When Deirdra and Mark got engaged they knew they wanted to host a destination coastal wedding in Maine with their closest family and friends. Maine has played an important role in both of their lives – vacationing there as kids and taking their first vacation there together as a couple. Every detail of their wedding day was thoughtfully selected to incorporate a nautical feel with chic touches.

Destination Coastal Wedding

The York Harbor Reading Room is an elegant, private venue right on the edge of the ocean. The steep cliffs and narrow walkways remind me of the gorgeous Positano, Italy. I loved taking portraits overlooking the crashing waves.

Deirdre and Mark chose the perfect color palette to blend with the gorgeous oceanside views. They chose all-white florals with a classic New England navy blue. Touches of emerald green were added with the bridesmaid’s dresses. Deidra wore unique green peep-toe heels to match! Her silky white gown had luxurious details with a v-neck, sleek buttons, and a bow-like fabric in the back.

Classic and Elegant Summer Wedding

It was the perfect warm, summer day without a cloud in the sky. Deidra wanted to have a private first look with both Mark and her dad before their ceremony. They then joined their guests on the manicured lawn for their ceremony overlooking the harbor. The beautiful deck was the perfect spot for a cocktail hour and to take in the views. All of their guests enjoyed a fantastic candlelit dinner and celebrated the happy couple!

Looking for more destination weddings? Check out another Coastal Destination Wedding in Camden, ME.

Photographer: Natalya Desena Photography

Venue/Catering: York Harbor Reading Room

Florals: Beautiful Days Events

Officiant: Friend, Marty Brehenny

Stationary: Zola

Gown: Elizabeth Johns by Nouvelle Amsale

Tux: Calvin Klein

Earrings/Rings: George Press Jewelers

H&M: Harbor Hair

DJ: DJ Fred Papparlardo

Cake: Nothing Bakes Like a Parrot

Jill and Andrew have always put family first, and that was a priority as the pair planned their nuptials. The future newlyweds decided to throw a traditional-style soiree with a spin…. a formal, traditional wedding coupled with the joy, fun, and celebration of dinner, drinks, dancing, and laid-back laughs with the close friends and family they adore. 

The wedding day dawned sunny and clear, the perfect weather for this made-for-each-other man and wife to enjoy a neutral-themed, chic ceremony on the gorgeous coast of Maine. Jill and her bridesmaids gathered to toast the bride and groom with champagne before dressing for the day’s excitement. 

Their loved ones gathered for a classic wedding at the Episcopal Church of St. Mary’s. Jill stunned in a sleek, figure-skimming Paloma Blanca Bridal gown with a deep-V neckline. The bridesmaids added a pleasing pop of color with their green gowns of varying necklines, and Andrew looked dapper in a traditional tux with modern accents from Madeleine’s Daughter.

With gorgeous, lush greenery and cream-toned flowers, the wedding was simply sophisticated. To add to the mystique and elegance, the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. slipped into a slick vintage Bentley to ride in style to their reception. 

With the sounds of the waves lapping the shore, the betrothed and their guests enjoyed a twinkling candlelight dinner and celebrated the happy union. Laughter, dancing, and everything Jill and Andrew wanted framed the evening and ensured memories would last forever. 

As Jill and Andrew danced the night away under glistening stars with their nearest and dearest, their joy was tangible, reflecting in their sparkling eyes and sincere smiles.

Photographer: Natalya DeSena Photography

Ceremony Venue: The Episcopal Church of St. Mary’s

Reception Venue: Private Estate

Florals: Hannah Rae Flora Farmhouse Floral

Catering: The Black Tie Company

Rentals: Savvy Event Rental & Wallace Events

Dress: Paloma Blanca Bridal

Shoes: Badgley Mischka Bride

H&M: Jessica Griffin Muah & Kayla Libby

Tux Rental: Madeleines Daughter

Lighting: Maine Event Design and Decor

Morgan & Stephen are getting married at the Bar Harbor Historical Society this summer and I can’t wait to document all of the special moments in one of my favorite places in Maine. Bar Harbor holds a special place in my heart because it’s where Brett and I got engaged. Every time we go up there to document a wedding it brings us back to the moment Brett proposed on top of Cadillac Mountain in August of 2019. I’m also especially excited to document Morgan and Stephen’s wedding because they live in Denver and I lived in Colorado for 10 years so we share a lot in common. These two wanted to do their engagement session at the beach near Portland and I’m so happy they did because Willard Beach is one of my favorite places to document engagement sessions. In my opinion, shooting your engagement session at the beach is the way to go. Not only do you capture Maine’s incredible sunset but the pastel colors make for soft, romantic images. Take a look at Morgan and Stephen’s session below.

It’s officially cherry blossom season in Boston and it’s absolutely beautiful. Samantha and Andrew originally met in Boston, but made the move to New York City a few years ago. They currently live 4 blocks away from where I grew up! Small world. When they mentioned doing their session in Boston, I was very excited about. I love making the trip down there and since I grew up in a city, I enjoy the charming streets, parks and seaport. If you’re thinking of doing your engagement photos in the city, let’s chat! Some of my favorite places are Boston Commons, Boston Seaport and Acorn Street. I can’t wait to document Sam and Andrew’s wedding in Massachusetts next year and until then, I’ll keep day dreaming of this beautiful evening in the park.

These two California love birds got engaged at Nubble Lighthouse last week and it was dreamy to say the least. They took a red eye flight from San Francisco to Boston and made the drive up to Maine. Krista’s parents own a summer house in York, so they decided to take a little New England vacation from the west coast. Jon hired the band, Radio Revival, to play their favorite song and I pretended to casually snap photos for the band’s website. Jon’s proposal cue came when he took his hat off. This was one of the most thoughtful proposals I’ve ever documented and it was so cute that Krista’s parents were hiding in the parking lot. Cheers to Krista & Jon

Mark proposed to Gretchen on a sunset walk in Truckee, California, which is one of their favorite places. These two love birds lived in California for a handful of years before deciding to move to Arizona. As they were driving to their new home they talked about having an intimate family wedding in the fall of 2020 on the coast of Maine. They wanted this day to be intimate and romantic, which is exactly what it was. This laid back coastal affair was all about family, traditions, and Maine’s gorgeous cascading cliffs.

Funny fact: Gretchen’s father in-law gave a beautiful speech about her during the reception. He spoke about her adventurous time out west teaching kids how to ride horses at a ranch in Wyoming. It wasn’t until after the wedding that we figured out we both attended the same summer camp at Elk Creek Ranch in Wyoming. I was a camper there, learning how to build log cabins and barrel race horses and she was a camp counselor. One of the biggest reasons I love what I do is because of connections like this. Here we are, two ladies who had never met, yet we’re tied together through the same camp and love for horses and nature. Take a deeper dive into her stunning coastal wedding below.

I believe there are endless reasons to add rehearsal dinner coverage to your wedding collection, but I outlined the three of the most important ones below!

1.The vibe is always different, in a good way

Let’s be honest, your wedding day can feel a little overwhelming. There are vendors arriving, family members roaming all over the place, and friends helping you get ready. I want my couples to be relaxed on their big day, but there will always be underlying nerves before you walk down the isle. Contrary, rehearsal dinner is a time that is more relaxed. It’s a more casual evening of friends and family coming together to celebrate you and your fiancé. The photos captured can be a little less formal and it’s a great opportunity to capture candid moments of people coming together.

2. Families and friends coming together can be a rare occasion

Personally, getting my family all in one place is a very rare occasion. My sister lives in Colorado, my brother is in-between California and New York, my parents live in Florida, and I’m in Maine. This is an amazing opportunity to capture guests coming together and it’s even a better opportunity to capture your families coming together. It’s few and far between that we actually dress up for anything these days, so it’s also a great time to capture Holiday card photos for individual families and friends.

3. You may not think rehearsal dinner coverage is important, but in the future these images will mean everything to you

As time goes on, these images will become more and more valuable. We don’t think about the importance of these photos until we realize we never got a photo with that person we love. For this reason, I try to capture everyone together in groups, but also individually. So many times I wish I had a good photo of me with my grandma or me with my grandpa. These photos are memories and later down the road they will mean everything, especially to future generations.

Kathryn and Nathaniel were originally supposed to get married at The Boston Public Library, but because of the pandemic, they pivoted their plans and opted instead for a chic, sophisticated wedding at a private estate in Cumberland, Maine. 

They maintained the high-end elegance of a downtown Boston wedding but set it against a warm, autumnal backdrop. Unlike “typical” fall weddings, this one wasn’t a rustic affair heavy with pastoral elements – instead, it was a black tie event that paired an opulent color palette and decidedly minimalist design elements. 

White and gold gave the simple event space a fresh, refined opulence that was perfectly punctuated with pops of deep emerald green. Although seasonal fruits and traditional fall décor made an appearance, they were carefully styled in a way that never outshined the event’s upscale aesthetic. Instead, details like the golden glow of candlelight, the subtle shimmer of the bridesmaid’s silk dresses, and the couple’s obvious love for one another was what gave the wedding its warmth.  

The bride and groom complemented the day’s restrained sense of beauty. The groom wore a stark white jacket, shirt, and tie. His exquisite bride wore a clean, classic satin gown that highlighted her figure, while a long train and soft, billowing veil made her wedding day ensemble truly timeless. 

Simple, understated, and undeniably luxurious, Kathryn and Nathanial’s wedding was impeccably tasteful. Their classy city soiree will have to wait until next year – and even though it was their “Take 2,” their picture-perfect autumn wedding proved it was never second best. I’m excited to document part two of their wedding next year in Boston. 

Photographer: Natalya DeSena Photography

Venue: Private Residence

Florist: Foret Design Studio

Hair & Makeup: Maeghan French

Caterer: Black Tie Catering

Stationary: Minted

Dress: Sarah Nouri

Tux: Drinkwater’s

Cake: Jenny Cakes

Some people would say there’s an element of luck that goes into every love story. They would be right, of course. But when it comes to Nikki and Ryan’s specific journey together as a couple, it’s hard to ignore the series of serendipitous circumstances – the pieces that fit perfectly together – that led to their happily ever after.  

Their story begins in the small town of Winthrop, ME, when their paths first fatefully crossed in a kindergarten classroom. Through the ages, Ryan caught Nikki’s eye quite a few times. Especially during their Middle School days. And a crush might have been all it ever was…until destiny stepped in and lent a hand. 

As fate would have it, they ended up living on the same floor in the same dorm at the University of Maine – Orono. The bride refers to this happy accident as “the best thing that ever happened to us.” From there their friendship – and their love for one another – blossomed and grew roots. When college ended in 2016 they could no longer ignore the signs that they were meant to be together. 

Now based in Portland, it’s clear that the couple views every day as a small part of a larger adventure. They have traveled together (and eaten their way through) exotic locations and beautiful locales. But it was a certain trip to Tulum, Mexico that truly changed everything. As chance would have it, a thunderstorm had rolled through earlier in the day. It cleared the crowds and left the beach beautifully empty, creating the perfect setting for a rare private sunset proposal on the sand. 

Although the rise of Covid wasn’t a happy stroke of luck, there is perhaps something to be said about the way that it brought people back to basics and forced them to focus on the things that make life worth living. Nikki and Ryan ended up with a smaller, more intimate wedding than they had originally planned. What others would view as misfortune, this couple decided to view as a challenge that they were strong and certain enough in their love to overcome. 

The ceremony took place in a breathtaking historic venue on French’s Point. The bride looked effortless in a tulle A-line gown, while her groom complemented her perfectly in a stately grey suit. A wash of dynamic neutral colors and opulent greenery gave the entire day a charming, rustic ambiance that was warm and classic and timeless – especially when paired with the misty coastal atmosphere. 

Surrounded by their dearest friends and family members, Nikki and Ryan’s wedding was perfection from start to finish. The big party and luxurious honeymoon may have been put on hold, but what remained was an intimate celebration of their love for one another. As fate would have it, they ended up with the kind of wedding that perhaps they were destined for all along. Lucky indeed.

Photographer: Natalya DeSena Photography

Planner: Pinch Me Planning

Venue: French’s Point

Catering: 111 Maine

Video: Rebecca Drouin

Florals: Mimi & Mum

H+M: Natasha Baxter

Although 2020 has been a year filled with unpredictability, Stephanie and Charlie were determined to not let it hinder the beginning of their love story. Real life isn’t a fairytale, but their wedding served as a refreshing display of love and a welcome reminder that the most beautiful parts of life remain…even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. 

When it comes to the event’s visually arresting appearance, it’s safe to say that the styling was in the hands of a true professional. The bride, who works as an Interior Designer at Ken Fulk, a prestigious and award-winning interior design firm in San Francisco, used her expert eye when creating the color palette and designing everything down to the vibrant floral arrangements. 

Although she set out to create a stylish starlit dinner, what resulted was a contemporary garden party with an enchanting and whimsical atmosphere. The translucent tent housed rattan chandeliers, which illuminated the floral-accented tablecloths and imaginative design scheme.

It was a scene that was awe-inspiring in the daylight, but truly came to life as nightfall enveloped the enchanting reception space. The golden glow of candlelight burned brightly as the couple celebrated the start of the rest of their lives – and for at least one evening, the rest of the world’s problems were put on hold.

Photographer: Natalya DeSena Photography

Planner: Pinch Me Planning

Florist: Yellow Twist Floral Design

Video: The Libbys Photo and Film

Hair & Makeup: Bei Capelli

Caterer: Trillium Caterers

Tent: Sperry Tents

Lighting: Griffin & Griffin

Rentals: Peak Event Services

Dress: Pronovias