Romance on the Coast

Laura and Robert Plan a wedding weekend full of family and friends by the sea.
Story by Reuben Bell
Photography by Brendan Bullock Wedding Photography
Laura LeBourdais and Robert Tragemann knew that they were meant for each other early in their relationship, without there being one big life-changing moment. It was more of a feeling. Laura remembers, “From the first time I saw Robert, there was some- thing about him that made me want more. While there was no one moment when I knew that I wanted to marry him, he quickly became the person that I couldn’t imagine my life without.” Robert has similar memories. “I knew what I wanted but as with all great things in life, timing is everything. I can say that although there was no moment I said ‘I want to marry Laura’, there was a beautiful Easter celebrated in Boston with a wonderful group of our friends where at one point I looked over at her and knew, ‘I’m going to marry Laura’.” 
Robert planned an elaborate proposal for Laura, centered around her 30th birthday. “The week leading up to the proposal, he told me that for my 30th birthday he had planned a weekend away for the two of us in Bar Harbor,” Laura remembers. “On our way north, we got a call from my dad that he had had boat trouble and asked if we would be able to stop at their house and pick them up. When we got to their house Robert said he had an early birthday present for me and presented me with an envelope. Inside was a (fake) Maine lobstering license, something that I had wanted for years. The license came with the State seal and was signed by the fictitious Director of Maine Lobster Harvesting Licensing Department, Ann Kershaway (Anchors Away). Even though it was raining, we climbed onto the small skiff to pull my first trap which he had painted teal and white — our college colors and my favorite colors. I pulled the trap out onto the boat and found a bottle inside. Robert dried it off and presented me with a bottle of Allagash Curieux onto which he had etched WILL YOU MARRY ME? As I was reading the bottle, Robert got down on one knee and presented me with a ring. It was the most perfect moment imaginable, made even better by Robert having organized my parents, and as many friends and family as were able to fly or drive up to Maine waiting for us on a dock around the cove. It was perfect!”
Having grown up on the coast in Maine (in Harpswell), Laura had always imagined getting married on the water. “Over the past ten years, Robert has grown to love Maine and spending time on the ocean, so when it came to choosing our venue, we knew we needed somewhere on or overlooking the water,” Laura says. “As significant to us as where the venue was, finding a place where everyone could be together for the whole weekend was equally as important. We wanted to share the day with our family and friends, and to have them create their own memories along the way. French’s Point in Stockton Springs had absolutely everything we were looking for; beautiful indoor and outdoor gathering spaces, room for the wedding party on the property, homes within walking distance for family and other guests, and places for people to play games, hike, build bonfires and explore.” 
While there was no specific theme for the wedding, Laura and Robert wanted to incorporate special details from their lives and their recent engagement into the décor. “As we got engaged in front of my parents’ house, I wanted to include something that felt like home,” Laura says. “Sailing is something our family loves and have shared together since we were little, so in choosing colors, textures, and even my dress, I thought about our wooden sailboat. I also wanted to include buoys and lobster traps as that was how Robert had proposed, and the flowers in the bouquets and arrangements were all ones that we keep in our house — white calla lilies, roses, and hydrangeas. While there was no one central theme, we wanted to reflect and 
share different aspects of our lives together.” The couple also planned some very special additions to their wedding weekend. Laura’s parents’ 40th wedding anniversary was the day after Laura and Robert’s wedding, and they decided to celebrate this during the weekend as well. “Robert and I had talked for years about throwing them a surprise anniversary party,” Laura says, “and we were able to pull it off the night before the wedding, before the rehearsal dinner. Since we invited everyone to the rehearsal, it guaranteed that all of their friends and family would be there too. I booked a steel drum band to play some of our favorite reggae music, and we told everyone close to them to show up an hour early with stories to share. We managed to pull off the surprise and were all able to celebrate their 40th anniversary together.” 
The wedding day began typically early, with everyone up and getting ready by 6:00 AM. 
“I started the day bright and early with hair and makeup with my bridesmaids and mom and was able to watch the ceremony set up while making some final touches to my vows. I had my first look with my parents and shared some toasts with my brothers and all of my amazing bridesmaids.” The groom’s party got ready together in the Farmhouse, Laura recalls. “Robert presented each of them with their gifts which included LL Bean axes etched with each groomsman’s name and red dip-dyed handles like an unopened bottle of Maker’s Mark.” 
As the ceremony drew near, the weather didn’t want to cooperate. “I was able to watch everyone coming together on the lawn for the ceremony, and it was even more dramatic as everyone watched the clouds and weather gathering,” Laura recalls. “As my dad and I started walking down the aisle it started raining, and by the time Robert and I were standing together in front of the gazebo the wind, rain and thunderclouds were gathering all around. While there were some dramatic thunderclaps during the ceremony, the weather held, and we were able to say our ‘I do’s’ exactly where and how we had hoped.” 
The evening ended on a high note for Laura and Robert with the reception. “At the end of the ceremony we walked out to a red convertible and drove away to have a moment and a toast together before returning to French’s Point to celebrate with all of our family and friends,” Laura remembers. “After the formal dances and fantastic toasts were over, everyone enjoyed the delicious dinner provided by Dandelion Catering. The night ended with everyone on the dance floor and playing lawn games outside.” 
I’m so glad that... we have such incredible friends and family that were able to take the time to travel so many distances to celebrate with us, and that we
will have those memories with them forever 
One of my favorite moments was... walking back out into the cocktail hour hand in hand as husband and wife and seeing all of our
friends and family around us celebrating and cheering. 
I didn’t realize... how important and necessary it is to give up control and just enjoy the weekend. We spent so much time and were so involved with all of the little details leading up to the weekend. In the end I had to let go, take help from others, and trust that everything would work out. 
I wish... the day and the entire weekend could have gone on even longer. Even though we spent Thursday night through Sunday morning with our family, wedding party, and most of our guests, it still wasn’t enough time to see and spend time with everyone and to do everything we had planned. Still, it was perfect, and I wouldn’t change a thing. 
I really liked... the advice that our coordinator, Wendy Caron, gave us for after the ceremony. She recommended that we take ten minutes, just the two of us, to just be alone together. Just that little bit of time gave us a moment to focus on each other and what we had just done and have our first cheers together as husband and wife. It was such a special moment, and I’m so grateful that she suggested it to us. 
My advice to other brides is... just to be calm and enjoy the day. You put so much time and thought into every detail leading up to your wedding, but there will always be something unexpected that comes up along the way. The clasp on my dress broke as my bridesmaids were getting me into my dress. The first bus arrived at the venue without any guests on it. It started raining the moment my dad and I started walking down the aisle. If you let them, these unexpected things can ruin your day. Or, they create some of the more comical moments to laugh 
about every time the story is told. My bridesmaids all worked together to secure me into the dress; everyone made it to the venue in time for the ceremony; and the rain and thunderstorms around us added to the ceremony. They even made the photos more dramatic and beautiful. We even had a rainbow during the reception! All that matters is that you are marrying the love of your life and that you enjoy and take in every second of it. 
Photographer: Brendan Bullock Wedding Photography 
Venue: French’s Point, Stockton Springs 
Caterer & Cake: Dandelion Catering, Yarmouth 
Day-of Coordinator: Dragonfly Services, Boothbay Harbor 
Florist: Flowers by Hoboken, Rockland 
Wedding Gown: Andrea’s Bridal, Portland 
Hair Make up, Nails: Bei Capelli, Scarborough 
Lighting: Maine Event Design and Decor, Brunswick