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You’ll Love the Story Behind This Whimsical Barn Wedding

If there’s anyone who knows how to throw a unique wedding with loads of heart, it’s this couple. Along with their planner, A Family Affair of Maine, they incorporated so many meaningful details including a log cutting ceremony to celebrate their German descent and protea blooms as a nod to his South African birthplace. The incredible White Loft Studio came along to photograph and her captures are all waiting in The Vault.

From the Bride and Groom…We met in the fall of 2010 as undergraduates at Bowdoin College. Though it’s a small school and we’d been there at the same time for a full year, we didn’t meet until the start of the second year, when we happened to be in two classes together. As our officiant (the professor of one of those classes) noted during our wedding ceremony, we began that semester sitting on opposite sides of the classroom, but it wasn’t long before we were sitting next to each other.

The college we attended has a beautiful art museum with dramatic front steps, and it was a particularly mild fall. Rory emailed me to ask if I wanted to sit on the steps with him at dusk and eat kiwis. It was somewhat unusual but exceptionally sweet—a phrase I think describes us as a pair. We sat together for a long time, talking and watching the sun go down. I think the kiwis went forgotten.

The proposal all happened very organically. We knew early on that it was ‘the real deal’ and never felt uncomfortable discussing a future together, even before we were officially engaged. We designed rings for each other with the help of a Maine jeweler and carried them around for a while until the time was right.

In 2013, we made the difficult decision to spend two years an ocean apart so that Rory could study history in England and I could study writing in Iowa. We decided it was time to make our commitment to each other, so once we’d moved into an apartment in Iowa City, Iowa, we woke up early one morning and walked to a nearby park to propose. We sat in the grass under an oak tree and each described why we wanted to marry the other, and presented each other with rings. Afterwards, we had brunch at our favorite Iowa City diner.

Every couple is special in its own way, but one thing that we’re always surprised by is how unlikely it was that we had the chance to meet. Rory grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Katie was raised in various locations across the Midwestern and northeastern U.S. Rory is also a few years older, so had he not decided to spend a full year studying abroad during college, we wouldn’t have overlapped in college at all. Additionally, we’re very different. We think all the time about how lucky we are to have crossed paths.

We wanted to include some South African elements in our wedding to celebrate Rory’s background, so I asked the florist to include a few protea, the national flower of South Africa, in my bouquet and in the décor. We also offered our guests iced South African rooibos tea before the ceremony, and used small South African animal figurines, which our wedding planner spray-painted gold, as place-card holders.

One of the craziest and most fun parts of our wedding was the log-cutting ceremony. Rory and I are both of German descent, so we researched German wedding traditions and discovered a ceremony in which the bride’s father and brothers fell a tree and the newly married couple saws through it together as their first obstacle in marriage. Rory and his dad cut down the tree together the day before the wedding, and my dad, brother, and cousins carried the log into the ceremony venue. The guests seemed to really enjoy the spectacle of the log cutting, and it was one of the most memorable moments from the day.

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Photography: White Loft Studio | Wedding Planning + Design: A Family Affair of Maine | Floral Design:Broadturn Farm | Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ dresses: JCrew | Caterering: Dandelion Catering | Makeup: Bride | Hair: Big Day Beauty | Lighting: The Event Light Pros | DJ: Dionne Entertainment| Band: Lay-Z Gait Trio | Groomsmen Ties: Liberty London | Groom’s Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen Attire:The Black Tux | Venue: The Barn on Walnut Hill | Venue: The Barn on Walnut Hill | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Bride’s Robe: BHLDN | Bridesmaids Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Event Rentals: One Stop Party Shoppe | Event Rentals: A Family Affair of Maine | Event Rentals : Heartwood Essentials | Invites:Stationery Bakery | Veil: Melinda Rose Designs | Wedding Cake / Desserts: Nothing Bakes Like A Parrott| Wedding Favors (macarons]: Nothing Bakes Like A Parrott

Rustic Meets Modern Wedding at the Barn at Walnut Hill

This, my friends, is my dream wedding.  A modern meets rustic love-fest set against one of the prettiest locales you will ever see (I’m talking to you, Barn on Walnut Hill).  It’s chevron runners meets yummy goodness from Kitchen Chicks meets all sorts of awesome from Emily Carter Floral Designs, and it’s all wrapped up in one seriously amazing party.  See it all captured by Becca Wood right here.

From Becca Wood PhotographyMeaghan & Derek met in North Carolina where she was a newscaster for a local network. When they fell in love and Meaghan’s job took her to Maine (she now works as a newscaster for WMTW), Derek followed her up North, despite his love of the south and warmer weather. They have grown to love Portland over the past couple of years and thought Maine would be the perfect place to bring their families together to celebrate their wedding!

From the Bride… Our wedding day was overcast, when the weatherman promised sunshine. It was humid, when it was supposed to be dry. But all the unexpected surprises that day turned in to a perfect evening. Our wedding day was the perfect expression of who we are as a couple: romantic, fun and a little bit old fashioned. Best day ever!

Derek and I have spent the last three years learning about Maine and falling in love with all this state offers. We wanted to make sure our guests, the majority of whom were travelling to be here, understood what a beautiful, peaceful and rustic place it is. The Barn On Walnut Hill just had that vibe. It was elegant but tough, sophisticated and fun all at the same time. We knew it was perfect. The nature sanctuary out back was also such a breathtaking place for us to exchange vows.

Our ceremony included a reading of a letter from my grandparents who have been married for 60 years, had 11 kids, 15 grandkids and six great grandkids. They told us the secret to a lasting marriage is like baking a cake, the ingredients to which were understanding, compromise and patience. Derek and I wrote our own vows. I vowed to love him even when he cheats at Scrabble, he promised to love me when I get all “Type A” like I tend to. Hand-sewn, chevron fabric programs included a note to our guests. Each program was tied with a yellow ribbon like a little gift to our friends and families.

From the ceremony to the cocktails to the reception, each detail was meant to embody Maine’s rustic charm. Old blueberry boxes I found at a Rt. 1 Kennebunk antique store were used to serve champagne, each with fresh blueberries inside. Derek and I decided to have the inside of the barn draped and lit to soften it but still keep its integrity as a rustic, country space.

One of the favorite elements was the tablescape. Our colors: soft gray and white with pops of yellow was supposed to feel both feminine and masculine at the same time. Full white flowers: peonies, David Austen Roses and ranunculus contrasted against the grayish hues of the dusty miller in a clean white centerpiece. Yellow table numbers popped against the arrangements on a custom gray and white chevron runner. Modern, sleek bud vases with a white flower flanked the tables and a single crespedia ball graced each napkin with a menu. It was both modern and rustic; romantic and edgy all at the same time. I love the contradiction of it all – the contrast seemed to work so beautifully.

We did our best to make the day about romance and we wanted our guests to feel it. With twine, we tied tags with our stamped initials around mason jars. Inside the jars, guests could serve our specialty “Something Blue” cocktail made up of blueberry lemonade and vodka.

And speaking of little gifts, the Love Cupcake truck was a huge hit! We opted for cupcakes instead of a traditional cake. Being my favorite treat, we wanted to showcase the cupcakes in a way that highlighted them. The cupcake truck was that perfect fit! It was interactive and charming – with that vintage twist we were going for. Plus, we got a special moment to sneak out of the reception and enjoy the sweets together alone.

Ultimately, the goal of the day was to make each person feel our love for them and of course, have a seriously awesome party! Derek’s best friend Brian got up and played the banjo with the Bob Charest Band. Lobster mac and cheese and sliders kept the crowd going after dinner. Not to mention the Holy Donuts (a Maine specialty) and Maine’s official state treat, whoopie pies. All washed down with milk from a local farm in the classic glass bottles!

Above and beyond all of these details, I look back and remember, just simply, love.

Photography: Becca Wood Photography | Dress: Andrea's Bridal | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Kitchen Chicks Catering | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Ceremony & Reception Site: The Barn on Walnut Hill | Cupcake Trailer: Love Cupcakes | Flowers & Design: Emily Carter Floral Designs | Music: Bob Charest Band

Maine Barn Wedding from Maine Seasons Events

Good morning lovelies, and Happy Valentine’s day to you! As you are settling at your desk with a piping hot cup of tea, just prepare yourselves for the simple elegance that surrounds this soiree. Lush bouquets by Flora Fauna, an intricate gown with tiny buttons down the back, and a pooch wearing his best bow tie. Maine Season Events transformed a simple barn into such a chic event, you almost don’t know where the line between elegant and rustic begins and ends. So before your day officially begins, visit the gallery to see gorgeous photographs captured by Meredith Perdue that are just filled with love and promise on this most romantic of days. Oh, and a film to top it off by  Zach Boyce.

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From the Bride + Groom… We met at Sunrise Beach in Marshfield, MA. Our two families both share the tradition of summering there since childhood. Although we grew up in cottages on the same small street, it wasn’t until later on in life that we began making small talk with one another on the beach. During our courtship observers watched our beach chair gradually move closer and closer. Ironically, it’s the same scenario that [Jamie’s] parents met as children at the very same beach.

Our first date was at Alicia’s favorite restaurant called Pho Republic in the South End neighborhood of Boston. Unfortunately it’s no longer there, but we enjoyed their infamous tuna sashimi spring rolls and a few drinks. We than enjoyed live jazz at the Beehive. It was the perfect first date, we both were able to share our similar love for food and music.

We decided on Maine as a location for our fall wedding because we both have come to enjoy traveling to the Portland area during the fall season. Our first trip away together was a visit to Alicia’s family home in Oxford, ME, and we spent some time that weekend down in Portland exploring Old Port. We wanted our family and friends to experience a place that we look forward to revisiting every fall. As far as the Barn at Walnut Hill venue, the concept of a barn wedding seemed to provide us with the rustic charm we were looking for. While researching properties, we were lucky enough to uncover the beautiful property by virtue of Maine Seasons Events.

We incorporated a special candle lighting tradition from Alicia’s parish into the ceremony. Alicia’s Youth Minister also traveled from Florida to commence our marriage. The decorations incorporated symbolic anchors to represent hope amongst our family and friends. They were also their to represent Alicia’s sorority, Delta Gamma which her grandmother also was a member. Also we displayed a memory tree to celebrate and remember the close relationships of loved one’s whom have passed. Our advice is to begin conceptualizing early, but be open to changes and suggestions. Food and music selection is extremely important to make a most memorable time for your guests. Sweat the small stuff because those details can make all the difference at the end of the day.

Wedding Photography: Meredith Perdue / Wedding Venue: The Barn on Walnut Hill in North Yarmouth, Maine / Wedding Planning, Design, Props, Furniture + Chandeliers: Maine Seasons Events / Floral Design, Props + Furniture: Flora Fauna / Wedding Cinematography: Zach Boyce / Catering: Trillium Caterers / Wedding Stationery: Parrott Design Studio / Escort cards: Ellen O’Toole Calligraphy (toeo522@yahoo.com) / Lighting: Event Light Pros (john@theeventlightpros.com) / Rentals: One Stop Party Shop / Transportation: BoMar Transportation / Wedding Dress: Victoria Nicole via Country Weddings Bridal Boutique / Bride’s Shoes: Myla by Bandolino / Bride’s Jewlery: Haute Bride (Earrings) + Lisa Marie ‘s Boutique (Silver Side Comb with Swarovski Crystals) / Matron of Honor’s Attire: Colorblocked Gown Private Collection Dress + BHLDN (Belt) / Bridesmaids Dresses: Adrianna Papell (Gold Printed Asymmetrical Polka Dot Chiffon Dress) + MANGO (Wrap Silk Dress with Embellished Belt) + JS Collection (Sequin Dress) + Adrianna Papell (Grey Sleeveless Lace Sheath Dress) / Bridesmaids’ Shoes: Vince Camuto (Renees Nude Patent Leather Heel) / Hair + Makeup: Akari / Groom’s Suit: BLACK by Vera Wang (Two Button Super) / Groomsmen Suits: BLACK by Vera Wang (Two Button Grey)

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Maine Wedding at The Barn on Walnut Hill from Maine Seasons Events

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Maine just once in my life and I can honestly say it was one of the best weeks I have ever had.  There’s just something about The Pine Tree State that soothes the soul… and hosting your Big Day amongst its breathtaking landscape?  Beyond brilliant.  Which is why this gorgeous affair has me just a tad bit (read: a lot) obsessed with its perfectly styled details from Maine Seasons Events, its lush (+ beautiful) blooms from Emily Carter Floral Design and a gallery of sweeter than sweet images captured by Sharyn Peavey.  Join me there for your daily dose of pretty.

From the Bride and Groom… We were looking for something non-traditional where we could have outdoor and indoor portions of the reception and not have our guests feel confined to a single space. The Barn on Walnut Hill struck a chord with us because of its quintessential New England style. We could picture the large white tent, cocktails on the lawn and dancing in the barn, and it seemed like it would be the perfect evening. We also enjoyed having use of the farmhouse to accommodate our bridal party.

There were so many amazing parts of the day, and it all seemed to go by very quickly. If forced to choose just one, Katherine’s favorite part was listening to the speeches during dinner. We were so touched by the heartfelt words from our family and friends and will always remember that moment. Ian’s favorite part of the day was being able to celebrate with all of our family and friends, many of whom we don’t get to see regularly.

Our advice would be to try and enjoy the planning process despite the challenges it can present. Certainly, it’s easy in hindsight to say not to worry about every little decision or every change of plans. Try to always keep in mind that your wedding is going to be special no matter what. Try and keep things in perspective, and when faced with some tricky choices, make the decision that feels right to you as a couple.

Wedding Photography: Sharyn Peavey / Wedding Venue: The Barn on Walnut Hill in North Yarmouth, Maine / Event Design, Planning + Rental: Maine Seasons Events / Floral Design: Emily Carter Floral Design / Catering: Trillium Caterers / Reception Music: Retrospecticus Band / Wedding Invitations: Minted / Wedding Stationery: Etsy / Rentals + Lighting: One Stop Party Shop / Favors: DIY by Mother of the Groom and Bride / Transportation: BoMar Transportation + Maine Limousine Company / Wedding Dress: Robert Bullock /  Bride’s Shoes: Butter / Bride’s Jewelry: Madeleine’s Daughter + Borrowed from the Mother of the Bride / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Bridesmaids’ shoes: Nina / Groom’s Attire: Peter Renney’s Fashions / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Ties: Brooks Brothers /  Hair + Makeup: Akari

North Yarmouth, Maine Wedding from Joyelle West Photography

I don’t think I will ever grow tired of a rustic barn wedding, especially when it’s filled with personality and crazy-beautiful florals like this Barn on Walnut Hill beauty from Joyelle West Photography. Focusing on the couple’s love for the outdoors, A Family Affair of Maine infused the soiree with sweet details like tables named after hikes they’d done and pinecone placecard holders! Head over to the full gallery to see the rest!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From Joyelle West PhotographyJeff’s parents have a farm in Maine, Sara’s parents have a house in Maine, and Jeff proposed to Sara in Maine’s Acadia National Park, so Sara and Jeff wouldn’t think of having their wedding anywhere else. When they found The Barn on Walnut Hill in North Yarmouth, Maine, they fell in love with the venue. The barn is like a blank canvas, waiting to be filled with inspiration, so Sara and Jeff hired Paula from A Family Affair of Maine to bring their vision to life. Paula added in beautiful rustic elements, like pinecones strung on doors and walls, along with salvaged doors and furniture, to add depth to the decor. Sara wanted a soft, rustic fall color palette, so Emily Carter Floral Designs used a color scheme of orange, pink and muted green, and enclosed the table flowers in antique silver vases and water jugs. Sara and Jeff are avid hikers, so the tables names were frames with hikes they have done. Twinkle lights hung from the rafters, and a dose of apples was added in to completed the quintessential New England fall wedding theme.

Wedding Photography: Joyelle West Photography / Wedding Venue: The Barn on Walnut Hill in North Yarmouth, Maine / Event Design + Planning: A Family Affair of Maine / Floral Design: Emily Carter Floral Designs / Cupcakes: Aprilla Cakes of Maine / Wedding Dress: Birnbaum & Bullock Couture Collection via Birnbaum & Bullock in NYC / Invitations + Stationery: Three Little Words

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Maine Wedding by Becca Wood Photography

I’m a former member of the Barn Brides Club and can fully attest to the fact that getting married in a big, old rambling Barn is nothing short of amazing. Honest to goodness rustic perfection and The Barn on Walnut Hill in Maine is one of the best little spots in this club. Becca Wood Photography captured all the beauty this gem has to offer and the couple? Beyond adorable and full of heart-warming smiles. That’s when you know a wedding is great – that ear to ear grin gives it away each and every time. See it all unfold right here!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From the bride… When we got engaged in January, we knew we wanted to get married as soon as practicable. We loved Maine as a location, because although we’re currently living in DC, my roots are in New England, and J has spent every summer in Maine as well as having gone to college there. Most venues were already booked for the summer, and, as I spent the summer studying for and taking the bar exam, we figured a fall wedding was probably our only choice if I was going to maintain some semblance of sanity. We fell in love with both of our venues, our caterer and photographer on a couple of whirlwind weekend planning trips and booked them right away. Many of our decisions had this flavor: yes, we wanted everything to be festive and nice, but we didn’t have a specific vision for any particular element going into the planning, and it made it easier to make choices when there wasn’t a predetermined “just so” that we had to find.

But that’s not to say we didn’t feel invested in pouring energy and effort into the wedding, in part because I love to craft and, in part because we knew it would, in some cases, save us good money. J’s mom and grandma are both seasoned scavengers of tag sales and church rummages and did an amazing job collecting all the mugs, vases, votives, doilies and water pitchers used at the wedding. My sister designed the save-the-dates, invitations, and programs, and J’s sister painted the watercolor design that was on our invitations. We used Vistaprint and Zazzle for printing (a pretty affordable option, I might add) and printed the programs on my inkjet a few nights before the wedding. I focused my crafty energy on designing a rubber stamp for our programs, welcome bags, and thank you notes, and on embroidering the table numbers, although number 16 was stitched two nights before the wedding by a dear friend who took one look at my frazzled state as I ran around making playlists and arranging flowers and took pity on me. (The numbers are on their way to becoming a small quilt for our wall — after we finish the thank-you notes, that is.) We had a pipe dream of baking all the desserts ourselves, but I am so very glad that plan was abandoned early.  I love to bake and am surrounded by bakers, but churning out 20 pies two days before the wedding would have been a disaster. Instead, we made one of the passed appetizers ourselves, a turkey curry puff pastry, we baked two kinds of cookies (espresso chocolate shortbread and Viennese jam thumbprints), and my mother-in-law baked two cakes for the non-pie-lovers. So our baking yens were satisfied and we had delicious pie that magically appeared the day of the wedding. We also did our own flowers and DJ’ed our wedding on a laptop, both of which I will admit caused some stress — J had to finish editing the playlist right after we wrote our vows, in bed, the night before the wedding, because I had passed out in exhaustion — but we loved every song on that playlist and the flowers were beautiful! Last on the list of wedding items imbued with blood, sweat, and tears: the dress. No, I didn’t sew it myself! But I purchased it “new without tags” on eBay, and it unfortunately arrived smelling quite strongly of body odor. After two months of worrying, I decided to wash it in my bathtub– no way was I spending as much money dry cleaning a dress as I had buying it in the first place.  I found instructions that another bride had posted on Weddingbee, scrubbed it with cold water, Tide and a toothbrush, and voila! body odor gone. Best $200 (or whatever insane price I would have been charged) I ever saved.

I can’t recommend all our vendors highly enough — particularly our photographer, caterer, bakery, and jeweler. I almost wish we could do it again just to have an excuse to work with them all some more!

Wedding Photography: Becca Wood Photography / Ceremony: First Universalist Church in Yarmouth, Maine / Reception: The Barn on Walnut Hill in North Yarmouth, Maine / Flowers: DIY by The Couple, Their Friends + Wedding Party via Whole Foods / Event Planning: Sarah Crossman / Food: 111Maine / Wedding Dress: A Used Allure Gown via eBay / Seamstress: Angie Cavallaro / Shoes: Nordstrom / Wedding Bands: Custom by Digby & Iona, Friends of the Couple / Earrings: Borrowed from the Groom’s Mother / Felt Hair Flower: Katie Created / Pies: Two Fat Cats / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various / Bridesmaids’ Bags: Zazzle / Groom’s suit: J.Crew / Hair + Makeup: Fabu Salon (207-775-3228) / Rentals: One Stop Party Shop

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
North Yarmouth Wedding by Maine Seasons Events

When a vintage rustic venue is splashed with a modern feel and then topped off with pops of color around every corner – you better believe hearts will start to flutter. It’s wedding-swooning science. So we have  Maine Seasons Events to thank for all the pitter pattering this Tuesday morning (thank you!). With their vibrant design and style – they not only seamlessly married rustic and modern, but they also married the most darling duo while they were at it. If that’s not enough to make your heart go pitter patter, I just don’t know what is – and you can see it all here!

Click here for the FULL wedding!

From Meagan of Maine Seasons Events… Emily and Dan wanted to mix a vintage rustic look with a clean and modern feel. Their orange, gray, brown and blue wedding design incorporated custom wool plaid table runners made by Dan’s mom, an eclectic mix of flower containers including wooden boxes, jars and porcelain vases, orange paper lanterns in the dinner tent and pops of turquoise for fun. Maine Seasons Events created a lounge tent with wicker and upholstered furniture, custom pillows, a bench and lamp made just for the occasion and throw blankets in gray and orange. Ameranouche, a gypsy jazz band, played for the ceremony, and Soul City provided a full dance floor all evening. Catering by 111 Maine included a dessert buffet of pies and cookie jar cookies made by the groom’s mom. 

Wedding Photography: Sharyn Peavey Photography / Event Design + Planning: Maine Seasons Events / Floral + Event Design: Flora Fauna / Venue: The Barn on Walnut Hill in North Yarmouth, Maine / Catering: 111 Maine / Music: Ameranouche + Soul City / Wedding Stationery: Gus & Ruby Letterpress / Transportation: Bo-Mar Transportation / Rentals: One Stop Party Shop / Photo Booth: Maine Photo Booth / Hair + Makeup: Head Games Salon / Wedding Dress: Marisa / Reception Dress: Jim Hjelm