A Nautical Black-Tie Wedding in Port Clyde, Maine
Maggie and Jason
Maggie, who grew up in San Francisco, had spent summers at her dad's house on the harbor of Port Clyde, Maine. "Growing up, it was where we came to let loose, go fishing, and just be outdoors," she says. "It has always been my special place." And after meeting Jason through mutual friends in 2005, it became his, too. So when the two got engaged in 2010, there was only one place they could imagine tying the knot: rural Maine. The two set a date of August 13, 2011, and set out to plan a black-tie affair that would bring laid-back Cali cool to a crisp East Coast setting.
Something Old, Something Blue
Maggie wrapped her bouquet handle with a dangling glass-bird pendant that had belonged to her late grandmother, as well as a vintage mustard-seed necklace that her mom had given her years ago.
Despite the laid-back venue, Maggie, in Vera Wang, and Jason, in an Ermenegildo Zegna tux, opted for black tie when it came to their wedding looks. "Both of us liked the juxtaposition of dressing in formal wear fit for a ballroom but celebrating more casually outside," says Jason.
Nautical Groomsmen Gifts
As a nod to the nautical location, Jason gave his five groomsmen cuff links bearing the image of a compass.
Each bridesmaid carried a dense cluster of privet berries, hydrangea, ranunculus, scabiosa, and oregano, along with a few wild blooms from the region.
During the ceremony, the couple exchanged self-penned vows under a rustic huppa built from curly willow branches anchored in old wooden lobster traps. Guests got an unobstructed view of the bay during the ceremony.
Ceremony programs, tied with a simple silk ribbon, were clean and simple. “We didn’t want, or need, a lot of color,” says Maggie of the day’s mostly neutral palette. “August in Maine is so pretty on its own, we didn’t want to compete with that.”
A Private Moment
As guests cheered them on, Maggie and Jason dashed down a gangway to her father's lobster boat, where they enjoyed a moment alone to sip Champagne. “My dad was concerned about me walking down the gangway in my heels -- even though they were just kitten heels,” says Maggie. “Shows how much he knows!” Still, the bride stashed a pair of boat shoes behind a rock and quickly slipped them on after the ceremony.
Meanwhile, attendees made their way to the nearby tent and raw bar of locally caught oysters, shrimp, and clams. The floor beneath the reception tent was raised 14 feet above ground to give guests the sensation of being on top of the water.
Cheeky signature cocktails included the Dark and Stormy for the guys and the Bright and Sunny for the girls. Maggie's home sits on a former sardine cannery, so the newlyweds had that company's logo printed on the drink napkins.
Though bride and groom largely shied away from using stripes in their decor -- “Our wedding was black tie, so we were wary of going full-on nautical,” says Maggie -- they did include this fabric to wrap around menus. “The linen was nice -- masculine and crisp.” The happy pair and their guests enjoyed a feast of spicy gazpacho, beef filet, and grilled halibut.
Far removed from the chaos of Manhattan, the two twirled on the dance floor for their first spin as a married couple. “It took us a while to agree on a song,” says Jason of the pair’s first dance. Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” eventually won out.
Wild berry foliage adorned a carrot cake filed with layers of raspberry and vanilla.
As a nod to the property’s former life as a sardine cannery, Maggie and Jason gave out favors of chocolate sardines in decorative tins.
No photo booth needed! Port Clyde’s harbor, dotted with fishing boats, provided a stunning backdrop to Maggie and Jason’s seaside vows. "There is truly nothing more beautiful than summertime on the New England coast," says Maggie.
Jason remembers his favorite moment being their exit from the ceremony. Here, the couple jet off on Maggie's dad's lobster boat, the Maggie Ann, named for the bride and her sister. "At first, no one knew what we were doing," says Jason. "Then they all just went nuts."
Event Production and Design: Lisa Vorce of Oh, How Charming!
Floral and Event Design: Mindy Rice
Catering: Kitchen Chicks Catering
Stationery: Mr. Boddington's Studio
Cake: The Sugar Tree
Wedding Photography: Aaron Delesie
Tents: Sperry Tents
Ceremony Music: Meliora Quartet of Bloom Arts and Events
Cocktails and Reception Music: Jerry Bennett Entertainment
Rentals: Be Our Guest
Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental
Officiant: Rabbi Mark Lipson
Bracelet: Cartier “Love”
Hair: Head Games
Makeup: Michael Wormwood
Transportation: All Aboard Trolleys