*Obviously this is a wedding centric post but now it's going to be more detailed and include the obnoxious amount of photos I promised.
A quick recap: A few weeks before the wedding, Mel contacted me saying she had injured her back and was not sure if she would be up to photographing our wedding. My first concern is always health, so obviously I wanted her to know if she needed to back out (no pun intended) we would understand.
Did I panic? Yes. A little. Most of our wedding budget had been planned around Mel because we knew we wanted amazing photos to look back on. And I have been a stalker...I mean ADMIRER... of hers for years.
She asked for a couple of days before making a final decision and in the meantime I started looking for available photographers. She contacted me over the following weekend though to say she was feeling better and had spoken to her physical therapist and she felt confident moving forward.
But she would also be hiring a local photographer on her own dime as back up - just in case.
So what does all this boil down to? We ended up with 4 photographers on our wedding day. Mel and her husband (and second shooter) Steve, the back up photographer, and her wife and second shooter (unfortunately I cannot remember their names but they were great). And Mel had approximately FIVE THOUSAND photos to edit.
Which she culled down to nearly 1200 of the best of the best. And that's what I have.
So today begins the daunting task of choosing my favorites (which I've culled down to maybe 500) to share and talk about. And I thought the best way to do this might be by subject matter.
My first set of photos will be about setting the stage so to speak. PS all photos by She-n-He Photography
One of the Maine reasons (sorry, can't help myself) we decided to get married in Maine was because it is an ancestral concentration of family for Rob. He's been coming here all his life and it is undeniably beautiful. And when his cousins Jerry and Connie said we could use their home, how could I possibly resist? I knew immediately the spot to have the ceremony - I love that we are surrounded by woods overlooking a marsh with the ocean in the background. You can't tell that too much from this photo but there will be others. ;)
We were about a month out and I started really being concerned that I had no decor planned for the ceremony location. No aisle runner, no flowers, just chairs and us. And suddenly it seemed really important to have something so it didn't seem like an after thought.
I mentioned this to Mere during one of our last summer #SundayFunday and her mom Grace was here visiting as well. We got to talking and they volunteered Mere's father to make us a chuppah. And since neither one of us is religious, it didn't have to be real formal - more of a nod to the chuppah.
Well they delivered! Not only did dad make the chuppah frame, but he set it in flower pots so we didn't tear up the lawn. And then Grace made us the cloth that goes over it and I had not expected that - I was just going to decorate it with some faux floral arrangements I bought on Amazon.
And when I say they delivered, I mean it because they actually brought it to us and set it up for us. And they wanted nothing in return.
Then Nancy, another family member staying in one of the other family homes next door (also known as Woods Cottage) bought some flowers and foraged around the property and decorated the pots for us! She then later repotted the plants around the property - and I never used the faux arrangements. They weren't needed! I love how it turned out.
Here's some close ups:
I wanted a more intimate feel for the ceremony so they were set up in a curved, almost half circle kind of way.
And because we wanted everyone to know they were here to have fun, guests were greeted with a coupe of champagne with #fancysprinkles added for that extra sparkle.
Moving on to the reception. We had to rent a tent because you never know what the weather will be like (turns out it was gorgeous). Shout out to Emily at Sperry's Tents for her patience throughout the process.
We started planning the wedding in September 2021 - we set a comfortable budget for our income and desires.
Then 2022 reared it's ugly head and Rob lost his job in January. Luckily he found a great new job but he did take a pretty significant pay cut by going commission only. He likes this job and he's good at it, and he is definitely happier but not having a steady income to count on is an adjustment.
And February said hold my beer and I lost my job. Ouch.
Luckily I was able to get a new job pretty quicky as well, but I too had to take a significant pay cut. But the good news is it's the best job I have had in a very long time and I am very happy. If slightly underpaid.
We had all of our vendors by this point and a significant (there's that word again) had already been paid in deposits. Did we consider canceling the wedding? Yes. But ultimately we decided to go for it. We paid as much of it in full as we could and then put the rest on credit.
I do not recommend this approach. It would have been much smarter to pare things down more. But what's done is done and we have #noragrets (IYKYK). And as a bonus we don't have to worry about birthday or Christmas gifts to each other this year.
Back to Emily - when we met with her in September I had chosen rose velvet tablecloths, walnut crossback chairs, china, and gold flatware. I had a vision and I was not going to compromise.
But in reality I had to. Emily really helped me in making some of those painful cuts. By ditching the china and using the eco friendly recycled plates provided by our caterer, I saved on the plates and the plating fee I would have been charged by the caterer. And now that I was using recycled plates, it seemed silly to pay double for the gold flatware. I also switched to the rustic farm table because paper plates on velvet just didn't feel right to me. And even though the tables were more expensive than my first choice, we still came out ahead because of all of the other savings.
And while I still hated the look of the recycled plates, the overall look was gorgeous.
We also saved by switching to folding garden chairs (half the cost of the beautiful crossback chairs) and reduced our dance floor size. Unfortunately all the sailcloth tents were booked so we had to go with the frame tent at nearly double the cost - and that was a big hit to the budget. But honestly I think it worked out best for our space.
Each table had a curated selection of assorted candlesticks in a mix of gold, brass, pewter, and silver. Rob and I (and even Xander and Savreet) hit up antique stores to source most of them though a bulk of the brass ones were from Amazon. We had a goal of at least 100 candlesticks and set a budget of no more than $10 each. I wanted a full yet eclectic look so I decided on 16 candlesticks per table, then 10 assorted tealights and 5 small bud arrangements (which I did myself and I am quite proud of - more on that later). Oh - and a green velvet table runner down the center.
The place settings consisted of a plum napkin in a lengthwise tri-fold hanging over the edge of the table. We chose a hand forged silver flatware because it felt more rustic and fit better with the recycled plates and farm tables. Rob and I hand wrote personalized thank you cards for all of our guests (and everyone loved them!) which served as an additional place marker but the assigned seating was designated with custom place card holders and name cards I created. I also rented pink cut glass goblets to round out the vintage vibe.
Getting back to the personalization - we had a subtle geek factor that was presented in many ways. If you saw the ceremony, then you know that was one way. But also each table was named after one of our favorite fandoms. But we kept it subtle by just having the place card holders being an icon of that fandom.
Another item at each table was a framed matte asking everyone to sign it with the goal of stopping by each table for a quick photo to later put in the frame. This is in lieu of a traditional guest book and one of our favorite things from the wedding.
Let's go back to the flowers for a minute. One vendor we did not have was a florist. I couldn't find one in Maine willing to do anything for less than $5,000 and my budget was maxed out at $2,000. Which is another reason why there wasn't any planned decor for the ceremony and the plethora of candles. And I honestly hadn't planned on having any flowers on the tables.
Until I did an at home mock up and decided I really wanted to add a little pop of color. So I ordered more of the tallest votive holders I already had ordered and decided to designate those as my vases. I bought some small rounded floral foam intended for corsage use and they fit perfectly. Then Chrissy, Julia, and I went and bought every pink flower we could find. I put them all together by myself while everyone went out and did their own thing and it was a nice relaxing moment for me. I really enjoyed the process and I loved that it was an assortment of fresh flowers. I think they were the perfect touch.
Now remember the green cut glass vase I pointed out earlier? Those weren't supposed to be on the tables. I'm not going to bother complaining about it really but my instructions were very clear. They were supposed to be one on each cocktail table and would have looked really pretty with the rose velvet tablecloth.
I know this post is long but I did warn you.
The last set of photos today will be our sweetheart table. Based on my years of experience as a coordinator, I knew the only way we would eat was if people couldn't see us. So we had the table set up in the memorial garden that sits between Pops Cottage and Woods Cottage. It was a nice quiet moment for both of us (our first of the day) and we were able to take a breath and enjoy the moment.
Not to beat a dead horse (pardon the expression), but our table should have more closely resembled the other tables. Another #coordinatorfail . I had sent Chase out for some more flowers for the bud vases the night before and he came back with my favorite ranunculus (and some others) but unfortunately the stems are too flimsy to stick into the floral foam. So he did an arrangement and put it on our table instead.
I know its a lot and I am going to post more on Facebook. And keep an eye out for more posts about our #MaineEvent coming soon.
#stilllucky #infinitelybetter #heldtogether #wedding #fallwedding #whimsicalelegantgeekchic #geekwedding #harrypotter #avengers #starwars #startrek #doctorwho #music #DIYwedding #kitterypoint #sperrystents #woods #marsh #beach