bridal preparations: Claremont Hotel, Southwest Harbor
venue: groom's family's blueberry farm, Sunset Farm, Southwest Harbor
officiant: family friend
ceremony musician: bride's brother
caterer: Bar Harbor Catering Company
florist: family friend
photo booth: Maine Snapshot Studio
band: Tony Boffa Band
cake: A Slice of Heaven Cakes
tent: Wallace Tents and Event Rentals
invitations: designed by bride, printed at Papier Gourmet
honeymoon: sailing the Maine coast
Megan and I spent a hazy Saturday morning headed to one of our favorite places on earth: Mount Desert Island. Sharing memories and favorite places to visit and things to do, we were both delighted when we reached the blueberry farm we had heard so much about leading up to the wedding day. Rolling fields overlooking nearby Blue Hill and a rustic old barn provided the most beautiful setting for this day and several family weddings over the years. We both knew today would be special moments after we started peeking about the property.
I met Cara and her maids at the nearby Claremont Hotel, an historic majestic building on the water's edge with roots steeped deep in Will's family, while Will readied with his brother back at the farm. Cool as could be, Cara and her friends carefully watched the clock and slipped Cara into her dress (and fastened all those buttons!) right on time to meet Will at the front of the aisle with a beautiful glow about her. Beside them stood friends, not as tradition dictates with men on one side and women on the other, but mixed (love that!) and all donning their best blues each different in design and hue.
During the ceremony and later as guests raised a glass to the newlyweds, I would turn to catch a glimpse at the sailboat propped on a trailer alongside the barn that these two had spent the last few months building. By themselves. By hand. That they plan to take up the Maine coast on their honeymoon. Gorgeous, but by no means spacious, imagining them in deep waters in such a small space was a stark contrast to the perfectly groomed couple who stood before me regardless of all the conversations I overheard about how adventuresome these two are together.
That's the neatest part about weddings, I think. I never know who I am going to meet and what their life's paths have been, but on their wedding day I'm granted a special glimpse to observe, listen and learn. Love it.
Cara's mother is the one who initially inquired about photographing the wedding:
This is for my daughter who is getting married on a blueberry farm in Bar Harbor and tells me that you are the best wedding photographer in the state. Is this something you might be able to help us with?
No pressure, right? I hope we did well by you, Melissa (mom), and happy congratulations to Cara and Will. Thank you so much for sharing your special Sunset Farm with us, and good luck on not just your honeymoon sailing voyage but all the exciting changes in your lives ahead. xo
How they met, in their own words:
We met as college freshmen on the first day of Chinese class at Wesleyan University. Now, almost 10 years later, we've lived in Beijing together, done international long distance (Will is in the foreign service and Cara just finished two years of grad school in MA), and signed up to move to Islamabad in the coming year.