Claire, from Madison, Wisconsin, and Dan, from Lancaster, New Hampshire, decided to get married where the couple first met—in Maine.
“We met over 11 years ago at Bates College,” Claire says. “We started dating on my 20th birthday at the start of our sophomore year. When Dan came to my dorm room with birthday presents, which were a block of Wisconsin cheese and a red rose, I knew he was a keeper!”
Dan proposed on another college campus—Ohio State—where the couple were living so Dan could work on his PhD. “He proposed with my grandmother’s ring, which I had no idea he had gotten from my parents months before,” Claire says. He had been carrying the ring around in his pocket for some time, waiting for the exact right time to ask Claire to marry him. “I admire how he always works hard to get things right—and I love that I still give him butterflies after all these years,” Claire says.
The couple loves Maine for the state’s natural beauty and quaint coastal towns. They held their rustic and elegant wedding at Harbor View at Jones Landing in Portland. They served local food and drink from The Black Tie Company, decorated with local flowers from Kennebec Flower Farm, and used beach rocks for escort cards.
To keep with the eco-friendly/sustainable vibe, Claire bought her wedding gown at a thrift store. “I am a huge thrift store shopper, but even I was amazed to find my perfect dress—and shoes—at a small second hand store in Columbus, Ohio,” she says.
The couple enlisted one of Claire’s college friends—Meg Cimini from Cairn Event Consulting—to help plan their Maine wedding. “Meg is extremely competent, organized, and efficient,” Claire says. “I had the added benefit that she knew us so well and was able to really help the wedding feel like us.”
In Her Words
We asked Claire more about her big day. Here's what she said...
I wish…I could remember every minute of that day.
I didn’t realize…that I would feel so overwhelmingly happy on the day of my wedding that I would not have time to feel nervous at all.
One of my favorite moments was…when our photographer, Audra Bayette, took my husband and me away from the reception for a few minutes to photograph us on the dock at sunset. It felt special to have a little time with him without all of our guests.
I’m glad that…my friend led a yoga class on the morning of our wedding to help me feel calm and grounded.
I really liked…seeing our friends and family get down on the dance floor!
My advice to other brides is…after the wedding to jot down your memories from the day—the little details that you might forget in the years to come. Pictures only tell part of the story.
Photography by Audra Bayette Photography
Ceremony and reception venue: Harbor View at Jones Landing, Portland
Event planner: Cairn Event Consulting
Catering: The Black Tie Company, Portland
Ceremony music: Pat Keane
Reception entertainment: DJ Jon Shannon