stones happened to match the stone color in the family ring she wore on her right hand.
I was able to rush over to the Nonantum to spend some time with Mark pre-ceremony. Kairsten called it though, she said I better go, because he might get antsy. Sure enough, I arrived to a dressed and ready-to-go groom waiting in the lobby with his family. Kairsten clearly knows Mark all too well :) I was happy to see Mark again and meet his family who was just as excited about their son's big day. Kairsten gave Mark some slick cufflinks with his initials, that conveniently make him a medical doctor. He swapped his cufflinks to proudly don these new ones from his wife-to-be in an hour's time. Looking handsome, Mark was ready to go get married!
The ceremony was on the lawn of the church that Kairsten attended while growing up and overlooked the iconic Kennebunkport bridge and river that flows right into town. The wind was blowing, but it was warm and sunny. Gaku Murata played the most beautiful music on electric guitar while accompanied by a talented cellist who played with just as much emotion (guests were treated to their sounds through the cocktail hour, too). Kairsten's friend Norah sang a beautiful interlude during the ceremony, and Uncle Richard read a few special words.
The Community House, the hall next to the church, held the reception. Kitchen Chicks did another amazing job with this daytime affair. When I walked into the space, I saw how important photographs, family, and friends were to Kairsten and Mark. The graphic of a U.S. map showing how the two have traveled around the country, would assume a large guest list. Instead, they honed in some super special folks to share the big occasion with, many of whom I saw in the 75 or so photos displayed with clothes pins. All of this reminded me of how important and special my presence was, to document their day and be one of a few to witness it.
Kairsten baked all the pies using her mother's recipe, and although her spirit was absolutely present for the whole day, the recipe was a meaningful way to incorporate her into the actual events. Mark sourced the typewriter. Guests could type a personal note to the couple; a fun guestbook idea, bound for laughs later from folks not realizing there isn't an erase key (a jolt for us modern day texters, eh?!). The Tricky Britches played some foot-stomping bluegrass and old-time music for guests after lobster pot pie, sirloin steak, and homemade pie were enjoyed.
After all the goodbyes, Kairsten and Mark snuck away to soak in the Kennebunkport sun, the Clam Shack they love so much, that iconic bridge, and the overall coastal Maine goodness they miss by now living in Seattle. We tried to capture some special moments they can hang on their walls out West. They even got two dollar coins from a local gentleman wearing red suspenders and flannel shirt as if cast the role, who kindly congratulated them at the Clam Shack. Is that the New England charm we love or what?!
Congratulations, Kairsten and Mark! So happy for your two! Please keep in touch. Thank you for allowing me to spend such a special day with you, your families, and your friends. It definitely means a lot.
How they met, in their own words:
We met in Madison, WI with the help of the interwebs. Kairsten moved to Madison from the West Coast after spending over a decade in San Francisco. Mark moved from Upstate New York. We both arrived in Madison on the same weekend in the Summer of 2007 and started our new jobs, on the same day. Two years later we discovered each other.