Christine and Pete bonded over a game of Apples to Apples. Pete is best friends with Christine’s brother in law. Christine’s sister Emily and her husband Bryan hosted a party where Christine met Pete over a game of Apples to Apples. Christine noticed that all of her cards were selected by Pete and all of Pete’s cards were chosen by Christine! They quickly realized they shared the same sense of humor.
At the time, Christine was still in college and Pete was eight years her senior. Bryan’s friends were given strict orders not to pick up Emily’s little sister. Following the rules, Pete didn’t pursue Christine until they met again that summer—after graduation. They met again at a 4th of July party and Emily and Bryan’s. Pete was living in Boston and Christine in New York City. They embarked on a long distance relationship for two years, before Pete moved to NYC for a clerkship. The couple later moved to Boston, then to Connecticut where they are both from.
The couple were together for six years before they were engaged. “Starting in year five, I was convinced every time Pete made a sudden movement and said, “I have to tell you something,” that he was going to propose,” Christine says. “When it came to a proposal, I told him I only cared about two things—not to do it in front of anyone and not to do it on a holiday.”
Christine’s office in NYC is a block from Rockefeller Center. “As Grinch as it may sound, I avoid the Christmas tree at all costs because of all the tourists,” Christine says. “Pete, on the other hand, loves the Christmas tree.” The couple were in NY for Christine’s annual team holiday party and every day he was there he asked Christine to go see the tree. She begged off, knowing they were going to be taking their annual trip to New Orleans two days after the holiday party. As it’s one of their favorite cities, Pete was planning to propose in New Orleans. But that’s not what happened.
The night of the holiday party, Christine and Pete went out with her work team and danced the night away. They returned to the hotel at 3 a.m. Still wide awake, she suggested they go over to see the Christmas tree. Christine figured all the tourists would already be in bed. “We walked over to Rockefeller Center only to find that the lights on the tree are shut off at this hour,” Christine says. “The city was completely asleep. The stores on Fifth Avenue were lit up and the skating rink was also quite beautiful. The Today Show was setting up their stage for an early morning concert. Everything was lit up…but the tree. Then as we soaked in what seemed to be a city all to ourselves, Pete popped the question. It wasn't planned and I was completely caught off guard. It was far from the adorable reaction I had always imagined for myself. We asked a group of construction workers to take a photo of us. I never thought he could surprise me, but he nailed it!”
The couple decided to hold their wedding celebration in Maine. Christine grew up visiting southern Maine, and her parents own a house on Pine Point in Scarborough. It seemed like the perfect place for a destination wedding.
It was an Airstream trailer that had a hand in deciding where Christine and Pete would be wed. “I’m obsessed with Airstream trailers,” Christine says. “I have been since I was a teenager.” The couple spent the winter of 2016 living at the beach house in Pine Point and would frequently go into Portland to go bowling at Bayside. When the business broke ground on their new space there was an old Airstream parked in the parking lot. Turns out that Airstream was going to be turned into a Taco Truck and placed on the new rooftop bar. “We jokingly said we should get married there—and after seeing a few wedding venues there wasn’t a single doubt in our mind.”
Ninety of Christine and Pete’s closest friends and family traveled to Maine for their offbeat wedding. Christine woke up to torrential rain on her wedding day. She could see the rooftop of Bayside Bowl in the distance. The Airstream was soaking and nothing was set up. She was secretly bummed.
“My whole life, when I thought about my wedding, I thought about different things that would bring tears to my eyes,” Christine says. “Oddly, none of those things made me tear up. But seeing a break in the clouds and some blue sky 30 minutes before we had to leave the hotel for photos was absolutely a miracle. I could feel myself getting choked up. The entire sky opened up around 1:00 to one of those absolutely perfect days. Not a cloud in the sky!”
Christine and Pete had their “first look” in Portland’s Old Port. They spent time taking photos downtown and enjoying drinks at The Portland Hunt and Alpine—their go-to cocktail bar.
“I didn’t want a frilly wedding with lots of extra decorations,” Christine says. “I loved the space and, honestly, the Airstream and my guy were all that I needed.” The couple had a quick 20-minute ceremony and the guests moved from the rooftop to the Mezzanine level for cocktail hour.
The main event was held on the bottom floor where the bowling lanes were. Guest enjoyed tacos and beer while Emily and Bryan made their speeches. “We ditched most of the formal wedding traditions—no first dance, no parent dances, no tossing of the bouquet, and no wedding cake to cut,” Christine says. “Instead, we had a First Bowl!” Pete and Christine strapped on their bowling shoes and hit the lanes. They “cheered” their bowling balls and off they went, with Deee-lite’s “Groove is in the Heart” played by their band.
The rest of the night was filled with bowling and snacks. Those that were still standing at the end of the reception ventured into the Old Port to finish off the night.
“Our wedding was unconventional,” Christine says. “Leading up to it people were confused and weren’t sure why we’d ever want to get married in a bowling alley. For us, it was perfect. We did exactly what we wanted with people we adore and places we love.”
In Her Words
We asked the bride more about her big day. Here’s what Christine said…
I wish…I could re-live this day every day. We were so incredibly happy and in the moment.
I didn’t realize…that all the things that seemed so significant leading up to the big day really weren’t. I didn’t think about if the labels on the basket of lobster socks I put together for our guests were coming apart, or if my lipstick was perfect.
One of my favorite moments was…when the band began playing for our first bowl. The energy in the room was beyond anything I could ever imagine. After a big hug/kiss with my new Husband, I looked to see my (at the time) 8.5-months pregnant sister jumping up and down to her song request.
I’m glad that…we had a day that was us! We didn’t feel pressure to fit into a wedding mold and because of that, we truly had the most perfect, fun day we could imagine…actually, it was beyond anything we could have imagined.
I really liked…seeing how genuinely happy our guests were. The days and weeks following the wedding were filled with comments such as “that was the most fun we’ve ever had at a wedding” “You’ve forever ruined future weddings! All weddings should be this much fun!”
My advice to other couples is
…remind yourself to be in the moment, take a step back and just look at the room full of all the people you love. A LOT of work goes into this day and you should take it all in. I am so grateful that Pete and I snuck a way a few times just to watch our guests. It reminded us how lucky we are to be surrounded by so much love and support.