What to even say about this magical, love-fest of a weekend! I was lucky enough to know Ellen and Hillary before their wedding through my friends, Catherine and Matt, so I felt like a part of things as soon as I stepped foot at Kingsley Pines. I started off wandering about and shooting the location itself, including the darling little red cabins and the beautiful Panther Lake. I saw one guest strolling down a path playing the harmonica and Catherine's and Matt's daughter, Gretchen, playing tether ball with a new friend. She even took a minute to come say hi to her Auntie Nesie and write E plus H with a heart around it in the sand for me to photograph.
I met up with the brides as they got primped with hair and makeup, together, which I loved. There were so many cute little glances and gestures between them as the impact of the big day started to set in. They were surrounded by friends and family, but the connection between these two was their focus.
In that spirit, Ellen and Hillary opted for a private ceremony on the dock before their public one. It included just them, their friend Ann officiating, and her dog! It was a bit like they were on their own island out there as I could barely hear the sounds of dishes being stacked and microphones being tested on the shore.
After some family photos it was time for the big ceremony with all their guests. It was held under a huge oak tree that was dropping acorns, sometimes on people, that gave everyone something to laugh about. The I Do's were some of the most personal and meaningful I have ever witnessed. They included a blessing and moment of gratitude to and from the brides and then out to everyone in attendance.
Cocktail hour was full of yummy drinks and snacks in the smaller of the lodges, and was made all the more special by a score of talented musicians and guests playing live music. There were impressive vocalists (yeah Matt!), the aforementioned harmonica player, and Hillary herself, who sang and played the violin. Amazing.
Dinner followed in the larger lodge and was delicious as usual from the skilled chefs at Dandelion Catering. Guests ate and drank, wandered about chatting, and listened to some lovely and very entertaining toasts. Soon the cake was cut and everyone moved back up to the smaller lodge for dancing.
The revelry continued throughout the night as people enjoyed the music, sat by the fire, and snacked on the carmel apple favors. The feeling of inclusiveness and just all out pure love never ceased. It was such an honor to photograph your wedding, Ellen and Hillary, thank you SO very much for having me! xo
How they met, in their own words:
Ellen and Hillary met at the dog park in Portland one sunny September afternoon. Ellen had just gotten and new puppy and Hillary fell instantly in love...with the baby Stella that is. We are now one big happy blended family of eight. Two humans, two cats, and four amazing dogs!
photographer: Denise, emilie inc. photography • venue: Kingsley Pines • officiant: Ann Helfrich • catering: Dandelion Catering • flowers: Snell Family Farm • music: Music Man DJ • cake: Aprilla Cakes • beauty: Knaughty • invitations: Madeline Ward, etsy