Setting the table<br><a href=http://www.emilieink.com target=_blank>Alina McGinty</a>

The idea of a pre-wedding dry run is nothing new. The whole point of the rehearsal dinner is to practice the ceremony. Brides typically have a hair and makeup trial to be sure their look is just right. Hopefully, the couple’s relationship has served as a test run of sorts for happily ever after.

But I’d never heard of mocking up the table décor until my sister/matron of honor suggested it. As a wedding photographer, she’s seen real weddings and magazine photo shoots where all of the décor elements made sense in theory – but not necessarily in reality. Sometimes a color or texture was off, or one decoration crowded out the rest, but one of the most common oversights she sees? Not enough elements.

Everyone loves a darling little bud vase, but you can’t fill out a table for eight with one.

Nick and I got my sister, my mother and a friend together to give our tablescape (thank you Sandra Lee for making that a word) a dry run. Since we don’t own a round table like the ones we’ll use at the reception, we cut a 60-inch round out of cardboard, placed it on our dining room table, and topped it with an inexpensive white tablecloth. Not as classy as (we hope) the real deal will be, but it worked in a pinch.

We set up the table with our original plan for the décor: a round slice of oak from an old tree, glass flower jars that we bought at a garage sale and DIYed with mercury glass spray paint, faux candles (no open flames allowed at our venue), crosswords we created and printed on card stock, two water carafes, a table number, and café lights and paper poms we purchased on Etsy hanging from above. Sounds like plenty, right?

We stepped back to admire our work, and it looked…spare. Everything was pretty in its own right, but it just wasn’t enough to scape that (fake) table.

Since we’re having a buffet dinner, we won’t have plates set up on the tables, which makes the décor even more important. After some mulling and several “What if we’s” and “You know what we could do’s,” we decided to add some small succulents to the tables, plus some glass and ceramic bud vases. The extras added only about $30 to our décor tab, and I’m sure it will be money well spent.

I’m not usually one for adding yet another to-do to the ever-growing list, but I’m so glad we tested out the look for the tables. If we hadn’t, and I’d shown up on my wedding day to skimpily decorated tables, it really would have been fine. I may not have even noticed. But I feel more at ease knowing exactly how one piece of the picture will look when Nick and I walk into the reception as husband and wife.

Read the previous posts in Jackie’s wedding planning series:

The proposal

Will you be my maid?

Dress shopping

Engagement portraits

Torn between virtual planning tools

The food

Planning snags

Getting dressed

Accommodations

Invitations

The two month countdown

Posted in Inside Peek

(0) COMMENTS Leave A Comment share the love

Comments are closed.

Venue Tour: The Nonantum Resort

September 12 • 2012

A longtime wedding landmark in the sweet village of Kennebunkport, the Nonantum Resort has been delighting couples and guests alike for years. We were happy to catch up with a very busy Tim Ames, director of sales, and super sweetheart, to share an overview of their operation.

Nonantum at dusk<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: Tell us a little about the history of the Nonantum Resort.

NONANTUM: The Nonantum Resort was built in 1184 by Captain Henry Heckman. Captain Heckman and his brother David were ships Captain in Kennebunkport. They owned sailing vessels that they would travel the West Indies and trade goods. Around 1880 David Heckman was lost at sea. Captain Henry Heckman sold the remaining ships and business. With those proceeds, he bought the land that Nonantum sits on and built the hotel. He never went to sea again. The name “Nonantum” is an Algonquin Indian word meaning “Rejoicing”. Captain Heckman borrowed the term from the Indians that summered along the property.

Arrival by boat<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: Do you host weddings year round? A lot of couples don’t think to get married in Maine in the winter. Can you tell us about kinds of details or activities you offer for winter weddings?

NONANTUM: We are currently open thru the 3rd week of December and close just before Christmas. We offer Holiday Weddings up until that time.
Tent interior<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>
L&L: Where on the premise are weddings typically held? Are there both indoor and outdoor locations available?

NONANTUM: We allow couples to choose any location on the property. We have the “Stone Bench” that overlooks the sailboats and lobster boats. We have a lighthouse location and we have the beautiful gazebo area. They each offer water views and their own charm.
Inn exterior<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>
L&L: How many guests can you typically accommodate for weddings? Can you tell us about the accommodations available if wedding guests wish to stay overnight?

NONANTUM: We can comfortably seat 200 guests in our ballroom. We can host tented receptions at the waters edge for up to 400 guests. We have our own sailboat and can deliver the bride and groom to the property under sail. The Nonantum has 110 guestrooms and can sleep up to 325 guests at any given time. We provide couples with a block of 25 rooms to start. We can add more to the block as needed but they are not required to fill any rooms in order to have their reception with us.
Bride and groom<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>
L&L: How far in advance do you recommend that couples book? Do you offer tours of the facility prior to booking?

NONANTUM: I am seeing the trend of booking weddings to be much shorter than in the past. Most couples are now booking a year out where in the past it was closer to two years. We strongly encourage tours of the property. The sales team is available at any time, weekends, weeknights, or weekdays to give a detailed tour and consultation.
Bar on the lawn<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>
L&L: Is all of the catering done on site? If so, we would love to hear about the different menus you offer.

NONANTUM: All catering is done on site. We do allow the wedding cake or specialty items brought in by the couple from an outside vendor. Our team of chefs take great pride in custom designing any menu. We have a great banquet menu but oftentimes a couple wants to incorporate family recipes into their menu. This is welcomed and encouraged by our culinary team.
Dinner<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>
L&L: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working at the Resort? What activities do you recommend in the area for out of town guests?

NONANTUM: The Nonantum’s location to town is less than a mile from the center of Kennebunkport. There are great shops, art galleries and restaurants just beyond our doors. We have biking, kayaking, lobster boat and sailing charters from our own marina. The In Town Trolley tours depart every half hour from our front veranda.
Cocktail hour on the lawn<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>
L&L: What “must-see” places and eateries do you suggest to folks from out of town check out while visiting Maine?

NONANTUM: We strongly recommend Mabel’s Lobster Claw Restaurant, On The Marsh Bistro, Pier 77, Hurricane.

Sailboat arrival<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>
L&L: Thank you for giving us an inside peek into the Nonantum Resort.  If readers want to get in touch with you, what is the best way for them to reach you?

timothy@nonantumresort.com or 207 967 4050. The Nonantum Resort offers “FREE ROUNDTRIP TROLLEY SERVICE’ to Federal Jacks Brew Pub for the After Party. Available for Saturday night weddings from mid May to late October.

Posted in Inside Peek

(0) COMMENTS Leave A Comment share the love

Comments are closed.

Vendor tour: Pinhole Press

August 29 • 2012

If you haven’t heard about Pinhole Press, you need to. Wonderful, artistic, toothy papers and high quality photo printing at its finest, all at your fingertips on your computer! Read on to learn a bit more about this wonderful company turning heads of the likes of Martha Stewart and Real Simple magazines.

Wedding photo inspiration<br><a href=http://www.pinholepress.com target=_blank>courtesy Pinhole Press</a>

L&L: Tell us a little about the history of Pinhole Press.

PINHOLE: Pinhole Press is an online boutique for personalized, inspirational photo gifts. Brides love Pinhole Press because it’s a beautiful and simple way for them to bring their wedding photos to life outside of their computers. From photo books and holiday cards to calendars and day planners, we make high-quality, functional products that can be cherished for years to come.
Wedding photo inspiration<br><a href=http://www.pinholepress.com target=_blank>courtesy Pinhole Press</a>
L&L: Your photo books are beautifully designed, simple and elegant. Where do your templates come from, and is there a certain inspiration behind them?

PINHOLE: We have a team of designers who create the templates for the photo products on PinholePress.com. The idea centers around creating a clean canvas for the photo to “do the talking” instead of drawing the attention away with obtrusive designs and formats. Our templates are beautifully simple and the goal is to inspire the recipient – brides, mother-in-laws, best friends and beyond.
Wedding photo inspiration<br><a href=http://www.pinholepress.com target=_blank>courtesy Pinhole Press</a>Wedding photo inspiration<br><a href=http://www.pinholepress.com target=_blank>courtesy Pinhole Press</a>
L&L: What are some of your products that couples might be interested in customizing with their wedding day images?

PINHOLE: Perhaps my favorite is the Panoramic Photo Book which has 60 pages of beautiful paper WITHOUT a gutter. That means there the pages lay perfectly flat and you’ll never find a bridesmaid missing in the center!
Wedding photo inspiration<br><a href=http://www.pinholepress.com target=_blank>courtesy Pinhole Press</a>
L&L: The paper you print on is beautiful. Can you tell us a little about its qualities and where it comes from? Are you particular about the inks you use, too?

PINHOLE: We source all of our paper products from Mohawk Fine Papers, the paper company with the highest environmental standards. Pinhole Press products are made from Mohawk Superfine, which is acid free, archival, certified by Smartwood for FSC standards, and made using Green-E certified wind-generated electricity. The luxurious eggshell texture yields extraordinary print quality for limited edition books and prints.
Wedding photo inspiration<br><a href=http://www.pinholepress.com target=_blank>courtesy Pinhole Press</a>
L&L: Can you tell us about your photo book options? What cover options and sizes do you have available?

PINHOLE: We have several photo book options to suit the many different styles of brides. Our traditional Signature Photo Book is hand-bound and beautiful way to showcase wedding photos. Our new Panoramic Photo Book, which I mentioned above, is gutterless – yes, it lies perfectly flat! – which means your photos can stretch across the spread without interruption. We also have small photo book options that are perfect for wedding gifts. Our range of softcover photo books are perfect for moms and dads, and our brag books are perfect for grandma. She can carry this small eight-photo accordion book around and show-off her granddaughter or grandson’s big day.
Wedding photo inspiration<br><a href=http://www.pinholepress.com target=_blank>courtesy Pinhole Press</a>
L&L: Do you have any products that might be good for wedding gifts?

PINHOLE: We have a number of products that can be made into memorable wedding gifts. We’ve seen family members take childhood photos of the bride and create adorable photo notepads as a nostalgic gift on her wedding day. This is sure to bring tears! Our frames prints are also make for a heart-warming gift. Insert a special photo in this simple but beautiful black frame, and voila! You have a personalized wedding gift.
Wedding photo inspiration<br><a href=http://www.pinholepress.com target=_blank>courtesy Pinhole Press</a>
L&L: You have beautiful save-the-date, invitation and thank you card templates, too. If couples would like to order these, what is your typical turn around time? Does the turn around time vary depending on how many cards are ordered?

PINHOLE: We have a wide assortment of wedding stationery ranging in sizes and styles. They are stunning, easy to create, and they are printed within two or three business days after ordering. That means if you select two-day shipping, you’ll have your order within five business days.
Wedding photo inspiration<br><a href=http://www.pinholepress.com target=_blank>courtesy Pinhole Press</a>
L&L: Do you have any other products geared towards couples to use on their wedding day?

PINHOLE: That’s a loaded question! There are so many creative ways to utilize our photo gifts on your wedding day. For example, we’ve seen brides create photo wine labels featuring a photo of the couple, the wedding date and the venue and gift them as wedding favors. We’ve also seen brides use our stationery as the menu card during the reception. One of my favorites is the small favor box – ranging in a number of designs – that is perfect for a small thank-you gift for each guest.

Wedding photo inspiration<br><a href=http://www.pinholepress.com target=_blank>courtesy Pinhole Press</a>

L&L: Thank you for giving us an inside peek into Pinhole Press. If readers would like to learn more about your products, what is the best way for them to find you?

PINHOLE: Drop by www.PinholePress.com to view our collection of photo gifts and the latest photo gifting inspiration in our Idea Gallery. You can also find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PinholePress and on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/PinholePress. We’ve also make the discount code “loveandlobster” active for 10% off for Love and Lobster readers.

Posted in Inside Peek

(0) COMMENTS Leave A Comment share the love

Comments are closed.

Wedding recap

August 22 • 2012

We have been following Brooklyn graphic designer and handmade talent Jen Pepper for more than a year after she moved to Maine and planned her coastal New England wedding. This is the final post in Jen’s series. Congratulations, Jen and Matt!!

We did it<br><a href=http://www.peppersproutdesigns.com target=_blank>Jen Pepper</a>

Matt and I have been happily married for two months now. When everyone tells you that your day is going to go by so fast, they really do mean it. I remember everything, but as the sun went down and the lights came up in our beautiful reception space, I couldn’t help thinking, “Wow. It’s over.” But of course that isn’t really true, it is the beginning of a wonderful life together. It’ really only the end of a party we put together to celebrate this new beginning.

You may remember that I decided I didn’t want a bridal party. But I did ask my two sisters and Matt’s sister to get ready with me the morning of the wedding. It was the best decision I made. They made me laugh, kept me calm, and helped cinch me in my dress. But most importantly they showered me with smiling faces and lots of love all morning long. It made me feel unbelievably blessed that I had such a loving family that was about to get a little bigger.

Matt and I decided we wanted to have a first look and then walk to the boat through the Old Port together. It was a magical experience that was quite possibly the most memorable part of the day for me. We strolled through crowds of tourists, posed for some photos along the way and as we got nearer to the Maine State Pier, where our family was waiting for us, my nerves kicked in. It wasn’t that I was nervous about marrying Matt, it was the anxiety of being surrounded by family all day and being the center of attention. So we made a quick pit stop at the outdoor deck of the Flatbread Company and split a beer (in a fancy glass) just to take the edge off a bit. A great last minute decision.

We kind of expected everyone to be on the boat waiting for us, but as we turned the corner, humming to ourselves our own wedding march (which was actually the Game of Thrones theme song), we saw all of our guests smiling faces waiting on the pier for us. It was a little overwhelming, but it was such a unique experience that I’m glad it happened the way it did. It ended up being a beautiful day. It wasn’t too hot, there was a nice breeze and the sun was shining. I couldn’t have asked for more amazing weather, which is great because we didn’t have a rain plan.

I loved being able to spend so much time with everyone before the ceremony. It was like being at a family reunion, everyone talking to each other, enjoying the views of the Casco Bay and just spending time together. I don’t remember where we were when the ceremony started, but I do remember it was beautiful. There were laughs and tears, even from Matt- which I didn’t expect- but it was wonderful to be surrounded by family and friends in such a beautiful backdrop. I can keep saying that it was amazing, but it really was.

The clouds started to roll in and we turned to shore, after a champagne toast, and arrived at the reception a bit earlier than expected. When we went in things were still being set up a bit, the band was still tuning up and I thought everything was ruined. But really no one cared. Everyone grabbed a drink, the hors d’oeuvres came out and everyone raved about how much fun they were having. Dinner was unbelievably delicious, better than the tasting, and I know we went home after the tasting and dreamt about how amazing the food was. Our guests loved the band, The Cozmik Zombies, who sound like Johnny Cash meets the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and of course everyone loved the cake. Matt and I did sneak off with our photographer, Alexandra Roberts, for some outdoor portraits, where we both were able to take a time out for a moment and just be together. I highly recommend a few time outs during your wedding if you can sneak them in.

Matt and I had decided against booking a limo or town car for us, since we walked to the ceremony, we could walk back to the hotel when the night was over. Another unforgettable moment of the day. Dressed in our finest wedding attire we strolled back through the Old Port amid late night bar crawlers and tourists alike. We even ended up stopping for a scoop of gelato which ended up being the perfect ending to a perfect day.

While I wouldn’t have changed anything about our wedding, looking back there is one thing I would have done differently. I wouldn’t have booked a 10am flight out of Boston the next day. The one thing you are not going to want to do is wake up at 4:30am to get ready to check out of a beautiful hotel room to sit on a train, to transfer to a cab, to wait in an airport to be stuck on a plane, the day after the most amazing day of your life. Just book a later flight, you’ll thank me.

Previous posts in this series:

I’m engaged. Now what?

Decisions, decisions

How to find a wedding venue without leaving the couch

Finding a wedding venue that won’t break the bank

The wedding guest list

Let’s get organized

Wedding weight loss

Finding what’s right for you

Setting the table

Invitation dilemma

The dress(es)

Who is going to marry us?

It’s okay

The two month panic attack

Posted in Inside Peek

(2) COMMENTS Leave A Comment share the love

  1. Love and Lobster
    maria
    22/08/2012 at 2:17 pm Permalink

    yay! congratulations! it’s fun to read your perspective on your day. i’m so glad i was a part of it. it truly was amazing, so that’s just the right adjective to use. i’ll never forget it. ever. all my love, maria! xoxo

  2. Love and Lobster
    maria
    23/08/2012 at 4:15 pm Permalink

    this is awesome, jen! i loved reading this and hearing about they day from your perspective. it really was amazing and i’m so glad i was a part of it! love you guys! xo

Vendor tour: Grace Restaurant

August 15 • 2012

This week we spoke with Anne Verrill, one of the owners of Grace Restaurant on Chestnut St. in Portland.  She gave us a little background information on this historical building, as well as some tips on having your rehearsal dinner or even wedding here!

Grace Restaurant<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: Tell us a little about the history of Grace Restaurant.

Amy Cole Ives, a historic-preservation consultant told us that this circa 1856-57 building is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is one of the few surviving examples of early Gothic Revival style in Portland. The building dates to before the Civil War, which is important because so many buildings of that era were destroyed in the big Portland fire of 1866.

L&L: You have such a beautiful space!  What inspired you to convert it to a restaurant?

GRACE: In looking for a second restaurant, we knew that we had to find a very unique space for it to fit into the already competitive and fantastic food scene in Portland. After looking at space after space, our realtor brought us to Chestnut Street Church and it blew us away.

Grace Restaurant<br><a href=http://www.restaurantgrace.com target=_blank>Grace</a>

L&L: What kinds of events do you typically host at your space on Chestnut St?

GRACE: Our main focus is the restaurant, which has a lot of unique possibilities for any night, whether it is special occasion dinners or a night of cocktails and appetizers at the bar. Our lower level is special in that it still has 9 foot ceilings and 6 foot bay windows and is carved into two rooms, a small “board room” and a “Great Room” that has the ability to host anything from a business dinner complete with a large screen television for presentations, to weddings which we do almost every weekend June- October as well as some really beautiful winter weddings. We do fundraisers, class reunions, retirement parties, holiday parties, and everything in between.

L&L: We love your fun cocktail names and Maine-themed menu.  Does your menu change often?  Do you take special requests for rehearsal dinners and weddings as well?

GRACE: Our menu changes constantly. We try to utilize as many local ingredients as possible and work with farmers and other local purveyors in order to do so. We do have a lot of special requests, from signature cocktails to cakes in the shape of a stack of pancakes for one couple that got engaged over a special breakfast.

Grace Restaurant<br><a href=http://www.restaurantgrace.com target=_blank>Grace</a>

L&L: What is your availability for private events?  How far in advance should couples book, and how many people does the space hold?

GRACE: We book out pretty far in advance because of the demand of the space, but we have also hosted last minute weddings and rehearsal dinners. Our various spaces can hold anywhere from 10-150 and many people will rent out the entire church and in that case we can hold up to 300.

Grace Restaurant<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: Have you hosted many weddings?  What has been the most memorable event at Grace?

GRACE: We have hosted over 100 weddings. We have had every type of reception you can imagine. We have had shaman’s, dances in pig troughs, a 40 person choreographed dance routine, and a gospel choir. Our clients continually surprise us.

L&L: Have you received any requests to cater events?  If so, what kind of menu might you offer?  What size event might you consider catering for?

GRACE: We do receive requests to cater off-site, but at this time we do not offer that service.

Grace Restaurant<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: What are you future goals for Grace?

GRACE: We hope to continually grow. We love what we do and think that our site, service and food quality speak for itself. We are always looking forward and trying to stay innovative and exciting.

L&L: What “must-see” places and eateries do you suggest to folks from out of town check out while visiting Portland, Maine?

GRACE: Miyake, Eventide Oyster Company and The Well in Cape Elizabeth are doing some really great things with food. Back Bay Grill is a consistent winner for food, service and ambiance. My staff loves the quiet and classic nature of the Armory inside The Portland Regency for an after dinner drink. Nothing beats a trip to Pine Point Beach for a beautiful beach day, a walk around Mackworth Island,  or a show at the State Theatre which is consistently getting great music acts. There are brewery tours, boats to take out and lovely shops all around Portland. You can’t pick a better city to get married in!

Grace Restaurant<br><a href=http://www.emilieinc.com target=_blank>emilie inc. photography</a>

L&L: Thank you for giving us an inside peek into Grace Restaurant.  If readers want to get in touch with you, what is the best way for them to reach you?

GRACE: To speak with our event coordinator, contact Sabin Beckwith at sabinbeckwith@resturantgrace.com or call at 207-828-4422.  Or visit our website, or Facebook page.

Posted in Inside Peek

(0) COMMENTS Leave A Comment share the love

Comments are closed.

60 day countdown<br><a href=http://www.emilieink.com target=_blank>Alina McGinty</a>

As I’ve been stressing out over countless tiny wedding details over the last couple of weeks, I remembered Jen Pepper’s post about her pre-wedding panic attack.  Guest list drama, a shrinking savings account, the “Do you wish we’d just eloped?” conversation – I was following right in Jen’s freak out footsteps. Down to the timing and all; something about the two-month mark makes the big day feel all too real.

As the RSVPs roll in, you begin to realize that people are actually coming to this celebration you’ve been planning for a year. It’s hard to believe that I’ll soon introduce Nick as “my husband,” instead of “my fiancé,” a label that always makes me squirm because I can’t help but think of that character from “Seinfeld” going on about how she seems to have lost her fianCEEEE!

But even though the day is coming together, the little details keep begging for our attention. One night last week, as we both tossed and turned unable to sleep, I broke the silence around 2 a.m. to ask Nick, “Did the paper poms ship yet?” How’s that for pillow talk. “My sweet beloved…did you get a tracking number?”

I also suffered an invitation-related injury. We camped out at the dining room table (aka the wedding supply dumping ground, with no room for actual dining) last week to address the invites and RSVP cards. Apparently craning for two straight hours over names and addresses on a spreadsheet, then painstakingly inscribing them onto envelopes by hand, is not something my neck muscles were prepared to do.

I hunched around the house for four days and Nick shot me pitiful looks, most of which I missed because I couldn’t turn my head. I helpfully reminded him that it was too late for him to back out now, that he was getting alllllll this for-EVER. In sickness and in health, baby.

As crazed as we both have felt, we try to cling to the lighter moments. Like stopping by the crafts store and finding these bride and groom wine bottle covers, complete with a rose boutonniere and pearl necklace.

We’re really ready for our wedding day to just be here, for the little to-dos to fall away and the love and celebration to take their place. We know all our work and planning will be worth it, we just have to stay sane through the next 60 days.

Read the previous posts in Jackie’s wedding planning series:

The proposal

Will you be my maid?

Dress shopping

Engagement portraits

Torn between virtual planning tools

The food

Planning snags

Getting dressed

Accommodations

Invitations

Posted in Inside Peek

(0) COMMENTS Leave A Comment share the love

Comments are closed.