A Vibrant, Whimsical Outdoor Destination Wedding in Maine
Louise and Tyler
With family ties dating back to the 1950s, Louise Ingalls Sturges and Tyler Hammond Brodie were born with a love story already in the stars. It began with Louise's grandfather teaching Tyler's dad in high school. In 1985, during a summer in Maine, Tyler and Louise's moms became friends and the two families went on hikes in following summers. Years later, at Louise's brother's wedding, Louise (a photographer and mixed-media painter) and Tyler (an artist, movie producer, and record label owner) were seated at the same table, but the timing wasn't right. In 2011, they were again tablemates at a party. This time, it was in their cards. After one month, Louise asked Tyler to marry her, and the next year, on August 25, 2012, they wed. It was a festive celebration that incorporated preppy touches, nautical nods, a traditional Indian ritual, and a rainbow-colored palette that reflected their free spirits.
After considering a destination wedding in California, New Mexico, and a few other possible locations, the duo decided to honor their roots by saying “I do’ in Northeast Harbor, Maine. Both of their families have homes in the area, and Louise and Tyler spent their summers hiking in nearby Acadia National Park as kids. Louise and Tyler hosted their 220 guests outside on the back lawn of the Asticou Inn.
The Bridal Look
This fashion-forward bride bought her Chanel gown off the rack and paired it with a sentimental collection of baubles: A diamond-and-turquoise Mociun ring, a Cartier diamond and mother-of-pearl bracelet from her father-in-law, a woven friendship bracelet from her maid-of-honor, initial earrings from Catbird (LS on one ear, THB on the other), and rainbow of rope bracelets by Cheryl Chase at Impressions in Northeast Harbor (one for each bridesmaid), which stayed on for months as a colorful reminder of the momentous occasion. One of the bridesmaids put her stylist background to good use by connecting Louise with Bliss Lau, whose Ray of Sun body chain added the final touch.
Louise's attendants wore polka-dot dresses from J.Crew and the matron of honor bought grosgrain ribbon in varying shades of blue for the sashes. The ladies accessorized with rope bracelets from Impressions and Samma pyramid necklaces that were a gift from Louise.
The 'maids carried bouquets of chamomile and Bachelor's button.
A Pair of Attendants
Louise's matron and maid of honor sported chunky heels and wedges for the outdoor ceremony. The bride's Charlotte Olympia platforms added stripes to her look.
All in the Family
Louise wore an heirloom veil from the 1920s that every bride on her mother's side of the family had worn down the aisle since her grandmother tied the knot.
Tyler is very casual in his style of dress, so it was clear from the start that the gents would look more relaxed. Striped shirts added a nautical touch and as a twist on the preppy pants embroidered with various icons like whales and lobsters, the guys donned trousers that had pizza slices on them. The couple took photos of pizza slices around the West Village of New York City until they found the ultimate Caprese slice (Tyler's a vegetarian) to reference. The groomsmen completed their ensembles with striped J.Crew socks, navy trainers, and dark blue blazers of their choosing.
The Little Guys
The Little Gals
The Great Lawn
Local sculptor Dan Falt, loaned a selection of whimsical wooden animal sculptures for the couple to display around the lawn leading towards the ceremony area. Oversized bouncy balls from a nearby superstore were also set out and later corralled for the kids’ tent, which kept the 20 little ones entertained all night.
The Ceremony Setup
Rainbows were a key part of the wedding look. "My life, my home, and my art are made up of all the colors in the rainbow. I have prisms in every window. There was never any questions about favoring one color over another," Louise said. “On top of that, I suppose I kind of poetically envision our marriage as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.” The idea for a rainbow of flower petals up the aisle evolved into a runner of low trays of blooms in a gradation of color, flanked by a pair of polar bears. The balloon-loving bride didn’t want to obstruct the view at the ceremony so she dotted the area with large which orbs that danced in the harbor breeze.
A Rainbow of Garlands
Single-color flower garlands were strung together to create a rainbow effect on the birch wood ceremony structure. They served as a nod to the initial inspiration: an Indian wedding where it’s traditional to have strings of carnation garlands, and a flower-filled backdrop at her friend’s California wedding.
The bride's uncle was ordained for the occasion and led the service that included readings of excerpts from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Letters and Papers", and e.e.cummings' " carry your heart with me". The newlyweds walked up the aisle to "Love Me Do" by The Beatles.
A Quick Stop
Louise couldn't resist carrying her Yashica T4 point-and-shoot film camera (accessorized with a Sarah Frances Kuhn strap made from polka-dot fabric and gold chain) down the aisle. She snapped a few photos before joining Tyler under the ceremony structure in which the groom mounted three cameras of his own.
Post-ceremony, the newlyweds crossed the street to the Azalea Garden for a few photos taken by Julia Russell, who also shot Louise's sister's and brother's weddings and Tyler's sister's wedding.
Another Vantage Point
Julia Gillard and Christina Paige of Gillard Paige Photography were also on hand with cameras. "It may sound excessive to have two photographers," Louise said. "But as a photographer, I really wanted to catch as many different moments as I could. I knew they would see things differently and record them as such."
The Escort Cards
Crossed arrows which represent friendship in Native American cultures were a building block for the couple’s new family crest. "The individual arrows seemed like a lovely way to incorporate our friends and family into that idea," said Louise. Paper Presentation cut arrows from shades of blue card stock, and they were calligraphed by Suzy Lee of Dear Darling Calligraphy. Basic corkboards were spray-painted white and map pins held the cards in place until guests took them to their seats.
The Table Numbers
Larger paper arrows calligraphed with numbers by Suzy Lee were affixed to wood pyramids at each table.
The Place Cards
Wood arrows laser cut by FABberz were painted and used as place cards. They also doubled as take-away favors.
Louise spent the year leading up to the wedding collecting glass bottles and doilies from thrift stores, antique shops, eBay, and Etsy. Doilies were grouped by color as the base for each table's palette and flowers, while square tables were covered in different colored linens and topped with corresponding blooms. Mismatched plates were used to create a feeling of a casual dinner party.
The menu for the evening included red and golden beet and goat cheese arugula salad, lobster tails, and vegetarian lasagna. Guests sipped on a selection of signature cocktails: Dark 'n' Stormies, watermelon jalapeño-infused tequila with basil, and Gruet bubbly from New Mexico.
For the wedding tents, the bride turned to high school friend Bancroft Potter from Sperry Tents who provided the sailcloth structures used for dining, dancing, and entertaining the kids. White lanterns in a few sizes hung overhead in the dining tent.
The Head Table
A rainbow of blooms consisting of nearly 40 different flowers trailed down the head table -- a line of five farm tables in the center of the dining tent.
The Wish Tree
Inspired by Yoko Ono's Wish Tree at the pop-up Chanel Pavillion in New York City's Central Park, the bride and her friends collected branches and tied them together before installing them into a locally-made birch bark basket, that would act as a guestbook.
The bridesmaids and some groomsmen then painted wooden fish made by sculptor Dan Falt and hung them on the branches. Faux feathers cut from construction paper by Sarianne Plaisant (a prop stylist and bridesmaid) were set in large mason jars on a nearby table with a collection of pens and markers. People wrote wishes and blessings on them before tying them to the branches.
A smaller tent housed dancing a dance floor, DJ, bar, and 300 hand-puffed tissue paper pom poms tied together using tulle ribbon that hung from the center pole of the tent from a sturdy hoop. The crafty installation made by Louise, Sarianne, and a few bridesmaids, was the perfect accent to the space, in which the newlyweds danced to "Hold On" by Rusko.
A Surprising Cake
Not big on sweets, the couple decided to order a cake purely for the photo opportunity. The seemingly nondescript confection was sliced (with an antique brick laying trowel they received from the groom's father at the rehearsal dinner) to reveal a rainbow of layers inside.
The bride changed into a sequined Derek Lam dress that reminded her of a Moroccan wedding blanket. Its short hem was perfect for dancing.
A Late Night Treat
One of the first things Louise allotted room for in the wedding budget was one of the evening's most memorable details: a fireworks show. "The show rivaled some New Year's displays I've seen," Louise said. It was the perfect start for the dance party and a goodnight send-off for the kiddos in attendance.
Location and Catering: Asticou Inn
Prop Stylist: Sarianne Plaisant
Wedding Planner: Alison Events
Flowers: Chelcey Dunham for Fleurishes
Stationery Design: Chrissie Abbott
Calligraphy: Suzy Lee of Dear Darling Calligraphy
Cake: Celebration Cake
Pies: Pine Tree Market, (207) 276-3335
Hair and Makeup: Bella Spa
Transportation: Oli's Trolley
Lighting: Ambiance Event Services
Fireworks: Central Maine Pyrotechnics
Wedding bands: Cartier
Groomsmen's pants: Embroidery by 3G Trimming (646-728-0300)