Dear sweet Alyson and Joe. These two have got it going ON! Thinking about their trendy July wedding at the Ocean Gateway in Portland just quickens the heartbeat. Revisiting their story, their wedding day and the amazing photographs taken by LAD Photography has far and away been the right start to the New Year!Alyson and Joe may have met while they were both undergraduates at Wake Forest University, as they had loads of mutual friends, but their relationship really took off when they met an an alumni event in Boston, where they both lived. Alyson helped to coordinate such events for the university in Boston, and Joe was interested in assisting in these events. Based on his friendly, outgoing and just plain NICE personality Alyson instantly saw him as a great candidate to help make alumni events a success – little did she know these qualities would also translate into an amazing partner.Joe, on the other hand, knew that instantly Alyson was “the one” after their first date. The duo met for drinks to celebrate their birthdays, which fall only 5 days apart, and ended up talking for hours. Joe and Alyson got engaged in Ogunquit, Maine when Joe insisted that they go on a spontaneous day trip despite Alyson feeling a bit under the weather. He took her to the scenic Marginal Way and popped the question – naturally at this point Alyson said yes and the two returned to Boston and went to the same bar where they had their first date to celebrate. The glorious planning details of their wedding began – which unfold in a series of gorgeous images.This gorgeous invitation suite was designed by Wedding Paper Divas.There were countless special touches to Joe and Alyson’s wedding day – including these custom made handkerchiefs they gave to their mothers prior to the ceremony. Just re-reading these inscriptions sum up the couple perfectly – they are sweet, considerate, and practical! More gifting by Alyson and Joe: they left custom crafted welcome boxes for their guests who came from out of town, complete with card games, bubbly water, Maine treats and of course, champagne gummies! Cheers to that!We adore a first look on the bridge in Deering Oaks park! Those lamp posts though…Alyson and Joe forewent the traditional bridal party and groomsmen and instead had their brothers represent their wedding party. They both have a younger brother and they’re actually the same age. This worked out perfectly for them in a couple of ways – they loved that their family could play such a big role and that their friends got some extra time to enjoy the amazing city of Portland before the reception.These two chose to get married and celebrate their wedding at Ocean Gateway because of its modern feel, complete with picturesque ocean views, and convenience for all of their guests staying downtown. When we began the planning process, they were initially sold on the ceremony outside on the lawn, but it didn’t really suit the feel for the day, or work in the chance of inclement weather. After a long meeting with John and Josie of The Event Light Pros, we developed a plan for them that would not only cover plan B, but also add an element of mystery and surprise that fit the couple’s personality perfectly. With careful planning, we marked off the entire room with 10 foot white pipe and drape, disguising all guest seating as well as creating a long, gorgeous aisle for guests and the Bride to walk that opened up to the peak of the room that was to be the ceremony spot. But champagne first….…AND what better way to have a ceremony on the ocean than to have a sea captain be your officiant?! Captain Ken Barnes performed a super meaningful ceremony overlooking Portland’s Casco Bay.Alyson really loved the way this lighting installation lended a modern vibe to not only the ceremony, but what was sure to be a gorgeous backdrop for a night of dancing, which is what this spot was later transformed into.Our black urns were used with Carolyn Snell‘s talented hands to create two stunning and abundant greenery designs that gently framed these two during the ceremony.Snapchatting their first moments with their family cheering=winning! Not sure a selfie can ever top the just-married selfie!Post ceremony pictures were taken on the Ocean Gateway ferry terminal ramp, and then the two took it to the streets of Portland for action shots!Lauren, from LAD Photography, played up Alyson and Joe’s carefree and playful personalities by having them run thru the streets of Portland after the ceremony, which produced some of their favorite images. Carolyn absolutely nailed Alyson’s bouquet-the perfect blend of organic and contemporary, and just right for her petite stature.Snell Family Farms created a vision thru floral design for this one – from Alyson’s elegant seasonal bouquet to lush greenery and uber stylish bud vases adorning the dining tables the vibe was fresh, clean and breathtaking. Plus, I was pumped to bring out our vintage blue goblets and table numbers to add a pop to the incredible tablescapes. The gorgeous long table designs alternated greenery garlands with sleek vase arrangements. The copper chairs used for the ceremony were repurposed to dining tables during cocktail hour and tied in with the stunning glimmer of the copper votives and modern glass terrariums.While guests were enjoying cocktail hour on the outdoor patio overlooking the bay, the entire event team from our staff, to The Event Light Pros to Dandelion’s amazing team were like busy bees completely transforming the room from an all white draped off space to a stunning dining room ready to greet surprising guests.Each delicate hand painted watercolor name card indicated guest’s food choice which made the service of the plated dinner easier for waitstaff.One of Alyson and Joe’s big goals for the day was to make a big event feel smaller and more intimate than what turned out to be a 160 guest affair. After getting engaged they repeatedly heard the same words of warning: that the time goes by so fast, making it hard to spend enough time with each of your guests. So they decided to write personalized notes to everyone attending our wedding so that they could steal some extra opportunities to reminisce and be sure they knew how much they meant to them. When guests sat down, they each had note tucked behind their menu. Again, so thoughtful!Dandelion Catering did what they do best, presenting guests with local, well-crafted, beautiful and DELICIOUS food throughout the evening. Guests were treated to both farm-to-table and sea-to-table delicacies that kept their taste buds dancing all night. The cocktail hour menu consisted of grilled lemon truffle haloumi bite with harissa tomato relish, buttermilk fried chicken with bourbon apple on maple waffles with rosemary cream, blackened sweet tomato with avocado mash and parmesan on house made
peppercorn saltine and finally, the creme de la creme, mini classic Maine lobster roll.Once the dramatic white curtains revealed the dining room to guests, we still wanted to keep an area sectioned off from the dining room and dance floor. Creating sections of various hanging greens and string lights gave us this ability to provide more intimacy within the dining space. We designed this massive, four foot acrylic seating chart display anchored by an antique wood beam and was placed at the entrance and in front of one of the greenery walls to provide texture and depth. One of our favorite seating chart displays to date!
The plated first course consisted of grilled peaches atop fresh greens, chevre, pickled red onion, toasted hazelnut served with a fig balsamic.Alyson and Joe gave a heartfelt welcome speech following an exuberant hora dance!The main courses were guests choice of seared scallops on green vichyssoise with truffled leeks and potatoes, grilled marinated hanger steak with lemon herb chimichurri on fresh tomatoes and queso and salt roasted potatoes and finally, lemon Israeli couscous za’atar roasted chickpeas and charred carrot. The plates were delicious, abundant and colorful. Works of art!Alyson’s hair and make-up! I can’t get over how absolutely effortless she looked the entire day. Lisa Nale, owner of Portland Hair Company is one of my favorite ladies to work with. She truly listens to our Clients and has a fun loving, charismatic personality to help ease the early day jitters. Dandelion Catering also provided this sweet and simple wedding cake, adorned with gorgeous blooms from Snell Farm Farms. Plus, the cake topper echoed the trendy, young vibe that Alyson and Joe were going for – super funky and fun!Alyson and Joe wanted to have a Polaroid Photo Booth for their wedding guests to enjoy and capture loads of wedding moments. We designed a custom backdrop for these pictures to live and be displayed thru the wedding day, and Alyson and Joe were able to take home all the special pics of their guests which ended up being some of their favorite photos of the entire evening!Naturally it was also important for their wedding day to have a fun party vibe and for folks to get out on the dance floor – and Hudson from Nightshift Entertainment achieved that goal with ease. Check out these moves!After their wedding the two took off to Maui and Kauai, where they were able to enjoy the perfect blend of action and relaxation – not to mention take in the beauty that is Hawaii! Alyson and Joe were such a sweet, thoughtful and trend-savvy couple I feel beyond blessed to have been able to make their wedding day a true vision and dream come true.
We’d also like to thank the following amazing vendors, who helped to make this day spectacular:
Wedding Dress Shop: Vows Wedding Dress Designer: Christos Bridal Shoe Designer: Kate Spade Bridal Veil and Headpiece: Custom Groom’s Suit: Trunk Club (Custom) Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan Groom’s Tie: Knotty Tie Groom’s Tie Bar: The Tie Bar Wedding Rings: Bouvier Jewelers Engagement Ring: Bouvier Jewelers Invitation Suite: Wedding Paper Divas Officiant: Captain Ken Barnes Ceremony and Reception Venue: Ocean Gateway Event Rentals: One Stop Event Rentals, Heartwood Essentials and A Family Affair of Maine Lighting: Event Light Pros Transportation: Portland Limousine Photographer: LAD Photography Ceremony Music: Keros String Trio (via Nightshift Entertainment) Band: Hudson (via Nightshift Entertainment) Hair Stylist: Portland Hair Company Makeup Stylist: Kayla Joy Makeup Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas Caterer: Dandelion Catering Wedding Cake/Desserts: Dandelion Catering Florist: Carolyn Snell / Snell Family Farms Wedding Favors: Koozies (designed by Alyson!) and Welcome Boxes