Nautical Nuptials
Amanda & Brian
Amanda and Brian planned a seaside wedding celebration in southern Maine.
By Alyssa Kavanagh Planeta
Photography by Casey Durgin Photography
Amanda Jolly and Brian Zolla were college sweethearts; the pair met at Salem State College where Amanda was studying geography and Brian was studying accounting. It didn’t take long for them to fall in love. The perfect opportunity to propose came on a vacation in Aruba.

“This was our first time vacationing in the Caribbean,” Brian says. “We usually plan trips around getting in as many activities as possible; this was our first relaxing vacation ever and we were excited.”

As part of his plan to pop the question, Brian had researched romantic restaurants on the beach and reserved the perfect table. He wanted to propose on the beach before dinner, but he had a hard time convincing Amanda to arrive at the restaurant early. He also had a hard time getting Amanda to put her camera away, due to the colorful sunset.

“When we got to Eagle Beach, we went for a walk and I was taking lots of pictures of the colorful sunset,” Amanda says. “Brian asked me to put my camera away so that I wouldn’t get sand in it. As I was putting it away, he got down on one knee and proposed! After I said ‘Yes,’ we had a beautiful dinner on the beach with our feet in the sand and a gorgeous orange sky on the horizon.”

York, Maine was the natural choice when it came time to decide on a wedding location. The small coastal town had already charmed the couple when they were visiting Brian’s family in nearby Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Both Brian and Amanda wanted a beautiful venue on the water that wasn’t too far from their families in Massachusetts. The York Golf and Tennis Club fit the bill.

“We loved the beautiful natural feel of The York Golf and Tennis Club that felt far away and quiet, but was not too far to travel for most of our guests,” Amanda says. “The venue is right along the river, and we loved that we could have the ceremony and the reception in the same location.”

The couple planned a nautical themed wedding with personalized touches woven throughout the entire day. The couple’s parents and Amanda’s sister Danielle all helped in planning the big day. Cousins, nephews, brothers, and sisters made up their wedding party. It truly was a family affair!

On the morning of their wedding, Amanda and Brian awoke to a forecast with a chance of rain. Amanda and her bridal party spent a leisurely morning at the spa, while Brian relaxed with his groomsmen. By the time Amanda and her father got in a friend’s 1952 Bentley to head to The York Golf and Tennis Club, the sun was shining!

With the weather cooperating, the ceremony went off without a hitch. “I will never forget the feeling I had when I first saw Amanda,” Brian says. “She looked amazing.” The couple included both sets of parents during their ceremony by performing a sand ceremony, where sand is poured from two vessels into one, symbolically combining their two families.

One of the highlights of the reception was a slideshow filled with precious pictures of Amanda and Brian, a gift from Amanda’s sister. Guests relaxed on the porch and enjoyed lawn games and dancing after dinner. The classic Bentley provided Amanda and Brian a getaway car after the reception had ended.      

In Amanda's Words
We asked the bride more about the big day. Here's what Amanda says . . .

I’m so glad that…everyone had a great time, and the rain held off for our outdoor ceremony.

One of my favorite moments was...our first dance. We didn’t practice at all and it was perfect.

I didn't realize…how much time and effort goes into planning a wedding.

I wish...we had more time during the wedding; it went by so fast.

My advice to other couples is…to hire a photographer for pre-wedding photos as well as during the wedding. I love some of the “getting ready” shots.

Maine Vendors
Photographer: Casey Durgin Photography
Ceremony & Reception Venue: 
The York Golf and Tennis Club, York
Florist: Local Color Floral Design, Kittery
Baker: Beach Pea Baking Company, Kittery
Entertainment: Fred Pappalardo Disc Jockeys, York
Transportation: York Trolley Company, York