Winter Wedding Dreams
Meg and Bill plan a magical winter wedding in Lewiston
Story by Abigail Worthing
Photography by LAD Photography
During a particularly snowy evening in February 20215 Meghan “Meg” Healey and and William “Bill” Hays casually struck up a conversation that would change both their lives. It was a conversation that would start them on a path to dinner dates, a proposal, and a special celebration in Lewiston, surrounded by the ones they love.
Throughout their courtship, Bill and Meg found that as much as they loved spending time together, they loved living together even more. They discovered that their personalities were compatible, and their values perfectly matched in cohabitating.
“It’s how we learned to be partners,” says Meg of their time living together. “Ultimately, the love we feel for each other is what guided us.”
Meg remembers that Bill’s proposal was “a sneaky one.” For Bill’s 35th birthday, Meg had gone all-out to plan a birthday party, inviting their friends and family to celebrate the occasion. Little did Meg know, while she was planning the party, Bill was planning a surprise of his own. Surrounded by their loved ones, the party was in full swing when Meg stood up to thank them for coming to the party. However, when she got up to make her speech, Bill dropped to one knee to propose.
“It was the perfect setup,” said Meg of the party. “I was completely blown away!”
Although both hail from Massachusetts, Meg and Bill chose Maine as the perfect destination to exchange vows. “Maine has always been a fun and unique retreat for us,” said Bill of the locale. “We wanted to celebrate our love in a place that we love.”
The couple chose the Agora Grand Event Center
in Lewiston to host their nuptials. Completed in 1890, this beautifully renovated former church is situated in the heart of the city, and its tall spire makes it the second tallest building in the state of Maine. The venue attracted the couple because they were looking to hold the wedding in one location rather than have their guests traveling from one location for the ceremony to another for the reception, especially when considering Maine’s chilly evenings. The venue also hosts an inn on-site for the couple and their guests to stay, perfect for an out- of-state couple like Meg and Bill.
“The space gives off a truly magical energy that was a perfect fit for our vision,” said Meg of the venue.
Instead of an official theme, the couple chose to lean into the moody and elegant vibes of the venue to create an event that complemented their classic romance.
“It was most important to us that our guests have a night where they could be care- free and have fun,” said Bill.
The couple started off their weekend with a bang with dinner at DaVinci’s Eatery in Lewiston for their rehearsal dinner. On the morning of the wedding, the bridal party got ready for the big event at two separate locations, with the bride and her attendants in a room secluded in the steeple of the venue and the groomsmen at the venue on site. The cozy atmosphere was fitting for their wedding party, and the couple enjoyed spending the morning surrounded by their closest loved ones. The couple individually shared moments with their parents, with Meg having a special first look with her father and Bill with his mother. Before the ceremony, Meg and Bill had their first look together without their guests, enjoying the quiet of the venue to share a sweet, intimate moment before the big event began.
“At that moment, everything was perfect,” said Meg. “It was a moment we will never forget.”
The ceremony took place inside the chapel, the intimate space transformed by greenery and soft lighting as the couple exchanged their vows. The ceremony was officiated by a close friend of Meg, adding a layer of intimacy to the moment.
“We could not think of a more beautifulsetting to recite our vows,” said Meg.
Little did Bill know, Meg had planned a special surprise for the ceremony. One of the owners, guitarist, and vocalist Wes Cooke came out during the ceremony and performed a rendition of “The Best” by Tina Turner, the couple’s favorite.
After the ceremony, the couple was announced and joined their guests for their reception.
“Walking into the reception was nothing short of magnificent,” said Meg. “It was beyond what we could have imagined.”
It was important for the couple to be with their guests during the cocktail hour, so all photos were taken before the ceremony to ensure that they didn’t miss even a moment of the party.
Another special touch the couple incorporated into their reception was a meditation and blessing to kick off the reception. The brief meditation, led by Meg’s cousin, was a unique and intimate moment that helped center the energy for the evening and allow the guests to truly experience the
moment as they celebrated the love of Meg and Bill. For that moment, the whole room was together in thought and celebration of the newlyweds.
“It was a unique moment that helped set the overall tone of the night,” said Meg. “A tone of cheer, peace, and gratitude.”
The new Mr. and Mrs. were able to fully enjoy their day with the help of the planning services of Kelly O’Hara of Oyster and Pearl Events
and the day-of coordination services of Maggie Scott, hailing from Boston. The couple had nothing but rave reviews for their vendors, with special kudos for the “incredibly delicious and extremely professional” catering by Blue Elephant Events and Catering
of Saco. For dessert, the couple sourced locally, choosing treats from The Italian Bakery, located just blocks away from the Agora Grand
“The joy and love we felt throughout the night were palpable,” said Meg of the celebration. “It’s a feeling we still feel within our hearts today.”
Venue: Agora Grand Event Center
Wedding Planner/Officiant: Kelly O’Hara, Oyster and Pearl Events
Day-of Coordinator: Maggie Scott
Caterer: Blue Elephant Events and Catering
Dessert: The Italian Bakery Products Co