Most of us here at SMP call New England home, so this Maine “I do” captured by Sarah Der feels like an ode to our favorite place. Starting with a few peeks into their lobster bake welcome dinner and ending with a darling reception by the sea, this couple nailed the nautical vibe thanks to Emily Elizabeth Events with a Labor Day celebration we’d all die to attend. Follow me to The Vault, and see why a lighthouse ceremony is our new favorite idea.
From The Bride… Throughout our nine-year relationship, the sea has been a constant theme for us. When Colin proposed on the water, we knew we would marry on the coast. Colin’s parents got married at a lighthouse, and we both loved the idea. I grew up spending summers in Maine at my grandparent’s lakeside cabin, and spent countless summer days as a kid climbing around the rocky coast at the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. Since Maine is such a special place to me and my family, a wedding at the lighthouse in Pemaquid, Maine was an easy decision.
We decided to make a long weekend out of it and planned our wedding for Labor Day weekend. We kept the guest list intimate, to 50 of our closest family and friends. We fully embraced the spirit of the location, and planned our wedding weekend as an extension of the relaxed, romantic essence that the rocky coast of Maine so naturally inspires. To welcome our guests to Maine, we had a traditional lobster bake, held outdoors on the lawn of The Bradley Inn. The welcome event featured classic red and white checked tablecloths, fresh Maine lobsters, local beer, lawn games, and an ice cream sundae bar with fun toppings and our favorite local ice cream from Round Top Ice Cream Stand.
The following day, we had a casual and intimate seaside ceremony at Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. The ceremony was very special to us. We included new and old traditions – we played my mom’s favorite song, “Ashokan Farewell,” in our prelude; I had stephanotis flowers incorporated into my bouquet and my flower crown, a family tradition for several generations; and my oldest friend read our most treasured childhood poem, “The Owl and the Pussycat.” Our favorite part of the ceremony was the ring warming – before the ring exchange, our rings were passed to our assembled family and friends, who were invited to offer prayers, well-wishes, and positive vibes to the rings, and by extension to our marriage. As we walked down the aisle as husband and wife, guests waved “Hooray!” flags that I made. I will always vividly remember the happy faces of our closest loved ones waving those sweet flags.
Our reception was held at a local lobster shack, The Contented Sole. At cocktail hour, guests enjoyed Maine-inspired signature cocktails, a Blueberry Mojito and a Sea Breeze, on the dock overlooking Pemaquid Harbor, while a local fiddle player and guitarist played our favorite folk music. We joke that our reception was “lobster shack chic,” fully embracing the informal attitude and natural coastal beauty of Maine. Decor included nautical coastal elements, rustic farm tables, and wildflowers. We had lobster rolls and frites, and wild Maine blueberry pie for dessert. After dinner, we all had a blast do-si-doing to a local bluegrass band. My adorable grandfather – who has won local farm show ribbons for his fabulous jams – made big batches of blueberry jam, which we offered as favors. Every detail of our wedding held special meaning for us, and many of the DIY elements were a collaboration among many people who were thrilled to contribute to our special day.
We were also thankful that we hired a local wedding coordinator. Especially since we live in New York, it was so helpful to have someone familiar with the location, who came a list of vetted, trusted vendors and experience with the Midcoast Maine wedding scene. Having our wedding coordinator with us throughout the weekend was one of the reasons that our entire wedding weekend was joyful and stress-free, and my best advice to future brides is to build a wedding coordinator into your wedding budget if at all possible.
Photography: Sarah Der | Floral Design: Pretty Flowers | Ceremony Venue: Pemaquid Point Lighthouse | Hair And Makeup: Ariel Johnson | Band: The Gather Rounders | Groom's Jacket: Black Lapel | Officiant: Will Saunders | Bride's Ring: Tiffany & Co. | Ceremony + Cocktail Hour Musicians: Evan Cuddy Music | Coasters: Ladybug Press | Groom's Ring: Minter Richter | Groom's Shirt, Pants, And Tie: J.Crew | Groom's Shoes: Vans | Invitations, Place Cards, And Lobster Bibs: Parrott Design Studio | Navy Blue Ship Napkins: Oh, Little Rabbit | Pie: Two Fat Cats | Red Crab And Fish Napkins: Sally By The Sea | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: The Bradley Inn | Signage: Paper Tangent | Tent And Rentals: One Stop Event Rentals | Wedding Planning, Styling + Design: Emily Elizabeth Events | Wedding Reception Venue: The Contented Sole