Thank you so much Lauren and Alicia for sharing your beautiful Maine wedding with me. I love seeing the pictures of this wedding, crafted with love of friends, family and the environment. I asked Lauren, a former Sedona resident to write a little about the labor of love that went into the big day. In her words.
When Alicia and I got engaged we were very determined to keep the ceremony and reception as DIY as possible. We wanted our ceremony and wedding to focus on the love between us and our family, friends and community. We knew that the more we put into the wedding, doing the little things ourselves, the more we would enjoy the day. Also, we are big supporters of supporting and buying local.
The first thing we absolutely knew is that we wanted to get married someplace with a barn. We looked for venues around where we live (Portland, Maine) but everything we found was either too expensive for only one day, or just not what we envisioned. Then we looked online for houses to rent and we couldn’t believe our luck when we came across an old farmhouse with an attached barn up on the coast of Maine. It was three hours from where we lived, but only 20 minutes from her parents’ house, so we knew it was the perfect place.
The house is a beautiful, 200-year-old rambling farmhouse that it funky and amazing, with a big front porch and 8 bedrooms, and an attached barn complete with a stage and two rope swings. And it’s on 100 acres of land, with a mill pond and beach access. It was absolutely the most perfect week – it could not have been more amazing. Let’s just say coffee on the front porch every morning usually turned into a three hour event. And on Tuesday night, all I can say is 40 lobsters and 50 pounds of clam.
To be more environmentally conscious, our “Save the Date” card was actually a “Save the Date” blog. We sent that around to all invitees with a Save the Date graphic we made ourselves. We also made our own invitations – we bought a bunch of rubber stamps and had a stamping party with some friends (dinner and drinks provided by us!) for one side of the invite, for the other side we just used a bunch of different vintage-style fonts. The blog also included everything anyone could ever possibly need to know about our wedding and what they should expect in a rural town on the coast of Maine.
A year before the wedding, we started collecting the glass jars from food we had used – basically any jar that could fit tea lights in, all different sizes of jars too. We usually soaked them overnight in hot water to peel off the labels, but we left some labels on the jars we liked and we thought pretty. For the reception, we placed tea lights in the jars and put three jars on every table.
We also started collecting tin cans from the San Marzano canned tomatoes that we used during the year as well. They have this really cool vintage look to them, and we used them for planting flowers in and then put one can on every table, lined the walkway to the barn with cans, and also put cans on every step of the house on the front porch. Alicia’s mom had bought a tray of little flowers at a local farm, as well as some buckets of flowers for the cans.
Alicia’s sister and Alicia bought some beautiful flowers at the local farmer’s market and made our bouquets.
We bought three strands of papel picado on eBay and strung two stands from the front porch to the trees across the driveway, and one strand across the barn doorway.
We lucked out and found red globe lanterns on-sale at Target and bought some string lights there as well, and strung them the way as the papel.
We bought chalkboard paint at the local hardware store and painted two giant pieces of wood with it to make our own chalkboards. One of the boards served as the menu for our buffet at the reception (Mexican food, of course). The other board served as sort of a message board for people to write well wishes on.
Our friends Leyli and Darien have a collection of vintage linens and tablecloths, so naturally we asked if we could borrow them for all the tables. We had to double up with some, but the effect was perfect. The vintage linens, the cans of flowers and jars of tea lights were the perfect farmhouse table decorations.
For the rehearsal dinner, Alicia’s mom and sisters and my mom and sister-in-law, made the entire dinner for 50 people. It was AMAZING and so much good food. It’s making me hungry thinking about it.
Alicia is also an amazing jewelry maker Alicia Allen Jewelry http://www.aliciaallenjewelry.com and she made both our wedding rings. We used stones from one of my mother’s rings and one of her great-grandmothers. I am still trying to figure out how I got so lucky.
Alicia had made flower hair clips for anyone who wanted to wear one for the wedding. We just bought fake flowers at Michael’s and then she cut the flowers off and glued them to hair clips she bought at Target. They turned out beautifully.
For the ceremony itself, I hung up my prayer flags in back of where we were to be married.
Our friends Spencer and Erin, two of the most talented musicians I have ever had the pleasure to know, played us down the aisle on their ukuleles to George Harrison’s “Something”.
Our dear friend Kathleen married us and made it a truly special ceremony.
In terms of food, we actually had the crazy idea of making all the food ourselves, and then we realized that we were indeed crazy. Luckily, our favorite taqueria, El El Frijoles, is right down the road and we asked them to make the food for the reception. They were amazing to work with and gave us the best feast ever. They dropped the food off and our friends set it out on all our own dishes (Alicia’s mom has a ton of amazing serving pieces) and it was amazing.
To make it easier on everyone, we bought biocompostable dishes, cups and utensils from World Centric http://www.worldcentric.org and that was a great decision. The plates and bowls and cups were totally sturdy and we didn’t have to over use water washing dishes.
We offered wine, beer and homemade sangria (thanks Sue!) along with non-alcoholic beverages at a self-serve bar.
And finally, our brilliant friend and photographer Sophie Dougher of RISE Photography, spent three days with us shooting everything. We cannot believe how lucky we are that she was there with us!
Also – I would like to say that we absolutely could not have pulled this off without the tremendous help (from stringing the lights, to planting the flowers, to making, warming and preparing the food, to helping us set up everything, to marrying us…on and on and on), encouragement and love from our family and friends. We cannot believe how fortunate we are to have found each other and to have such a caring, generous and loving community around us. We are truly blessed.
I think that’s it! Whew
All the best,