Who: Emily & Liam
What: A wild wedding weekend for 200 (many from the Annapolis/DC area) with a welcome quintessential Maine lobster bake, a simple Saturday afternoon ceremony and a chic tented reception (with fireworks courtesy of Mother Nature).
Where: Pre-wedding preparations at the Union Bluff Hotel in downtown York, ceremony at the First Parish Church (also in York) and reception at the graceful Greystone Manor in Cape Neddick.
When: Saturday, July 19, 2008
How: Hair and makeup by the bride's childhood hairdresser, Colleen Smith (who won me over the second I walked through the door and she told me I was so pretty I should be a bridesmaid); videography by J.G. from Revel Video (who I must thank for letting me use his Prius to charge my gear when the power went out- more on that later), yum, yum, yum cake from the European Bakery, and a night of serious rocking thanks to Brickpark Entertainment, who had the dance floor so packed, I could barely squeeze my way onto it to get some shots (and I have the bruises this morning to prove it)!
Why: The band was silenced by a several hour long power outage, a river rushed through the tent, and the only light to be found came from the flicker of candlelight beneath the tent and the bright bursts of lighting all around it. She could have cried, she should have snapped, but Emily just laughed and loved. "I just married Liam and everyone in the world who is important to me is right here," she offered as explanation for her ease. And it was there and then, with hail in my hair and my drenched pants plastered to my legs that I knew Emily and Liam would live happily ever after, able to weather any storm no matter how strong or scary.
I am still struggling to put into words what I witnessed yesterday in Cape Neddick. An impromptu dance with father and daughter on the lawn as singing guests gathered around them. A band of Irish brothers playing croquet in flipflops, their soaked slacks rolled round their knees. Newlyweds hand in hand dashing through the drizzle to the water's edge to catch a rainbow. These moments made up a day that was more delightful than what Emily and Liam had planned, which is saying something, because the party they had prepared was going to be off the charts as was.
Liam shows off the gift he got from Emily: the coolest cuff links featuring a map of the Cape Neddick/York area where they would be married just a few hours later.
Emily's dress hangs in the hallway at the Greystone. I love the colors in there!
Emily's reaction to seeing her dress in the mirror for the first time.
As a wedding day gift, Liam gave Emily a most stunning ring that fit the day's look to a tee. And with it was a very sweet note, which caused Emily, and her bridesmaids and me to cry.
A most beautiful bride.
Saturday was a scorcher, but luckily, there was a nice ocean breeze to cool things down a little bit. Here, it teases Emily's veil, which caused her to giggle.
The "ring barrier" as they dubbed him was quite dutiful.
Liam's reaction to seeing Emily for the first time when the church doors opened was priceless!
The church where the two were married had many restrictions on where I could and could not be during the ceremony, which made me a bit nervous. So, I looked for unique vantage points to set the scene while being unobtrusive. This was a favorite shot, because of the way Emily is framed by a guest (I think Liam's grandmother) holding her program.
After the hail/thunder/lighting/raining-cats-and-dogs storm, we were blessed by this beautiful rainbow over the ocean. Wow!
Some shots of the bride and groom... All of these naturally unfolded, without my direction. Emily and Liam were so thrilled that the storm had passed, they couldn't stop smiling.
A favorite for sure!
I loved that so many of the guests came down to witness our beachside session. It was such a surreal moment with the sun glowing and everyone gathered around, reveling in the light that is the calm after the storm. As Liam (quoting Dolly Parton) put it best "You have to get through the rain to see the rainbows."
The best man enjoying a drink and a game of croquet. What fun!
Emily was a diva of the most delicious details. She spent so much time coordinating them all, with such great results. After hearing her plans over the past year, I was still breathless when I first saw how she pulled everything together. (Feel free to snag this story board.)
I love the colors of these glasses on the bride and groom's table during the toast.
I am still working my way through the images, so I expect to add to this post in the coming days. In the meantime: I couldn't be happier for these two, or prouder of the poise with which they fielded the day's many curveballs. A lifetime of happiness to you both, and enjoy Bora Bora (and know that I am insanely jealous of your journey).