Jen and Chas planned the most wonderful wedding celebration up in Fort Fairfield, Maine. I was surprised when their driving directions said to take I-95 to its end and then hop on Route 1 to drive further north but I loved being introduced to a new part of the state. From what I can tell, the area is known for its beautiful landscapes, potato production, moose population and its close vicinity to French Canada. I sadly didn't see any moose but I heard lots of French scanning through the local radio stations and I soaked in the gorgeous scenery. The festivities took place on the potato farm where Jen grew up (and dinner fittingly boasted a baked potato bar). The couple's very sweet and emotional ceremony was set in front of a grove of trees where Jen played as a child. Many of the decorations were handmade by family members, including the boutonnieres and bouquets that Jen's cousin, Hilary, crafted with flowers that she grew for the occasion.
Chas is a very talented musician and music played a big part in the celebration. In lieu of a toast, close friends performed a witty song they wrote for the newlyweds and instead of a traditional first dance, Jen and Chas surprised guests by serenading them. Model Airplane, a group consisting of good friends/fellow musicians of Chas', performed at the reception and they were fabulous. Everyone present enjoyed dancing, homemade brew, an endless bonfire, a giant selection of fruit pies, temporary tattoos and late night fireworks. The celebration had no end time; anyone who wanted was welcome to set up tent and camp out on the back lawn.
Jen and Chas- it was SUCH a pleasure. I hope you are having an amazing honeymoon in Thailand and Bali!
How they met, in their own words:
Jen's Version: Everyone in Hallowell knew Chas. He'd grown up there,
attended UMA and the little antiquing town with a stellar music scene
was where he'd started out. It was 2007 and I was in the throws of a
fast-track nursing program, commuting from the Augusta area to Portland
and working part-time, so I needed to blow off some Saturday night
steam. I headed in town with friends to see my favorite, Miss Kenya
Hall in One Five One - her band at the time. That was my first time
seeing Chas. He was up on stage singing back up & switching off
songs with Kenya and I couldn't believe the smooth, soulful voice coming
out of him. It stopped me where I stood. After the initial shock wore
off, I holed up in the closest corner to the stage and stood all night:
seriously inspecting this guy and his voice, wondering where the hell
he'd come from and what the hell he was still doing here in his hometown
with a voice like that. There wasn't any dancing to be had: I had to
figure this guy out. Then the band cut out and he started to beatbox.
Everyone in the dark, sweaty, crowded place went apey and for the second
time that night I was stunned. I *had* to know the story of this
incredibly attractive, insanely talented guy I was watching.
"It's Chas," somebody shouted nonchalantly with a shoulder shrug. Everyone knows that.
Of course. It's Chas.
And I'm starstruck.
At the end of the night, a mutual friend introduces
us--and by mutual friend I mean my boyfriend at the time. We offer Chas
a ride home since it's raining and he's on his bike.
We cram his bike into the backseat of my Honda Accord and
for the next year, the huge, permanent tire mark across the backseat of
my car reminds me of him and I keep tabs on where he's playing.
Fast forward through nursing school, passing boards, a
move to Georgia, two break-ups and a new nursing career. I find myself
back in Hallowell, sitting at the bar at The Liberal Cup on St.
Patrick's Day finishing a crossword, not feeling like going all out as
so many do on this holiday. Hence, the crossword puzzle. When my
friend and I first walked in that night, I had caught a glimpse of Chas
who was waiting tables and immediately got excited/nervous belly flips,
but then dismissed it as highly unlikely that we'd talk. Little did I
know that as I was talking to my friend about Chas, he was running recon
on me via our friend the bartender, making sure my friend next to me
wasn't my boyfriend.
At the end of his shift, he saddled up next to me and the
next four hours disappeared. I told him that his bike left a mark on
my carseat. He told me he didn't drive. I told him I'd just ended a
relationship two days prior. He told me he'd just left one, too. He
told me he was still in school. I told him I'd just graduated. We
exchanged numbers on a coaster and I didn't expect to hear from him.
Two days later he phoned and a day after, we ventured on our first date
of over-sized burgers, beers and bad nun jokes.
So I had met Jen about a year before the encounter that
kicked off our amazing 6 plus year relationship. At the time we were
both seeing other people so it wasn't in the cards for us to be together
but after the first time I laid eyes on her I was always secretly
hoping to bump into her. There's was just this way I felt when I saw her,
joyful. I'd see her and she was all there was in that moment. It had
been a few months since our last encounter but then I saw her on St
Patrick's Day at the pub I was working at the time. After a little
reconnaissance I sat down next to her and time and space just melted
away, it was just her and I in our own lovely dovey world. We exchanged
info and as soon as we parted I wanted to call her and climb right back
into that perfect two person universe. A few days later we went on our
first (laughable awkward) date and I suppose the rest is history.
photographer: Megan, emilie inc. photography • venue: bride's family's home • officiant: family friend • caterer: Mike Flynn • flowers: bride's family member • band: Model Airplane • cake: Governor's Restaurant, Presque Isle • make-up: Evan King • hair: Kevin Campbell • rentals: Taylor Rentals, Bangor • gown: Melissa Sweet • guys: Suits Express • invitation: designed by Jon Ferland printed at Greener Printer • honeymoon: Thailand and Bali