venue, caterer: Dockside Guest Quarters and Restaurant, York, Maine
officiant: Maureen Quirk, Maine Seacoast Weddings
florist: Kristin Blackwell, Local Color Floral Design
ceremony, reception music: Fred Pappalardo
cupcakes: Popovers on the Square, Portsmouth
hair/make-up: I Do Spas
transportation: York Trolley Co. & Ogunquit Trolley Co.
gown: White by Vera Wang, David's Bridal
I think the first thing people probably notice about Alison is her big brown eyes, I know I did. I came up the stairs at a sweet ocean side rental in York to the bedroom where she and her bridesmaids were getting ready. She was having finishing touches done to her hair and eating a little snack when she looked up and saw me, exclaiming "Denise! We haven't met yet!" It was so nice to get such a warm, happy welcome. She had an excited look in those aforementioned beautiful eyes and I immediately felt comfortable with her. She was lucky to have a fun group of ladies surrounding her who kept things light and made sure she had what she needed. They also helped her through one of the biggest decisions to be made that day: how many and which flowers to put in Alison's hair?? It was sweet to watch them all crowd around her choosing different blooms, arranging them just so, and standing back to examine their work. Those are the kinds of moments you don't anticipate having as a bride, I think. So much thought goes into the many details, and then you end up spending a good 15 minutes deciding which flower looks best in your hair! Something you just didn't put on your list to think about.
Soon after, I headed to the Dockside Restaurant to meet Steve before Alison headed over for their first look. Now, I must say, Alison warned me that Steve was not a "picture-person". She described him by saying along the lines of, "You know how some people like to be in pictures and smile for the camera? That's not Steve." So I was a little apprehensive. I found him hanging out with his groomsmen and he asked me to take a few posed photos of him with his family. Ok, good sign I thought. He was also just clearly a really nice guy so I was feeling better by the minute. Then his reaction to seeing Alison for the first time that day was so sweet that I knew everything would be just fine.
Alison and Steve had a darling ceremony on the lawn overlooking the water, replete with lobster boats and seagulls to give it a distinct Maine feel. Then it was onto family formals and Steve was a champ about it, although I think a couple breaks for a snack and drink helped a bit ;) I also think he may have been surprised at how quickly they went, which I was happy about. This guy was starting to see that being photographed all day wasn't really so bad after all. A storm was rolling in about this time so we had a quick little portrait session on the dock before heading inside a little early to avoid getting rained on.
Alison had written about what a charmer Steve was in her pre-wedding questionnaire and I saw it in full effect during their first dance. Steve twirled her around slowly and purposefully, eliciting cheers from their guests. Then it was onto toasts where the subject of Alison's big brown eyes was brought up by her rather hilarious brother, Will. He talked about how while they were obviously an asset now, they weren't so much when she was younger. He described her as being scrawny with "these huge cow eyes" that didn't quite fit with her petite size. You can always count on a brother to keep you grounded, right?
Alison and Steve danced the night away with their families and friends (including some impressive break dancing by one of their little nephews) as the rain poured down outside. I knew that I had done my job when Steve pulled me aside to thank me for my work that day with some very kind words. I'm so glad that this guy who wasn't a "picture-person" had a positive experience being photographed and I know their images reflect that. I walked to my car that night with a big smile on my face.
How they met, in their own words:
Alison and Steve met on March 15th, 2009, the day of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston. It was a beautiful day; about 75 degrees and sunny, and roof decks and sidewalks were packed with people all over the neighborhood. Alison and Steve ended up at the same party through their friends Emily and Sean, who were about to become each other’s in-laws.
It was once Steve spotted Alison that he made his approach and laid on his unmatchable charm. As you can all imagine, she did not stand a chance.
She recalls that before Steve had asked for her number, each time he needed to go downstairs to the bathroom or to refill his beer, he would tell her that he was going to be right back and then confirm, “You’ll still be here, right?...You guys aren’t leaving or anything?” After Steve did this two, or maybe even, three times....she remembers thinking it was so refreshing, and SO cute.
After exchanging numbers, Steve called her on actual St. Patrick’s Day, and soon after they went on their first date -- tapas and easy conversation. Then there was a second date and a third date, summer events, camping trips, road trips... and meeting each other’s friends and families...and then, a wedding proposal on Drakes Island beach in Wells, Maine.