Photography by Emily Delamater Photography
Samantha Gilligan and Andrew Peters met at a local wine tasting event in Portland. Andrew was pouring samples for Maine Mead Works and noticed Sam in the crowd. He pointed her out to his coworker saying, “She is the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.” The two finally met, had dinner that night with some of Sam’s friends, and have been together ever since.
Sam fell in love with Andrew during a weekend getaway to South Bristol, Maine. They stayed on Andrew’s family’s sailboat and spent time rowing around the harbor with their dog, Simon, and relaxing on the boat. “With the beautiful scenery and easy days, I fell in love with him,” Sam says.
Andrew decided to propose to Samantha on that same sailboat. The couple had been living in New York City and Sam was a bout to complete an internship at a clinic in Maine. “I was about to go up and join her when I realized that it would be a great opportunity to propose,” Andrew says. He quickly looked into purchasing a ring from jeweler Ann Sportun, but the lead-time of six to eight weeks didn’t fit into Andrew’s schedule. Instead he fashioned a band out of tinfoil, borrowed an antique ring box from a coworker, and headed north.
“My hope was to recreate one of Sam’s favorite memories of our morning with our dog Simon in South Bristol,” Andrew says. It didn’t quite go as planned, and Andrew ended up proposing during a short hike to a beautiful overlook. On a cliff above the Damariscotta River, Sam accepted.
The couple decided to get married in Portland—the place where they met. They decided to hold their non-traditional ceremony on the Eastern Promenade. “We chose the specific spot because it looks out over Peaks Island where we previously lived,” Sam says. “It’s also the off-leash dog area where we have spent many evenings sipping a beverage and playing fetch with Simon.”
The spot was also right around the corner from Ocean Gateway, the site of Sam and Andrew’s reception. “We chose Ocean Gateway because of the beautiful scenery and event space,” Sam says. “It’s a little escape in downtown Portland.” With help from Emily Hricko from Emily Elizabeth Events, the couple set out to make their wedding celebration their own.
On the morning of the wedding, Sam spent time with her sister and mother getting ready for her big day while Andrew and his friends took a walk on Willard Beach and relaxed by playing corn hole.
Photographer Emily Delamater arranged for the couple to meet her at Fish Point on the Eastern Prom for their ‘first look.’ “It was incredibly special,” Sam says. “We spent almost two hours just the two of us taking photos and soaking in the moment!”
The ceremony was led by a beautiful processional of bagpipes, played by Andrew’s uncle. “We really wanted our ceremony to reflect us,” Sam says. “We had our closest friends officiate as well as having friends and family participate with readings.”
After the ceremony guests hopped aboard a trolley and made their way to Ocean Gateway where they were met with delicious cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Surprisingly, the fire alarm went off curing cocktail hour and the Portland Fire Department and a fireboat joined the wedding guests! “After a brief photo op, the truck and boat were on their way and the party continued,” Sam says.
After dinner the tunes from the Soulbenders got everyone on the dance floor. During a set break Andrew pulled out a chair and sat Sam in the middle of the dance floor. Along with members of his college a Capella group, Andrew serenaded his new bride with a few classic songs.
The remainder of the night was full of fantastic music and dancing. “I’m so glad that we were able to spend such a special day with so many of our close family and friends,” Sam says.
In Samantha’s Words
One of my favorite moments was…walking down the aisle with both of my parents and seeing Andrew waiting at the end. I loved hearing the bagpipes and looking out over Casco Bay.
I didn’t realize…how stressful the week before the wedding would be! I think many brides don’t talk about this because the actual day is overwhelmingly exciting, so it’s easy to forget about that lead-up stress.
I wish…we could hit replay on our wedding day.
My advice to other couples is…on the day of your wedding, take some alone time with your partner to pause, reflect, and thoroughly enjoy the moment.
Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Joseph’s
Her Wedding & Engagement Ring: Ann Sportun Fine Jewelry from Abacus
Entertainment: Soulbenders, Brooksville