Summer Wedding Dreams
Ming and Chris' Himalayan engagement leads to a classic Maine wedding
Story by Abigail Worthing
Photography by Caron & Co. Photography
Spanning years and crossing oceans, the love story of Ming Lee and Chris McLaughry was celebrated this past summer in Georgetown. Overlooking the rocky Maine coast at Grey Havens Inn
surrounded by their family and friends, Ming and Chris shared vows and took in the best that Maine has to offer for their wedding day.
Ming and Chris’s story starts nearly 8,000 miles away, across the ocean in Hong Kong. The couple had both worked for the same company for years but were working in different offices, with Chris in New York and Ming in her home city of Singapore. The two were posted for an assignment to Hong Kong and met while working there.
Since their first meeting in Hong Kong, Ming and Chris talked about how much they wanted to visit the Buddhist kingdom famous for its monasteries, fortresses, and dramatic landscapes. The adventurous couple got engaged in another stunning location, Bhutan, located at the eastern edge of the Himalayas between China and India when it came to the proposal. Finally, their dream of a trip came to fruition, and the two took a week-long trip to Bhutan. On the third day of their much-anticipated trip, Ming and Chris spent their day hiking up a mountain. On their hike, the couple enjoyed the beautiful landscapes of Bhutan, past herder nomads, and through a lush rhododendron forest. When they returned to their hotel, they settled onto Adirondack chairs on the hotel veranda, exhausted from their journey, and looked out into the valley below.
“The arrangement wasn’t conducive with getting down on one knee,” said Ming of the proposal. “So Chris simply took out the ring, placed it on the arm of my chair, and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.”
While the couple now lives in Brooklyn, New York, Chris grew up in Boston and often visited Harpswell, Maine. When selecting a wedding locale, the warm feelings Chris felt toward the state of Maine made the decision easy for them.
“We love the peace and quiet,” said Chris. “And the chance to escape the city and spend the time with family.”
While the couple did not have a theme for their wedding, they included nods to the locale. For escort cards, the couple used lobster buoys, and on each table were bowls of fresh blueberries that the couple had picked just the day before.
Like many couples planning before the pandemic, Ming and Chris had originally envisioned a larger event, but new circumstances led to a wedding a quarter of the size of their initial guest list. While the wedding was lovely, a significant setback for the couple was that the travel restrictions left Ming’s family unable to make the trip to Maine for the nuptials. When asked, Chris said this would be the one thing he would change about the day. Despite Ming’s family being unable to travel, the couple wanted to make sure that they would at least be able to watch the ceremony from afar. The couple chose to have their ceremony at 11:30 a.m. to accommodate the time difference for Ming’s family overseas.
“Our ceremony was simple and elegant,” said Chris.
According to the couple, the ring bearer, who happens to be their French Bulldog named Doby, stole the show during the ceremony. Doby had other ideas in mind for the route to the altar for the ceremony, choosing to lead Chris’s nephew around on a shortcut rather than walking down the aisle as planned.
Grey Havens Inn overlooks the beautiful coastline of Maine, and for the wedding, the couple was able to rely on the former owner of the venue to help as they planned from New York. Both ceremony and reception were on the cliff overlooking the water, with the islands nearby adding to the feeling of a cozy harbor.
The Grey Havens Inn
was built in 1904 and boasts of the opportunity to experience Maine “the way it used to be.” Often referred to as the “castle by the sea” with its two turrets facing east, guests visiting the inn are treated to awe-inspiring sunrises from the porch. Grey Havens is now under new ownership, but the former owner Eve was instrumental in executing a beautiful day for Ming and Chris. When speaking of their wedding, the two rave about their experience working with the inn for their special day.
With the early start time for the ceremony, the couple had a lunchtime reception for the guests at the inn. As the reception wound down, the couple had arranged for a 70-foot sailboat to sail slowly into the hotel’s deep harbor to escort the guests on a cruise of the harbor in two groups to extend the happy occasion. After the second tour of the local coastline, the sailboat pulled up at a working lobster dock. There, the couple treated their guests to a sampling of authentic Maine fare with seafood as fresh as it gets from Five Island Lobster Co
. in Georgetown. “We certainly turned a few heads as we disembarked,” said Chris. “A large party dressed for a wedding, including a tuxedoed bulldog.” Following the seafood excursion, the newlyweds and their families returned to the hotel, where they enjoyed cocktailsand desserts into the evening.
“It was a truly special day, elegant and beautiful,” said Ming. “We’ll never forget
The Wedding Team
Eve Roesler, Grey Havens Inn
Venue & Caterer: Grey Havens Inn
Dessert: Gelato Fiasco
Florist: Bad Rabbit Flowers
(bride’s gown); Amina Muaddi
(bride’s shoes); SuitSupply
Engagement Ring: Brilliant Earth
Dana Anderson Makeup by Danaface
Verniecia Wong, The Letter V Stationer
Reception Tent/Rentals/Lighting: Marshall Tent and Event Rental
Kevin Megno, Big K’s Entertainment
Nick Eaton, Life in Focus Weddings
Boat Rental: Schooner Alert
, Bailey Island