Castleton Windham New Hampshire Wedding | Erica & Alex

Erica and Alex were married on September 7th, 2018 at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham, New Hampshire. I asked Erica to share details about her and Alex’s relationship and more about their wedding below:

How did you two meet? Tell us about your first date.

We met on Match.com! We had both been about to give up on online dating… Alex decided to give online dating just one more try, and I decided to extend my search region to 100 miles to see if anyone interesting popped up before I deleted my account. Alex and I were 99 miles away from one another.

After emailing back and forth and then exchanging phone numbers, we decided to meet up for lunch one day when I was in New Hampshire traveling to my brothers basketball game (Go MMA Mariners!). We met at Cheers in Concord, NH and hardly ate our meals because we were so busy talking and also so nervous! We now go back every year and actually eat our meals!

When and where did you get engaged? Tell us about the proposal.

The plan for July 9th, 2017 was to go to our friend’s (the Sherman’s) house to do photos with their new baby, Teddy, and to then spend the afternoon celebrating another friend's (Ross’s) birthday. Once at the Sherman's, the group of us chatted for a bit and then went outside to scope out photo backdrops. Carina and I picked a spot in front of a beautiful flowering tree in the yard. I brought out my camera and did many of the shots, then set the camera up on a tripod to do the group shot. 

Afterwards, Andy offered to take photos of just Alex and myself, since we were all dressed up after all. Andy took one shot and showed us. We both liked it, but Andy asked for one more. That’s when I noticed Alex's arm shaking and thought, "No way." Then Alex was dropping down to one knee. After that, Alex and I both totally blacked out due to excitement… Luckily, Carina had caught the whole thing on video so we were able to watch it later. 

A short time after, our group was inside the Sherman's house chatting, when suddenly I heard my Mom say, "WHERE IS MY DAUGHTER?!" And then one by one, a group of our closest friends and family walked in with balloons, gifts, food, and champagne! The rest of the afternoon was spent having an absolutely perfect engagement party.

What song did you do your first dance to? 

Our first dance was to Only One in Color by Trapt, the acoustic version. We had been having a really hard time picking a song. Alex wanted a cute song, but I had my heart set on a rock ballad. The regular version of Only One in Color was on my list that we kept playing over and over again, trying to narrow it down. One day when we stumbled across the acoustic version, Alex announced that this was it; this was our song. I have loved Trapt ever since I got my hands on their first album in 2002, so I was very excited that he wanted to use this one!

Tell us about your flowers, your gown, your favors, and any other details you'd like to share?

The flowers were definitely one of my favorite elements of the wedding! My friend Amber helped make all of the paper roses out of pages from a Harry Potter book and The Lost World by Michael Crichton. I am so very grateful for all of her help! Martins Flower Shop also did a wonderful job putting all of our flowers together and I’m so thankful that they were willing to work with us with the paper flower additions. 

My dress wasn’t what I would have ever imagined myself wearing! I was imagining myself in something with more tulle to give it more poof. But when my bridesmaids, my mom, my now mother-in-law, and I were all dress shopping, I put this one on and knew it was the perfect one immediately. Helen at Helen’s Tailoring in Manchester did an absolutely amazing job helping me get the dress just right! 

As for other details, a lot of the items that we incorporated were handmade; such as the table numbers, our Mr. & Mrs. sign, my earrings, and the seating chart. Others were handmade by Etsy shop owners; the ring box, the bracelets for the bridesmaids, my bracelets, the gift for my brother of honor, gifts for the parents, our champagne flutes, and the card box. Our goal was to keep everything rather simple with a splash of our true nerdy selves shining through, hence the marvel and Nintendo themed groomsmen socks, the book roses, the Zelda ring box, and the katana cake cutter. 

Any advice you’d like to give other couples for their wedding day?

I would definitely say to just try to relax and take things slow. Don’t stress yourself out too much about time. If you can, put someone else in charge of watching the clock the day of the wedding. I think I only looked at the time once or twice between when we all met up for makeup and when we arrived at the venue to get dressed and ready, and that really helped to keep me calm and less anxious. 

The wedding is going to just fly by so make sure to take time for yourselves! We tried so hard to make it to every table to talk to everyone, but that just wasn’t going to happen in the short time we had… But we are both so thankful that we took the time for a first look (this seriously helped calm nerves), to actually eat our dinner, and to just take a breather by ourselves. 

Since the wedding, quite a few people have asked me if there was anything that went wrong. Of course there was! My mom, dad, and I totally missed our cue for the music (this just made us laugh and at least I didn’t trip and fall on my way down the aisle!), the microphone cut out a few times during the ceremony (this just made Alex and I chuckle, especially when it picked up again as Kevin was reminding us that the rings go on the left hand), I hugged someone and cut my arm on the pin of the boutonnière (at least I didn’t get blood on my white dress!), the bakery forgot the little Deadpool that we requested to have peeking out from under the cake (at least we still had the katana cake cutter!), and my dress had a mark from an ink pen right on the front of it (my bouquet covered it up!)... But in the grand scheme of things, none of these things were really a problem. So when little things go wrong, just try to laugh it off and continue enjoying your time as a newlywed! 

Wedding Vendors:

Venue, Catering & Coordinator: Castleton Banquet and Conference Center

DJ: Mike Dow DJ Services

Florist: Martin’s Flower Mart & Gift Shoppe

Cake: Jacques’ Fine European Pastries

Hair & Make-up: Christen Goodwin from Artistic Creations

Wedding Dress & Men’s Attire: Modern Bride & Formal Shop

Officiant: Kevin Eaton (friend of couple)

Rings: Naser Diamonds (Bedford, NH)

Eastern Prom Portland Maine Wedding at Fish Point & Rí Rá | Lindsey & Chris

After photographing Lindsey and Chris’ engagement session this past winter, I was very excited when their wedding day finally came! August 18th, 2018 was the perfect day for a wedding, even with the stormy weather forecast, the rain held off the entire day.

Lindsey got ready for the wedding at The Press Hotel in downtown Portland, Maine with her mother and two sisters. After that, we shuttled down to the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum for Lindsey and Chris’ first look. The couple shared an emotional moment together seeing each other for the first time in their wedding attire.

While waiting for the train, we took the opportunity to utilize the grounds of the museum for portraits of the two of them. The old antique trains were perfect for their railroad train themed wedding. We also took photos on the docks overlooking Portland Harbor in Casco Bay, which was a lovely view.

The train arrived, picking up guests at Portland Ocean Gateway on the way to the ceremony. We rode the train all along the Eastern Promenade Trail until we reached the ceremony location at Fish Point.

After the ceremony, we took portraits at Fish Point and the train took us back into town where we walked to Rí Rá Irish Pub & Restaurant for Lindsey and Chris’ wedding reception. Once the family and couple were announced in, Lindsey’s dad started off the toasts and speeches, followed by her sisters and Chris’ brother.

At last, the dance floor opened up and everyone enjoyed the rest of the reception. Later in the evening, a hot dog station was added to the dessert table area. They even fed each other a hot dog, which was quite entertaining and had everyone laughing and cheering! All in all, it was a wonderful wedding and I’m so happy to have captured these images that will retell the day again and again.

Below, Lindsey describes her wedding in more detail:

How did you envision your wedding day — Did you have a color palate, style or vision?

We really wanted a simple wedding.  We started with the idea of just a nice dinner with our families and closest friends, and then it evolved a little bit but still revolved around being intimate, sweet, and most importantly FUN!  We weren't big on the over-the-top wedding.  We are basically the last of our friends to be married and we just wanted a fun and simple event and really didn't stress much about colors or style, just picked things we liked.

What is your favorite moment of your wedding day?

There are too many to pick!  Maybe it was when it DIDN'T rain!  Otherwise, our first dance was super special, but I think we and all of our guests will agree the speeches were incredible.  My dad, 2 sisters, and the Groom's brother all gave heartfelt, funny, endearing, and memorable speeches that had all of our guests in tears, laughter, and smiles from ear to ear.  Another favorite was that my Dad and the Groom spent a day building a homemade Birch arbor to be married under at the ceremony.

What song did you do your first dance to? 

When I Get My Hands On You - Marcus Mumford

Tell us about your flowers, your gown, your favors, your cake, etc.

Honestly, we didn't go overboard on these items, nor did either of us have a detailed vision that had to happen.  Flowers were ordered in bulk and we spent a day putting together our own arrangements in some fun glassware.  The gown was absolutely perfect and SIMPLE, a basic gown by Anthropologie's bridal line, BHLDN.  The favors were fun - my Mom and I spent a day making homemade Maine Wild Blueberry Jam from my hometown of Cherryfield, Maine, self-declared as the wild blueberry capital of the world!  Since many guests were from Massachusetts, where we live, I knew this would be a treat.  We doubled the favors as the guest escort cards.  We also decided to forego a big wedding cake.  We did a dessert table with whoopie pies, eclairs, cookies, cannoli's, etc.  But we did allow ourselves a 6" Boston Cream Cake to cut.  It wasn't a ceremonial thing, we were most excited about our late night Hot Dogs!  I do believe we fed each other a hot dog more ceremonially than the way we cut the cake.....

What advice would you give to couples who are currently planning their wedding?

Just do what you WANT!  Don't get too caught up in the crazy wedding planning thing - the most important thing to us was good food for our guests, simple decor, and a laid back style that reflected us.  We had an awesomely simple ceremony and venue, a fun wedding train (Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad - it was awesome!), and a great party.  What more do you need?

Wedding Vendors:

Venue(s): Fish Point, Eastern Promenade (Ceremony) and Rí Rá (Reception)

Transportation - Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum

DJ: DJ Barbra from Music Man DJ Service

Desserts: The Cookie Jar Pastry Shop

Hair: Uptown Curl

Makeup: Nikki Neal

Ashton and John’s Falmouth Country Club Maine Wedding

After photographing Ashton and John’s engagement session last summer, I was so excited to photograph their wedding! Here’s a glimpse of their engagement session from last year:

Ashton and John were married on July 28th, 2018 at the Falmouth Country Club in Falmouth, Maine. The couple had a beautiful outdoor ceremony and perfect weather despite the stormy forecast. The perfectly maintained golf course was the perfect place for portraits. After the ceremony, the reception took place under the gorgeous wedding tent on site at the country club. It was wonderfully decorated with florals and personal touches from the couple. What made their wedding day most special though were all the people that clearly care so much for Ashton and John — everyone was so happy and excited and that really showed throughout the evening (and in the photos too)! I wish this couple all the best and had so much fun photographing these special moments in their lives. Thank you again, Ashton and John!

I asked Ashton to tell me a little more about the big day:

How did you envision your wedding being prior to planning?

I did not have a full vision when planning, but I knew I wanted to have specific details like flowers, lanterns and candles. We decided that Falmouth Country Club was the perfect venue because of John’s love for golf. Everything turned out beautiful!

What was your color palette and your style vision?

We had white and shades of pink with green for accents. We wanted the wedding to feel romantic, elegant and welcoming. The white tent and chandeliers went so well with the rest of the decorations. 

What is your favorite moment of your wedding day?

There were so many great moments during the wedding, but our favorite was our first dance. The song has been special to us for a while and to finally be at our wedding dancing and singing with each other was amazing. In the middle of the dance, our wedding party started singing along too!

What song did you do your first dance to?

Who I Am with You by Chris Young

Tell us about your flowers, your gown, your favors, your cake, etc. 

Tammy at Linnell Farm did my flowers. I wanted flowers to be the main decoration and Tammy did an amazing job. She came up with beautiful arrangements that included cream and pink roses, astilbes, baby’s breath and eucalyptus. She even added golf tees to the boutonnieres because John is an avid golfer. 

My dress was an Essence of Australia from Andrea’s Bridal. It was a beautiful blush fit-and-flare with just the right amount of sparkle. It was the perfect dress for me!

Koree Wallace from Koree’s Bakery made our wedding cake. It was simple and elegant with flowers. It was a great addition to the decorations!

Our favors were Marigolds from my mother’s garden. One of my bridesmaids personalized the envelopes with “love” sayings. 

The arbor was handmade by my father. He made it for the wedding and to use in our backyard. He surprised us by engraving it with our names and wedding date! 

Wedding Vendors:

Venue/Catering: Falmouth Country Club (Falmouth, Maine)

Second Photographer: Andrea Simmons

Officiant: Vows for You by Cynthia

DJ: Goodtimes DJ

Videographer: Jim of Pirates Lane Video

Florist: Linnell Farm

Cake: Koree’s Bakery

Hair: Brooke Graffam of Studio 88 Salon

Make Up Artist: Beauty by Danielle Jae

Dress: Andrea’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses and Bridal Accessories: David’s Bridal

Men’s Attire: Tuxedos on Broadway

Rings & Jewelry: Day’s Jewelers & Seraphine Creations

Stationary: Shutterfly

Christine and Gareth’s Maine Wedding at Portland Headlight and Dunegrass Golf Club

Christine and Gareth’s wedding day took place on July 21st, 2018. Christine got ready at her parent’s house in Scarborough. We took a few photos at the residence and then headed off to the ceremony. The ceremony took place at Portland Headlight at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Everyone gathered at Battery Knoll, which is the part of the park overlooking the lighthouse. It was the perfect setting for the couple to exchange vows surrounded by family and friends.

Following the ceremony, Christine and Gareth walked around with me throughout Fort Williams Park to take photos of just the two of them. We had the most wonderful ocean views and the lighthouse continued to provide the perfect scenic Maine backdrop for their portraits.

Next, everyone traveled to Old Orchard Beach for Christine and Gareth’s wedding reception at the Dunegrass Golf Club. The Grand Cyprus Room was decorated beautifully for the occasion with gorgeous flower table centerpieces, adorable calligraphy signs (made by Ashley Beecher, Christine’s sister-in-law) and the room was complete with a whoopee pie table!

Once everyone was announced into the reception, Christine and Gareth shared their first dance to Baby I’m Yours covered by the Arctic Monkeys. There were several heartfelt speeches and toasts, followed by dinner and lots of dancing. All in all, it was a wonderful and unforgettable evening and I am so honored to have been part of Christine and Gareth’s special day, as they truly are one of the sweetest couples I’ve ever photographed.

Here’s my Q&A with Christine:

How did you two meet? Tell us about your first date.

Gareth was recruited from England to play Rugby here in Portland Maine, and my brother was also on the team. I went to a couple games and noticed him on the field. Eventually I got my brother to introduce us one night in Portland. We went on our first date a week later after Gareth asked my brother if it was okay to take me out on a date. We went out for drinks then gelato on our first date and it was just easy and fun to be together.

When and where did you get engaged? Tell us about the proposal.

We got engaged in Gareth's home town of Bridlington, England on Christmas Eve of 2016. He had been planning to propose at Whitby Abbey (my favorite place we visited on my last trip a year previous), however the weather was horribly windy and wet. He asked me that evening over a cup of Yorkshire tea whilst we were in his living room in front of the Christmas Tree watching home alone. Gareth and I had to be apart a lot because of the distance but in his proposal he made it clear that eventually we would find a way to make it work and be together.

What is your favorite moment of your wedding day?

Our favorite moment was bringing two sets of our wonderful family and friends together on our special day and seeing everyone have such a great time.

Tell us about your flowers, your gown, and your cake.

As a bride, I wasn't stuck just on one color. I wanted soft colors of pinks, peaches, greens, blues, and some gold. I knew Jamie of Cider House Designs would be creative so I told her to surprise me. She noticed the little things as well such as adding little spritz of purple in my bouquet because it is Gareth's favorite color. She was able to also create a beautiful space for us at Fort Williams. Jamie did such an amazing job taking my color ideas and bringing them to life with the beautiful flowers she chose.

My wedding dress was a Maggie Sottero from Andreas Bridal and was purchased at their sample sale. When I tried it on I fell in love with it. The dress had everything I was looking for and more! 

Instead of doing a traditional wedding cake, we cut did a table of whoopie pies, with a giant one for us to cut into. We love whoopie pies and it's a perfect Maine treat!

Wedding Vendors:

Ceremony Venue: Portland Head Lighthouse (Fort Williams Park) in Cape Elizabeth, ME

Reception Venue: Dunegrass Golf Club in Old Orchard Beach, ME

DJ: Stephen Bell with Double Platinum Celebrations DJ Services

Florist: Jamie Moody with Cider House Designs

Whoopie Pies: Cakes and Desserts by Billi Jo

Ceremony Benches and Chairs: Savvy Event Rental

Transportation: Atlantic Limousine (Wedding Party) and Custom Coach and Limousine (Guests)

Dockside Restaurant on York Harbor Maine Wedding | Emily & Kim

There are so many great images to share from Emily and Kim’s wedding — it was hard to narrow down which ones to share in this post! I’ve been looking forward to photographing this wedding since last year, when I met these two and photographed their engagement session with their three dogs.

Emily and Kim’s wedding took place on June 30th, 2018 at the Dockside Restaurant on York Harbor, which is a lovely coastal southern Maine wedding venue that offers picturesque views of the ocean along with yachts, lobster boats and everything that is at the essence of nautical New England.

On the day of the wedding, both brides got ready at Dockside Guest Quarters, which is a historic inn on the property that faces the Atlantic Ocean. The ladies had their hair done by Kate Write and Kaylee Donovan of Wink Salon and Spa. Make up was done by Rachel Murphy of Wake Up Pretty. Once Emily and Kim were ready, they did a “first touch” which is an alternative first look where a couple doesn’t see each other; instead, they hold hands around a corner or doorway.

The ceremony took place on the front lawn of the inn, overlooking the water. The site was decorated beautifully with floral arrangements and nautical décor. Both brides walked down the aisle with their dads and the couple exchanged their vows and wedding bands as a representation of their commitment to one another. One of the best ideas was for me to get a group photo of everyone at the wedding immediately following the ceremony. Everyone was so joyous and excited to celebrate the occasion!

Emily and Kim’s reception took place inside the Dockside Restaurant. After everyone was announced in, the couple shared their first dance and each shared a dance with their dad. After dinner, Emily and Kim cut their wedding cake, which was a lovely ombre four tiered cake with a nautical theme, created by Danielle Thibodeau of Wicked Sweet Sugar Boutique (based in Hampton, NH).

My favorite part of the evening was going out at sunset for portraits. We utilized all the property has to offer by taking photos at the gazebo, on the dock and on the lawn. All in all, it was a perfect day and I’m so honored to have been part of Emily and Kim’s special day. You can learn more about the couple’s wedding and their vision in our Q&A (below the photos).

Wedding Vendors:

Venue: Dockside Restaurant on York Harbor

Photography: Trina Dinnar Photography

DJ: DJ Jodi Entertainment

Officiant: Jim Larson (Emily's Cousin)

Florist: Flowers By the Sea

Cake: Wicked Sweet Sugar Boutique

Hair: Wink Salon & Spa

Make up: Wake Up Pretty

Emily's Dress: Andrea's Bridal

Kim's Suit: Little Black Tux

Wedding Invitations: InspirationIDoDesign (Etsy)

How did you envision your wedding prior to planning?

Kim and I envisioned our wedding at the place we love the most! The ocean has always been our place and it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t celebrate such a special day there. We wanted our big day to be somewhat traditional, simple, and elegant. We always dreamed of celebrating this amazing moment with all of our family and friends and that is exactly what we were able to do! 

What was your color palate and your style vision?

We did mainly mint and navy, with white and hints of coral. We went for the more rustic nautical. 

What was your favorite moment of your wedding day?

Our favorite moment was seeing each other for the first time that day, when I saw Kim standing at the altar and when I was walking down the aisle towards her. It was such a beautiful and surreal moment all I could think about was her.  We also really enjoyed seeing the overwhelming happiness of our family and friends as they celebrated us.

What song did you do your first dance to?

Say You Won't Let Go - James Arthur

Tell us about your flowers, your gown, your favors, your cake, etc.

Patti Gregoire from Flowers by the Sea did our flowers. Kim and I wanted beautiful peonies to be the main focus of our flower arrangements, along with simple beautiful white flowers to accent them. 

I purchased my dress from Andrea’s Bridal. I went with a champagne blush color to compliment Kim’s ivory suit. 

Danielle Thibodeau with Wicked Sweet Sugar Boutique created our beautiful ocean themed wedding cake.

The buoy centerpieces were designed and painted by Kim and myself and were custom made by BeardBuilt (which is owned by my dad and brother, Tim and Lucas de Gonzague) BeardBuilt also made the beautiful signing board, card box, and cake stand. 

Our favors were an alternative twist on welcome bags, they were goodnight bags and we also had a serve yourself popcorn and taffy bar. We got the popcorn from Coastal Maine Popcorn, the flavors were Maine Maple, Marshmallow Krispy Treat, and Chocolate Caramel and Sea Salt. In the goodnight bags we also had Maine chocolate covered blueberries.

What advice would you give to couples who are currently planning their wedding?

Even though wedding planning can be very stressful, keep your eyes on the bigger picture and the outcome that you are working so hard towards. DIY stuff can be a major contributor to the stress, but these small personal details are sure to add that special touch to your big day! We had so many people complementing us on the personal details that we had made ourselves. It was all worth it in the end when you hear that everyone loved all the small details and it was the best wedding they have been to! It is all worth it in the end!