Lauren & Matt
These two artists created an unforgettable event in the magical Maine woods.
By Mimi Pinette
Photography by Spring Smith Studios
Videography by SP Films
Matt Kaiser met Lauren May on their first day of college at Massachusetts College of Art. As Matt was getting acquainted with his roommates, Lauren, who was working to overcome her shyness, burst through their door to introduce herself. The couple became fast friends as the only two freshmen in a sophomore-level English class. They became inseparable.
“Before we were even dating, Lauren was closer to me than anyone had ever been,” Matt says. “We trusted one another with our deepest secrets and accepted each other as we were. We used to argue with our roommates that we were just great friends, yet she’d cuddle up with me and hold my hand we when had movie nights together.” When Lauren’s roommate asked them why they didn’t just get married already, a switch flipped. Soon after Matt realized that Lauren was the one for him. “I became aware of just how far I had come as a person since being with her. She made me a better person than I ever thought I could be.”
Matt decided to propose to Lauren in a way that was meaningful to her. Lauren is an accomplished children’s book illustrator and Matt learned how to make books in college. To propose, Matt decided to write and illustrate a children’s book and give it to Lauren for Christmas. “It was called “The Potato Book” and was about a boring old potato who falls in love with a beautiful yam. It even rhymed!” Matt says. “The potato puts on all sorts of disguises to try to impress her, not realizing she loves him just the way he is.” He made her read it out loud when she opened it Christmas morning, but left out the last page. The book read, “What would happen after that was anybody’s guess. There’s just one thing he didn’t know…” and when Lauren stopped on that last page, confused, Matt pulled a ring out of his pocket and finished the story with the words, “If she would say yes.”
Matt grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and Lauren hails from New Hampshire. The couple had moved back to Lauren’s home state after graduating from college and decided to hold their wedding in New England. They loved the idea of a rural barn wedding, so they started searching out venues in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. “The moment we found Hardy Farm in Fryeburg we knew it was the one,” Matt says. “The white-washed barn was perfect, the woods and gardens had such great potential for a beautiful ceremony, and they had enough housing for our closest friends and my out of town family. It was a no-brainer.”
The couple used a lot of wood, burlap, metal, and rustic decorations, like old birdcages and birch-stump cupcake stands, in their rustic wedding. They also created a lot of art for their wedding. They designed and printed their invitations and paper goods, illustrated a chalkboard listing the day’s events, Lauren sewed table runners, and Matt painted their wood signs. All the table arrangements were created by scratch. Even their attire was customized. Matt ordered custom-made vests for his groomsmen on Etsy and Lauren worked with a seamstress to tailor her wedding gown. One of Matt and Lauren’s friends brewed a beer they called “Better Half” and the couple served it at their reception to rave reviews.
On the morning of the wedding the couple and their friends and family worked on putting the finishing touches on the event before splitting up to get ready. The couple decided to have a “First Look” in the empty barn before their ceremony. “She walked in—the most beautiful bride in history, by the way—followed by the wedding party and some close family, and we took our formal photos,” Matt says.
The ceremony was sweet and personal, and featured Matt’s friend on guitar and a song by Lauren’s cousin. “We didn’t want a long ceremony, but we wanted it to be very personal,” Matt says. “With the live music under the trees in the woods behind Hardy Farm, our ceremony really felt one-of-a-kind.”
In Lauren's Words
We asked the bride more about the big day. Here's what Lauren says . . .
I’m so glad that
…I didn’t stress about the small things because I had time to focus on the most important moments. Even with its small flaws, the whole day felt perfect.
One of my favorite moments was
...taking a moment during dinner to stop and see that we were surrounded by people who loved us.
I didn't realize
...how quickly the day would fly by.
I really liked
…seeing all of our hard work come together into a magical experience that I will never forget.
My advice to other couples is
…take time during the day to step back from the commotion and spend a few moments with the person you’ve chosen to spend your life with. Above everything else, the day is about the two of you.
Photography: Spring Smith Studios
Videographer: SP Films
Day-of Coordinator: Ashley Link Events
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hardy Farm
Caterer: 302 West Smokehouse & Tavern
Transportation: Custom Coach and Limousine
Lauren & Matt | A Hardy Farm Wedding from SP Films on Vimeo.