Rebecca and Karl met in 2005 as students at New York University. They dated throughout their undergrad years, and continued their relationship when Karl moved to Massachusetts for medical school.
Karl made a stop into NYC to see Rebecca before heading home to Los Angeles for Christmas. They spent the weekend doing some of their favorite Christmas things, including perusing the Holiday Market in Union Square. They took a walk to Stuyvesant Park, which is just a block from the dorm where they had met. “It’s a place that holds many sweet memories for us,” Rebecca says. “It was lightly snowing, there was a Christmas tree in the middle of the park, and he asked me to be his wife.”
While most of their relationship has been built around New York City, the couple knew that Maine was going to play an important role in their future. Rebecca is from Brewer, Maine, and Karl was part of a program at Tufts University School of Medicine called the Maine Track. Through this program, Karl spent the first two years of medical school outside of Boston, and the last two years in Maine. “Karl hopes to practice in Maine at the end of his training, and we wanted to take the opportunity to introduce our friends and loved ones from all over the country to the new place we would be calling home,” Rebecca says.
The couple planned their Portland wedding to be held six days before Christmas. “We actively tried to avoid it being a Christmas-themed wedding,” Rebecca says. “We did want to evoke a sense of hope and warmth. We also wanted it to feel genuine, and did this by having our family and friends play a big part of the planning and production.”
On the morning of the big day, Rebecca spent time with her parents and bridal party getting ready at the Danforth Inn. They listened to Christmas music and munched on Holy Donuts. Karl and his groomsmen got ready at the couple’s West End apartment.
The couple held their ceremony at the Maine Irish Heritage Center. “We had decorated the center the night before with thousands of white Christmas lights,” Rebecca says. Her father brought branches from their backyard in Brewer to adorn with lights and use as aisle décor. Karl’s mother created all of the boutonniere’s using plants from her garden in California.
Live musicians playing traditional Irish music welcomed guests to the ceremony. The couple had their siblings as bridesmaids and groomsmen, and they each did a reading. They were married by their pastor, Scott Terry, from Christs Fellowship Church in South Portland.
After the heartfelt ceremony, guests walked a couple of blocks over to The Portland Club for a cocktail hour and reception. They were greeted by a table full of seasonal food, cocktails, and roaring fires in the fireplaces.
Rebecca and Karl slipped out of their cocktail reception with photographer Danielle Brady to take some photos in the waning, late afternoon light. The rest of the evening was filled with eating, toasting, and enjoying the company of friends and loved ones.
In Rebecca’s Words
We asked the bride more about the big day. Here’s what Rebecca said…
I wish…I could do it again. It’s so rare to have all of your family and close friends in one place at one time. No matter how much work and how many details you put into planning your wedding, there is absolutely nothing as special as having all your closest loved ones in the same place at the same time.
I didn’t realize…that having other people contribute to our wedding day would mean so much. At first, I was hesitant to hand over the reins to anyone else—but some of the things that I let go of and let other people handle were my favorite details.
One of my favorite moments was…when the DJ had finished playing our last song of the night, and all our guests started chanting “one more song!” So he humored us and we finished the evening strong, with everyone on the dance floor singing at the top of their lungs and dancing their tails off to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
I’m glad that…we put as much (if not more) thought into the marriage ceremony as we did the reception. It is easy to get swept up in the details of a reception, but at the end of the day, the reception is the party which is intended to celebrate the monumental thing that happened before it—a marriage. Everyone is gathering together to witness your commitment to one another, and it deserves every ounce of your attention as you plan your big day.
I really liked
…getting married in Maine in the winter! People may shy away from winter weddings here, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This year, as Christmas decorations went up around Portland and it started to get chillier, it brought back so many great memories of preparing for the wedding at this time last year. It’s nice to know that everyone we love knows how beautiful Portland is this time of year, and has a special memory here.