Angela and Billy, both from southern Maine, met while teaching in Old Orchard Beach—she at the elementary school and he at the middle school. “We met at a social gathering before the first day of school,” Angela says. “We later found out that we both inquired about each other to the same coworker!”
Together, the couple decided to make the move across the country to San Diego for new teaching jobs. “Being very close to family, this was a tough move,” Angela says. “But we were excited to take the journey together.”
Two days before their big going away party, Billy insisted on taking Angela out to dinner in Old Orchard Beach one last time. When they arrived at Joseph’s by the Sea the hostess said their table wasn’t quite ready. She suggested they head upstairs to the top deck for a drink. At the top of the stairs was a single table for two overlooking the ocean, complete with a bouquet of roses. “Billy acted surprised as to how nice the set up was, not letting on that he had arranged it all,” Angela says. A waitress delivered champagne and a cheese platter. In the middle of the tray, under a sea shell, was a ring.
“I soon realized that our going away party was, in fact, an engagement party, where even my best friend from college drove up to surprise me,” Angela says.
The couple decided to plan to get married where they both called home—Maine. “Having our wedding on the ocean was something we both dreamed of,” Angela says. They held their celebration at the Inn at Diamond Cove in Casco Bay. The bridesmaids and groomsmen each had their own separate suites on different floors so that everyone could get ready together without bumping into one another.
On the morning of her wedding day, Angela received a knock on her door. Room service delivered a French vanilla iced coffee and a sweet note from Billy. From then on, Angela received a delivery every hour leading up to the 2:30 p.m. ceremony—bouquets of flowers, candles, a round of shots, all with adorable hand written notes.
Angela surprised Billy with a diary she had been writing in the entire year leading up to their wedding day. It was filled with reasons why she couldn’t wait to marry him.
The ceremony was filled with family. Their nephew, who had just turned three, was their ring bearer. Billy’s aunt Lori married the couple. “We couldn’t have asked for a more personal touch to our ceremony,” Angela says. They were married under a white birch arbor that Angela’s father and Billy built together. It was a personalized, touching ceremony.
The couple snuck away for photos while the guests enjoyed a cocktail hour. Angela’s twin sister (and Maid of Honor) handled almost all of the décor, including nautical corn hole boards, wooden signs, knot rope balls for their escort cards, and more. At the reception, Angela and her father shocked the family with their first dance. “We took a couple of dance lessons without telling anyone, including Billy,” Angela says. “We danced to “I Loved Her First,” a song my dad picked. At the end of the dance, my brothers came up to us and said, ‘Ok…fill us in, because we KNOW dad has never danced a step like that in his life!’”
When the heartfelt speeches and dinner was over, the dancing began. “Aside from pausing to cut the cake, we danced for the last three hours of the night, ending with a sparkler send off before guests hopped back on the ferry to Portland,” Angela says. “It was our most perfect day and I’m forever grateful for my parents hosting the wedding of my dreams.”
In Her Words
We asked the bride more about the big day. Here’s what Angela said…
I didn’t realize…how relaxed I was going to be the day of. In fact, I was so relaxed that morning, drinking mimosas with my girls in our robes, that I completely forgot to get in the shower until my hair and makeup people called to say they were arriving on the ferry!
One of my favorite moments was…taking a couple of private dance lessons with Billy for our first dance. We aren’t really sway back and forth people and we wanted to have fun with it. I told my sister that we weren’t going to dance through the entire song, so we planned to have the wedding party come join us to finish the dance about 2 minutes in. What we didn’t realize was that our entire wedding party had planned a special surprise. Billy and I ended our dance with a dip, and when I looked up, our wedding party was surrounding us on the dance floor with tambourines, playing to the beat of the music.
I’m so glad that…we kept the guest list to our family and close friends. At dinner, we were able to go around to every table and say hello and thank everyone for coming. We had around 115 people, just big enough where it still felt intimate.
My advice to other couples is
…when the day comes, tell yourselves that you’ve done all you can do to prepare for the day. Try not to worry about things going wrong, because there’s a chance that not every little detail will fall perfectly into place. We had a couple of things go differently than planned, and it actually allowed us to have a couple of surprises ourselves. Just have fun!
Hair: Heather Thyng, Sparrow Hair Studio
Ceremony Music: Mitch Alden
Reception Entertainment: DJ George Shabo, Portland