The Love of Their Lives
Julie & Frank

It might have taken Frank and Julie decades to tie the knot, but that didn't stop them from building a life together. 

Story by Mimi Pinette
Photography by Lexi Lowell Photography
 

Julie Stevens and Frank Keaveney met more than four decades ago when Julie was a paper girl in South Portland, Maine. Her paper bundle was dropped curbside right in front of Frank's family’s house on Broadway.
 
Frank knew Julie then as the “pain in the butt toe head paper girl” and she knew him as the “tall skinny boy that made Italian sandwiches at Pete’s Broadway Market.” Years flew by before their paths would cross again. They graduated from high school, traveled, married, and divorced. 
 
Julie was living in Maine and Frank was living in Florida when fate struck on a summer night in the Old Port. It was June 1991 and Frank was in Maine on a business trip.  He decided to drop in to Gritty’s for a cold one. Julie happened to be out on the town celebrating a friend’s birthday. 
 
“As I chatted with my friends I sensed someone around me,” Julie says. “I turned to look and locked eyes with Frank. I quickly turned away out of embarrassment. He was cute!” Shortly after Julie literally bumped into Frank, and she wasn’t going to let him get away. She pulled him into a club and onto the dance floor. That night they realized their connection from the past and talked and laughed the night away. It was the start of their long romance.
 
Over the next 25 years Julie sold her house in Maine, changed her career, and moved to Florida to be with Frank. The couple decided to open a wedding business in Newry called Mountain House on Sunday River and relocated again. 
 
Frank had asked Julie to marry him, but due to circumstances beyond their control they couldn’t get married until 2016. When the situation was right and things were in order, Frank proposed again. The couple started planning their June 25, 2016 wedding—exactly 25 years to the day that they met up in the Old Port.
 
There was only one place to celebrate their big day—Mountain House on Sunday River. They went all out. “Because we go to Key West every year and once planned on getting married there, we themed our rehearsal dinner and welcome party as Key West Comes to Mountain House,” Julie says. As the margaritas were flowing and Jimmy Buffet was crooning through the speakers, friends and family gathered to toast to the couple who were finally tying the knot.
 
The following day, nestled in the tall pines, Julie and Frank finally said their wedding vows. Guests sat on hemlock benches to witness the romantic ceremony that had been postponed for so many years. Their reception was held under a tent. “A sparkling moment for me was seeing and hearing the reactions of our friends and family as they walked into our reception tent,” Julie says. “Guests were stunned with the gorgeous tent, authentic farm tables, elegant Chiavari chairs, dangling chandeliers, and dainty lace table runners.”
 
Julie and Frank’s celebration included lawn games, an outdoor fireplace, comfy leather furniture beneath trees, and a chairlift swing to boot! “There was so much for our guests to do while we were having our photos taken by Lexi Lowell around the property and at the nearby Covered Bridge,” Julie says. 
 
Julie, who helps her clients plan their weddings at Mountain House, enjoyed planning her own wedding. “No matter how much time you think you have the morning of your wedding day, it disappears so fast—gone in the blink of an eye,” she says. “The special time I had alone with Frank while taking photos was a time I’ll always remember.”  
 
In Their Words
I’m so glad that…so many of our friends and family finally got to see us get married. (Frank)
 
One of my favorite moments was…seeing the ring, that we had had for so many years, finally on Frank’s hand! (Julie) 
When we were introduced as husband and wife and had our first dance. (Frank)
 
I wish…that those that had passed on—like our parents—had been able to be there. But they were there in spirit. (Frank)
 
I really liked…the time of year! The flowers and the weather are just perfect in the western mountains in June! (Julie)
That we had everyone in one place…and it wasn’t a funeral! (Frank)
 
My advice to others is…to hire a wedding day coordinator. (Julie)
 
Maine Vendors
Catering: Mountain House Catering, Newry
Event Rentals: Affordable Events, Oxford
Florist: Designs by Janet Black, Bethel
Bakery: The Winey Baker, Poland; Marta’s Bakery, Waterford
Hair and Makeup: Island Indulgence, Rumford
Transportation: Sunday River Stagecoach, Bethel