Julia and Peter wed at Maple Rock Farm in Parsonsfield, Maine, and New England’s glorious fall season created a beautiful backdrop for the celebration. Cider House Designs created and styled a warm and cozy atmosphere from the autumn-inspired bouquets to the plaid blankets and hot cider to welcome wedding guests. / Images by Brea McDonald Photography.
Says Julia, “Peter and I really wanted the wedding to be a reflection of us. We love bold colors and patterns and really wanted the design to be fun and comfortable. Combining the rustic textures in the barn with fabrics, flowers, and other décor really pulled our vision together. Working with our wedding planner, Jamie Moody, was great to help us put into words the ideas we had floating around in our head. Jamie really understood the feeling we were going for and ran with it. Long barn-board tables were outside of our budget, so instead we accomplished that feeling by placing barn boards down the center of our tables to provide that same look and some elevation to our tablescapes. We also really liked the look of classic blue and white plates, and Jamie was able to find just what we wanted.
For any brides on the fence about doing a first look, I would 100% recommend it. It was one of the few moments of the day that was just Peter and me. This allows you to take wedding party photos before the ceremony and you won’t have to worry about missing any of your cocktail hour or reception. We had a few reservations about a first look because we thought seeing each other prior to walking down the aisle might take away some of the emotions, but it was still an incredibly powerful moment. As much as possible try not to stress – you should never be the bride that says they “just want to get it over with”. If you know you’re going to stress about things, particularly preparations, get yourself a wedding planner and it will make it much easier.I tried several dresses on at my Aunt’s bridal salon (Pickers Elegant Occasions) in my home town, and had several family members and one of my maids of honor there to help me find my dress. With this being my first appointment I was able to narrow down styles that I liked and didn’t like, but I found myself having a hard time making a decision. Later I went to BHLDN in Boston where I fell in LOVE with a tulle two piece. I never thought I would have liked a tulle skirt, it reminded me of all the tutus I wore growing up as a dancer. But this tulle was light weight and soft, I loved how it moved. Thinking I had found my dress but needing to get back to Maine, I kept my next appointment and went to Madeleine’s Daughter in Portsmouth, NH with my mother and my now mother-in-law. I ended up leaving with a Madison James dress and it’s all because of how Madeleine’s organizes your dress appointment. The consultant will ask for your style preferences, and then bring in 3-5 dresses. You are only allowed one favorite at a time, as she said you will never pick your second-choice dress. You had to decide on the spot if you liked your favorite or the dress you were wearing and move on: this method was exactly what I needed, someone to make me make a decision! As far as a feeling goes, you know it the second you put the dress on. Cue the waterworks when they add the veil and take you out to the big mirrors.
I included my grandmother’s brooch on my bouquet, and also wore a gold bracelet borrowed from my Aunt Barbara for the wedding. Peter and I were humbled and honored to have his cousin, the Reverend John H. Finley IV, perform the ceremony. He couldn’t have made the process any easier, from meeting with us and talking on the phone through the summer and early fall, to guiding the rehearsal and making our wedding day incredibly special. One memory that has become a favorite now that we’ve been married for a year is the weather on the day of our wedding. We were married on October 17th, we picked it because it is my parents’ anniversary and they had been married 34 years on our wedding day. We were hoping for weather between 50 and 70 degrees, but it turned out to be somewhere in the high 40s with a stiff breeze during the ceremony. It got colder through the evening and we even had a flurry of snow later that night! During the dinner we had speeches from bridesmaids and groomsmen, but a particularly wonderful memory was a group of Peter’s groomsmen, friends, and cousins who performed an a cappella rendition of ‘Kiss the Girl’ from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Everyone in attendance, including us, was blown away. The group had come up with the idea and rehearsed in a matter of hours. Julia & Peter’s Love Story | Peter and I met during our college years through mutual friends. We talked on an off for about a year and, realizing that we had something special, started dating Peter’s senior year. After he graduated I agreed to move to Maine to finish school, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. We had been dating for about six years when Peter proposed, and all of our family and friends were thrilled, though not particularly surprised.
Credits: Photography: Brea McDonald Photography | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Maple Rock Farm | Wedding planner & Florist: Jamie Moody – Cider House Designs | Wedding Gown: Madison James | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Attire: J. Crew | Invitations & Paper Goods: Paperless Post | Wedding Cake: Cakes For All Seasons | Caterer: Blue Elephant Catering | Transportation: Custom Coach and Limousine | Hair: A New Leaf Salon