Mary and Jon met as college freshmen at Suffolk University in Boston. They became an official couple on March 11, 2009.
While the couple was dating, they spent time together in their “secret spot” in Boston’s North End. To celebrate their fourth anniversary, Jon planned a surprise weekend trip to Boston and dinner out at one of the best Italian restaurants in the North End. “After dinner we went on a long walk that ended at our secret spot,” Mary says. “While we were reflecting on how great it was to be back in Boston where our love story began, Jon suddenly got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”
The couple had relocated to Maine after graduating from college. Mary wanted to return home to be near her family, and Jon, from Georgia, followed. They decided that there was no better place than Maine for their wedding. “We love Maine for its pastoral setting and simplicity, and couldn’t imagine having our wedding in any state other than the one we call home.”
Mary and Jon decided to hold their wedding ceremony and reception at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester. The ceremony was held beneath a beautiful willow tree and the reception was held underneath a tent on the grounds. “We wanted all details to be timeless in an outdoor setting,” Mary says. “My Italian heritage is very important to me, so many of the details were reflective of that—such as the five-course Italian feast!”
Guests enjoyed lemon San Pellegrino, passed out by Mary’s adorable nephews, while waiting for the ceremony to begin. Two college friends stood up and spoke self-written readings, one of which was an original poem written by a friend with whom Mary studied creative writing.
The tented reception featured several lawn games, including a giant Jenga. Guests were asked to sign quilt squares in lieu of a traditional guest book. After the wedding the couple had the squares sewn into a quilt.
The tables were named using postcards of Italian cities, and each place setting had a leaf tag with a guest’s name pinned to a fresh lemon. Favors were rosemary olive oil and fig balsamic vinegar. The feast was served family style, and dessert included an almond wedding cake and assorted Italian pastries.
“My brother performed three songs during the reception, which helped to kick off the dancing,” Mary says. “It was the perfect day.”
In Her Words
We asked the bride more about the big day. Here’s what Mary said…
I wish…I hadn’t stressed so much about the things I couldn’t control, such as the weather, other people’s emotions, or if the meatballs would be cook right on the big day.
I didn’t realize…how many hours of work goes into pulling off one spectacular day.
One of my favorite moments was…right after the ceremony was over and the priest announced us for the first time. It was such a happy moment as we faced all of our family and friends and walked down the aisle.
I’m glad that…I had Jon through the wedding planning process. It’s all very overwhelming and having a calm voice to convince you it will all work out is sometimes all you need.
I really liked…everything about how our day went. I wish I could re-live the entire day from start to finish. It was the best day of my life, second to our honeymoon baby—Cecilia Jonnie—born on May 14, 2016.
My advice to other couples is
…be organized, be resourceful, and don’t procrastinate. Hire a wedding planner or opt for a full service company if you need help. Focus your energy on the things you can control and you increase your chances of having that perfect day you’ve always dreamed of.
Officiant: Father Ed Minderlein