Hometown Happiness
Kate & Garth

These high school sweethearts returned home to be married where it all began.

Photography by Emily Delamater Photography

Kathryn Barus and Garth Twitchell are Mainers through and through—she’s from Leeds and he’s from Turner. High school sweethearts, Kate and Garth had been together for 12 years before they tied the knot in the backyard of Kate’s parent’s house where she grew up.

Garth’s proposal is one for the books. He and Kate were camping in Acadia National Park when he woke her up at 2:30 a.m. to hike Cadillac Mountain in the dark. As they watched the sunrise from the summit, Garth popped the question, much to Kate’s surprise. “We had never even been ring shopping together,” Kate says. “He bought the ring on his own with help from our moms and his sister.”

Since Kate had just graduated from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, and was getting ready to start her residency in Augusta, the couple didn’t have much time to plan their wedding. “We planned the wedding over the course of one summer,” Kate says. “We had a lot of help from friends and family.”

The couple chose to get married in Kate’s parent’s backyard for several reasons. They wanted an outdoor ceremony and reception and they didn’t want to have to have time constraints on when the party started and ended. They also didn’t want their family and friends to have to travel far and pay for hotel rooms. Getting married in their hometown made perfect sense.

And since it was a backyard affair, Kate and Garth chose to make it casual and personal. The food and drinks were representative of their favorites and they had an ice cream sundae bar instead of a traditional wedding cake. Their guestbook was personalized, too. “We had sort of grew up together, so we had a welcome table with a guestbook that had tons of pictures of us over the years with our friends and families,” Kate says.

Kate spent hours with Winthrop Florist getting the design right for their wedding. “The flowers were really important to me, and I wanted them to have a garden/wild field-like quality that would fit with our location and style,” Kate says.

The couple was married by Kate’s uncle under a homemade birch tree arbor. Family portraits were taken underneath nearby apple trees and the couple snuck off with photographer Emily Delamater to a nearby field with an old gray barn to take some portraits. The ceremony site, reception tent, and a couple of friendly fire pits with Adirondack chairs were all within 100 yards of each other, creating the best kind of intimate wedding.

“Having all of our family and friends present and supporting us was the most important aspect of our wedding,” Kate says. “The wedding party was full of our close friends and family, and it was so great having everyone together.”

Good food and drink were important, too, and Kate and Garth hired Ian’s Eats Catering to create their menu. “The food was seasonal, fresh, and amazing!” Kate says. Guests munched on hors d'oeuvres of Maine and Vermont-crafted cheeses and bread, crab cakes, and shrimp. The main course included local roasted beef, butternut squash lasagne, local green beans, and a late summer salad.

The couple offered local beer (including Allagash White and Shipyard Pumpkin Head Ale), wine, and specialty margaritas for their guests as well as Gifford’s ice cream for dessert.

A fireworks display capped off the night, and, thankfully, Mother Nature presented gorgeous weather for the day—including a rainbow over the back field.

“I wish every single day in Maine could be like our wedding day,“ Kate says. “It was sunny, not too warm, and breezy with fresh air from a short rain shower. The stars that night were shockingly beautiful.“    

In Her Words
We asked the bride more 
about their special day. 
Here’s what Kate says . . .

I’m so glad that . . . I had all my favorite girls surrounding me on my wedding day.

One of my favorite moments was . . . the rainbow that appeared over the back field. I also loved watching the groomsmen arrive at the ceremony from the second story window where my bridesmaids and I were getting ready.

I really liked . . . having our personality and history infused into the day through the photos of us, family, and friends over the years. I also loved having a specialty drink and having an ice cream bar.

I didn't realize . . . how quickly the time to plan would pass and the day would arrive!

My advice to other brides is . . . to pick out a bridesmaid dress that they really can wear again. Something classic.