From Canada, With Love
Mariel & Kevin
This Canadian couple decided to start their new live in their new home—Maine.
Story by Melanie Brooks
Mariel Bent and Kevin McGuire’s first meaningful interaction included a needle. Kevin, a medical student, and Mariel, a nursing student, met at a regional hospital in their home province of Nova Scotia. They had exchanged a few passing “hellos” in the hall before their first conversation at the nurses’ station. While they had just met, they quickly realized they had several shared acquaintances.
It was during this conversation that Mariel lamented that she had only tried to master the skill of IV access on a mannequin. Kevin graciously volunteered his arm for her to practice on. They gathered supplies, and two other nurses for guidance, and headed into a room for privacy. “I was quite nervous about the procedure and sticking Kevin with a needle!” Mariel says. She missed the mark, twice. Embarrassed, she put the needles aside. Thankfully Kevin didn’t hold it against her; he asked her out on their first date soon after. That was six years ago.
“I knew Kevin was "the one" by how I felt being with him—and also without him,” Mariel says. The couple finished their rotation in Nova Scotia and moved to Maine, settling in the Belgrade Lakes region.
On a sunny November day, Kevin decided it was the right time to propose. The couple had just returned home from a trip to Philadelphia and Connecticut. Dressed in sweat pants and hoodies, they took their dog, Cedar, for a walk on a nearby golf course. Under a grand tree overlooking a lake, Kevin got down on one knee and asked Mariel to marry him. “It was such a shock!” Mariel says. What she didn’t know was that Kevin had planned to propose in Philadelphia. “He explained that it didn’t feel right to him to propose in a city that we were visiting for the first time. It was important for him to propose close to home, and on a walk that we often take together. It was an intimate and special moment.”
Mariel admits that choosing where to get married was a difficult decision. Since she and Kevin are both from Nova Scotia, they strongly considered holding the most important day of their lives in the familiar setting of the Canadian Maritimes. But they soon came to realize that Maine was their home now, and decided to invite their family and friends to Maine and show off their new state.
“We had a tremendous amount of support from family and friends to have our wedding in Maine,” Mariel says. “Everyone was eager to visit, so our event served as a destination wedding for most of our guests from Atlantic Canada.” Finding a venue where people could stay for a few nights in close proximity to their celebration was important. “We have come to really enjoy the natural beauty of Maine and wanted our chosen location to reflect this. Rangeley and Saddleback Mountain provided just that!”
Mariel and Kevin hosted a Welcome to Maine Party the night before their big day. Their out of town guests gathered at the Main Lodge at Saddleback Mountain Resort to socialize and enjoy the views. “It allowed us to spend more time chatting with our guests and thanking them for joining us for the weekend festivities,” Mariel says.
The couple decided to keep with tradition and not see each other before the wedding ceremony. They did get a chance to speak the morning of their wedding day, which helped calm Mariel’s nerves. “Hearing his voice was so stabilizing,” she says.
The bridal party enjoyed Nova Scotian wine while getting their hair and makeup done, and the groomsmen prepped while sipping a rare Irish whiskey. The ceremony took place at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church in nearby Oquossoc. “It was a beautiful service, and the cool mountain air kept the quaint, rustic church comfortable,” Mariel says. Her brother, a car enthusiast, arranged for the couple to use a stunning 1967 Lincoln Continental, complete with a driver. They took the car to some chosen locations where their photographer, Steven Fairfeild, used the gusty winds to his advantage, creating some magical scenes.
While Mariel and Kevin were having photos taken, their guests sipped cocktails and listened to music on the deck at the Saddleback Mountain Resort. The couple rejoined the party and enjoyed a delicious meal and impressive speeches from their Maid of Honor and Best Man. Dean Ford and the Keepsakes, a Portland, Maine-based band, rocked the house for the rest of the evening. “They kept the dance floor moving!” Mariel says. “It was a great ending to an amazing day!”
In Mariel's words
We asked the bride more about the big day. Here's what Mariel said...
I’m so glad that…we were surrounded by family and friends who traveled long and far to celebrate with us in Maine.
One of my favorite moments was…when Kevin told me how beautiful I looked after I met him at the altar.
I didn’t realize…how fast the day would go by.
I really liked…our Maid of Honor and Best Man speeches.
My advice to other brides is…relax, have fun, and remember—your guests are there to celebrate the love and union between you and your husband. Enjoy your day!
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