The bride is from the Midwest, the groom is from Israel, and the wedding is a superb product of a love for Maine. With help from Maine Seasons Events, the couple took inspiration from the relaxed Israeli wedding customs and infused it with nautical charm that makes us all Ahoy with glee. Every detail, as seen by Meredith Perdue, is perfect. Click here to see what I mean!
We met when my love of New England pulled me to move to Boston after finishing nursing school in Wisconsin. Nir was already living there and starting his third year of medical school. Nir likes to say we met on Craigslist, which is sort of true, but it wasn’t in the personals section. I had signed a year lease on an apartment, but it didn’t start until two weeks after I was to start work. So, I found a two week sublet on Craigslist, and Nir lived in the apartment upstairs. The rest is history.
We had just returned from a three week adventure to Israel, where Nir was born and still has a lot of family. Nir took me up to Acadia for my first tent camping experience. During our first night at Blackwoods Campground he woke me up at 4:30am with tea and oatmeal in hand and asked me to take a walk to watch the sun rise over the ocean, which was a quick five minute walk from our campsite. I agreed, which he lovingly attributes to my adventurous spirit, while I attribute it to the fact that jet lag was causing my body to think it was approximately noon. Anyhow, we cozied up on the cliffs overlooking the beautiful blue atlantic, and as the sun rose he got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. It was a perfectly gorgeous morning in my favorite place with my favorite person.
As long as I can remember I have spent a couple of weeks every summer vacationing in the same house on Moody Beach on the southern coast of Maine with my parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Those memories are a huge part of who I am and that place has always been my happy place. It was where my love affair with New England began (I grew up in Minnesota). Nir grew up in New Jersey, and when he was in college his parents bought a cabin in Belgrade, Maine, so they had their own special tie to Maine before we even met. During our courtship in Boston we spent many weekends exploring Maine and staying with my friends on Moody Beach and at his parents’ place in Belgrade. When it came time to plan our wedding, it was obvious to us that it would be in the most beautiful and meaningful place to both of us: Maine. We searched up and down the coast for the perfect venue and the second we laid eyes on the Amphitheater and Yacht Club we knew it was where we would bring our friends and family to celebrate our marriage. It was outdoors and casual. Both sites have a breathtaking view of the harbor and are themselves stunning yet rustic and unpretentious. The town of Camden ended up being the most charming little harbor village for us all to spend our special weekend. We met so many warm, welcoming locals and had a blast running into guests anywhere we went throughout the weekend. It was a perfect destination for us and our guests!
We knew we wanted a fun, relaxed wedding where everyone just felt like they were at a good party with good friends. During our trip to Israel right before we got engaged, we attended Nir’s cousin’s wedding. It was so interesting to see a wedding in a completely different culture. It was an outdoor, extremely relaxed wedding. Guests were greeted with a cocktail on arrival and invited to mingle for 30-45 minutes before the ceremony. When it came time for the ceremony, we were called to gather around the couple on a grassy area overlooking the mediterranean. It was a very informal ceremony, with many guests standing and afterward a relaxed dinner was served followed by dancing and a sing along. I was blown away, but Nir informed me that this was very typical of Israeli weddings. We definitely borrowed a lot from that experience. We had a cocktail hour before the ceremony to welcome guests and allow them to mingle, get comfortable and have some fun before seating them for the ceremony. Our ceremony overlooked our favorite body of water. And we did everything we could to throw a great party afterward.
Our love of all things Maine and our love of bright colors was our starting point for the design. We actually used a picture I took of some buoys hanging on the outside of the house we stay at on Moody Beach for our Save the Date card. From that picture we pulled the idea of using actual buoys in our design as well as some of the worn shingle colors, buoy colors, etc. Meagan, of Maine Seasons Events, our wedding planner and stylist extraordinaire, was able to supply buoys that she incorporated into many of the center pieces. Our table names were Maine town names and each table had a brightly painted frame holding a map of Maine with the town name overlaying it. The reception ended up being more beautiful and perfect than we could have imagined. As we have told Meagan and Charli (our amazing day of coordinator who we can’t say enough wonderful things about), if we saw pictures of our reception on a blog or in a magazine we would have flipped out and begged them to try to recreate it exactly. Can’t ask for much more!
We had a really fun time pulling in some of Nir’s culture’s traditions. He was born in Israel and his parents immigrated to America when he was just a few years old. To honor his family’s Jewish traditions we were married under a huppah that we made of Birch and a simple piece of cloth. We invited our parents, siblings and wedding party to stand under it with us as we were wed. We did the traditional breaking of a glass at the end of the ceremony, and we actually have the remnants of that glass in a jar on a shelf in our apartment. Nir’s cousin and her husband recited part of a poem we selected, in both Hebrew and English. The most lively tradition we incorporated was the dancing of the Hora, complete with us being lifted up in chairs as everyone danced around us.
Another very special, personal touch was that a dear friend of ours officiated the ceremony, and set the highest of bars for all future weddings! We continue to be blown away by the personal, touching and entertaining ceremony he put together. And as if that weren’t enough, he has since given us a book with pictures from the wedding and the entire text of the ceremony! We were also lucky enough to have a bridesmaid and groomsman perform “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros during the ceremony. They were amazing, and it was a lovely, calm few moments during the ceremony that allowed us to look around and take it all in.
At one point during the ceremony Brad, our friend and officiant, instructed us to take a minute to first just look into each others eyes and then stand and look around at all our guests. It allowed us to truly stop and be in the moment with each other and with all our friends and family. Also, equally memorable and valuable in it’s peace and intimacy was the boat ride we took from the ceremony to the reception. While all our guests were driven by trolley over to the Yacht Club, we boarded a small boat generously provided by the Yacht Club and took a spin around the Harbor before arriving at the dock of the Yacht Club. It was such a special few minutes where we could just be with each other and bask in the glory of what we had just done
We planned a menu with Karen (Trillium Caterers) that highlighted Maine specialties (lobster rolls, tasty end of summer corn, blueberry pie, whoopie pies, etc) and Israeli/Mediterranean treats (grape leaves, kabobs, hummus, tzatziki, roasted vegetables). We also had a surprise shout out to my family from the south…boiled peanuts! And every bite of everything was absolutely amazing. To toot Karen’s horn, we were told by many people that it was the best food they’d ever eaten at a wedding.
Photographer: Meredith Perdue / Event Design & Planning: Maine Seasons Events / Floral Design: Flora Fauna / Venue: Camden Yacht Club / Catering: Trillium / Stationery: Parrot Design Studio / Tents: Wallace Tent Company / Rentals: One Stop Party Shop / Transportation: A1 Trolley / Music: DJ Jon