Sarah and Ryan tied the knot in Prouts Neck, Maine – a community the bride was extremely fond of due to special familial ties. Sarah grew up summering in the area just as generations before her had. The couple married in the same St. James Episcopal Church as Sarah’s grandparents had years before. / Images by Brea McDonald Photography.
Says Sarah, “I grew up going to a small summer coastal community in Prouts Neck, Maine, just south of Portland. Prouts Neck is a very special place for my family and for me, as we spent several weeks there each August. My dad had grown up going there as well as his grandparents had a home there, and it’s the type of place where families continue to go for several generations, so there is an incredible sense of community. My grandparents had also been married in Prouts Neck, in St. James Church, where Ryan and I had our ceremony. We wanted to have the wedding at Prouts to host our friends and family in a place that had been so special to my family and where Ryan and I had spent a lot of time together, and to have our loved ones really enjoy this place that meant so much to us.
Tell us about the moment you knew you had found your dress. I knew that I wanted a sheath dress with a classic cut. My mom and I went to Ceremony, a lovely wedding boutique in Beacon Hill, Mass. Both my mom and I knew right away that I had found my dress when I tried it on, and never second-guessed it from that moment on!
Favorite memories? There were so many! Before I met up with my bridal party to get ready, I had some really nice time with both of my parents at our house. My dad and I practiced our father-daughter dance, and I gave both of my parents letters and little gifts. I was so glad we had that time together, and it was nice to get in touch with what was important about the day, having time with our loved ones, so early on. I loved the time getting ready with my bridesmaids, and had the opportunity to toast to all of them and what they have meant to me. My mom and I shared a lovely moment together while I was putting on my dress. I’m so glad Ryan and I did a first look as well, and it was so special to have a quiet moment alone with him right by the ocean before our ceremony.
We […] were married by Rev. Richard Belshaw. His grandfather had married my grandparents at St. James Church in Prouts Neck, so this was an incredibly special family connection for us. We also had Father Paddy O’Donovan, who had married Ryan’s parents David and Cristy, sang a beautiful Irish Blessing as Ryan and I walked out of the church, and gave the blessing prior to dinner at the reception.
In terms of style, we wanted to let the natural coastal beauty of Prouts Neck and the Maine shoreline be our primary decoration. We chose to keep the décor of the wedding very simple and classic to let that shine. We had Hayward Designs create custom blue and white tablecloths for the reception, and Broadturn Farms did a beautiful job complementing these with simple and lovely flowers in a white and light pink color palette, along with a lot of pillar candles.
There were a lot of little special touches that we incorporated into our wedding which I loved. I carried a delicate prayer book that my grandmother, my mother, and my sister-in-law had carried in their weddings. I wore my mother’s veil, and we took a few little lace flowers from her wedding dress and had them sown into the corners of the veil. My mom and I both have a slight obsession with blue and white, so we had Hayward Designs create custom blue and white tablecloths for the reception, and made the place cards for our guests out of mini blue and white Portugese tiles. In a nod to California, where Ryan and I live, we used Ansel Adams’ ‘California’ photo book as our guest book, and had photos of our grandparents and parents on their respective wedding days on the table with the guest book. Finally, all of the wine at the wedding was from Vista Hills Vineyard, which is a vineyard in Willamette Valley, Oregon, that Ryan’s grandparents John and Nancy McClintock, had started. Our families are incredibly important to us, so we were thrilled by how much we were able to weave parts of them into our wedding.
Advice?Try to keep in perspective what is important about the day and the weekend. Putting everything together can undoubtedly be overwhelming and stressful, but once you are with your family and friends, the weekend and the day is about that and about you as a couple and celebrating, so none of the other stuff really matters at all!
Photography: Brea McDonald Photography | Ceremony Venue: St. James Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: Prouts Neck Country Club | Hair and make-up: Bei Capelli | Wedding Catering & bartending: Kitchen Chicks Catering | Dessert: Scratch Baking Co. | Event Planning: DAISIES & PEARLS | MERRYMAKING | Florals: Broadturn Farm | Lighting Design: Griffin & Griffin | Ceremony Music: Charlie Grindle | Reception Music: Beantown via Wilson Stevens Productions | Officiant: Reverend Richard Belshaw & Father Paddy O’Donovan | Rentals: Sperry Tents Seacoast, One Stop Event Rental | Stationery: Willow +14 | Transportation: Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours, Custom Coach & Limo | Custom Tablecloths: Hayfield Design | Dress Designer & Dress Shop: Alexandra Grecco; Ceremony (Boston) | Suit: Bonobos | Shoes: Loeffler Randall | Earrings: Bride’s mothers’ earrings | Wedding Party Attire: Alice Walk (Bridesmaids) ; Bonobos (Groomsmen)