This poem by Rachel Lyman Field rings true for me in many ways. It brings me peace, settles part of my soul and awakes another. It makes me want to fight for things I am passionate about and it makes me feel at home. The emotions from this poem are much like my emotions from the Styled Inspiration Wedding on House Island. Thank you for listening to my story. However, this story isn't mine alone. For the story wouldn't be complete without the A list team of creatives that joined me. Below you will read about the passions of many amazingly talented Maine vendors.
A few months back Simple Elegance of Maine, a wonderful event design and floral team contacted me to be a part of a styled inspiration wedding on House Island. The rest is history. Let me introduce you to the rest of our team. Our vendors were chosen based on excitement, passion, vision, desire, commitment, and a sense of community. I am grateful for every one of them. Together we supported each other, laughed, I cried (like sobbing big girl tears in front of everyone - more on this later) and learned, and most importantly we created together.
After a quick water taxi ride out of Portland Harbor you find yourself on House Island. House Island is Maine's newest private luxury coastal Maine wedding venue. Check it out!
Below you will find all of our vendors that contributed to this amazing collaboration, a few pictures of their stunning work, and a little story about each one. You will also find a nice cute little button, click these, they will bring you directly to our vendors online homes. Enjoy!
Venue - House Island
House Island is a quaint private island in Casco Bay, just a 5 minute water taxi ride from Portland Harbor. It is the home of the historic Fort Scammel and Maine's Newest Island Wedding and Event Venue. It is the home of three luxury nautically inspired cottages; Cappy's Lodge, Christina's World, and Sunshine Cottage in total sleeping up to forty people. It is a little slice of heaven right here in Maine.
Graced with private beaches, an untouched view of Portland Harbor, Fort Preble, Fort Gorges, Bug Light, Spring Point Ledge Lighthouse, and Portland Headlight it is pure authentic Maine beauty. As soon as you step foot on House Island there is a slight shift in your soul. At first it is slight, you feel yourself relax, you breathe in the cool Atlantic Ocean salt air, close your eyes and you are instantly on island time. The clock stands still and speeds up in the same moment. Every moment becomes a memory. Every walk, every piece of sea glass, every washed up lobster bouy becomes engrained in your mind, heart, and soul.
Design and Florals - Simple Elegance of Maine
Simple Elegance of Maine is a small family owned business. They have an amazing passion for event management, floral design, and beautiful confections. Elisha and Charlie organized all of the details of our event. Guys, this isn't just about finding vendors! This is about coordinating barge schedules that are dictated by the tides, water taxi ride schedules and making sure everyone and everything makes it safely to the island. They took care of snacks and a place for the vendors to sleep. They arranged tables and designed florals. This styled inspiration was made possible by their hard work and comittment to supporting local creatives. Simple Elegance of Maine are the management coordinators for all events on the island. I promise you are in creative, passionate, respectful and professional hands.
Catering - Harvest Moon
Harvest Moon. THIS FOOD! I could stop here and dream of the meals they created and live happily ever after. Seriously! Harvest Moon thrives on local, organic food. They focus on making your meal look like fine art, and they deliver. Wood fired cuisine. Gourmet art. As you scroll through these pictures you will drool and wish with all your might that you could reach through your screen. If you think the food LOOKS good, you have no idea! Their plated presentation is nothing short of gorgeous, however, the taste of their creations is out of this world. As vendors we were blessed with being the ones fortunate enough to eat all of this deliciousness. They love Maine, food and family style farm to table meals. They will plan, coordinate and prepare a meal for your event and I promise my life on your satisfaction.
Real Life Moment
Upon arriving on House Island, Harvest Moon promptly set up to prep for our shoot. On the menu was grilled Maine lobster. So the crew setup to grill the Maine delicacy. What they didn't realize was that the locals were waiting for them. Salivating. By locals, I mean seagulls. The guys had no more than put the lobsters on the grill when they turned around to see a gang of happy seagulls flying off with their menu! I wish with everything that I could have been there to photograph this feast!
Bridal Gown - Dreams Bridal Boutique and Tuxedo Center
Dreams Bridal Boutique and Tuxedo Center was so very generous to provide the dress for the styled inspiration. When we first brainstormed the type of dress we wanted for the island we thought about trends and styles and visuals. In the end, we went with this dress. We were comfortable and confident with our vision for this dress on Kala and on location, but we were not prepared for just how breathtaking this dress was on Kala and on location. The bodice was elegant and classy and gorgeous. The dress and train was just...I can't describe how I feel about this dress. The way it fell, the way the texture was intensified when it hit the gray toned nautical floor in Cappy's Lodge, the way it poofed in the captains chair, and the way it flowed and traveled in the tall fall browned grass. It is my hope the as you look through these images you feel this dress.
Bridal Hair and Makeup - Elegance Design
Elegance Design is an onsite hair, nails, and makeup designer. I have been fortunate enough to work with Elegance Design on several occasions and I have never seen a bride that didn't look and feel like an absolute princess. Her style is elegant and classy and she matches her clients personality and dream. She sets a tone that is relaxing, comforting, and stress free for the bride. She comes ready with rose petals to naturally dry happy tears without hurting makeup.
Bridal Gown Prep - Pratt Abbott Wedding
Pratt Abbott Wedding, Hire them! Let me jut highlight quickly what this team can help with. Traveling to Maine for a destination wedding? Have your gown shipped directly to them. They will prep your gown for your special day, and then deliver directly to you! Not only will they deliver, but they will prep your dress onsite prior to your ceremony. Also, help prep for dress shots (a photographers dream). They steamed the dress for hours and it was flawless! This service is life changing!
Bridal Jewelry - Cross Jewelers
Cross Jewelers brought so many wonderful pieces to House Island. Our designer wanted a few classic, elegant pieces and a few that brought out the natural colors and textures of Maine. The jewelry matched our bride, groom, dress, and all of or vendor accessories flawlessly. Classic and elegant. Authentic beauty.
TABLE DECOR - POTTERYBARN MAINE MALL
The Pottery Barn at the Maine Mall brought out all the stops! I'm pretty sure they brought 3/4 of the store to House Island, on a barge! They unloaded boxes and boxes of plates, silverware and fine Triton glass (did I get it right?). They styled tables and din't miss a single detail. Plates and platters, lanterns and vases, the colors were classy, elegant, and timeless. The centerpieces matched Harvest Moons plated meals, the florals Simple Elegance of Maine created, and the fine wine of Ricker's like they were made for each other. If you like what you see, check them out and don't forget about the bridal registry!
Table and Chairs - Wallace Events
Wallace Events delivered, by barge, farmhouse tables and chairs. These tables and chairs are the right combination of rustic, classy, and organic. They "set the table" so to speak for a creative palette for our designers.
Stationary Suite - E and H Creates
E and H Creates never disappoints on their stationary suite design. While speaking with H about design ideas, we talked about Maine, textures, nautical inspiration, and water taxi tickets. They created a menu for Harvest Moon that was crisp and precise. The entire suite together is the complete package for guests. My favorite aspects? The color, the texture, the envelope, weight, and the personal water taxi ticket! E and H Creates can design the most fitting invitation suite for any event.
Calligraphy - Alex Mae Designs
Alex Mae Designs is a calligraphy artist. She hand letters all of her work. From envelopes to custom signs, favors and table settings. Her work is beautiful and a wonderful small touch to any table or wedding. I reached out to Alex Mae Designs to hand letter a few bouys, rocks, and chunks of driftwood I found while exploring House Island.
Hard Cider and Wine - Ricker's Hard Cider
Ricker Hill Orchard and Ricker's Hard Cider is a family business,working farm and orchard in Turner Maine. They produce their own hard cider and sparkling wine. Think cranberry and blueberry and apple, then add that to wine and cider! The colors of the wine brought out the natural beaty of Harvet Moon's menu. Rocker's wine was right at home on these elegantly styled tables on House Island. I can also mention, they didn't bring any wine home...
If you are ever in Turner, stop a their tasting room! WOW!
Cake - Ice It Bakery
Ice It Bakery, located in Yarmouth creates gorgeous custom wedding cakes and wonderfully tasty treats! For the styled inspiration we wanted it to match the islands character. Full of texture, nautical colors, and working waterfront inspiration. The deep sea blue, the marble texture, and chunky rope was the perfect fit for our vision. Delivering a cake on a water taxi to an island is also quite the accomplishment!
Leather Bags - Eklund Griffin
Eklund Griffin, leather clutches and stunning weekend bags. Classy luxe accessories for the bride and/or her amazing entourage of ladies! What a great way to pack up for the weekend and grab a ferry to the island. I cannot get enough of these Maine vendors, their talents, and passion for design. Every lady on the island wanted to go home with one of these elegant pieces. I can dream...
Lobster Gauge Cuff and Pendant - Watts in Maine
Watts in Maine is authenticlly Maine. The Perfect Catch cuff is hand crafted in Maine out of the measures in which lobsters are deemed of legal of size. They are full of character, charm, and beauty. They are right at home on the wrist of a Maine bride. Also, talk about an amazing bridesmaid gift!! The Maine pendant is also cut from the measure gauge. It is classic Maine, makes you always remember home or your stay here in Maine.
Leather Valet - Maine Leather Co.
Maine Leather Co. provided us with a deluxe valet. We used it in its true form, as a catchall. We filled it with pocket squares, bowties, and cuffs. It is a truly gorgeous handcrafted Maine piece. Oh and, Maine Leather Co. also makes the perfect Maine leather coozies for your favorite beverage (bottle or glass). Hello, gifts and favors!!!
Pocket Square - The Maine Square
The Maine Square is a small detail that packs punch! Pocket squares to mix and match and fit perfectly for every occasion. From anchors to pine trees, lobsters to plaid, gold deer to hearts you will find a square that fits your style, personality, and event. I will never be able to look at a white pocket square again without dreaming of The Maine Square!
Bowtie - Worthy Goods
Worthy Goods, much likeThe Maine Square, gives you the ability to show a little piece of your personality during your special day. No neckties here, bowtie baby! They are handmade in Bar Harbor and reversible! Seriously friends, you could wear it one way for the wedding and change it up for the reception. Oh and our lovely friends at Worthy Goods even include instructions for tying your bowtie, so don't panic! I hope you love these as much as Ben did.
Cutting Boards and Platters - S. Timberlake Furniture
S. Timberlake is the Picasso, Monet, or Van Gogh of custom woodwork. I knew I wanted to highlight S. Timberlake cutting boards, serving trays, and utensils. They delivered an array of products that were used to highlight the amazing food and presentation of Harvest Moon. They are a delightful pop of texture and color on the table. How gorgeous are these paired with Harvest Moon? Also I'm pretty sure these would make amazing gifts for guests, vendors, and bridal party family and friends.
FAVORS - THE MAINE WEDDING ARTIST
The Maine Wedding Artist creates and deigns unique custom handcrafted favors. How adorably perfect are these lighthouses and bouys? Placed at each setting for each guest, they are a perfect touch of Maine and a small token to remind guests of their Maine wedding experience.
Bride and Groom - Ben and Kala Hamilton
Ben and Kala, I cannot thank you enough. Thank you for your precious time, your beauitful personalities, your happiness, and your gracious love.
You make love, laughter, and happiness look easy. Your love if infectious and felt by everyone in the room. You were authentic, natural, and classic Maine.
I am thankful and grateful for your time, your love, and your friendship. This isn't enough...
Photography and Design - Lost in Reverie Photography
Before I forget, the bottles above "Maine, the way love should be", those are my creation. They are vintage and awesome and make great favors!
Let's pretend I'm not the one writing this blog.
Lost in Reverie Photography was a part of this event design from the beginning. Ugh, O.K. wait...
After Elisha, from Simple Elegance of Maine contacted me, it set a fire inside me. A fire of dreams, creation, growth, networking, community, and passion. I dreamed of vendors I would love to include and I wore my heart on my sleeve as I called them and explained our project. I braced myself for the who are you's, to the no's I'm not interested, to the that sounds like a waste of time time's. I didn't hear it, it never came. All I received was exciement, gratitude, passion, and creative energy. The excitement for this styled inspiration built for months and months. Time after time I wanted to throw it all in, walk away, and just forget about my the dream. However, I am relentless when it comes to my passion. I cannot express in words my appreciation for our vendors, their time, commitment, hard work, creative mojo, and overwhelming sense of supporting community. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn, grow, and strengthen my love of photography and passion.
House Island makes me feel at home. It is a place where I can be vulnerable to my weaknesses and nourish my strengths. I fell in love with the island, what it stands for, and a part of myself. I am proud of being brave enough to throw myself out there and excited for what the future holds. I woke up surrounded by the Atlantic, combed the beaches, and explored the fort. I am thankful to have had my best friend by my side as the greatest and truest assistant I could have asked for.
There were moments of laughter, pride, fear, and a great moment of big girls tears. Would you like to hear this story? I've had multiple people who were there tell me I better write about this moment. Picture this...
Kala was sitting in one of the master suites in Cappy's Lodge. She was drenched in gorgeous. Flawless hair and makeup, stunning gown, breathtaking jewelry, and an eye catching bouquet. Laughing, smiling, posing seriously and doing everything effortlessly. I had myself and my cameras. I was aware of my surroundings and who was there, but I heard nothing. Surrounded by Cross Jewelers, The Maine Square, Elegance Design, Pratt Abbott Wedding, Cross Jewelers, Simple Elegance of Maine, Ben, and my assistant (aka, BFF), people whom I had just met, I started to sob. These were not quiet, graceful tears. These were the big fat snorting kind of tears. They came on suddenly and fiercely. They came on without warning and there was no way of stopping them besides to just let them out. I laughed and smiled and sobbed, in front of mostly total strangers. I sobbed and hiccuped and lost all focus. I was consumed by passion, creation, and a sense of community that only these women could have provided me in that moment. I excused myself to the front porch where I let the cool November Atlantic air hit my face. I took in violent deep breaths and bent over hands on my knees. I smiled as I looked out over the island and the ocean and breathed in strength...
Thank you to my vendors and my clients for supporting this dream. It is my hope that you discover a local Maine business that you fall in love with. Support each other and our communities. And love.