Because I'm the luckiest person in the world, I was given two tickets to the Turner Farm Barn Supper out on North Haven Island here in Maine. On a windy day, my husband and I took the Equinox Island Transit out of Rockland Harbor out to the island. Although it was a choppy crossing, John Morin, the Captain did a great job of keeping us all safe. Upon our arrival at the barn we were greeted with a lemongrass vodka collins and the night just got better from there.Read More
I remember thinking about how I could make sure to eat on my wedding day. I'm a bit of a foodie (which just means I LOVE food) so it was really important to me that I eat. Plus, I get cranky and annoying when I don't eat, so for the sake of my new husband and all my guests, I decided to plan eating into my wedding day timeline.
Here are a few tips on how to make sure you eat on wedding day.Read More
I have been a wedding DJ for over 40 years. You could say that I have seen a few weddings in my life. Last weekend I experienced a wedding officiant that was second to none. Her name is Maria Northcott. In all my years I have never been so moved by a wedding ceremony. Right from the beginning, Maria captured your attention and guided all that were present on a journey. She involves everyone attending the wedding and invites them to participate in the couple’s magical day. In her voice she pours out her soul with such feelings and excitement. At times you could hear a pin drop and then the next moment the entire gathering in laughter. It takes a special person to achieve that goal. You can tell she is excited to be part of this couple’s wedding day in every word she speaks.
If you’re looking for someone to officiate your ceremony look no further, you have found the best in the business. Her name is Maria Northcott!
I look forward to working with her again.
Dan Giroux, MC/DJ
Dan Giroux Entertainment Services
I love outdoor weddings, but being inside the Bowdoin Chapel on a Saturday in July brought a smile to my face. The walls of the Chapel are covered in colorful, elaborate paintings; the high ceilings and stained glass windows make it feel grand; the blue velvet seat cushions and the long pews evoke British royalty. In a word I was awed by its beauty and charm. And that's just the venue! The wedding couple, Rachel and Harrison chose me as their officiant, and I am truly honored they did. I encouraged them to be present on their wedding day, and to their credit they took my advice. The calm, love, and sweetness they expressed set the tone for their wedding day, which was a relaxed, comfortable and joyous day! What a festive occasion in a gorgeous location!
All photos below by me, A Sweet Start.
Thanks to Chelsea, from the awesome wedding blog Tidewater and Tulle, for interviewing me and asking me all about what make Maine such a great place to get married. I met Chelsea on social media because we're both crazy cat ladies and both love weddings. When she came to Maine on a press tour I made sure to pop down to the beautiful Inn by the Sea to finally meet her in person. We walked down to sweet Crescent Beach just down the boardwalk from the Inn to do this impromptu interview.
I wish I could do every interview barefoot on a beach!
Weddings on an island are magical. First of all there's the ferry ride which just builds the excitement and anticipation of what's to come. And then there's the "we're all in this together" vibe because you're essentially stuck on an island together. And then there's the breathtaking views and historic charm. Whatever *it* is, getting married on an island in Maine truly is one of the most special and amazing adventures!
Callie and Harrison chose Chebeague Island for their June wedding. On the lawn of the Chebeague Island Inn, and after almost ten years of life already together, they finally became husband and wife. I got a little choked up when they exchanged rings. The strength of the love between them was palpable. Such a happy day! Although these photos are from my iPhone, I think you can grasp the stunning beauty of their wedding day.
I want to say a special shout out to the staff at the Chebeague Island Inn. Caitlin, Jessica, Tina, Matt and everyone who works there treats their clients and all wedding vendors with a level of kindness and professionalism that makes you feel welcome, comfortable, confident and supported. Thank you!
All photos below by me, A Sweet Start.
- Officiant: A Sweet Start
- Photography: Emily Delamater Photography
- Ceremony + Reception Venue: Chebeague Island Inn
- Videography: Velare
- Florals: Field Floral Studio
- Cake: Cake Elizabeth
- Catering: Chebeague Island Inn
- Ceremony + Reception Music: Jim Ciampi Band (kind, professional and so good!)
- Rentals: Affordable Events
- Stationery: Jolly Edition
- Transportation: Chebeague Transportation Company
- Hair: Aphrodite Salon (oh my god, the ladies looked ah-mazing!)
- Makeup: Bride and friends
My sister texted me tonight saying she's going to a bridal shower and has no clue what to get the bride and wondered if I had any ideas. Because I'm in the wedding industry I totally should have ideas and lots of them, right? Well, I was a little embarrassed to admit that I didn't have a blog post that could help her, but I promised that soon I would. So, here it is!
Super Adorbs Apron
I know it's super sexist to say that now that she's becoming a wife she needs an apron, but I'll tell you a little secret: I didn't cook until I was married. I mean, I knew how to make scrambled eggs and miso soup but I mostly ate take out from the Whole Foods deli because I didn't know how to cook. So I would have LOVED an apron as a bridal shower gift! Check out this cute and colorful apron.
Colorful Nautical Notecards
These sweet nautical notecards are perfect for a bride getting married in Maine! I would freakin' love a set of these and would totally use them. The handwritten note is coming back in style (thank god) and you might even get one of these as a thank you note if you give her this sweet gift!
I need one of these soooo badly! This is the perfect give because it's the kind of thing that your friend might not buy herself but she probably totally needs. My necklaces are a knotted mess and my earrings are all over the place. I would LOVE to get this sweet copper jewelry stand.
Framable Botanical Prints
I adore these! Every since seeing Alicia Florrick's wall of framed botanical and bird prints I've wanted to do the same thing in my living room. I think they would look so pretty framed and laid out in a grid. Maybe get two sets so she can really make a statement. Would your bride friend like these beautiful botanical prints?
Otter Tape Dispenser
Ergmagahd! Apparently I'm just putting together a list of things I want because I MUST have this otter tape dispenser. He's so dang cute, just look at that face! Another little story...this year for our anniversary I got my husband a card that said "We're meant for each otter!" Cute, right? I know, and so is this adorable otter tape dispenser. I promise you, your friend doesn't already have one. ;)
Everyone Needs Gold Bowls
Ok, yeah, this post is totally just a list of things I want. LOL! But, c'mon, who wouldn't want these awesome gold bowls? They even have matching gold mugs, but I think I like the bowls even better. If she doesn't want to eat ice cream out of them, then maybe she can use them for her hair ties or rings or keys or nuts or candies or...whatever.
Mrs. Wine Tote
And, because she's becoming a Mrs. this little canvas wine tote would be a perfect bridal shower gift! And a wine tote is yet another useful item that people don't usually buy for themselves. And, you can totally put a bottle of champagne in it and tell her it's to bring to the bridal suite on wedding day! What a thoughtful gift. Give her this miss to mrs. wine tote and she'll know you really "get" her.
Little Retro Nightgown
It's traditional to get the bride some lingerie for her bridal shower, so why not get her something cute she can wear on her honeymoon. This cute little nightgown could fit most figures and is super flattering and totally sweet. C'mon, it's not like you're getting her leopard print g-strings.
Studs are The Hoops
Is she into jewelry? Studs are making a comeback, so maybe get her this charming set of pastel-y colored earrings. Every time she wears them she'll think of you. And if you're wondering what to get *me* for Christmas, I'd love these!
You Need More Sleep
You didn't think I'd make it through a whole post about gift ideas without throwing in something with cats on it, did you? Maybe you don't know me well enough yet. I'm a proud, crazy cat lady to two sweet cats, Felix and Bean. They even have their own Instagram account where you can see the life they live in Maine. So, yeah, I, like, really love cats! Hey, maybe your friend does to! Get her this funny cat advice book.
I truly, honestly love every item in this post. I'm also part of the ModCloth affiliate program and the links on this page are affiliate links.
OMG... where to start. I guess that I will start with that everyone at my wedding came up to me and said that Maria from A Sweet Start was the best officiant they had ever heard. It was truly magical. Maria had people laughing, crying, singing, and in complete awe. I had other vendors come up to me and say in all of their years of working, they have never seen an officiant as amazing as her. My DJ, who has been working for 30 years said my wedding ceremony was the best he had ever seen. I can not tell you how important she was to our wedding. Maria set the tone for the rest of the night. It truly was magical and I will never forget it.
This real Maine wedding was very different from most of the weddings I officiate, because I got to spend the night in one of the lakeside cabins on Friday night after the rehearsal! My favorite wedding coordinator in the world, Wendy Caron of Dragonfly Services Day Of Wedding Coordinator, and I were invited to participate in the wedding weekend activities. Not only was it super fun but it allowed us to get to know the family, friends and bridal party really well, which made wedding day an incredibly heartfelt and festive affair! Cheers to Amy and Dan!
All photos by me, A Sweet Start.
- Wedding Officiant: A Sweet Start
- Wedding Coordinator: Dragonfly Services Day Of Wedding Coordinator
- Photographer: Bill Marshall Photography
- Flowers: Michelle Peele Flowers
- Ceremony + Reception Music: Amanda Carr of Matty B Entertainment
- Ceremony + Reception Venue: Kingsley Pines Camp, Raymond, Maine
- Caterer + Cake: Blue Elephant Events and Catering
- Rentals: A Plus Party Rentals
On a chilly spring day in Boothbay Harbor, Maine at the gorgeous Spruce Point Inn Resort and Spa, Liz and Barbara said "I do!" The ladies chose me to be their officiant and together we wrote a meaningful ceremony that reflected their relationship. During the ceremony, I could actually feel the love and energy that surrounded them; it was magical!
Here are a few iPhone photos I took on their wedding day.