'Til There Was You
Marissa & Jonathan
Marissa and Jonathan planned every detail of their exquisite Maine barn wedding, and included local flavors that wowed their guests.
By Melanie Brooks
Photography by Becca Wood Photography
Marissa Troeschel and Jonathan Colby met in 2007 at Emerson College in Boston. Marissa was beginning her last year of graduate school and was enrolled in same class as Jonathan. “From the day I arrived at Emerson to study theater everyone told me I had to listen to the internationally renowned Standing Room Only, a theater-themed radio show on Emerson College’s WERS station,” Marissa says. Turns out, Jonathan was the host.

“Marissa strolled in to our first day of class wearing a pair of polka dot Wellington boots,” Jonathan says. “I couldn’t stop looking at her.” Marissa leaned over and asked a friend why “that guy” was staring at her. Jonathan leaned over to his friend, who would later be his best man, and said, “That’s the woman I’m gonna marry.” They’ve been together ever since.

It was during a trip Marissa took to London with her high school theater students in 2012—without Jonathan—that prompted the pro-posal. “Jonathan hates when I go away,” Marissa says. “It’s true! I don’t like it when we’re apart,” he agrees. While Marissa was away in London, Jonathan would lay awake in bed, counting down the days until her return. “The night before she came home it dawned on me that I did not ever want her to leave and not be able to count the days until she came home,” Jonathan says.

On the way to the airport to drop Marissa off, the couple stopped at a scenic overlook with views of the Potomac River. Jonathan thought it would be romantic to stop at the same spot when he picked Marissa up from the airport to propose. But an exhausted Marissa thwarted his plan, and Jonathan had to improvise.

He was slightly frustrated that Marissa wanted to go right home, but mostly because he didn’t want to wait a second longer to propose. When they arrived home, Jonathan held her in his arms, kissed her on the lips, and asked her to marry him.

The couple looked all over for the perfect venue to hold their wedding celebration. “Every detail needed to be right,” Marissa says. “Every other place we visited looked nice, until all of a sudden the record went ‘screech’ and something non-negotiable became a deal breaker. None of this was true at The Barn on Walnut Hill.” Marissa and Jonathan held their rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, and post-wedding brunch at the Yarmouth venue. “Until the moment we left on Sunday evening, we kept finding and falling in love with new details about The Barn on Walnut Hill.”

Marissa and Jonathan weaved their love of theater into their event in clever ways. Marissa walked down the aisle to “If I Loved You” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Maine-set Carousel, five members of the wedding party sang “With so Little to be Sure of” a cappella from Stephen Sondheim’s Anyone Can Whistle, and their choreographed first dance was to “You Were Meant for Me” from Singing in the Rain.

The couple leaned on family and friends to add personal touches throughout their celebration. Marissa’s friend created a custom graphic of The Barn at Walnut Hill that was used for the invitations, menus, and programs. Two of Jonathan’s friends arranged local, in-season flowers in antique vases for centerpieces. Marissa’s cousin sewed bow ties for the ring bearers and the couples’ dog. Jonathan infused five gallons of Plymouth Gin with lavender and honeycomb for the signature cocktail. And Marissa’s mother had Polish sausage shipped to Maine from Milwaukee for the Sunday brunch!

The celebration menu was the most important aspect of the event for Jonathan. He was afraid he wouldn’t be able to find a caterer who would understand the vision he and Marissa had for their reception dinner. “All of my fears were eased when we found the husband and wife team behind Dandelion Catering Company,” he says. “We joke that we want to get married again just to eat their food!”

The couple served their out-of-state guests Maine-brewed beer from Allagash Brewing Company and Oxbow Brewery. Guests were also given a bag of Maine sea salt caramels that Marissa painstakingly cooked and wrapped in the couple’s New York City kitchen. Not a small feat when you realize she made 600 of them!

The couple planned every detail of their wedding themselves. “We wanted everything down to the way the napkin was folded to be something that we chose and was meaningful to us,” Marissa says.

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

I’m so glad that…we hired a videographer. I love being able to look back on our beautiful wedding video and really feel like I’m there again. I can relive every moment.

One of my favorite moments was...when I heard what song my mom picked for the mother-daughter dance. She kept it a secret, but when I heard Julie Andrews sing the first few notes of “Stay Awake” from Mary Poppins—the record she played as a lullaby for me as a baby—I started to cry.

I wish...our wedding was able to go on longer. We had to end the night at 11 p.m. because of venue rules, and it was hard to stop the party since everyone was having a great time. I really wish we could have extended the reception by a couple of hours.

I really liked…the food! We wanted food that was seasonal, local, and screamed, “Maine!” We chose family-style service because we wanted our dinner to have a lively and casual vibe.

Maine Vendors
Photography: Becca Wood Photography
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Barn on Walnut Hill, Yarmouth
Caterer: Dandelion Catering Company, Yarmouth
Personal Flowers: Blooms Flower Shoppe, Biddeford
Centerpiece Flowers: Broadturn Farm, Scarborough
Hair, Makeup, & Nails: Fabu Salon, Portland
Wedding Cake: Two Fat Cats Bakery, Portland