If you’ve been a fan of Maine Magazine all year long as I have, you adore the sumptuous photographs, the drool-worthy Eat Features, the people, places and music that make up this fascinating state in which we live. There’s also no denying the ease and beauty of the website makes learning about who, what and where in Maine that much more accessible and interesting. We’ve been so lucky to have had some mentions of our little business beginning in the 2012 issue (Rustic Burlap Inspiration Shoot), and again in 2013 (Real Maine Weddings: Megan & Nick’s Broadturn Farm Wedding and Amanda & Jason’s Black Point Inn Wedding). The recently published 2014 magazine issue featured an inspiration shoot that I designed alongside Sharyn Peavey Photography and Emily Carter Floral Designs, and the feeling I had when I got the call from Sharyn was, let’s just say, like she told me I just won the lottery. It was shocking, thrilling and incredibly uplifting to know that this marvelous publication felt that our work should be recognized. We all are just beaming with pride and I can’t thank our team enough for their time, talents and hard work to make this dream a reality. Thank you so much to the people at Maine Mag who selected us to be featured…we’re just so honored.
We began the process by visiting The Farm on Eastman Hill in the middle of winter, walking the property to get a sense of layout, talk about ideal season (we were shooting for late May/early June and it ended up being early August for various reasons), and gather initial ideas. At around this time, Maine had become recognized as the 10th State in our country that welcomes and encourages same-sex marriage. Without a doubt we decided that this would be a great way to celebrate and inspire this year, and given the venue’s rich history and former use as essentially a ‘gentleman’s clubhouse’, we selected two women to ‘marry’ on the old stage in the dark, Medieval-style auditorium.
The amazing century old chinoiserie style wallpaper in the dining room was incredibly shocking, and a detail that could not be denied as one of the major contributors of inspiration for this shoot.
When I began giving thought to the shoot, I considered how far we as a society have come in terms of creating change and redefining what love and commitment in marriage is and stands for. I am thrilled that today we can all illustrate what love means individually and how we can use these beliefs to bring together our own unique story with happy ending, creating our very own traditions. There was endless amounts of love involved in making marriage for all happen in Maine, and that is the core element used to build a platform with which to design and create a story. We wanted to incorporate an optical illusion component in the design to represent the idea that when we love fully and unconditionally, we are looking beyond and through our visual perceptions, witnessing and supporting the emotion of love. I frequently referred back to some quotes and poems that inspired me during the process: Love Lives, by John Clare (1793-1864) and On Love, Thomas Kempis (1379-1471). There is actually a shot of our model, Meredith, writing a love letter to her Bride, Megan, an excerpt of Love Lives, at a desk : “Love lives beyond the tomb, the earth, the flowers, and dew. I love the fond, the faithful, young and true.” And thus, the title, “Transcending Love” was created.
I envisioned an old theater sign symbolizing the start of the ‘show’, and in my search I was pleased to find Bay City Cargo in our very own Belfast. Mike and Carl’s impressive inventory allowed us to use signage throughout the shoot in ways that is used popularly in weddings today, while incorporating fonts that represent the era with which we were drawing inspiration from.
We were so lucky to find Dagi of Sash Couture, and even luckier to work with someone so vibrant, energetic and passionate about her work that she would create a custom Bridal dress for the shoot. She oozes talent and her tireless love of the fashion industry shows in every careful detail of the gowns she creates. She really encouraged me to select the fabrics and style of the dress and jacket, and it was wonderful (yet a bit intimidating) to be a part of that. Because the dress was to play such a big part of the overall shoot, it took some time (and lots of patience on her part!) but we were all so thrilled with the end result.
Our Bride Meredith looked absolutely stunning! This photo takes my breath away. The property is just so incredibly vast, with meticulously manicured landscaping and floral gardens, rose bushes that climb to the roof and hand placed stone walls that seem to go on for miles. I swear… Sharyn, Emily and I could have shot and styled at the property for days. There is just so much history and so much to see.
I am so glad we could work with the talented Kate, of Intrikate Designs on this shoot-her designs are incredibly precise and complimented the Bride’s wear so well it was like chocolate on the cherry. We initially envisioned incorporating some of her gorgeous textured white and cream colors, but when she showed up to the fitting with greens and rose and champagne…I was in heaven. The delicate but bold pieces made the exact non-traditional statement we were looking for.
Emily created a stunning bouquet, mimicking the dress pattern effortlessly with lush garden roses, dahlias, scabiosa, viburnum berries, lisianthus, dusty miller, and raspberries on the branch. She completed the design with an elongated peach muslin ribbon.
Megan looked absolutely gorgeous in an ivory satin tuxedo jacket (Isaac Mizrahi for Target) tailored to her natural curves, and slender black Capri pants (J.Crew), complimenting the feminine and romantic style.
The ladies’ shellac ombre nail lacquer was hand painted by Amy Chenney at Headgames Salon, and was inspired by the warm, gold luster glazes used on early 20th century ceramics. Pink and gold was chosen for our dress wearing Bride, and a blue and gold color scheme for our suited Bride. Kate Emmerich of Headgames was mindful in the beauty styling designs for each model, incorporating a soft and romantic look for the suited Bride. A modern, sleek bob that replicated the popularity of Asian and 1930’s style was the perfect option to showcase the many features of the Bridal dress.
We wanted to keep the ceremony on the stage very simple to showcase the amazing architecture inside the auditorium, using mismatched chairs for the audience. We created a wooden weave panel backdrop to add a bit of light and texture to the dark walls. Emily created a soft draping garland consisting of Italian ruscus, garden roses, deep burgundy ranunculus and raspberries on the branch over the top to frame both models.
Pam Albert of Papier designed the invitation suite with a play book style in mind, using contrasting fabric in a deep green color with a gold Asian pattern as the cover to the book, and a heavy card stock band with gold foil script inviting guests to open ‘A Love Story’. The shape of the invitation was Victorian style, with peaks at top and bottom. Pam beautifully presented the invitation book inside a kraft paper box that was lined with an additional gold pattern and again wrapped in a band with contrasting colors of blue and gold for the font. The envelopes were gold with blue font using the patterned gold again for the liner. I loved incorporating the fabrics in the presentation of the suite, and had so much fun sourcing them.
Continuing the optical illusion concept, the tablescape inside of the Eastman estate dining room incorporated sprawling floral designs against a textured mint tablecloth. Emily created a lush design inside a massive gold pedestal vase consisting of David Austin roses, seeded eucalyptus, pomegranate on the branch, burgundy ranunculus, scabiosa, viburnum berries and viburnum berry foliage, raspberries and passion vines that spread out, wrapping around the clear glass plates that show the textured mint fabric that served as a canvas beneath. Smaller vessel designs were strategically placed throughout the tablescape to replicate the dress pattern.
Megan Chapin Calligraphy created individual place cards on cardstock with a deep salmon color ink. We placed them between two glass plates at each place setting. Her beautiful hand scripted cards were the perfect elegant touch, and I love seeing the texture of the cloth through the plates in this way.
Rose wine was poured to the antique champagne glasses to further compliment the floral design. One dozen taper candles of a deep burgundy color were set in clear glass holders and burned softly amongst the lavish flora. High backed carved mahogany chairs in a Chinese Chippendale style with cranberry embroidered seats surrounded the display. I wanted to add a bit more fullness and warmth to the room, so I made some silk panels for the windows that were purposely long and draped dramatically onto the floor.
This hutch had glass windows that we replaced with hand sewn vintage fabric panel curtains on top and brass metal cross hatch panels on bottom. We added pink depression glass knobs and gave it a fresh coat of neutral grey-green colored paint. The amazingly detailed two tiered floral inspired cake was a jaw dropper. I was so impressed, and Jessica of Nothing Bakes Like A Parrott claimed that this was probably one of the most challenging cakes she has made to date.
Jessica began her creative process at the bottom tier, depicting the stage, curtains opening to the flower as if center stage. The flower, made of butter cream, mimicked the intricate stitch work of the dress, and the beading decor on the top layer was influence drawn from the dining room wallpaper. The cake perched on top of a pink glass pedestal complemented by smaller floral designs in gold painted vessels. On the bottom half of the hutch, antique books taken from the library in the next room, held the metal vintage movie sign letters ‘CAKE’ from Bay City Cargo.
I’d also like to take the time to recognize a truly remarkable artist that contributed beautiful hand painted ceramic plates to our shoot. Amy Handy of Clay Play in Yarmouth created stunning designs that she drew inspiration from during our planning. She frequently creates stunning custom work for Brides and Grooms as family heirlooms or for a unique guest book option to display in the home. They are also incredibly unique entertaining gifts for the newlyweds, and her shop is a great spot for planning Bridal showers or an art inspired bachelorette party.
Congratulations to all involved! We were so honored to have worked with such a fantastic team of talent. Here’s to 2014!