Timing is Everything
Jenna & Jason
Jenna and Jason planned a destination wedding in Bar Harbor, and treated their guests to the best the island has to offer.
By Kaylie Reese
Photography by Becca Wood Photography
Jenna Setliff thought she would be sporting a fake engagement ring on her wedding planning trip in Bar Harbor, but Jason Lin’s plan all along was to replace the fake with a real ring before they even got there.
Nearly a decade ago, the two were introduced by mutual friends, and they had a connection right away.
“Almost immediately, we felt just as comfortable laughing at silly jokes as we did discussing serious issues going on in our lives,” Jason says.
Although the timing wasn’t right when they met—Jenna was dating someone else at the time— they exchanged contact information, determined to keep in touch.
“Over time, our friendship strengthened, and we were always there for each other, no matter if it was celebrating successes or offering a shoulder to cry on,” Jason says.
In 2007, a business trip brought Jason to Miami where Jenna was living. They decided to grab dinner together and catch up. That night, the sparks flew.
“Determination kept our friendship alive through the years, and fate brought us together in the end,” Jenna recalls.
Before they were even engaged, the couple, who live in Massachusetts, knew they wanted to get married in Bar Harbor. Jason had been visiting Maine with his family since he was a child and was excited to show Jenna everything he loved about the area.
“With the mountains, the ocean, and lobster, what more could you ask for?” Jenna says.
“The place is absolutely beautiful.” They took a vacation to Bar Harbor to start planning.
“We were not engaged at this point, so Jason suggested that I get a fake ring so that people would take me more seriously when we met with them to obtain wedding information,” Jenna says. “The night before we were supposed to leave for our trip, Jason and I had dinner with his parents and my mom. Over dinner, Jason said to me, ‘I don’t think the fake ring is a good idea anymore. It’s just not honest.’ I looked at him and was very confused. I even said to his parents, ‘This was his idea!’” When she looked back at Jason, he had a beautiful engagement ring—a real one—waiting for her. “Our trip to Maine turned into a real wedding planning trip, and I could not have been more excited.”
On the day of the wedding, they woke to cloudy, drizzly weather. But, like any given day in Maine, the weather turned beautiful—75 degrees and blue skies—while they were enjoying breakfast with guests at Acacia House Inn in Bar Harbor.
While Jenna was getting her hair done at the Bar Harbor Inn Spa, she was able to look out the window and watch as her guests arrived for her big day. “It felt like a fairytale,” she says. “I remember crying happy tears and thinking of how blessed we were to be having our dream wedding.”
A friend officiated the intimate ceremony in the company of close friends and family. Two special guests were even able to witness the ceremony, even though they were thousands of miles away in Taiwan. Jason’s grandparents “attended” via Skype.
“We didn’t know this until we both noticed a family member holding a laptop during our ceremony,” Jenna says. “We saw Jason’s grandparents smiling back at us. It was a special moment. It meant a lot to us both that they could see us get married.”
After the ceremony, the couple embarked the schooner Margaret Todd to take photos while their guests enjoyed cocktails inside Bar Harbor Inn, before their reception.
“Our reception was so much fun,” Jenna recalls. “Our guests enjoyed dancing, delicious food, and wedding cake. It was such a fun event for everyone.”
The couple took advantage of the views in Acadia National Park—they had their photos taken atop Cadillac Mountain and later at Thunder Hole. “Having a daytime wedding allowed us to take photos in all of these beautiful locations, and we are so happy we were able to do that.”
With the interest to take care of their guests for the entire day, they treated everyone to a celebration dinner at Stewman’s Lobster Pound in downtown Bar Harbor. “This was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to kick back, relax, and enjoy one another,” she says. “We had a full day, and everything about it was perfect!”
In Jenna's Words
We asked the bride more about their special day. Here’s what Jenna says . . .
I’m so glad that . . . we had a daytime wedding. It allowed us to take beautiful pictures.
One of my favorite moments was . . . when I walked down the aisle to my groom and held his hands. He was more handsome than ever. It was the happiest day of my life!
I didn't realize . . . how much work goes into planning a wedding!
I wish . . . I could relive the day all over again.
I really liked . . . having a smaller, more intimate wedding. We were able to spend quality time with our wedding guests.
My advice to other brides is . . . when the planning gets overwhelming or stressful, remember what’s truly important and that you’re marrying someone special. All of the other things will work out in the end.
Photographer: Becca Wood Photography
Ceremony & Reception: Bar Harbor Inn
, Bar Harbor
Florist: Laurie Riddell, Cottage Flowers
, Bar Harbor
Ceremony Music: Harpist Danielle Langord
Salon: Bar Harbor Inn Spa
, Bar Harbor
Cake: Celebration Cakes
by Janice Strout, Hulls Cove
Wedding Day Dinner: Stewman’s Lobster Pound
, Bar Harbor