Seoras, who hails from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, hired a piper to surprise (and annoy) Jill during a picnic on the beach. Little did she know, he was ushering in a proposal.
Jill was enjoying an innocent picnic on the beach when she heard the drone of pipes. In full traditional formal attire, a bagpiper walked towards her. Seoras rose to meet the piper and returned to Jill with a little blue ring box.
The couple, who live in Gorham, decided to hold a traditional Scottish wedding in the town of Meddybemps, Maine, where Jill’s family has a camp. “We both love to go there, and it seems to be one of the only places we can relax and just be,” Jill says. “We wanted to share this with our friends and family.”
Jill and her bridal party took over the family camp for wedding day preparations, cramming into one small bathroom in front of a very small mirror. The groom and his party were gathered at a nearby camp, donning kilts, sporrans, shiny daggers, and enjoying a little whiskey.
The ceremony was held above the swirling waters of Reversing Falls in Pembroke. Guests were greeted by a lone piper playing traditional melodies picked out by the groom. A friend performed the ceremony and Celtic melodies were sung. Jill and Seoras incorporated a Celtic knot tying ritual and a moment of silence to appreciate the surroundings and beauty of their chosen location.
The reception was held lakeside in the Meddybemps Community Center. The hall was filled with a thousand fairy lights, warm apple cider, and Celtic music played by a traditional folk band. A whiskey bar next to a roaring campfire, along with locally made lobster cakes, Allagash beer, and a selection of the bride’s favorite wines, completed the scene. “This was very much a DIY wedding,” Jill says. “We wanted to plan, organize, and put it all together ourselves as much as possible.”
After a hearty dinner of traditional British steak and kidney pie, the tables were pushed aside to allow for dancing. “For our first dance, we picked a traditional Scottish love song that the band sang in Gaelic,” Jill says. “We were both over the moon about how beautiful it all was and that it all came together.”
In Their Words
We asked the bride and groom more about their wedding day. Here’s what Jill and Seoras said…
I wish…it had lasted longer. The ceremony was at 4 and everything was over by 9. I wanted to wear my dress forever! (Jill)
…I could have slowed down time so I could enjoy all the little moments more. (Seoras)
I didn’t realize…how expensive it would be to get exactly what I wanted. Also how hard it was to organize a wedding that would take place over 250 miles from where we live. (Jill)
…how hard it was going to be to hang all those fairy lights! (Seoras)
One of my favorite moments was…the unaccompanied solos and the flute piece during the ceremony. It was heartwarming to see our friends coming out to support us like that. The music, the scenery, my beautiful bride standing in front of me, it was a magical moment (Seoras)
I’m glad that…we kept the guest list small. It made it more intimate and we were able to enjoy everything and everyone’s company. (Jill)
…my family and friends were able to experience a Maine camp vacation and everything it entails. (Seoras)
My advice to other couples is…to think locally when looking for vendors. There are so many wonderful, skilled individuals in even the most remote locations. It pays to ask around, and you will often get a more personal and intimate experience. (Jill)
Photography by The Maine Tinker
Reception Venue: Meddybemps Community Center
Catering: Chandler River Lodge, Jonesboro
Wedding Gown: Andrea’s Bridal, Portland
Florist: Parlin Flowers & Gifts, Machias
Wedding Rings: Cross Jewelers, Portland
Baker: European Bakery & Tea Room, Falmouth; Pies by the mother of the bride
Entertainment: Chuck Donnelly and Chris Gray