The Maine Event
Kelsy & Kevin
Kelsy and Kevin created a magnificent Boothbay wedding filled with personal touches and traditions.
By Melanie Brooks
Photography by Cuppa Photography
What started as a fun, casual first date between Kelsy Bouchard and Kevin Stromski in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston quickly and effortlessly grew into a relationship. By the time they moved in together, Kevin knew she was the one for him. When Kelsy's work sent her to Europe for business, the couple decided to extend the trip for a vacation in Italy. She participated in a study abroad program in Italy and was excited to experience it all again with her boyfriend. Kevin knew it was the perfect opportunity to pop the question.

The couple spent a day exploring Siena, in the Tuscany region of Italy. Kevin tried his best to act normal, which isn't easy with an engagement ring in your pocket. As evening approached, the couple climbed up the Torre del Mangia in the Piazza del Campo to get a view of the city. They were the only two people at the top of the tower when Kevin got down on one knee to propose.

Kelsy, who hails from Fort Kent, and Kevin, from Massachusetts, chose to get married in between their family homes—in Boothbay. "My family had been visiting Boothbay Harbor every summer for the past decade," Kelsy says. "We knew it would be a destination all of our guests would enjoy—especially those who had never been to Maine."

The couple held their wedding ceremony and the reception at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. They invited their friends and family to make a long weekend out of their wedding event and helped them enjoy the area. They charted the Schooner Eastwind for a sunset sail and arranged a group kayak tour around the harbor.

The couple incorporated a lot of their own family traditions throughout their wedding. Since neither Kelsy or Kevin are religious, Kevin's brother Keith served as the officiant for the ceremony the couple created themselves. "Not only was our ceremony about us making the commitment to one another, but it was also about the people gathered to witness us make this vow," Kelsy says. "We involved them by asking them to stand beside us yet never between us and to support us in times of struggle and celebrate with us in times of joy."

The couple also included a wine ceremony where they placed letters that they had written to each other, as well as letters they had their parents and grandparents write to them, into a wine box. On their fifth anniversary, Kelsy and Kevin will open the box and read the letters for the first time while enjoying the bottle of wine.

Kelsy's mother, grandmother, and uncle made all of the desserts for the reception, and Kelsy, a talented graphic designer, created the stationery, menus, and programs. Potatoes from Kelsy's family farm were served at their reception dinner and the family's ploye mix was included in the welcome gift bags the couple gave to their guests.

With a bachelor of fine arts degree, handling the design aspects of her wedding was natural for Kelsy. "I planned the look and the feel, but I needed an army to execute my vision," she says. "All of our vendors were phenomenal, but the most praise should go to Fausto and Reuben from Blue Elephant Events and Catering. Their attention to detail rivaled my own, and they allowed me to truly enjoy the day worry-free."

And what a spectacular day it was! "You know the feeling you get when you still believe in Santa and you wake up on Christmas morning? That's how I felt the morning of our wedding day," Kelsy says. "I would finally be able to call Kevin my husband and he'd finally be able to see me in the wedding dress I had been hiding from him!"

Kelsy and Kevin met at a friend's oceanfront home for their first look. "I'm so glad we chose to do a first look," Kelsy says. "It was the perfect private moment." After the ceremony the couple took a few private moments, just the two of them, to bask in the glow of excitement and accomplishment. When they entered the Bosarge Education Center—the location for their reception—Kelsy couldn't help but tear up. "It exceeded every expectation, and I could not have been more thankful in that moment to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen."

An important aspect to their reception that the couple did not want to miss was the food. "I don't know how many times I heard people say, 'Oh, you won't have time to eat' We made the time because we knew the food from Blue Elephant was not to be missed," Kelsy says. "Not only did we appreciate sitting down for a moment, but it also allowed us to take a good look around the room and soak it all in."

Kevin surprised Kelsy with a three-night mini honeymoon at the Tides Beach Club in Kennebunkport. "It was the perfect time to do absolutely nothing but reminisce and relax," Kelsy says.     

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

I'm so glad that...the weather was perfect. I spent way too much time worrying about it.

One of my favorite moments was...walking up to Kevin for our first look. We had talked about this day for over two years, and it finally became real in that moment.

I didn't realize...that planning a wedding was like taking on another job and that our original budget was completely unrealistic.

I wish…more of our family and friends could have made a long weekend out of our wedding. There was so much going on the day of the wedding that I would have wanted more time to talk to people I hadn't seen in a very long time. Very rarely are you surrounded by so many people who you love. We tried to milk the moment as long as we could.

I really liked…having an unplugged ceremony! It was wonderful to see peoples' faces when I walked down the aisle and have guests truly be present in that moment.

My advice is…to let your vendors refer other vendors. This saves time, lets you know that they are trustworthy and professional, and they've had experience working together already.

Maine Vendors

Venue: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay
Catering: Blue Elephant Events & Catering, Saco
Florist: S. Scollay Design, Portland
Hair Stylist: Angela Jandreau at Epic Image Salon, Yarmouth (bride); Aura Hair Designs, Boothbay Harbor (bridesmaids)
Makeup: Ariel Johnson, Wiscasset
Reception lighting and draping: Maine Event Design & Decor, Topsham
Rentals: Marshall Tent & Event Rental, Kittery