I was so happy when Kelly & Justin invited me to join them for dinner for our first meeting. You could see how excited they were about their plans for their big day, and how much getting married at Merrymeeting Lake meant to them (it was where they first met and they continue to spend a lot of time there with family and friends). I got to see the property in person the following weekend and it completely took my breath away!
One of their main concerns was the weather – we had a great back-up plan in place, but I knew if it happened to rain on their wedding day, not being able to get married outside at the lake would be disappointing. Luckily, we all awoke on Saturday morning to sunny skies and warm temperatures.
On my way to Merrymeeting Lake, I stopped by The Barn at Pickering House Inn to see how things were going. The place looked like a dream - Kelly and a team of her nearest and dearest had gone full throttle decorating the night before. Little touches that reflected her and Justin’s personality adorned the space.
When I arrived at the Eldridge lake house, the team from Branch & Bloom were putting the final touches on the arbor down by the dock. Greenery was wrapped down the ‘straight out of a movie’ staircase and pops of color made everything come together.
Justin and his groomsmen were in good spirits while Katie from Brave Hearts Photography and Mike & Tom from Summer Wind Wedding Films captured them getting ready. I truly appreciate when family & friends are comfortable enough with me to joke around, and when one of the groomsmen (who will remain nameless, but don’t worry, I know who you are!) threatened to sue me if I stuck him while pinning on his boutonniere, I knew it was going to be a fun day!
Kelly arrived looking ethereal in a gown by Madeline Gardner. After spending a few minutes with family, it was time for the magic to happen. Watching the bridal party descend down the staircase was pure joy, and the sun glinting off the water couldn’t have been prettier. Kelly & Justin’s dog Penny was part of the ceremony and one of my favorite memories was how she would bark at just the right moments causing laughter to erupt throughout the crowd.
It was a beautiful evening back at the Pickering House Inn as guests got to enjoy cocktail hour outside. The reception was full of energy and laughter from the start. I have to say, Kelly & Justin may have had my favorite bride & groom entrance ever as they danced to “The Time (Dirty Bit)” by the Black Eyed Peas. When Justin flung his jacket and Kelly tossed her bouquet the crowd went wild!
While guests dined on delicious cuisine courtesy of Lakehouse Boutique Catering, bridal party toasts brought laughter and tears, and almost everyone in the crowd needed a tissue when Justin invited his grandmother Joanne to dance halfway through the mother/son dance. The band from Cover Story Entertainment had folks dancing from the get-go. They had a little help at one point when Chris (dubbed 'the entertainer of Merrymeeting Lake') took over the mic to belt out “The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground. I’m not going to lie – he sounded fantastic, and guests went crazy for him!
As the night wore down, guests got one last burst of energy from cupcakes provided by From Scratch Baking Company and then they sent the bride & groom off in style with a sparkler exit!
I get to work with some amazing couples, but Justin went above and beyond by taking time out of his day to talk with & thank the vendors that were a part of their wedding. It was such a small gesture, but unbelievably appreciated.
Kelly & Justin – I hope that you continue to make treasured memories at the lake and beyond. You & yours made me feel like a part of your family and for that I will be forever grateful. I sincerely hope our paths cross again in the future. xo
Fabulous images below courtesy of Brave Hearts Photography.