It all went by in a blur! Fortunately, thanks to image sharing via The Guest app, we got some pretty amazing photos from our friends. To see everything leading up to this weekend, here’s my post on a “A Year of Planning Our Wedding.”
The tea ceremony is a traditional part of Chinese weddings. It’s a quiet moment for children to express gratitude to their parents for raising them, and for parents to share advice and invite the bride/groom into their family. Despite what your parents may try to tell you, it does not “only take 5 minutes.” Plan for about an hour. Ask one someone from your wedding party to come help take photos and help make tea. Then, follow it with some swanky champagne that was randomly given to you on a flight.
Our Tea Ceremony Packing List: Electric kettle, tea set, high-quality tea, red packets, camera, champagne.
With everyone staying on-property, we rented a 3-bedroom cabin as our “hospitality suite” all weekend, where we were able to gather, drink, eat, roast marshmallows and play games. Our own cabin was about a 1 minute walk away, which meant we could also escape the party and go to bed if we needed to!
Our hospitality suite packing list: Wood, paper, lighter, s’mores ingredients, paper plates, napkins, forks, plastic silverware, paper towels, dish soap, plastic cups, Sonos speaker, lockbox, Instax camera and film, pop-up recycling bin, pop-up trash bin, trash bags, aluminum foil, two 6-foot foldable tables, camp chairs, lots of food from Costco.
Bar packing list: funnels, measuring cups, mesh strainer, agave Nectar, bitters, wine opener, bottle opener, ice bag, cocktail strainer, mint, lemon squeezer, muddler, plastic pitcher, shaker, and lots and lots of liquor from Total Wine.
Beer packing list: kegs, kegerator, CO2 canister, taps.
Event kit (for the weekend): duct tape, electrical tape, safety pins, hand truck / dolly, zip ties, chalk markers, scissors, tape, chalkboard signs, Advil, Claritin, Band-aids, twine, Sharpies, hand lotion, sunblock, pliers, screw driver, knife.
Early on Saturday morning, we got the wedding party together for a quick run through. Fortunately, our friend and officiant Joe and his wife Tessa knew how to run the show (also Joe has a booming voice), so we were done in 30 minutes.
Ceremony packing list: rings, printed commitments, printed readings, signpost, ceremony display (we didn’t have programs), ceremony signage, beer glasses, 2015 Bourbon County Stout, beer bottle opener, Go Pro, Go Pro Tripod, Officiant paperwork.
We took the wedding party and any early arrivals with us sailing in Penobscot Bay on 92-year-old Schooner Olad and 101-year-old Schooner Surprise. It was a terrific way to appreciate the beauty of mid-coast Maine. Because Schnooners are small (they can only take around 20 people), we split up the boats into “Team Bride” and “Team Groom.” It was a race!
Afterward, some of us got lunch at the incredible Long Grain restaurant in Camden.
Sailing packing list: warm clothes, champagne, bloody mary mix, vodka, prosecco, cups, sunblock. We asked our foodie friends Jill, Nicolas, and Stephany to help us pack cheese, crackers, and fruit.
Young’s Lobster Pound
Last spring, Corey and I wandered into Young’s for lunch and saw another wedding party host a dinner there. We loved how low-key it was, and knew that this would be perfect for a group gathering the evening before our wedding. There were only three items on the menu: lobster, haddock, and a veggie platter. It was BYOB. We hired an amazing and capable bartender, Josh (from 40 Paper), who was game to set up a remote bar, make some fancy cocktails, and rent us glassware. Then, we ordered some succulent pots and created a silly trivia game. It was a lovely evening with some gorgeous weather.
Young’s packing list: succulent pots, trivia printouts, drinks menu, nametags (so we knew what people ordered), Jambox, two 6-foot foldable tables, kegs and kegerator (plus extra CO2 canister), liquor, wine, non-alcoholic drinks.
Wedding Morning Yoga
One of the best decisions we made to keep ourselves sane was to schedule a yoga class the morning of our wedding. Our Boston yoga instructor recommended a friend up in mid-coast Maine, Colleen Duggan. Her Iyengar-style instruction was phenomenal, and a fun way to start the day with friends. That one hour helped us get grounded and ready to go for the day ahead.
Yoga packing list: mats (we asked people to bring their own, and borrowed some from our yoga instructor for out-of-town guests), water, towels, comfortable clothes
How silly is it that it takes the girls something like 3 hours to get ready, and the guys 15 minutes?
Getting ready packing list: dress, bra, shoes, hair brush, bobby pins, steamer, Jambox, robe, phone charger, flip flops, toothbrush and toothpaste, Advil. Elaina packed the kit of hair and makeup stuff because I wasn’t to be trusted with it. I wasn’t planning on wearing jewelry, but the night before my sister loaned me a pair of earrings and my family gifted me a beautiful pearl necklace, which went perfectly with the dress. Pro-tip from Elaina: Wash your hair the day before, not the day of, and it will curl and stay in place better. Pro-tip from Annie: Ask your bridesmaids to help steam your dress first thing because it will take 40 minutes. Pro-tip from every bride I spoke to: make sure to eat!
By this time, our talented and very chill photographers Corey and Cait had arrived. We had decided to do a “first look” before the ceremony to take the pressure off, and I’m so glad we did. It was such a happy and emotional moment, and my favorite picture is of the bridesmaids Emily and Kathy watching through the window. We were all crying by the end of it.
Getting the Reception Ready
Neither Corey nor I were around to get the reception room ready, but thanks to lots and lots of help we knew that it was all covered. My sister also brought a traditional “wife cookie” in packaged Chinese “Double Happiness” boxes.
I’m so grateful to everyone for helping get the venue ready because… we had to make a call about 2 hours before the wedding that we would be having it indoors. It was absolutely pouring out. We ended up getting married in a beautiful corner room, in front of the sign that Stephen and Maria made. Being indoors made it more intimate that we had expected, and we loved it.
Reception packing list: lots of signage (cities, seating, bar, gelato, hashtag, guest book, tables, gift, welcome), photo display, candlesticks, burlap runners, guest book and pens, placecards, flip flops, photo booth, backdrop, photo booth accessories. Our incredible florist already had all the centerpieces and was ready to go.
With the first look out of the way, I was absolutely certain that I wouldn’t cry, that I would be composed, and that I would be totally fine. Nope. As soon as my dad and I stopped at the top of the aisle, the waterworks started and… I hear I caused a teary ripple effect through the whole room. I don’t remember a thing. I’m so grateful that my dad had the entire thing taped. The only thing I remember is that I was overwhelmed seeing all my favorite people in one room, and that I was very, very, very happy.
p.s. Of course I walked down to the aisle to a Taylor Swift song!
Welcomes, Toasts, and First Dances
My mom choreographed a pretty father-daughter dance for my dad and me (while Corey and I muddled our way through ours). The toasts were fantastic and made us laugh and cry.
Reception and Moar Photos!
Our photographer posted more photos on his blog.
Before getting married, people would tell me that their wedding day was the happiest day of their lives. They also said it would go by in the blink of an eye. I didn’t really get it until I experienced it. It was the happiest day ever, and I’m so grateful for all the pictures so we can remember it :)
Engagement photos: Elaina Natario | All Around Wedding Consultant because she was at our house all the time and we basically copied her wedding: Stephany | Bachelorette Party Planners: Kathy, Emily | Bachelor Party Planner: Ryan | Coordinating All The Things: Annie Picard | Tea towel design and screen printing: Elaina | Bartender for Young’s: The ever patient Josh Hixson of 40 Paper | Welcome bag consultant: Maria, Corey’s mom | Beer consultants: Our friends Wells Lyons, Chris, Ryan, Joe, and the Untappd community | She social media’d all the things: Jill Fisher, of course | Pizza Night: The very professional and delicious Camden House of Pizza | Schooners: Olad and Surprise | Yoga instructor: Colleen Duggan | Venue: Point Lookout, which we found through our friend Kate | Officiant: The incredible Joe | Bridal hair and makeup: Corey’s sister Lya and our wedding MVP Elaina | Bridal jewelry: My sister loaned me earrings and my family gifted me a beautiful necklace | Clothing consultants: The ladies Kathy, Emily, Lori, Lya | Ceremony signage design and build: Corey’s talented parents Stephen, Maria | Photographers: Corey Fitzgerald with Cait Bourgault | Flowers: Seasons Downeast Designs, and their golden retriever Remy | MC: Bob Wilson, who we met at Wells and Alex’s wedding | Flower consultant: Corey’s mom Maria | Dance teacher: My mom Vivian | Wine consultants: Of course Jill and Nicolas, who we’ve consumed the most wine with | Photo booth: GiffyME, which we learned about at Meryl’s wedding | Photo sharing app: The Guest | Food advisors: Kathy and Jack, who traveled to Maine with us | Dessert: Gelato Fiasco | Farewell breakfast catering: Dot’s of Maine | Not helpful whatsoever, mostly got in the way: Fritz