Nellie and JP

East Otisfield, Maine



Photography | Jawfox Photography |

Venue | Private Residence

Rentals | Affordable Events

Caterer | The Maine Lobsterbake Co @mainelobsterbakecompany

Specialty Foods | New Gloucester Village Store @ngvillagestore

Beauty | Aly McKeen | @alymckeen

Accommodations | Hampton Inn

A resplendent and timeless barn wedding in rural Maine. The ceremony took place at the Bride’s two hundred year old family farm, surrounded by wheat fields and the faces of smiling friends. The bride and groom, both gorgeous and slightly quirky, made the day fun and memorable for all in attendance. The couple wrote each other the most moving vows, the groom promising “to go do Nellie things” and the bride promising ” to support your dreams, whether that dream is to join the Army or to get a puppy and I promise that I will be there to wake up every morning and take that dream for a walk”. Following the ceremony, the couple kicked off the reception with a “wine pong” tournament followed by dancing under fairy lights in the rustic New England barn.


Tell us about your wedding

The most important thing to us was to have a wedding that felt intensely personal and special. We didn’t care about color schemes or a lot of traditional ideas, but the wedding was at a family farm that Nellie’s family has owned since the 1840’s and Nellie’s grandfather performed the ceremony. The wine coolers on the tables were actually 100 year-old maple sap buckets that JP found piled up in the stables. Flowers and ferns were picked from the fields and were in old milk jars or steamer trunks.


Because we met in Pittsburgh, we also incorporated the traditional “cookie table,” which is a giant table of cookies baked by friends and family to celebrate. The photo booth was a combination outhouse/rowboat that Nellie’s grandfather had made and entered into an “Anything But Boat” race a decade earlier. We tried to stick with local vendors for the food (beer from Maine breweries, some food from the local general store, salads made by the mother and cousins of the bride) and the floral arrangements and setup were all done by friends and family, who were amazing before, during and after the day.


What were the florals like in your wedding?

The theme of the wedding was “ferns.” Nellie handmade all of the invitations and thank you notes with fern stamps and the day before the wedding, family members picked ferns and other local wildflowers (tiger lilies, daisies, Black-eyed Susans, Queen Anne’s lace) from the surrounding property. The ferns bore a particular emotional significance because they had been planted by Nellie’s great-grandmother (also Nellie) in the 1940s. Don’t worry, there were plenty left over at the end! One of Nellie’s friends found five poster-sized prints of different types of ferns at a thrift store and set them up around the property. The ceremony was held in front of a border of tiger lilies and peonies that had been planted Nellie’s deceased grandfather. The bride’s close friend made a fern crown to wear after the ceremony. The bride made the bouquets and boutonnières out of ferns and hydrangeas (purchased at Trader Joe’s).


What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

We had lawn games set up for the cocktail hour, including croquet, bocci, kubb, lawn darts, and beer pong. It was a great way to entertain people and get guests who might not know each other to interact and have fun! The bride and groom made the playlist for the night (although the equipment was loaned by an incredibly generous DJ friend). The first song was Bob Dylan’s “The Woman In You,” selected for its prominence in the movie The Big Lebowski. Nellie’s grandfather, with whom she has an especially close relationship, performed the ceremony, and we wrote our own vows. Our adorable dogs weren’t part of the ceremony, but they were running around all night stealing ping pong balls and lawn darts. We tried to focus a lot on what made the area and the location special—more evidence of this can be seen in most of the descriptions of the event.


How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal

We were introduced by a friend at a trivia night in Pittsburgh and got together shortly afterwards. There was no proposal, just two people who had been together for four years deciding to be together for another forty. The ring came later and was a family heirloom which had belonged to JP’s Great Grandmother.


What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

JP says “The most anticipated moment was probably watching the sun set over the White Mountains on a beautiful, perfectly clear day. That’s why we had it there. The most unexpectedly special thing was probably coming back to the house the night before, turning on the string lights in the barn and realizing how beautiful the whole thing was. Nellie says “The most anticipated moment was definitely the cookie table! We had cupcakes (baked by two local sisters who attend church with my grandmother), but the cookies were easily the most exciting aspect of the buildup. Highlights included spicy hammentaschen, Italian wedding cookies and Kringle, which is a Danish pastry from JP’s home state of Wisconsin. The most special moment was probably the vows. Everyone cried. Like, literally every person, but mostly me. And at the end, one man stood up and yelled “Sharknado!” Which was… an unexpected surprise.”


Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

Get as much help as you can! There are so many people willing to help with so many things. And don’t stress out about the details. Everything will work out. And if it doesn’t, no one will notice.